Dating A Master Manipulator (The Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing)

We all know what we want in a potential mate … we also all know what we don’t want. Now, what if we meet who we want and they turn into what we don’t want? Huh? Let me explain. The story of my life … I meet someone I like and they seem good at first and then BAM they either disappear into a black hole or they, um, “trip” on my foot and fall in because they get on my nerves. Frankly, I’m getting tired of it. I met this guy online in one of my “I’m bored let’s see what’s online” phases and was pleasantly surprised … wish I never had. Lesson learned right? Here’s my dating story … Or as I like to refer to it my big dating “manstake”!

The Master Manipulator

master manipulatorWhat is a master manipulator? Essentially they’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This guy will be the ideal man, following all the gentlemanly rules, take you out for dinner, be enthusiastic about you, be interested in your life and listen attentively, thinks you’re the best thing since sliced gluten free bread, he’ll buy you your favorite Riesling wine even though he drinks beer, he will be so seemingly genuinely into you, he’ll say he wants to be exclusive and not date other people … he is the wooing MASTER. These men also exhibit implicit narcissistic and selfish behaviors. They make you think it’s about you but really it’s all about them. The wining and dining is to make THEM look good … especially if you’re an attractive partner they can show off.

I think the author Victoria Levine in her book Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing really gives a good description. In an interview she described these master manipulators like this:

All players use skillful manipulation to achieve their desired result. 
Players seek to control your behavior by maneuvering and blanketing
 you in a masquerade of deception. Metaphorically speaking, players are 
like puppet masters pulling your strings and guiding you with cunning 
intelligence, pushing you into whatever roll they want you to play.
 Players plan out their every move and will use whatever they feel is
 their strongest asset to lure you in. It could be anything from having
 a lot of money, a nice car, a beautiful home, being attractive, having 
a great smile, or having a great body. Whatever they think will peak
 your interest … players deceive and lie to make women believe you
 have a real connection or an exclusive relationship with them while
 only desiring sex.

One guy I’ve recently met (let’s call him the pilot) was exactly what I wanted and all was good for about two weeks. He pursued and wooed me to precision but was real and down to earth at the same time. I thought WOW, finally a good one! We went out for drinks, we went out for dinner, we went to the movies, we hung out at my place, we hung out at his place, we took his dog for a walk holding hands, you know real stuff. I really really needed that maybe so much so that I was a little too nice and played along, even being ever so appreciative and good about everything thoughtful and nice he did … why shouldn’t I be? I’m a nice person. But we all know what happens when something is too good to be true …

The Dating Black Hole

A master manipulator after they’ve felt they’ve secured you will usually be wishy washy with his feelings and attentions. Remember it’s all about him and his needs. Once he has you where he wants you then he will disappear. After all, HE has more important things to do, like entertain his friends and be busy (or so he says but why is he still actively pursuing women online? hmm what happened to dating exclusively?). They make false promises and see you when they feel like it. They don’t call you to touch base just to say hi, you know things normal people that are interested in you and crazy about you do, unless of course they want something from you. Classic user behavior.

It’s completely acceptable to be busy and have a life outside of your relationship. What’s unacceptable is staging a disappearing act under the guise that you’re busy. We’re all adults here and we have responsibilities and tasks that keep us busy and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is not contacting someone for an extended period of time. Touching base to say “hello, how are you doing?” means that you are actually thinking of the person and you’re interested in them. One whole week (or more) of no contact? Not acceptable. By the way I was the last to contact him to say hi and see how he was doing and he fed me all the lines every girl wants to hear … that’s when I knew the truth and played the waiting game to see if he would contact me and guess what, he never did, but, he was online whenever I would check the online dating site.

What to say? Well played pilot, well played … or was it?

Could I Have Avoided The Master Manipulator?

So how to avoid these type of men? Good question. I think it’s not about finding the right man but the good man. What’s the difference? Mister right could have everything you’re looking for but not be a good person and just looking to play you. What do they say? A good man is like a four leaf clover, lucky to have but hard to find. Always be true to yourself and listen to your gut, that’s all you can do and it will never steer you wrong. I have to admit I was a little on the vulnerable side when I met him and a bit eager, I enjoyed the positive attention and let my guard down even though my gut was telling me to beware. He knew EXACTLY what to say and do … and I kind of am guilty of feeding that to him too … but I was playing along. I did see many suspicious signs, but I played along because I felt like going along with it to see what happens and to learn. OK maybe a small part of me was hoping that it was all for real, but I really did know better (so did my gut instincts).

This guy’s game was to make a woman feel like the most special gorgeous woman in the world. He would treat her so nice and spend money on her. He would be thoughtful, generous and attentive to her every need. He would tell her half truths, even using people’s names that he was with, just enough that she thinks he might just be sincere. When she says that “oh you’re one of a kind, most guys don’t do that these days” he says “really, that’s just normal for me”. Hook, line and … but wait … oh forget it, men these days don’t put in an effort to woo women and men like the pilot profit from it. Women are looking for that positive attention and a guy who will fit into the ideal mold – good job, attractive, interesting, down to earth. Master manipulators do that very well. Men take notice! Step it up because it’s guys like him that ruin it for you because they make women jaded and negative about men.

Well, a master manipulator has his faults too, especially when they get confident and cocky! And the pilot said and did some things that set off some major bells for me, but I played along. As a general rule ladies (and this is when to take your blinders off) anyone who’s on too hot of a pursuit of you usually isn’t to be trusted. Either they are too eager (and we all know desperation is not attractive) or they are looking for a new shiny toy to play with that they’ll discard after they are finished, regardless, it’s not normal. This guy was in flaming hot pursuit of me, it was like I was a novelty for him. He was also obsessed with how I smelled, well, that’s not the first time, I guess I just smell good 😉 (remember this guy who even wanted to sniff me when he saw me many months later?).

Beware of the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

The problem is this my friends, how exhausting is it that we always have to leave our guard up and not be ourselves? Why do people have to always play games? I am always open and honest with everyone I meet. I hate games … playing hard to get, playing coy, playing uninterested, keeping them wondering. That’s just bullshit. If someone wants to be with you they will be regardless of what you say or do. No games required. If you go too fast or slow they will still be with you. If you go fast you will just know their intentions faster, if you go slow you will eventually know too, it will just take longer. Just do things within your own comfort zone.

So I had a great time with what I thought was a great man. I know I played along and did a bit of playing myself, mea culpa, but I had fun doing it (all in the name of research of course) and look I have a great new story as a result!! I will admit that it is quite disappointing that this guy was playing games all along because I really did enjoy his company but that’s his problem not mine because he’s missing out on a QUALITY woman with oh so much to offer the RIGHT man who deserves her, not a COWARD Peter Pan who can’t be honest about his intentions or finish what he started. How hard is it to tell someone you’re not interested? I mean really! I always do it. There’s a voodoo exhibit at the museum here in town … I wonder if they sell dolls …

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva


    • Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your own experience. It is a difficult thing to go through because you feel like you should have known better. Live and learn, right?


  1. The problem with online dating is that some people write their profiles based on who they would like to be instead of who they really are. I know this is true because my therapist told me! Also, I’ve experienced the Master Manipulator myself and most of them present themselves one way, which seems fantastic, and ultimately they are unable to live up to their false claims. Bring on the mature, authentic gentleman, please!


  2. This kind of thing can be so hurtful. I’ve encountered another type of player, the one who says negative things about you which are supposed to work like a challenge and make you want to win him over. I didn’t go for it, I walked away, but for a long time (until I read about that tactic somewhere) I believed the negative things he had said about me and felt bad about myself because of them. The best thing we can do with these guys is expose their games so women can get out of there as fast as possible.


  3. I am a master manipulator and I’m not happy or proud about it. I’m ashamed of myself, but also find it difficult to control. I just ruined a relationship that lasted 21 months, because of what I am. This article is me completely. I am sorry to those I have hurt, because I really did love her.


  4. Wow!! I happen to stumble on this article. Your story is definitely similar to the situation I’m in now. Met this guy online, we’ve been communicating for 4 months, he has done EVERYTHING in the correct way. However, I had this gut feeling something wasn’t quite right because he was too perfect. He mentioned he wanted to be with me, but we ” never” made it official. The fact that he was still active on the dating site didn’t bother me, because I kept mines active. He would tell me, I was the kind of woman he would like to marry, and would always stress “I WANT YOU.” Well, this was the turning point for me, he posted a picture on Fb and a lady made a comment ” Awe babe, ……” and her profile picture was him and her hugged up. Guess what he did??… deleted the picture he posted, and re-posted the picture! Wow! Forget me for second, if I was the other lady and I was supposed to be his significant other, I would feel a certain way with what did. But, he’s just trying to woo me as if he is the Master Manipulator and I have no clue of what’s going. I’ve pulled back, and now I’m getting the text, calls…. I’m sure until he’s tired and he run to the next victim.


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