How to Tell If a Guy is Playing You: 40 Signs He’s Just Using You

Sometimes, a guy’s intentions aren’t actually pure. But, how can you read the signs? Learn how to tell if a guy is playing you and be one step ahead. 

how to tell if a guy is playing you

Have you ever met a guy who you really liked but all he ever did was play games? You probably have and if so, you’ll know how frustrating and even upsetting it can be. It’s not the best feeling to know that someone you actually enjoy spending time with is just using you, or simply messing around with you for the sake of it. To figure it out ahead of time, you’ll need to know how to tell if a guy is playing you and read all the right signs.

Your time is valuable. More importantly, your love is valuable. People know this and yet, some of them still waste your time and toy with your feelings.

They’re not good people but there’s no escaping that reality. Instead, you’ll just have to learn how to spot the signs.

You hear stories about guys manipulating girls into being with them when they don’t even treat them fairly. They basically just want one thing. But if you know how to tell if a guy is playing you or not, you can avoid being just another notch on their belt. [Read: 20 signs you’re wasting time in a one-sided relationship]

Playing hard to get versus playing you

Being elusive and mysterious is all fun and games until the mystery is suddenly revealed in a way that leaves you heartbroken and angry.

No amount of that type of mystery is a good thing, but there is a difference between playing hard to get and playing you.

When someone plays hard to get, it means they do actually like you. They do want to be with you. But, they wrongly assume that playing hard to get is going to make you keener on them.

Of course, most of us know that playing hard to get is a terrible tactic because it has a huge potential to backfire. But, some people insist it’s successful.

The problem is that it drives you crazy and it’s hard to tell whether he’s actually playing you for real or whether he’s really is serious and just has terrible flirting skills.

When a guy is actually playing you, he has no intention of actually wanting to be with you seriously. He’s just toying with you because he thinks it’s fun. So, learning how to tell if a guy is playing you requires a little detective work. [Read: Guys who play games – 17 signs and reasons why they do + how you should react to it]

Why guys play girls from time to time

We wish we could say they don’t mean to but most of the time, guys know just what they’re doing. They know exactly what to say and what to do in order to get a girl in bed, but they have no plans to make her their girlfriend.

Instead, they just do whatever they can to get exactly what they want and nothing more.

The girl then falls for them and, since she cares so much about him, she does everything he wants.

Guys play girls because they’re selfish. Of course, there are many girls out there who play guys too, we can’t ignore that fact. The motivation behind it is normally exactly the same. [Read: Do guys play hard to get? The truth, 21 reasons and what you should do next]

How to tell if a guy is playing you so you can stop wasting your time

When you notice the signs of a guy playing you, you can jump ship before stuff gets too serious. And truthfully, those signs are probably a lot easier to see than you realize.

Here’s what to look for so you can tell when a guy is totally playing you.

1. He compliments you all the time

It may seem like compliments come from a place of love, but they often come from a place of wanting to make you feel good about yourself. And when you’re feeling really confident, it’s hard to see the real issues at play.

Basically, if a guy is showering you with compliments, he might be playing you. It’s okay for him to make you feel good, but when the compliments are a tad bit excessive, he could be trying to distract you from something. [Read: What does it mean when a guy calls you cute? These 25 things!]

2. He only calls or texts late at night

AKA, you’re a booty call. This is a really big sign a guy is playing you because if he’s only texting you late at night, how much could he really care about you?

He’d be talking to you throughout the day often if he really liked you because he’d want to know how your day went. [Read: How guys text if they actually like you – 28 things they do differently]

3. You don’t go out in public for dates

This is an especially big sign if the reason for it is that date nights at home are “more romantic.” He’s totally trying to play you by saying this.

In reality, he doesn’t want to take you out in public because he doesn’t want to risk you two running into any other girls he’s seeing. He’s just covering his own ass.

4. You never meet his friends

If you’re romantically involved with someone and the feelings are real, you meet each other’s friends. You get involved in one another’s lives. And if the guy you’re seeing isn’t doing that, he’s playing you.

Never meeting his friends just shows you that his friends might not even know about you. If he’s not telling his friends about you, does he truly have feelings for you? Probably not.

This means he’s just using you for something else entirely. [Read: How to accept their friends and get them to accept you]

5. He doesn’t talk much about himself

How much do you know about the guy? If you don’t know anything more than the food he likes and his favorite color, he could be playing you.

By not giving you too many personal details, he’s not forming a bond with you and the only reason to do that is if he plans to cut you loose soon.

6. He’s vague about his whereabouts

Couples usually communicate where they’ve been or what they’ve done throughout the day. If you wonder what your man has been doing and he’s super vague about it, he could be playing you.

He’s probably been somewhere you wouldn’t like and doesn’t want to tell you about it. [Read: 14 secret signs you’re in side chick when you believe you’re his main girl]

7. He shields his phone from you

He has other people he’s seeing if he’s always hiding the phone from you. None of the conversations with his friends should ever be so private that he needs to stop you from seeing them all together. He hides his phone because he has something to hide and that’s the fact that he’s playing you.

8. You only spend time together when it’s convenient for him

Basically, you only get together when he’s free and he expects you to change your plans to accommodate that.

He does this because he doesn’t have much time between all the people he’s seeing. This is also true because he doesn’t want to plan things too far in advance because he doesn’t know when he’s going to drop you. [Read: 22 big early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

9. He doesn’t add you on social media

This is one of the biggest signs that a guy is playing you. If you’ve been dating someone for a decent amount of time, you should be friends on social media. You two are involved, it only makes sense.

If he’s actively not adding you at all, it’s because he posts pictures that he doesn’t want you to see. That and he might not want other girls he is friends with to see.

10. He makes vague excuses for his absences

Does he go missing for hours at a time and doesn’t text or anything? If so, he’s probably playing you and one way to know for sure is how he responds to your question about his absence.

If he just waves his hand and says he was “busy,” he’s probably playing you. [Read: Secret relationship? Why someone would want to keep things low key]

11. When you get mad, his response is only compliments

If you want to know how to tell if a guy really likes you or is just playing you, see how he takes arguments.

When you’re upset with him, does he try to understand where you’re coming from and fix it? Or does he just shower you with compliments? If it’s the latter, he’s playing you and trying to make you forget why you’re even mad.

12. He calls you “crazy” for making assumptions

On the flip side, if he starts calling you crazy for being upset or making assumptions that he’s playing you, then he definitely is.

Basically, this is a tactic he uses to manipulate you. If you think you’re being unreasonable, you’ll drop the issue. [Read: Manipulative people – How to spot them and stop playing the victim]

13. He is way too forward

Players are called so because they got game. A player knows all the right things to say and comes on way too strong and makes it endearing, not creepy. The player is all about winning at any cost.

So, they put it all out there up front to see if you are into the game or if they should find a worthier opponent.

14. You feel like you’re being sold something but you’re not quite sure what

This type of guy is somewhat like a used car salesman. The only difference is that you know what the used car salesman tries to sell you. A player sells himself but in a much subtler way. That is why you feel like you are being worked over, you are.

15. He’s dressed to the “T”

Guys who just want to play you perfect the art of attraction. They know what to say and what to wear. If a guy approaches you and is way too trendy, definitely too flashy, and manicured to the nines, you probably are dealing with someone who has been around the pickup block many times. [Read: What makes someone a player? The 15 sly signs of a player’s mind]

16. He smells like a cologne bottle

This kind of guy knows how to use all of their wiles to win you over. That includes not just how they look but how they smell.

If you catch a whiff of him standing six feet away, it is safe to think that he is either a player, or at best, working way too hard with reason.

17. Everyone at the club seems to know him as if he is there every night

He can’t keep his game hidden from everyone. If everyone behind the bar knows him, the bouncers know him, and the wait staff knows his favorite drink without asking, he is in the club a lot.

If he goes to a single’s club frequently, it isn’t for the good food.

18. You receive the evil eye from other girls around you

A player is excellent at annoying girls. If you suddenly get an evil eye from other girls around him when he approaches you, that means you aren’t his first victim.

Don’t worry, they aren’t hating on you. But they definitely give you a heads up that they hate him for his playing ways. [Read: How to play a guy at his own game – 17 ways to make sure you win]

19. He has a comeback for everything

Guys like this know every little witty comeback to what you have to say because they heard it all before and prepared very well for any situation.

Trial and error and experience make them an expert at making everything sound rehearsed.

20. He is constantly witty and charming

The only reason that players get away with being players is their wit and charm.

If he is straight up, all up on you instantly, and trying to charm your pants off then it is intentional. He uses his attraction to your disadvantage and shows his true team colors.

21. His cellphone blows up every two seconds

He is a very busy man. His phone is blowing up with all the girls he either lies to, keeps on the sidelines, or pissed off.

Our suggestion? Don’t become one of them. If the phone goes off all the time and he hides those notifications from you, something is going on… and it usually isn’t good. [Read: 15 signs he’s seeing other girls and you believe it’s only you]

22. He is a natural out on the dance floor

If he has the moves that just make you want to grab and take hold, then he is probably a player. Most guys aren’t that into dancing, and if they are, it typically isn’t because they enjoy it.

They learn their sexy dance moves to impress the ladies. Did you catch that? We didn’t say “lady,” we said “ladies.”

23. He won’t take “no” for an answer

This guy won’t take “no” for an answer, and that’s one of the biggest signs of a player. He treats your answers like they are a game or accepting them is optional.

For the player, someone who says “no” is game on. Believe us, he won’t give up the surrender flag without the best attempts he has. [Read: 14 no-fail ways to turn down any type of guy who annoys you]

24. He has passcodes on every device

Once he has you, he keeps passcodes on his phone, his computer, and everything else to keep you out. Once in this guy’s world, you are kept at arm’s length.

Since he juggles so many girls at the same time, you notice all his personal things are on lockdown. Passcodes are his best friend to keep everyone he plays on opposite playing fields.

25. He has a ton of “girlfriends” but they are “just friends”

At least that is what he tells you. Sure, guys have some friends that are girls, but if you have the impression they are more than just friends, listen to your inner voice.

A guy with a harem of girls instead of a group of guys probably is not sleeping alone when you aren’t with him. [Read: What is cheating in a relationship?]

26. You just feel as if you can’t trust him

There is something about him that you just can’t put your finger on. That is distrust you feel, and this is one of those signs of a player you need to keep an eye on. There is always a feeling that they hide or hold something back from you.

27. He hasn’t had a serious girlfriend before

A guy well into his 20s who has never had a serious girlfriend before is a red flag. Either he is noncommittal at any level, or he just likes to have a variety instead of eating one flavor. [Read: 20 signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you and only wants fun]

28. He refuses to take it to the next level or even to his place

A player wants just to play. If you try to take it beyond the booty call or the late-night meet-up, he has all sorts of excuses to make himself unavailable.

He is unavailable because he makes himself available to all sorts of other women.

29. He doesn’t share his secrets

He doesn’t want you to know his ugly little secrets. He doesn’t want you to know about his history, his upbringing, or really anything including where he lives. If you found out who he really is, he knows you probably can’t be played as easily. [Read: 20 secret things guys wish girls knew about guys]

30. His friends are players

Birds of a feather flock together. If all of his friends are players, there would be no reason for him to be with them if he wasn’t as well.

Check his circle and if they’re all into playing, steer clear.

31. He has a reputation

Reputations exist for a reason. If other people tell you he is a player, heed their warning.

There is a real possibility he is. If it’s just one person telling you this, be wary, but if it’s more than one, they’re saying it because he has a history that’s not so pretty.

32. You go days without speaking

It’s not right for someone who’s interested in you to simply not talk to you for a couple of days. Sure, everyone is busy at times, but they all have a quick few seconds to shoot a “good-morning” text.

This is a surefire sign that he’s playing you and might have someone else that’s been occupying his time. Make sure that if he does ignore you for a couple of days that you get answers as to why. If he comes up short, kick him to the curb! [Read: Are you being ignored after sex? The truth behind ghosting after sex]

33. He goes AWOL but then says he’s been “busy”

If this is his only reason for not texting or calling you or really just not contacting you in any way for those past few days, then it’s a sign he’s playing you. Someone who is just “busy” has plenty of time to send you a text or give you a quick call. There’s really no excuse.

34. He teases you too often

Think about how women play hard to get with men. We tease them, oh, we tease them all the time. We send them cute messages, sexy photos, lead them on, but do we ever follow up with what we said we would do? Very unlikely. We’re all talk.

But, if a guy is teasing you basically all the time, he’s not playing hard to get, he’s playing you because he likes the reaction he gets. [Read: 20 sure reasons why a guy could be ignoring you]

35. He flirts with other girls in front of you

Does he often flirt with other girls when you’re around? It’s because he can’t help himself.

He’s so used to doing it he forgets himself. It also keeps you on your toes and he knows you’re going to get jealous. This is definitely one of the ways how to tell if a guy is playing you.

36. He cancels your plans regularly

So, you guys had a deal to watch a movie tonight. He was even the one to suggest it! But alas, where is he? Not beside you on the couch. Instead, he texted you saying that he can’t make it and throws you a lame excuse.

If someone makes a date to see you, they like you. But if they cancel, they try to show you that they don’t care and they’re in charge – playing! [Read: 16 characteristics of a narcissist that give them away instantly]

37. He blows hot and cold

If he does this, he’s playing you like a fiddle. Of course, in the beginning, he’s attentive and super nice, but suddenly, he switched.

Now, this could be that he wants to manipulate you or it could be that he’s no longer into you. Either way, it’s not in your favor to be with this guy because he’s playing games. [Read: Blowing hot and cold – The 3 stages to explain why a guy would do this]

38. You can feel it

It’s called female intuition for a reason. Deep down in the gut, you know the truth. Sure he may like you, but you know at the end of the day what’s going on. We know you want to conquer him, have him fall for you, but it’s not going to happen.

He’s playing you and you know it. Put your ego on the side because chasing him only brings a broken heart and possible years of therapy. [Read: Should you trust your gut? How to choose to listen to it or ignore it]

39. You see the panic in his eyes when you mention being exclusive

You two may be seeing each other for a while but he’s not rushing to make it exclusive nor does he want to. That’s why he’s playing all these games with you. He doesn’t want to be with you. You’re fine… for now.

If he really cared about you, this wouldn’t be happening. When you mention it, he makes excuses, disappears, and you can see the panic on his face beforehand. [Read: How to get a guy to stop dating other girls and get exclusive with you]

40. You’re angry around him – because you know

Most of the time you’re in a constant state of annoyance around him. Why? Because you know he plays around with you! You know!

He isn’t giving you what you want, yet you still hang around because you think one day the light bulb in his head will go off. It won’t. [Read: How to listen to your gut and give strength to your inner voice]

So, what should you do?

Now you know how to tell if a guy is playing you, what should you do? Basically, you should cut your losses and go find someone who doesn’t play games.

If you’re not looking for anything serious and you’re pretty sure you’re not going to fall for him, by all means, have some fun. But, if you’re catching feelings or you already have, you need to wave goodbye for your own sanity. This type of guy will never change. 

[Read: Is he leading you on? 16 definite signs he’s just using you for fun]

If you want to know how to tell if a guy is playing you, all you really need to do is take a step back and view his behavior from afar. Does he seem to genuinely care about you? If not, he’s totally playing you.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...