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nikipedia's avatar

What do you think of 'playing hard to get'?

Asked by nikipedia (27526points) May 21st, 2008

Several of my friends are starting new relationships and continue to obsess over how aloof to be, how often to call, text, etc. I continue to advise them to be genuine—if you want to call, call; if you want to text, text. But I wonder if I am advising poorly and they would have better success with some level of gamesmanship. What’s your experience?

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21 Answers

koesac's avatar

If you are a girl, and playing hard to get for a guy, it is good to give the impression of being hard to get, but if you are actually hard to get the guy will get bored and find a new interest. Well that’s in my experience.

jlm11f's avatar

I think that a relationship works the best when both involved are “genuine” and just be themselves. I agree with your advice. The problem arises when ONE of the two is playing games while the other is being genuine. It is true that when you “play hard to get” you spike the interest of the other, because it is human tendency to want to chase what you cannot get. But I also think that is NOT a healthy relationship. On the other hand, if you friend(s) are too insecure or just overprotective/paranoid, wanting to constantly call/txt then telling them to take a breather is not a bad idea. You don’t want to drive the other person away by being too annoying ;)

autumnofage's avatar

I think it’s a bit of both but not playing hard to get in a serious way. I definitely think it’s good to make you’re intentions known but to play hard to get in a flirtatious way is fun.

marinelife's avatar

I vote with you. Say you played hard to get with a guy and then got him. Would you want him knowing he was that shallow.

nikipedia's avatar

@Marina: Do you think it’s shallow to fall prey to someone who’s hard-to-get-ing you? The more I think about it, succumbing to that kind of behavior seems like sort of a natural (not entirely conscious) response. Which is why I wonder if my advice is really all that effective.

All other things being equal, if you were dating someone who called you like clockwork versus someone who was more aloof, who do you think would be more attractive?

soundedfury's avatar

I’m still too young to see dating as anything but a game. Sure, you want someone who is genuine, but I still want to play. Enhancing desire by playing hard-to-get when done solely for that purpose is good, especially when done well. Doing it as a power struggle isn’t.

Everyone seems to be assuming that by “playing” you aren’t being genuine, but it’s possible to be both.

marinelife's avatar

Well, there is the old saw: “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would accept me.” I sort of think if one’s self esteem is OK, the game thing is unnecessary.

If really everything was equal, I would like the confirmation and positive feedback of the regular call instead of spending endless hours wondering, “Is it me?” “Is it him?” and all that.

To represent the other side, there is a book I read called “Getting in Touch with Your Inner Bitch” by Elizabeth Hilts. It’s light-hearted and talks about channeling Bette Davis and that sort of thing.

kevbo's avatar

Those same guys that wrote the book I always harp on wrote another one called How to Succeed with Men. I didn’t read it, but I skimmed it. One of the principles they talk about is to be “winnable.” I wish I could elaborate, but I would say it probably speaks to the question, if you were so inclined to investigate.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

it hate relationship games be genuine and straight forward. The worst is when you lose someone because you played a game and that person walks away and finds someone new. And you realize that its too late. If it meant, then its meant to be.

paulc's avatar

Its flat-out annoying but its also nothing a bottle of gin can’t change.

Kay's avatar

You shouldn’t have to play hard to get; you should genuinely be enjoying your life with your own friends, activities, career etc. Having a life and interests outside of trying to find a relationship makes you attractive to others. So you shouldn’t have to be aloof, just let the other person know that you have your own interests, activities etc and that you’re not available 24/7 because of this.

LunaFemme's avatar

Generally speaking, I feel my time is too valuable to waste playing games with people. I believe in dating with intention. Which means I’m honest enough with myself to know what is impotant to me and appreciate someone who is just as honest and upfront. I’m much more comfortable making my intentions clear & then seeing how things develop from there.

hollywoodduck's avatar

I agree that you should call if you want to call, but you do need to be aware of that person’s time as well. If you’re calling everyday right off the bat, then you may just seem annoying. Conversely though if you wait too long to call then the person may think you aren’t interested. And you certainly don’t want that.

syz's avatar

I hate games and manipulation. I tend to avoid the type of people who do play those games.

emilyrose's avatar

i think you should be a little hard to get….it’s not as exciting when it’s so easy, people lose interest. i’m recently very into the “he’s just not that into you” theory. maybe i need to post a question about that!

soundedfury's avatar

Why is everyone assuming that playing hard to get is manipulation? There is a world of difference between manipulation and play.

It’s no different than the rest of the dating dance. The early stages of dating is a partial story. You express the good, the light, the attractive parts of you. You don’t start a first date by talking about your failings and fears. Is that manipulation? It’s intended effect is to manipulate the outcome, but it’s not manipulation in the “trying to control” aspect. Playing a little hard to get is no different.

But, as I said, anything done as a power play isn’t acceptable. But if you’re obviously expressing interest but playing a little hard to get, it’s not a bad thing. It can be fun for both sides involved. It’s like a bargain, and it’s only a bad thing if one side is playing in bad faith.

nikipedia's avatar

It sounds to me like you’re saying that all early dating behavior dating is manipulation, not that playing hard to get isn’t manipulation. Which seems like a reasonable statement to me. So how to draw the line between bad faith/power play/trying to control and okay, normal, acceptable manipulation?

soundedfury's avatar

I’m saying that manipulation is the standard way that humans interact. We do things to get the outcome that we want. Even when it is altruistic, the outcome is, ultimately, a manipulation of friendship. The connotation, however, is the bad faith/power play kind of manipulation.

The line, I think, is at intent. If someone is playing hard-to-get because they are unsure, because they like the attention, or because they think the relationship won’t work – these are in bad faith. If they have mutual attraction and are just having a little fun with it, it’s fine.

When a woman plays a little hard-to-get with me, I enjoy it because I it’s a game. But, I can tell the difference between someone who is interested and playing, and someone who isn’t.

bennetttomato's avatar

Does anyone actually know what manipulation is?

You probably know what a hypocrite really is, don’t you?

Zaku's avatar

What often makes the difference between merely playing hard to get, and messing things up, is when someone doesn’t get that it’s play, and gets upset.

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