Why Being Hard to Get is a GOOD THING: A Detailed Look into the Most Controversial Dating Tactic

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?

Not necessarily.


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.


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What Guys Said 43

  • 3mo

    You had me at steak dinner! Really good read! The difference between playing Hard To Get and Being Hard To Get... is spot on! I think i will tweet this one out FO SHO!

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  • 3mo

    Whatever you think, I still think being honest about it, is still the best way to go. Would never expect a show all, tell all. But playing hard to get seems so unnatural sometimes. I guess you wanna say more of keeping standards and being hard to get than actually playing hard to get.
    I think that's where most people go wrong.

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    • 3mo

      Well I don't know how well you read through the take but it isn't about "playing" hard to get. I actually discuss the key differences in what I consider playing hard to get and being hard to get.

      Playing hard to get is manipulative.

      Being harder to get still has complete and total communication, the only difference is that you are sticking with your standards and really making sure the person you are seeing is worth dating.

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    • 3mo

      @RJGraveyTrain no, thank you for your good work.

  • 3mo

    I think your team is going to win! These are all really good and thoughtful

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  • 3mo

    not always being hard to get can make you seem like never getting often times.

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    • 3mo

      I think that's only if you don't properly communicate. If you do properly communicate what your expectations are, what your feelings are, you're not likely going to run into this issue.

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    • 3mo

      The differences I discuss in the take that everyone seems to overlook.

    • 3mo

      I do see @RJGraveyTrain 's point here and it's true. The first girl she describes, the "player" is a fucking idiot who ends up alone... I see it again and again... she's played so much she has no clue what her standards ARE anymore and great guys are right there-and she fucks it up nearly instantly.

      The 2nd girl IS a keeper and indeed the type we look for. The one with self respect, and refusal to compromise-I'm the same way and this is exactly what I look for.

  • 3mo

    Playing hard to get is something I would not tolerate in the slightest bit. If she starts acting hot and cold I'll do a magic act of my own - I'll disappear entirely. But being hard to get is hard to define since if I'm dating a woman, I myself wouldn't want her to reveal literally everything and do everything right away - I'd more than gladly build it all up gradually.

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  • 1mo

    Nice take, though you've made me hungry for a steak now haha.

    I guess so, so long as you still give a signal you like the person. By playing too many games, you risk losing the guy who may not know you like him. He'll feel especially dejected if guys you don't care about, you act less innocent round too.

    It's tricky. Tbh unless a girl is not single, I try to make it clear I like her and hope she likes me too. I try not to delay text responses (in fact I don't) as I feel it's kinda disrespectful to the girl to think that my time is more valuable than hers.

    I don't know what to do about girls I met and liked who were not single (and thus out of respect i didn't hit on) who I met at uni and just clicked with. We are in a social circle and now I hear she's been single the last 9 months?

    Good take though, tbh if you could be my wing woman I'd be grateful haha?

    Can u help me out on this question RJ? www.girlsaskguys.com/.../q2141337-who-would-a-sweet-fun-girl-flirt-be-with-have-dirty-sex-with-based

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  • 3mo

    I'd just comment on thing on this... girls who play hard to get surely must have many regrets. I say this as I frequently have girls pull off the road metaphorically, or do the fake breakup, or some other "hard to get" tactic, and it makes her LESS appealing to me. Meanwhile I usually have options, but even when I don't... my philosophy on such nonsense is "I'd still rather jerk off" and what I notice is... that when their tactic doesn't work they are shocked and want me 10x more... but by then I'm long gone and that chapter is closed. Some of them continue texting for weeks... after THEY broke up with me or THEY blew me off, etc. Or one just recently suddenly friendzoned (after we'd been seeing each other 2 weeks and had loads of fun) and so naturally I backed off... and about 2 weeks later I found a woman VERY interested in me that peaked my interest (who I'm still with) and then... the one that dumped me shows up wanting to start up again, terribly disappointed (and hurt she claimed) that I'd "moved on so quickly" ie translate-"I thought you'd wait around for me to change my mind again".

    etc... just a few stories, but I see this shit all the time. Those girls that play "hard to get" (even AFTER you've had them lol) end up with regrets...

    no guts, no glory, girls.

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    • 3mo

      I didn't read all of it-clearly I assumed the player is all you described. I get it now, and this is a great take and 100% true. Girls with standards who ARE NOT playing head games but simply holding values and needs they refuse to compromise-top of the line girls, that's MY type, that's a KEEPER> What i described above is the "player" and she ends up alone feeling like a fucking idiot (likely over and over) and rightly fuckin so...

  • 3mo

    I prefer girls who are blowing me within the first hour of meeting.

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    • 3mo

      Everyone can use a good hooker.

    • 3mo

      Good hookers are way under-appreciated! But I also like getting quick sex without paying. Although, everything you wrote is true.

    • 3mo

      Hey who doesn't like an easy lay?

      I mean, I can't say I have experience but I see the logic in it.

  • 3mo

    Both genders do it really simply depends on the options, guys do it too that's why the advice they get is wait 3 days before calling her. But girls can be more choosy and hence can afford to play hard to get or be hard to get... simply because that's how the dating parameters are set girls obviously have more control.

    Not that anything is wrong with it I completely agree there is nothing wrong with courting, its thrilling, exciting, you get to know each other and at least create solid foundation for a relationship. There are problems however too one you mentioned having to maninatin that interest and connection. If she is unable to do that guys will simply lose interest and move on.

    If she is unable to gauge the situation effectively and guys may become frustrated they will simply say not worth it and move on. Many guys will be willing to wait for her if they are inetrested but if they don't have sex plenty of guys will still move on. So its in the balance as you said which is not easy to maintain and obviously would vary situation to sitaution.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting to know each other and building a solid foundation for a relationship after all that is why we date. If you just jump in because you had chemistry soon couples find out they weren't compatible. Need both chemistry and compatability.. there is no relationship without compatability.

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    • 3mo

      by the way virtually no girl has made any comments to your Take when it was directed at them. So why does your intuitive female mind think girls didn't reply to your Take.

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    • 3mo

      I definitely suggest it because she's a good writer.

      Honestly yeah statistically on all of my takes I tend to get more male commenters.

    • 3mo

      @RJGraveyTrain Thank you for the compliment!
      I did ask a question about: "Why do I get more commens from male users than women on my myTakes?" www.girlsaskguys.com/.../q2080243-why-do-men-comment-more-on-mytakes-than-women . I noticed that as I scrolled down my 149 list of takes the other day, that a majority of them (even when they have nothing to do with men in general) have more male comments than females.
      Men are our bigger audience.
      I am unsure of the myTake you are suggesting that I wrote. What is the subject pertaining to? Please let me know, and I'll link it here.

  • 3mo

    PLAYING hard to get. Then we hear about nice guys that have been used by girls playing hard to get. Playing hard to get while she has previously fuck ed guys after talking to them for 5 mins. Or having another boyfriend and using this tactic to use nice guy for money. No thanks I'll have the double cheese burger thanks. Men are supposed to lead. Guys If you want sex go for it and if it doesn't meet ur requirements look elsewhere u deserve better than for a woman to play games with you.

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  • 3mo

    I play hard to get with women they never pursue me they always end up going for another guy who isn't a challenge.

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  • 3mo

    Why can't I just have the steak dinner now?

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  • 3mo

    Nice my_take and i genuinely get bored of people like that who play games... which probably explains why relationships aren't started up for me anymore... >_> FACK!
    Gahhhhhhh being single again sucks. But at least i ain't with psycho.

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  • 3mo

    This take is more about having...& more importantly , maintaining standards , which is always a good thing. Never settle , good take. I would interpret " hard to get " game playing as " Not Interested " & quickly forget her !!

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    • 3mo

      Well I never advocated playing hard to get. I also don't personally feel that if you have standards that you up hold that this is game playing.

      Now where I will agree with you is if she is never willing to listen or consider working with someone to meet in the middle ground when it's appropriate? I'd agree that she's worthy of being forgotten too. It's give and take; have standards but don't be ridiculous.

  • 3mo

    Bravo,
    Fantastic Take.

    Bob Marley Speaks Truth =>

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  • 3mo

    There is no difference between being hard to get and being difficult. the only difference is a difference in perspective between the one being "hard to get" and the one who has to put up with her being a difficult piece of crap. Your entire article is a load of horseshit. And you need to post articles about it because misinforming other women is how you justify an opinion you already know is shitty in the first place, which is why you need this reassurance.

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    • 3mo

      I'd have to disagree, because having standards and sticking by them isn't being "difficult."

      I write articles because it's a passion of mine, the intention of them is whatever the reader wants to make of it. I don't tell anybody that they have to take it for more than what's it is worth to read. If you don't like it, that's fine, but there's no reason to be rude. Disagree all you want, that's completely fine.

      I don't think that by communicating to someone about what your standards and expectations are, making your interest known, and being good to them (which is what I actually advocated in this take), makes you a "difficult piece of crap." I think you have a really poor attitude and perspective if that is what you honestly believe.

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    • 3mo

      It's worked great though, thank you for asking.

      Have a good one.

    • 3mo

      allow me to help, maybe he'll listen to a man ;)

      What she is saying is simply that a woman should follow her own path, not run off it or even change it without good cause. It doesn't mean a man has to jump through hoops, it means he has what she desires or she likely won't waste time fooling around on him... that's not difficult, that's simply integrity. It MAY mean such a woman (or man) seems difficult if you lack their standards... This is a wise piece as it basically says "life is too short to fuck around on nonsense" lol that's how I take it anyway.

      I met a girl who clearly had high standards, on a dating site. Most of what she wrote was a list of requirements to save herself time, a list of things she wanted and things she refused. We spoke for a month, finally talked on the phone, then she finally agreed to a date. She approached me very carefully, finally decided I was worth a closer look, later disclosed i was the 1st she'd agreed to meet and had been on that site two years

  • 3mo

    If she plays hard-to-get, she can play hard to find.

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  • 3mo

    I don't mind girls play hard to get but if it get too long then I'm not interested

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  • 3mo

    This is generally true though sometimes there are some rules to the exception.

    Last week I had a date with this girl off OkC who is very physically attractive and has a lot of common interests, political views, and other viewpoints with me. I ended up staying at her place because I was too drunk to drive. I could have had sex with her but decided not to because I want more than that.

    At least she wasn't too direct about it. We were outside smoking and she's like we can do whatever you want but one night stands are only fun while they last.

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  • 3mo

    Doesn't she need to be attracted to the guy first.

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What Girls Said 4

  • 3mo

    I think not settling on one person to be your boyfriend/girlfriend is better. You never know if you change your mind about them or realize they are douches. Its ok good to keep your options open when looking. Don't limit yourself.

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  • 3mo

    I loved this take❣ So many times on here I read of girls who wonder "does he likes me?" Or I had sex with this guy I met, will he call me again? Or "there's no good guys left"
    By employing your standard of BEING hard to get you force yourself to get to know and understand the guy better and give him the choice to actually decide he likes you rather than to just try and "conquer" you. So many negatives would fall by the wayside and so much positive could actually come into our lives, girls and guys alike.
    ☮💟😊

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    • 3mo

      I'm glad someone gets it. It isn't about being manipulative or indifferent but having a certain set of standards. Showing somebody that you're worth getting to know by settling for nothing less.

  • 3mo

    I loved this! You did an amazing job!😍👌👍

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  • 3mo

    ... is it bad I really want that McDouble, but with fries and a McFlurry?

    Anyway, all jokes aside, you did a beautiful job as usual. Your examples and comparisons really drove your points home. In fact, some of your comments match well with my Take for this week. 😉

    Well done, my dear! #BATTLEROYALE #TeamRJ

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