Chasing Christina and Why I Stopped Being a Player

photo by leeadlaf

LeRon Barton thought he had everything, thought he was “the man”. But he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t happy.


A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was never meant to be and you just have to let go.

There is a saying that I found a long time and use quite often: Everything runs its course. It is one of my go-to quotes that I use for just about anything that has lost its use in my life. It is succinct and straight to the point. How my favorite phrase and I met was around when I decided to stop sleeping around.

When I was younger I never felt good enough. I didn’t think I was smart, handsome, cool… any of the qualities that a young person wanted to possess, I didn’t have. And around women, sheesh it was worse. I was mad arkward, had this (kinda) huge head, and a little stutter that would come out when I was interested in someone. When I would see a young lady I liked, I would get a bit nervous and not know what to say. I smile and laugh about it now, but smooth and I never went together.

As I got older, I guess the looks kicked in, I started to leave my surroundings and gain culture and confidence. But I still did not have a strong self-esteem. I still did not like “me.” So to fix this, I started hitting the bar scene with friends and trying to “get some.” Night after night, us guys would go to club after club, picking up women, trying my charm and whatever I had to get them to go back home with me. Doing this I thought to myself, “They are feeling me! Women like me! I am special. I am the man.” And by getting this kind of gratification, I continued and even ratcheted up the amount of times I went out. I was feeling good about myself, thought of myself as a “Lady Killer” and had fun. I didn’t have any of the insecurities of not being special, because I was out there. I would meet a woman, figure her out, tailor my approach to her, apply it, hang out, then move on. Then I met her.

Christina was a young lady that I met a grocery store. She was medium height, had this long black curly hair, a bit curvy but had a fantastic figure, great lips, clear porcelain-like skin, and she spoke with this sweet, sweet voice. I was taken aback by her combination of beauty, brains, and elegance. We talked about music (she liked RHCP), travel (fan of Paris), food (loved sushi), and sports (big basketball fan). Christina had class and up until that moment, I had never met a woman that possessed it. So from then on, I went to work, trying to create a plan to get Christina. But every time I would try and get this girl to go out with me, she would say no or say, “You’re not serious.” I couldn’t figure it out. This girl denying me? Awh heck no, let me try another way – shut down. Christina had mad defense and it would totally frustrate me, but I would not give up. She was a challenge and I loved game. Yeah I was still seeing others on the side, but Christina was the main prize.

A couple of months passed and I was talking to a neighbor and he was excited about this young lady he had met. Ryan—a very nice guy who really did do a lot and hardly ever went out—had met someone. He wasn’t interested in meeting scores of women like myself, just one and I was very happy for him. One day while drunk on the Plaza with a buddy of mine, I ran into Ryan and his date, Christina. Yep, that Christina. They were just coming from dinner. I was surprised and had a “WTF” moment, but I tried to play it off. I later saw Ryan and we talked. He didn’t know that I had feelings for her and said that he meant no ill will. Hey, Ryan was a friend and I totally understood that. The thing that I didn’t understand was why not me? I was nice, handsome, funny, and we had a good time. Later I realized that Christina didn’t want the party guy, the person who was going out all the time, chasing (fill in the blank). She wanted to be with someone who was going to dedicate themselves to her only.

I would continue on this path of partying and women for a while, but slowly but surely I started to run out of gas. First it was, “I am going to do this to make myself feel better,” then it was, “Wow I am really good at this.” That turned into “Man this is kinda lame, but I don’t know what else to do,” to finally, “I have got to do something else.” I can’t remember when the breaking point was, but I remember feeling burnt out. Like this wasn’t getting me anywhere. I was in my early 30’s and still sleeping around. Yeah it sounds cool. At this time I was in California and that reset my “adult clock” back four or five years, but I was bored. I saw many of my friends settling down. It wasn’t even about getting married, it was just getting into a monogamous relationship. So I tried (unsuccessfully), got out of that, and attempted to jump back into being a player, but it didn’t fit anymore. I knew that I was done.

With the help of a few really good girlfriends such as Cin-Cin, Sun-Sun, Frosty-Flakes—along with taking stock in myself—I realized that I didn’t need to sleep around to make myself feel better. I didn’t need the outside affirmation, I was special on my own. My self-esteem and worth had gotten to the place that it should be. I don’t regret the casual sex, but at the same time I wish I hadn’t spread myself so thin, because I realize (I am gonna get way sappy here) how important it is. Plus I am lucky—clean and no diseases, and that was something I was starting to worry about. I also have another saying, “Sooner or later, the house wins.”

Dating at first was a bit weird because I was so used to jumping from A to Z real quick like. I didn’t know how to court women and I would get so frustrated and pissed that I would say to Sun-Sun, “You know this shhhh was easier when I was out there F’in around.” She would reply, “And you were so happy then right? Come on LeRon, this aint easy.” I didn’t get it and had to darn near retool my approach to women. I was so used to relying on my looks, wit, and charm that I didn’t realize you had to actually have something of substance to bring. Go figure right? Slowly but surely I got the hang of it and instead of thinking, “How long is it going to take me to sleep with her,” it is now, “What place can I take her next?” I was on the road to a new beginning and I was happy about it. A couple of relationships later and I started to get the hang of dating.

Sometimes I think about Christina and what she is doing. Last time I heard she moved to Florida and Ryan was going to be following her. I hope they are still together. Christina got the right guy at the right moment in his life. Now I am at that moment. Only if I can find someone. Hmmmmm.

photo: leeadlaf / flickr

About LeRon Barton

LeRon Barton is a writer/backpacker traveling man living in San Francisco. His first book, Straight Dope: A 360 Degree Look into American Drug Culture was published in 2013. You can read him at and follow him on Twitter @MainlineLeRon


  1. Michelle says:

    A bit curvy BUT she had a great figure? There’s that misogynistic “BUT” again…

    Aside from that, the way you describe her, I’m assuming she either wasn’t black or was light skinned/mixed. Black women don’t usually have long, curly hair unless it’s weave. Black men will talk for days about white supremacy and how they as black men feel in a racist society, but turn the conversation to who they desire and there are no black women to be found.

  2. “Christina had class and up until that moment, I had never met a woman that possessed it.”

    Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black! Did you ever stop to think that these ‘class-less’ women suffered from low self esteem as well? Perhaps instead of judging them, you could recognize their experiences as not dissimilar to your own.

  3. Thanks for that honest article LeRon. As a woman it was refreshing to read what is behind men’s actions such as sleeping around and that it also insecurities like with many women. It was also interesting to see how men and women seem to feel similar things. I too have just decided to look for a manogomous relationship and for me it has meant a shift in the way I approach dates and what I look for in a man. 🙂

  4. Peace LeRon. I just got out of a long relationship where I got my heart broken and it really messed up my life plans. I wound up moving out of our place, out of state and back to the city I grew up in. Now I’m single, dating around, enjoying the fact that women like me again, that I get that attention that makes me feel good right now, but I see the walls closing in eventually on that. It’s funny how the moment when we get so self-actualized, we become concerned with wasting or squandering our best selves on just one person, but rather the fact remains, we can become an even better version of ourselves with the right woman to be committed to. I wish you the best my dude.

    • Anonymous says:

      Peace to you JR. You know, when you are out there playing the field, it is cool. You feel great, it is fun, and exciting, but there is something lacking. A friend of mine once told me, “I was a better man when I was married.” I didn’t understand what he meant at the time, but now I do. Like you said, the right woman can make you a better version of yourself.

  5. Jackie Morrison says:

    I hope you meet “the one” for you this year. Sometimes these moments are exactly what it takes to realize you really do want the right one. Not just for a moment but a lifetime.

  6. FlyingKal says:

    Where did Ryan meet Christina?

  7. Brandie says:

    It’s one stepping stone at a time that builds the path. You are well on your way to what sounds like a purposeful pursuit of a meaningful relationship. Thank you for sharing LeRon. Miss ya!

  8. Valter Viglietti says:

    Well done, LeRon. It’s called “growing up”. 🙂
    Not necessarily in the sense of monogamy, marriage or commitment (those are choices, and all choices are personal and never “right or wrong”, per se), but in the sense of stopping doing something just to avoid your self-esteem issues.

    Sleeping around may be fine (as long as you do not deceive and/or use other people), but it’s really lame when you do it just as a “crutch” (“OMG, if I don’t get laid I’m worth nothing!”).
    I’ve been there, I know how it feels.

    I’m glad you got to someplace where you feel you’re ok just the way you are. It was about time. 😉
    That kind of awareness works way better in establishing meaningful relationships; although there’s no guarantee of finding your soulmate (I don’t believe in fairy tales), you now have much better chances to meet her.
    Good luck! 😀

  9. Interesting. Love it. She’s out there waiting for you 🙂

  10. “Everyt”Everything runs it course…” Unfortunately, for many that includes a desire for monogamy as well. There aren’t many significant differences between being a player and a boyfriend. It’s mostly just a matter of identity and which role we’d rather play. The real significant life change doesn’t happen for most until you throw the roles of husband and father into the mix, which is something our society actively discourages for most young people.

    The only thing that’s really helped me so far is to redefine myself into roles that have nothing to do with women and to establish healthy boundaries around my relationships with women. There are many different roles we can play between player and long-term committed life partner, it’s ultimately just a matter of settling upon a role that works best for you and your partner(s).
    hing runs it course…” Unfortunately, for many that includes a desire for monogamy as well.

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