Playing hard to get is a love technique that our mothers from time immemorial have asked us to use in order to attract the attention of our first crush or love interest. This love tactic is employed by men, women, boys and girls, but it is used mostly among students. Though some critics are of the opinion that playing hard to get (sometimes called playing it cool) is mostly exhausting and doesn’t give the desired results, scientists have revealed that this age long tactic actually works.
When dating, young people display this tactic to avoid coming off as cheap, clingy or desperate. Playing hard to get as the theory goes, makes you seem far more attractive.
For decades psychologists have been studying how effective this technique is and why people use it. People playing hard to get most often act confident, talk to others and withhold sex according to a journal published in the European Journal of personality- all of which reflects greater perceived mate value. In other words, the distance you put between yourself and potential partners can make you seem mite attractive. This implies quality says Gary Lewandowski, a professor of psychology whose research focuses on relationships.
A new study by researchers from the university of Rochester and the interdisciplinary Centre (IDC) Herzliya and published in the journal of social and personal relationships discovered that making the chase harder could increase a potential mate’s desirability. Though previous research found out that those who feel their attention would be reciprocated will put in more effort into seeing that person again than those who were uncertain about how the person they were dating felt about them.
This new research set out to prove if viewing a prospective partner as playing it hard to get kicked off sexual for that partner. Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that immediately reciprocating another’s love interest isn’t actually the best tactic for attracting mates.
Participants in the study were also found to make greater effort towards potential dates they perceived as hard to get. Gurit Birnhaum, a social psychologist and associate professor of psychology at the IDC Herzliya says that people who are too easy to attract may be perceived as more desperate. This trait makes them less valuable and appealing than those who do not make their romantic intentions known right away.
Also, Co- author and professor of psychology at the university of Rochester Harry Reis added that ‘We all want to date people with higher mate value’. The hard to get strategy is further supported by the gain-loss theory which was first established in a 1965 study by psychologists Elliot Aronson and Darwyn Linder. The theory states that you will be more attracted to someone who initially didn’t like you but whose affection you won, compared to someone who liked you right off the bat.
Why do Men and Women Play Hard to Get?
In a study by Jonason and Li, they evaluated why men and women play hard to get as well as the traits associated with each reason. The results of that study showed that people primarily play hard to get for two major reasons. Firstly, to increase the demand for themselves and make potential mates want them more. Secondly, they do this to test a partner’s level of interest and willingness to commit. Both of these reasons for playing hard to get were held by participants who already perceived that their intended love interest has a high value.
Should one play hard to get?
From the results of the research, it appears that some of the tactics and behaviors associated with playing hard to get succeed in making someone more desirable as a potential date or relationship partner. This technique also serves as a way to test a partner’s level of interest and commitment.
So, the answer is yes, one should play hard to get only if you are sure your target’s interest is present. This tactic is particularly helpful when you have been too nice and feel ignored in an existing relationship, when your partner is ungrateful or when trying to escape the just friends’ phase.
You should always remember that the objective is to be moderately hard to get and selective and not to be totally inaccessible or off limits. It is a skill that requires finesse, the right timing and proper balance.
Though playing it cool is seen by some to be a bit risky with many worrying it could put off prospective partners who fear being rejected, a better strategy could therefore be to try and merge two tactics together-that is playing hard to get while trying at the same time to ease the fear of rejection in potential mates. This can be achieved by gradually building a connection with your love interest in order to encourage a sense of anticipation and willingness to learn more about each other. So, by all means play a little hard to get while still offering a glimmer of hope to the other person to let them know that their efforts will pay off in the end.
Please comment what you think about this article down below and I hope it guides you in finding and gaining the attention of your love interest and also to know that some of the things we do for love are actually backed by science.