Why do I want the bad boy? the cheater?
Lisa’s dad is a handsome doctor with a coterie of female fans. Most of the hospital staff whispered that he played around; however, none believed he would break up his home, fortune, or break his daughter’s heart to divorce.
A dedicated professional in the hospital, at home–when he finally arrives home—dad drinks too much. Screaming matches sprinkle his interaction with her mother. At those times, Lisa feared him and hid in her closet behind her red coat with the white rabbit collar. Dad never hit Lisa or her mother, but the possibility was traumatizing. The upside to his drinking was that when dad was inebriated, Lisa could talk him into buying her anything she wanted. He enjoyed feeling important. Lisa learned if you want something from a man, wait until he is drinking to ask.
Presumably bored with his routine personal life, when Lisa was twelve-years old, dad pressured Lisa’s mother for a divorce so he could marry his office manager, Marla. It shocked mom and Lisa. Dad’s marriage to Marla ended in less than two years. Lisa guessed that Marla bored her dad and he left her.
Dad dated a new woman every weekend so Lisa rarely saw him. They made plans but he often cancelled them. He was always sorry but medicine was so unpredictable. Lisa realized that she was not important to him anymore and stopped contacting him. She never confronted her father about his neglect of her.
Lisa refuses to believe her father’s actions influenced the type of men who are attracted to her or she to them.
Who is Mom?
Lisa’s mother is beautiful. She adored her husband and refused to confront his flirtations or heavy alcohol use. She did charity work at the hospital because once Lisa was born she abandoned her career as a nurse. Life between mom and dad had become routine, except for the occasional vacation or dinner at the Bay Club. She assumed that after many years of marriage, their life had lost some of its spark. However, mom thought their personal life suited them both.
We Become One Parent and Marry the Other
Lisa favors her mother in personality and temperament. As a result, she attracts men like her dad. Lisa is a player magnet—successful, handsome, hard drinking, players. They are egotistical men, who enjoy constant flattery and are not seeking long-term relationships. No exceptions! What she does not understand is that these men are toxic and always leave – -just like her dad. Sadly, she is determined to tame one of these bad boys; that is, to re-write her history and claim her father’s attention. This approach is a set-up for heartbreak!
Mom and Dad’s Legacy; Lisa’s Dating History.
Lisa is on to her next man, Player Pete. They spend their first date, a Tuesday night, at Eleven Madison Park Restaurant in the city. The menu is Prix Fixe and expensive. Lisa feels special that a man would spend $125 per person on a new romance. She orders a lamb dish; Pete orders filet mignon. There are wine pairings and desserts that flambé and Lisa is dizzy with anticipation of a life with this man.
The waiter leaves the bill and Pete reaches for his wallet. Fumbling through each pocket, he looks at Lisa, seemingly mortified. “Lisa, I can’t believe it. My wallet is on my bureau. This has never happened to me before. I do not expect my girlfriends to pay for dinner. “Lisa, please tell me you have a credit card with you,” he says. Lisa only hears the word girlfriend.
Lisa has a credit card that she happily uses to save the evening. Pete thanks her profusely and promises to drive past his apartment and get the cash he owes her. Pete suggests a nightcap before they leave. Conversation is easy and suddenly he looks at this watch and says, “I have an early client in the morning. I hate to cut this short, Lisa, but I must get home!
He bypasses his apartment and parks his car in front of her building. He kisses her and then puts his arms around her and sighs. “It has been great,” he whispers. He kisses her again and he can hear her breathing speed up. Two hours later, he finally leaves, oblivious of the time and the early morning client. He promises he will call her later.
Six days pass and Lisa does not hear from Pete. The weekend comes and goes. Lisa fears he will not call and her old friend –those feelings of dread — take up residence in her stomach. Obsession ensues as Lisa replays the evening over and over in her head searching for some sign of what she might have done wrong.
Around ten o’clock on Monday night, Pete finally calls. He proffers his excuse: a heavy work schedule and a last minute invitation to the Hamptons for the weekend. He does not mention with whom he spent the weekend. He does invite her to the Billy Joel concert happening the next evening. They agree to meet at the Garden because Pete will be in Federal Court all day. He is sorry they cannot meet for dinner.
The concert is electric and Peter attentive; at one point, he rests his arm around her shoulders and strokes her face with his finger. Lisa is thrilled. The evening ends in his car and his pressure for sex is apparent. Lisa stops him, saying that it is way too soon. “Lisa, there are two of us in this relationship,” says Player Pete. “It isn’t just about what you want. Don’t I get a vote? I am crazy about you. We are going to be together for a long time.” Reluctantly, Lisa continues kissing him, leaving the promise that there will be a bedroom scene on their next date.
Pete walks her to the door to her building and promises dinner that weekend. He does not produce the money he owes Lisa and she does not bring it up!
Lisa is not quick to analyze why she is already thinking about sex with a virtual stranger. So far, they have had dinner, which Lisa paid for with her credit card and an evening sitting together at the Billy Joel Concert, using tickets clearly purchased with someone else in mind. Lisa does not think sex should be the next step but she does not want to lose him.
Lisa assumes there will be dinner on Saturday night, but he does not call. He does text-message her on Sunday morning and invites her for a drive to Jones beach and a walk in the sand. He claims he is exhausted from working all weekend. Lisa feels important! Even though he is exhausted, he wants to be with her. Lisa trusts this relationship will evolve. After a short walk in the white sand, he invites her back to his apartment.
After an afternoon of romance, Peter begs off dinner saying he is exhausted. Hungry, and without the money he owes her, Lisa is put into a cab with a kiss on the cheek, a thank you and a promise to call later.
On the cab ride home, Lisa is elated. He is perfect! Lawyer, owns an apartment in Manhattan, wealthy friends, connections in the Hamptons, and he wants her.
She has not added up the clues. She doesn’t see the end coming.
Pete never callls; doesn’t pay her. And, she sees him out the next night with another model-type.Peter is a lawyer, but sadly he was preceded by a doctor, Wall Street exec., dentist, and a myriad of men who are trust fund babies. She is addicted to the idea of marrying a wealthy man. The fact that she is not wealthy is not seen by Lisa as an impediment to her dream.
Do Players Know They Are Playing?
Yes! They know who they are. Players are shallow, self-absorbed, myopic people who do not feel the depth of commitment you are feeling. They earned their reputations because of their behavior, which includes but is not limited to: breaking promises, being late, showing disrespect for others, lying, letting you down, pushing quickly for sex and forgetting you.
Players habitually cheat. The way they treat people they date results in breakups that are predictably nasty and frequently violent, as those who are summarily dumped recognize that they have been used.
In Troy’s case, he is attracted to beauty and showing off gorgeous dates. Lisa by-passes any decent man if he doesn’t have money.
Both Lisa and Troy date people who hang out in the Hamptons, France and Greece. They are both attracted to model-types. Ordinary people just do not appeal to them. They want the feeling that comes with getting the person everyone else wants. Wining! Fabulousness by association.
Sadly, those credentials usually come with the terminally jaded and world weary players adept at using people then sliding out of relationships and on to the next challenge. Soon as the challenge is within reach, they are gone!
A player’s game is not very subtle, but many miss the signs. If you want to fool around in playersville, know the rules.
Read Part 2.