Should You Play Hard To Get?

Written by on June 26, 2012 in Relationships - No comments | Print this page


Be less available to him and he will start wanting you more.”  As soon as you give him less attention, he seems to want you more.  Go figure.

Back in the mid-90’s, two women wrote the book The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right.”  In it, they said, “Don’t call him and rarely return his calls.  Let him take the lead” (Fein 1996).  No one likes games.  Then again, if a person doesn’t feel like he/she worked hard enough to gain someone’s affection or attention, they may lose interest fast.

The hard-to-get effect is the tendency to prefer people who are highly selective in their social choices over those who are more readily available.  Selective interest is the best strategy, according to a study conducted by a researcher (Eastwick, 2007).  In other words, easy for the potential suitor, but hard for everyone.

We prefer those who are moderately selective over those who are non-selective (they have no taste or no standards), but those who are too selective may be deemed as arrogant.  We like those who like us back, but who also makes us feel special that he/she doesn’t just like everyone (Wright and Contrada, 1986).

Anything/Anyone worth it is hard to get.  This also applies to men also.  In a study done on undergraduate students at Harvard University, the females were told men rated their Facebook profiles high, low, or average.  The female participants were more attracted to men when they were unsure whether the men liked them or not.  They liked them more than the men who  rated their profile high, meaning those men really wanted them.

Playing hard to get may work for some, but it seems like everything in moderation is the way to go.


About the Author

M. Yu

M. Yu is a single, working professional who lives in New York City. She has eclectic interests, ranging from cancer research (her day job) to traveling to writing for the Relationship Category on QLR. She has an active dating life and views every life experience as a learning lesson. View all posts about healthy relationships.