“Playing hard to get” is a very old dating strategy women have relied on for centuries, but in the modern world of dating, many believe it to be a bit passe. Women now distance themselves from this approach because they don’t want to play games with the men they are dating, as it seems a bit manipulative.
So a lot of them go the complete opposite with the “date like men” approach where they simply go after what they want, just like a man would. And now, women are bombarded with the messages of the modern dating world where women are told they should be OK with commitment-free casual sex.
So which is it? Does asking him out give you more power? Or does playing hard give you some benefits that mean this approach could actually be worth it?
And the answer is, it depends. On you, specifically. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of creating a dating strategy to get what they want because they perceive it as trickery. But having a strategy isn’t necessarily a sign of manipulation or deceit.
It can be about learning how to effectively communicate your needs.
Strategies can protect you, make you more alluring, and even weed out the men who aren’t right for you. They can slow down the pace of your relationship and allow both of you to find a common rhythm, and recognize how the man really feels about you.
When done well, a strategy like playing hard to get allows you to avoid being in a situation where you are deeply in love with a guy you don’t know feels the same for you.
So if you want to play hard to get, there are some amazing benefits to it. And here are 5 ways to do it right:
1- Don’t “Play” Hard to Get. Be Hard to Get.
This nuance is key. Being hard to get means you take your time. You keep your options open. You don’t get involved sexually prematurely, or sign on to a relationship before you are truly convinced the guy is worth your time.
Playing hard to get is when you dive into the games and manipulations part. Instead of truly believing you should keep your options open, you do it just to make one guy go crazy over you. And that kind of behavior usually doesn’t end in happiness.
2- Don’t Be Impossible to Get
Don’t become completely unavailable just for the sake of it, since that will let the man know you’re not interested in him. There is a fine line to walk here. You should have your own life, focus on it, hold your values and opinion close to you. You should keep your options open. But, don’t make him jump through needless hoops either. Here are some suggestions for playful things to say that fit your personality.
3- Say “No” with Grace and Dignity
No matter what you’re saying “no” to, the formula is the same. Even if it’s a “no” to going hiking on the first date when you’d prefer somewhere public or “no” to sleeping with him before you’re ready.
Smile and say something nice before you say “no.” Something like “I’m enjoying getting to know you, but I’m not comfortable with that.” Or “I’d really like to get to know you better first, and I’m not ready for that yet.”
4- Keep a Few Things to Yourself
A bit of privacy can be refreshing in dating, especially since today everyone tends to overshare every single aspect of their lives online. Leave a little room for mystery, and make him intrigued about you, creating the desire to get to know you better.
Sharing everything can make you seem too available, and men genuinely like a chase. They need something more mysterious or elusive to awaken that part of them that wants to go after the thing they want. When you do this, two things can happen. One, he can start to work harder to get to know you, which is a very good sign. Or two, he can show you he’s not really interested, in which case you should keep looking.
5- Know Yourself
Knowing yourself and your needs are key to stepping into the dating world with the right foot. If you are a more flirty or needy person, your personality might make it too obvious that you really like someone. You might need to edit yourself slightly to prevent going overboard prematurely.
If you’re more distant or shy around men, you may need to put in the work to appear warmer during your dating interactions. If you need some help in these departments, there are some suggested phrases on pages 143 and 147 in Be Your Own Brand of Sexy that can help you, as well as a chapter on playing hard to get the right way.
The Bottom Line
Playing hard to get is not a way to manipulate men or be deceitful. It is an art form, and when done right it can genuinely help you make better dating decisions.
In the end, these tips on playing hard to get help you structure your dating in a way that can help you get the kind of relationship you want and deserve. Which of these strategies are you going to work on? Truly keeping your options open or keeping a few things to yourself? Let us know in the comments!