Why Play Hard to Get?
The short answer is because playing hard to get will work. Although I'm in a longterm relationship now, I have, in the past, had success playing hard to get. Whether it was waiting several hours before responding to a text, or pretending I had to work when asked out on a date, I loved playing hard to get. And I was good at it. Damn good. But don't take my word for it. Read what an expert, Jeremy Nicholson, aka the Attraction Doctor, had to say in a Psychology Today article called Does Playing Hard to Get Make You Fall in Love?
Getting that "hard to get" person is sometimes possible. There are many strategies to create love and turn a person around. Robert Cialdini, one of the foremost experts on influence, found that people value and desire something more when it is rare or difficult to obtain. He called this the Scarcity Principle (Cialdini, 2009). He explains that this Scarcity Principle works on the idea of Reactance. Essentially, it happens because none of us like to be told no, limited in any way, or have our freedom constrained. So, when we think we might miss out, not be chosen, or be denied what we want, we "react". That reactance makes us try all the harder and want what is denied us all the more.
In other words, think of playing hard to get like "reverse psychology." Like when your mom used to tell you not to touch her expensive jewelry, you immediately wanted to try it on!
When To Play Hard to Get?
If you've spent even ten minutes in the dating pool, then you know that timing is everything. We've all been there. You meet an interesting guy at a bar, have an engaging conversation, do a bit of flirting, but you find out he's in a committed relationship. Cut to three months later and you're back at the same bar having a Girl's Night Out, and you see the interesting guy again and find out he's newly single and ready to mingle. Problem: now you're with a hot new guy, and things are going great. Timing... Which brings me to the all-important question of when to play hard to get. And, again, let's turn to an expert:
Researchers Dai, Dong, and Jia (2014) investigated the question, "When does playing hard to get increase romantic attraction?" They theorized that such an aloof strategy may have unique effects on different emotions. Specifically, they suggested that playing hard to get might increase feelings of "wanting" in others (a desire to pursue the aloof person) but at the same time decrease "liking" (positive feelings about the person).
To follow up on the above quote, I would caution you to not go overboard with playing hard to get, because while an aloof strategy may increase desire, it could also breed resentment in your target. Bottom line, there are some specific rules to follow when playing hard to get, and if you abide by them, you should increase your chances of landing the object of your desire. Read on to learn about our rules!
How To Play Hard to Get: 5 Rules That Will Always Work!
1. Be Elusive
According to Dictionary.com, elusive means "cleverly or skillfully evasive...difficult to find." And that's what you need to be when playing hard to get! So if you see your crush at the local Starbucks, and he makes eye contact, avoid eye contact, focus your attention on your friends, or, better still, another guy. If he texts you, wait several hours before responding. If he calls asking for a date, say you're too tired, and then go out with friends and plaster your Instagram with fabulous pics of you painting the town red! You have to play the game!
2. Withhold Affection
Let's face it: guys are competitive, and they crave a challenge. They have an instinctual urge to seek out attractive mates. But they also get bored quite quickly, especially if the object of their desire is too easily attained. So when playing hard to get, make sure to, at first, withhold affection. This means no unnecessary touching. Friendly hugs, goodnight kisses, even playful arm-touches to indicate you found something he just said funny or amusing are off-limits. Basically, you want to build up his anticipation, frustrate him physically in order to increase his desire. So learn these crucial ways to play hard to get, and have your crush eating out of the palm of your hand.
3. Stay Busy. . .Too Busy
When playing hard to get, you definitely want to project the idea that you are super busy and, most importantly, in high demand. So when your crush sends you a text asking you out for drinks, say you're booked solid all weekend. And then, to drive home the point that you're a social butterfly with many dating options, make sure to snap fabulous pictures of you and your friends living it up. Take group selfies with hot guys. Be seen in all the hottest and hippest places. Not only will this drive your crush crazy with desire, it will also put you in control of the burgeoning relationship.
4. Be Mysterious
Creating an air of mystery about you is a key factor when playing hard to get. Therefore, you should withhold information about yourself. For example, during the course of a normal, getting-to-know-you conversation, your crush might reveal things about his family, his educational background, and maybe his exes. And while the natural impulse in a situation like that would be to reciprocate, resist the urge, girls. Be strong, play hard to get! Instead, keep your answers short and vague, saying things like, "I had a good time in college, maybe too good!" Or, if your guy presses you for information about what you're looking for in a potential boyfriend, never mention specifics. Be mysterious instead and say something flirty like, "I'll know it when I see it," and then break off eye contact. The trick is to build up the longing in your crush, make him go crazy wondering just how you feel about him.
5. Wait Before Having Sex
Again, guys are competitive, and they are bred, from a very young age, to "hunt" what it is they want. That means, they enjoy the thrill of the chase as long as the chase proves worth it. In other words, if you give into your carnal desires too quickly, your crush might not think the chase was worth it, which means he might want to move onto other dating options. And besides, sex is better once you get to know the other person, and once you've built up an almost intolerable amount of sexual tension. The best way to achieve this is by playing hard to get for awhile, and then, when the time is right, ravage each other, preferably after a delicious sushi meal and plenty of good sake!