As an athlete, I grew up with a bunch of boys– not in my actual sport, but we all hung out at the gym and shared the same track and conditioning equipment.  In boarding school, all the jocks ate together- 3 meals a day, and as a result I was privy to all their conversations, and I do mean all.  Guys have rarely filtered around me, but the significance of this did not really dawn on me until the other day when one of my friends pointed out that I really get guys, whereas she thinks most women do not have a ton of guy friends, and many are in fact intimated by them.  She explained that some women are even unsure of how to flirt or initiate a conversation, and I had to admit this was all foreign to me.  In that moment, I realized how fortunate I was to grow up surrounded by the Adonis-type full of testosterone.

My mom used to say, “tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.”  She is actually right, your friends are a good reflection of your own values.  The funny thing is, however, over the past decade I have developed two distinct groups of friends– the ones who are married with two kids (and they work their butts off to provide the best for their children) and then I have my single friends, who still live by the old motto “work hard, play hard,” with a definite emphasis on play.  This explains a lot about my own internal conflict, but today’s focus is on shedding some light on those I will call “players,”however, I use that term lovingly, and not at all in the derogatory way we often hear it.

Those that know they are brilliant and beautiful are well aware of the power they yield, and finding a playmate is not an issue for them.  These are thrill seekers, who like challenges and the adrenaline rush.  The thought of settling down is ridiculous to this kind– unless they decide to actually breed, and that will only usually happen with someone that truly rocks their world.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever in this circle of beautiful people, and that is why that crowd is fickle– fame and fortune can easily come and go, meanwhile there is always someone younger, prettier, or wealthier right around the next corner.   Those that manage to age well and amass power, essentially become untouchable while the rest struggle with vanity and remaining relevant.

After the itch to breed is over, there is very little reason for these players (men and women) to settle down, therefore, they have a tendency to think of relationships as long-term leases, and can we blame them?   Is it really realistic to  commit to one person for the next 30 years– or until “death do us part”?  Most of us don’t even stay in one career for that long, so how can we possibly make a contract to stay with one person for that length of time?

Some may consider this a very narcissistic way of living, and many try to condemn this hedonistic life style, but perhaps they feel the need to do this to justify their own reality or make themselves feel better about their own choices?  Settling down is hard, and perhaps many secretly resent those that have the freedom to do as they wish on any given day.  For some, freedom is golden and as a result nothing is more dreadful than the thought of being trapped or shackled.

Growing up, little girls were always warned to avoid players– I guess the assumption was that a girl would let down her guard, make herself vulnerable and perhaps be subject to a broken heart.  If there is one thing I would change in the 21st century, it would be to equally warn boys and girls that if someone rejects the idea of a commitment, it’s not necessarily a reflection of their unworthiness– and you need to teach all children that broken hearts do mend.

The fact is, you can’t avoid players, they are everywhere and they come in both sexes.  Men and women today are equally capable of emotionally detaching and embracing the sensuality that comes with being in the moment while discarding any illusions of permanency.  I’m not saying you have to teach someone to think this way, but you do need to understand this way of thinking.

The sooner our society can come to grips with the frailty of the connections we form in this world, the better off we will all be.  There is a growing part of our population that is no longer buying into the notion that marriage is necessary or that success is defined by your home life.  Many don’t plan to grow old and would rather live for the moment than plan for some future that may never come.
The choice to settle down or party like a rock star is up to each individual, and there really is no point in passing judgments.  We each choose the life we want to live, but I think we can all agree that all work and no play is NOT a way to live.