Spotting a player isn't always an easy task, especially while you're under their spell. The easiest way is to break down their behaviors in five important aspects of starting a new relationship: the first meeting, early communication, getting to know them, dating style, and finally their approach to making time for the relationship.
What is a true player? These are the people who exhibit at least three out of the five of following signs. Even one of these signs should be a warning flag, but you might want to give them the benefit of the doubt, until further indicators point you towards the door. Ultimately, a player is using these tactics to avoid what they want least ... a stable relationship.
The First Meeting
Too Confident- A player has gotten where they are from being good at what they do. This alone drives an incredible amount of confidence in their approach. Women love confident men, and male players take advantage of this to its fullest. While some people are just naturally more confident, remember, one of the signs of interest in a potential partner, is excitement and nervousness. This includes mirroring, which is an unconscious act at mimicking the other person to appear approachable and on their same level. The player does not want to be on your level, they want to be in control. They will get right up close and personal. They are very calculated, smooth, direct, and will rarely make a nervous mistake.
Probing- When an individual is truly interested in getting to know someone, they will ask genuine questions about them. The player, on the other hand, engages on what is more like probing. They may appear to be trying to get to know the person, but they are really only trying to gain pertinent information as to what the person is looking for in a mate. The idea is to bypass all the time it would normally take that person to decide if they really were interested in pursuing a relationship (weighing both their good and bad sides), so they can jump to the top of the list. These questions will be masked in the form of what they like in a partner, what they did not like about their last relationship, what kind of clothes they prefer on a man/woman, etc.
Getting to Know Them
Mystery Men- A little mystery is good, but too much should be a wake-up call. We shouldn't share everything with a potential mate, but if you don't known anything substantive about them, chances are they're hiding something. Examples include never being invited to their home/apartment, rarely being seen in public (especially during the day), checking their phone often (which is obviously set on 'quiet' mode), taking private phone calls, and having a slew of what they call "stalkers," who won't leave them alone. These are all signs that they may be living a second life (cheating, affair, etc.) apart from your budding romance.
Hot & Cold- The hot-and-cold dating style starts off wonderfully. The person is always up for going out, they can't wait to see you, and they are often nauseatingly romantic early in the game ("I can't believe how wonderful you are," "I think I love you," "You're my soulmate"). But once you give them the sign that they are starting to win you over, they disappear for a few days/weeks without much contact. The whole idea is to keep you there with as little effort as possible. They have a lot of people they're stringing along, so they have to conserve energy. Players love the chase, but get bored of the conquered. They are all talk and no action ("we should do this," "I want to take you here"), but they never follow through.
Flighty- The player is hard to hold to any plans. They may say they prefer to be spontaneous -- in reality, they are always weighing their best options before they commit. They may have meetings come up, relatives die, an important work function overseas, or some other emergency that will take them away for several days or weeks at a time. During these times, they will have limited contact, such as a minimal phone signal, odd working hours, only access to e-mail, etc. While emergencies can and do come up, players use these exclusively to concentrate on new relationships, while storing their ones away for a rainy day.