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The problem with playing hard to get

You’re sitting at the bar wearing your sexiest little black dress and winner smile, nervously scanning the room. From across the crowded room you see him, immaculately dressed, an air of confidence surrounding him like a veil.

A sexy smile dances on his lips as his eyes lock with yours, and for that split second you feel as though you’re the only two people in the room. You look away to compose yourself before turning back for a second look, dress hitched up a notch and loaded with your best Angelina Jolie pout, but a niggling thought stops you dead in your tracks.

If men are the hunter and prefer the thrill of the chase, shouldn’t you play hard to get?

If the world of dating wasn’t confusing enough, every time you turn on the TV or read a magazine you get different advice. So how does a single woman find the man of her dreams?

Did you know that 54% of men wouldn’t approach you if you showed no sign of interest, and that fear of rejection was the main reason they wouldn’t approach?

In reality most men would rather do twenty rounds in a boxing ring than risk being rejected.

Scientists have suggested that we favour ‘selective difficulty.’ We’re attracted to people who play hard to get for everyone, except us, with 89% of men preferring the direct approach*.

The theory of ‘selective difficulty’ was tested using a version of online dating. Three women were given their online matches. One was keen to meet all of her dates, the second played hard to get and rejected all the men and the third showed interest in only one man.

Give the myth the flick.

There’s a difference between being open and approachable and open to new opportunities and connection, and wanting to find love for the sake of being in a relationship… i.e. anyone will do. It comes down to knowing who you are and what you want in a relationship, and knowing that you are worthy of having a loving, fulfilling relationship. What are you values, your interests, your core beliefs?

Sometimes we talk ourselves out of the things that we really want because we’re scared that we’re not worthy, scared of rejection, petrified of getting hurt. We look away, when all we really want to do is say ‘hi’ and hope that they can see past our venire. The truth is, that the genuine person you’re looking for is just as scared as you.

If you’re looking for ‘Mr. or Mrs Right’, it’s time to give the dating myth of playing hard to get the flick.

Next time your eyes meet theirs, give them a cheeky grin and a loaded look that says ‘hi,’ count to four before looking away, then look back and watch as they makes a beeline in your direction.


*‘Flirting, Dating, Sex and Love: What men and women really want,’ Real People – Real Answers (2008)

Want More? Take Katia Loisel’s Online Courses on body language and dating right here at Love Destination.