How do you distinguish a Player from a Playboy?

As I recently wrote for RecoveringYogi, it is a challenge to tell if your new “yogi” boyfriend or girlfriend is for real or not. Read on to find out…….This is just a minor hint of the emotional abuse I endured over the course of our time together.

I recently celebrated my birthday, and am reminded not only of have I officially changed demographic groups, but of how much I have grown this past year, during the aftermath of my disastrous relationship with a Player.  Last year, I spent my birthday hiking alone and mournful because I had learned the Player I was involved with had been consorting with another woman the weekend before my birthday. (Another good reason why it should be illegal to have birthdays on Mondays, right?) And my dumb ass KNEW he had been two-timing me during our entire relationship!  The birthday celebration was topped off the next weekend, when he berated the outfit I wore out that evening with friends, as it was not to his liking (a simple red, cotton summer dress, really?).
(I have admitted my co-dependent needs to be the grandiose caretaker.  Maybe I am just a slow learner…..who knows?)  A dear friend of mine helped me understand how naïve I was to believe that a yoga studio wouldn’t entertain such behavior.  “Sometimes people mistake another person’s plain old greed as a path to enlightenment or empowerment.  A Player,” he stated, “is an Emotional Napoleon who doesn’t have any of his own assets — like boundaries or a healthy sense of self — so he figures out ways to pillage yours, usually in the name of some sort of spiritual fulfillment.” It has taken me longer to heal from this relationship than any other, and I needed even more time to get to a place where I feel like I can offer some guidance, should you yourself find yourself in the unfortunate position of being courted by a Player or, worse, a Playboy.

Ways to spot a Player or Playboy

Players and Playboys behaviors are very similar. You have to spend a bunch of time with one to comprehend the subtle differences and appreciate the nuances. A Player, in short, has a treatable neurosis, while the Playboy contains a full-blown character disorder.
  1. For Players and Playboys alike, a yoga practice is strictly for a good workout. They will spark your interest by performing an excessive amount of handstands during classes they take, like peacocks display their feathers when garnering the admiration of the opposite sex they are overly desperate for.
  2. Players are the ones who make the transition from student to teacher, as a way to further reap adoration from the opposite sex, learning quickly they can harvest your undivided attention for at least an hour or two of their day.
  3. Playboys, as expected, take it to the next level.  They OWN the studio, or develop and/or copyright a new style of yoga, or headline the yoga festival circuit, or lead the yoga retreat.  (They believe these achievements give them validation to degrade others because they ARE better than you, duh).
  4. Both Players and Playboys are emotionally unavailable.  So, if they happen to show any hint of feelings, it is only for the sake of maintaining their perception of power and control.  In fact, if you happen to be involved in any kind of relationship with this breed of yogi(ni), do NOT discuss emotional or spiritual breakthroughs you may have had along the way – they are incapable identifying with the feelings of others.
  5. Players try to disguise their need for domination with fabricated compassion and often state how much they “lllloooooovvvveee yoga.”  Yet, outside of the studio, they promote yoga to the few friends they have who can put up with their asinine behavior, as a “great place to meet hot chics,” so don’t be fooled.  Instead, confront him with a question like, “Dude, why in the fuck ARE you teaching yoga classes anyway?”
  6. I have been witness to shameful public displays of emotion by Playboys that would rival the best of Ms. Erika Kane’s on All My Children Trust me when I state that all of these are fraudulent exhibitions of gratitude to exaggerate their achievements in an effort to lure in new prey.  Once, I saw a Playboy snap a female student’s thong that mistakenly slipped from her lulus during class while the Playboy was teaching. After that same class, he openly cried big ol’ crocodile tears about how he appreciated everyone so much.
  7. Notice if they often use the excuse “a demanding work schedule” as their cover to balance the needs of multiple women they are involved with.  Players and Playboys alike are incapable of being sincerely interested in anyone but themselves for the long haul of a reciprocal relationship.
  8. The more committed their partner is, the more likely Players are to cheat, because they think they can get away with it.  Regardless of the proof I had of my Player’s indiscretions, he still tried to lie to me and everyone else…  even when a mutual friend met his mistress — more than a year after we agreed to see each other “exclusively” — and she openly admitted they had been dating that whole time.  He used the excuse that there was some “crossover” between his escapades. (This must be the 21st Century term for two-timing low life.)
  9. Playboys have figured out, instead, how to establish a thriving “yoga harem” to propagate their unsavory morals within the same community of studios. They establish a network of yogi-hos in different area codes.  This harem is happy to engage in exploitative acts that any normal person would eschew, because these yogi(ni)s understand if they want to get anywhere teaching in a male-dominated business there are going to be “trade-offs” for their success.
Admittedly, we co-dependents have allowed these nasty little narcissistic habits to be perpetuated for far too long.  It is in your dog’s nature to drool all over your couch and eat your shoes, just as it is in your cat’s nature to plop down in the middle of a formal dinner party and proceed to lick its own ass.  It is in a Player’s nature to strip you of your self-esteem, just as it is in a Playboy’s to strip you of your identity.  That is in their nature and cannot be changed, no matter what reality of “ideal love” you are living in.
They are emotional and spiritual bottom feeders who seek to latch onto your dreams in a compelling way because are immensely insecure and overly self-conscious.  Thus they will remain stuck in a never-ending cycle of fabrications about their personal lives, or using their significant others’ abilities to obtain easy access to their next fix. Instead of moving through the process to become aware of their faults and improve upon their actions towards themselves or others, they will pretend to be someone else and pretend that you are only an extension of that false self.  For you yogis who are vain enough to think this article does or does not apply to you, I heard you both attended the Wanderlust Festival.  Players, doesn’t it suck to know that, on many occasions, you have been passed the Playboy’s leftovers?
Grow up and get real, for substance is the truest style there is.