Captain of #TeamRJ, reporting in! Ready to rumble in G@G’s #BATTLEROYALE! Get ready everybody, it’s already getting messy. Keep an eye out for me on your mytakes fellow competitors, because your girl is going to be offering you rebuttals! Please keep in mind that they are not personal attacks, and all of you have great work, but that’s the name of the game Sally, and your girl plays to win.
Today, I am touching on an old “dating game” that theoretically floats within the invisible pages of the unwritten rule book of how to get the opposite gender to like, love, and fuck you silly. We’ve all heard of it before, and it is known to be a notorious tactic of the ever elusive female.
You guessed it: playing hard to get.
The concept has been around since the beginning of social-gender-standardized-dating; if a woman doesn’t “give in” to a man right away, acts disinterested or indifferent, she will hold his interest, attention, and respect much longer than a girl who is considered “easy.” It suggests that by withholding “the goods” (sex, titles, interest, affection), the woman is displaying her value to a man, making her more desirable than the easily obtainable woman who offers all of these key things with his most minimal effort. But, where did this concept come from in the first place?
One could argue that it began back in the early 1940’s when men were off to war, the concept of dating didn’t even really relate so heavily to sex or even marriage like it does today; indeed, the teenagers that did manage to muster up a shuffle into a dance hall together often dated in order to gain status or popularity among their peers.
Studies refer to this particular dating style as the coveted “Campus Rating Complex”, a college centric dating system pined in the 1920’s. Essentially, women’s role in keeping their status and worth in this dating system relied largely on the maintenance of popularity, which involved dating the right types of men and turning down requests for dates. Be it because they were made last minute (quite disrespectful) or if they were initiated by someone less socially favorable. The more attention you got, the more attractive you were, and turning people down said that you had OPTIONS. This suggested that a girl was top tier and in high demand, increasing her social dating status and desirability among the gents and respect among her peers.
Coming back to the good ol’ modern world that we live in, dating has changed vastly in comparison. Casual relationships are more common, along with casual sexual encounters; a reduced rate of marriage and marriage success, and so on. Not to mention the popularity of online dating and hookups: from Match.com, tinder, to the notorious grindr; it seems like getting the quote-on-quote benefits of a relationship is … well, easy enough, right?
Now that dating and hooking up is nothing more than a click or swipe away (with a staggering 49,250,000 of approximated 54,250,000 American singles), the process of courtship is easy to take for granted in place of an almost drive-thru dating system of picking a partner off of a menu and hoping for the best. However, courtship, even if it is different than the 40’s, is still present in our society. There are seemingly new “rules”, new concepts, and new expectations for both parties.
Social expectations and standards for both genders, men included, and have existed well before the 1920’s and have existed long since then, and women are no stranger to these critical nitpickings when it comes to their behavior:
A woman with too many sexual partners is deemed less worthy, a woman who on the very flipside isn’t eager enough to have sex is an old-fashioned prude – it’s a difficult balance given the conflicting of modern dating quos and the semblance of pre-existing ones. So where can a woman ideally establish balance in such a flip-flop of expectation?
Well, believe it or not, by being a little harder to get.
How can being harder to get help you, and what does that even mean? Well, first and foremost: what comes easy is taken for granted, because it was nothing more than a freebee that required no effort, whereas a delicious pay off is savored when it worked for, especially if the pay off really is WORTH IT. Think about it:
If you’re hungry and you have the option of getting a double cheese burger RIGHT NOW:
OR ... a full steak dinner if you wait ONE HOUR from now, which really sounds better? The quick fix that’ll leave you hungry again in an hour? Or the real deal that includes dessert.
Now, fellas, before you come at me calling me a hypocrite for previously saying that playing hard to get is mind-game-bullshit, allow me to explain: there is a key difference between PLAYING hard to get and actually BEING hard to get. I’m sure that sounds scary to the inexperienced but let me tickle you into maybe submitting to the idea for a moment by explaining exactly why being harder to get has its benefits and why.
To execute my theory flawlessly and equally, I have to challenge the concept of differentiating between playing hard to get, and BEING hard to get.
Playing hard to get
Intentionally stringing a guy along in an attempt to keep him interested by going hot and cold, often involves acting disinterested, not returning calls, setting ridiculous boundaries in the moment, etc. Generally the relationship will end up lack luster and one sided, because the woman played the guy with a false sense of superiority.
Being hard to get
Having personal standards that have to be met before dating, and standing by them without wavering, often involves openly voicing what you want to become of this, where your lines are, and keeps the lines of communication open without depriving a man of her interest. Generally the relationship is more fulfilling because she was harder to get for a reason, meaning she gives her ALL to the guy who is willing to put in a little effort to win her over.
My theory doesn’t suggest that a woman ever intentionally resist a man on the grounds that she has to prove her worth; it suggests that by valuing herself with higher regard and being unwilling to settle too quickly and illogically can actually inspire you to not only find better partners, but BE a better partner. It essentially is no more than having a certain set of dating standards that requires a person to take their time before the relationship will progress. Such as, but not limited to: not having sex until you’re exclusive or satisfied with the relationship as is, taking longer in the actual courting period (no three dates rule here, it’s all about feel), and expectations about level of commitment in the relationships. Of course, this will depend on the individual to decide, but whatever your expectations and standards are; don’t waver just because you’re put under pressure to fit someone else’s agenda. Be open to considering what they want, but not at the cost of your core beliefs or desires.
So, how can this actually make you desirable to real world men if the concept is so demonized? Simple: by not treating it like a game, but like a standard. You don’t have to toy with his emotions, but you don’t have to give into his emotions or desires at the drop of a dime either – not until you feel he’s earned them and you’re ready. What’s so evil about that? If anything, it’s perfectly logical:
- You weed out the types of men looking for casual hookups: hookup types will rarely go through the atypical, sometimes lengthy dating process just for a simple lay, especially if you flat out tell them it won’t ever happen.
- Men will likely regard you higher than the average woman who sleeps around (it’s sad, but true). It’s a bit of a biased gender standard but ignoring that it exists just isn’t reality.
- Your relationship is likely to be built on a stronger foundation because you had to take the time to get to know each other after the initial spark has cooled slightly. Making it easier to be more rational instead of diving in head first and there’s studies to support it: men and women who date longer have a 39% less of a chance of divorce later in life, suggesting that a serious relationship will be longer lasting the more time you take in getting to know your SO.
- It fulfills (some) men who actually enjoy being presented with a woman who isn’t so easily obtainable. It isn’t the thrill that she’s intentionally withholding something that he wants; it’s that she is worth the effort he is putting forth, she is whole without him and can want him equally, IF he has the patience to see his efforts through.
- It creates a deeper, more loving relationship; you will feel more willing and comfortable to give your man your all without any fear that he is only temporary or that he’ll take you for granted, because he’s already shown you that he is in for the long haul, because you are worth it. And you know what? So is he, because it would have been easy for him to just move on to someone easy, but he stayed with you.
So guys, how does this benefit YOU?
Pushing the statistics aside for a moment, let’s just break it down raw and real: the type of woman you have to really try to get to know, who you have to spend a little extra time winning over is more likely going to be a more committed, loyal, and affectionate lover once you get past that initial dating hump. Why? Because she doesn’t settle, and people who don’t settle, value what they choose and cherish it beyond any concept of measurement.
A woman who you work to win over is 10x more likely to treat you like the king you deserve to be treated like than a casual fling. After all, it is as the linguistically talented American writer Sarah Dessen once said:
“It shouldn't be easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It's the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something's difficult to come by, you'll do that much more to make sure it's even harder―or impossible―to lose.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why it isn’t so bad to find yourself a gal that is a little harder to get. Of course, I don't want any girls out there to think I am trying to say that if you casually hookup that you're the equivalent of a McDonald's cheese burger, these are all just my own personal thoughts and opinions on the matter.
This is my contribution for this week’s #BATTLEROYALE competition, I hope you all enjoyed reading and I will see you in the next one.