Playing Hard to Get

Let's face it, they call it the dating game for a reason. The mating ritual between males and females, human or otherwise, involves some serious interplay. Guys have to be strong, strut their stuff and have confidence to approach the girl they want. Girls, on the other hand, show resistance. So why do girls play hard to get?

A reasonably polite and attractive girl is sure to attract attention, so she can just sit back and see who notices. Although waiting to be approached is not proactive, many girls do it because it's easier. Would you guys get worked up to meet someone, suffering sweaty palms and possible rejection, if you didn't have to? Girls know that guys will initiate conversation and she can simply review the prospects before she makes a final decision.

It seems like a lose/lose situation sometimes. If you approach a girl with too much confidence, she thinks you're a player. But if you are shy and unsure, girls don't pay attention to you. Both personalities

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indicate danger to girls because we want our men to be faithful. If a guy is too smooth, we suspect he has played the dating game once too often and we tend to steer clear.

However, if a guy is timid he could be prey to other women because of his new-found confidence when he finally gets a girl's attention. Girls respond best to guys who are friendly, open and honest, qualities found in guys who don't cheat.

Okay, we discussed guys being players and how girls don't like it. Girls can be players too. You know the kind - she hits the club with her crew wearing a halter top and a miniskirt. She bats those carefully-glued false eyelashes at you and your heart misses a beat. After you work up the courage to walk over to her, she sees you coming and dodges to the bathroom with her giggling friends.

What just happened here? This girl is a player and only wanted to get your attention, with no intention of responding to it. These girls hit the clubs to grub free drinks from unsuspecting guys, collect telephone numbers they won't use, and feed their overinflated egos.

Thrill of the Chase
Some girls understand the thrill of the chase for men and strive to give it to them. The more unavailable we make ourselves, the more such a male pursues us. This can be a lot of fun for both the guy and the girl. The guy gets to feel manly by expressing his ardor in creative ways to his potential sweetheart. In turn, the girl is the recipient of flattering attention and gifts. The thrill of the chase is a natural pleasure for both guys and girls to engage in, with the prize being a date.

More to Lose
Girls have more to lose and tend to be more cautious in the mating game. Nature dictates that girls get pregnant, which makes the mating ritual a serious responsibility to females. Although it is also important to guys, they tend to think more about the short term results while girls look to the future with a self-protective eye.

Bad Experiences
Girls who had bad experiences in past relationships are more likely to play hard to get. We want to be sure the guy is really interested before we get our heart involved and risk further disappointment. By playing hard to get, girls find out if a guy is willing to work to get their attention. If a guy stands the test of time and endurance, there is a greater chance that he is actually interested. Because girls think in terms of relationships as opposed to instant gratification, we want you to show us a little staying power.

Mean Girls
We see mean girls all over and they even named a movie in their honor. Although few and far between, there are girls who are mean-spirited and take pleasure in watching guys squirm. I am not about to explore all the psychological possibilities for this cruel behavior just steer clear of the bitchy types.

Mean Guys
There are also mean guys who approach shy or plain girls to tease them and make jokes with their inebriated, chauvinistic friends. Girls who have been victim to this torment, or who have witnessed a friend experience it, will play hard to get to make sure the guy is sincere.

"Guys tend to think more about the short term results while girls look to the future with a
self-protective eye"

Finally, if you have wooed the girl of your desire with all you've got and she still won't pay attention to you, she probably isn't interested. If you have made every polite effort to gain a girl's favor and she doesn't bite, try leaving her alone for awhile. After all, there can be a fine line between courtship and stalking!

The dating game can be confusing and if you don't understand the reasons, you can misunderstand the signals. Girls play hard to get for a lot of reasons, most of them self-protective, which really boils down to good common sense. After all, don't you want a girl that knows how to think for herself, and hey, isn't the reward worth your efforts?


What Guys Said 18

  • You're right. The reward is worth the efforts. The problem is she doesn't put effort forth when she plays these nonsensical games, only I am, which means she doesn't deserve the reward. When I like a woman I want to see both of us putting effort forth and putting things on the line from the get go. Anything less to me seems like a prelude to drama and mind games.

  • Pfft, this is why I say just go for drunk chicks. Then again that's my cynicism talking, had a really bad experience once with this type of mind game - left me broken and without confidence and self esteem for two years. Drunk chicks - no mind games.

  • Personally a like a girl who doesn't "play" hard to get but a girl who actually is hard to get

  • Playing Hard To Get only works when its not "playing"... lol. Being hard-to-get works... Playing hard to get just back-fires.

    People should just focus on becoming that person, instead of faking being that person. Instead of pretending like you're too busy to answer the phone, why not build a lifestyle where you ACTUALLY are that busy. etc... etc...

  • Playing hard to get is basically admitting "there's nothing else about that can keep a guy around. I'm afraid to be dropped after getting sexed". take "hot-alpha-female" for example. she says it's not an act. of course not, it's her insecurity and inner attention wh0re speaking. real men will just drop them and find another. you don't see pro athletes and superstar music artists "proving" themselves do you?


  • So basically here's a phrase I say alot

    Are you telling guys to"BEND OVER AND TOUCH THEIR ANKLES"?

    what's the solution to the problem?

  • I agree with homer on this one...Girls just always feel as if they need to have the upperhand in any conversation, if not, they are not interested. Also, playing hard to get is not a good move, punishing every guy out there for others mistakes isn't cool

  • Word of caution to girls:

    Playing hard to get may work wonder for guys who are not aware that you are playing the game. But if the guy has decent intellect and awareness, all may be lost because faking it can translate to manipulation.

  • I think some women don't know any better. They always have been approached and feel more comfortable where they have the upper hand when approached.

  • playing hard to get just tells me that you are insecure about yourself and that you don't have a personality to make you attract me.

  • I can understand the "wanting to make sure he's good" idea behind playing hard to get. OK, I understand that.

    The "thrill of the chase" is nonsense. Most (not all) guys hate that. It is just mind games and serves no purpose other than creating drama. Any guy who is dating (as opposed to playing "the game") won't want to put up with your nonsense.

    I have always seen playing hard to get as "You aren't worth my time: prove to me that you are." Most guys will see you as stuck up and just leave.

  • Unfortunately guys who are players find ways around the games and the tests. Those of us who date more for relationships don't know the right thing to say in every situation. That's why we avoid clubs, bars, etc., and find girls who appreciate our confidence but don't need us to have the right line to indicate it's safe to take the panties off. And pregnancy is only a concern if you're having sex. My religious friends don't play the same games.

  • Once I find out a girl is playing hard to get, there no longer is any "thrill of the chase". After that is seems manipulative and cruel to lead me on for so long and not respond clearly in either directly.

  • I'm fine with a guy having to approach and show some confidence, and taking the lead in the beginning, but unless a woman shows some interest early on, I'll be out the door myself. It's not only girls who want a quality partner, many of us guys actually put thought into who we date, a relationship is 2 people, not 1. I pity women who live defensively by putting up walls to hide their feelings, it's so sad to see.

  • Some women understand the "the trill of the chase" and aim to "give it to men"? it's great for both guys and girls! guys get to pay attention to the girl and spend his money on her, while the girl receives flattering attention and free stuff. My, how thrilling!

    the only person who enjoys the "thrill of the chase" in dating, is the girl. it allows her to excuse herself from feeling easy or cheap, prior to getting intimate or starting a relationship with a new guy.

  • Where's the girl that sees the "Man " glass as half full, who doesn't throw her guard up and play hard to get every time a new guy makes his move. Are we all as men not to be trusted? Can't asking us questions and using your brain and common sense to judge our sincerity come into play without confusing the hell out us? Sure not being available all the time keeps things interesting but for god sakes there are good men out their who want a great woman to call their own. Throw a good dog a bone

  • The whole "thrill of the chase" thing is totally bogus. If a girl acts like she doesn't want my attention I immediately go to a different girl chasing is for stalkers and perverts. I don't get any thing out of forcing my self on women and no normal man would. Also when women don't approach men and sit there waiting to be approached, some modern feminist woman will gladly step in and approach that man instead of them.

  • Eh, the guys I know who like to chase girls never stay with them once they get them. I really don't see how playing games with someone's head proves anything.


What Girls Said 7

  • I don't know if playing hard to get is the right phrase. It may appear that way when a woman's trying to protect herself from hurt/disappointments just like the author said. Some people go in and out of relationships it's nothing but for some people, they know they are quite vulnerable in these sort of things and tend to be very cautious and resist in order to protect their feelings.

  • Here's a thought for all you guys out there, if she thinks you're a player, a least she noticed you and you still have a chance. if you're too shy, she doesn't even know you exist. which one would you rather be?

  • I don't like games--in the end it is lose-lose--just be real, and if eh is the right one, he'll respond positively to who you are.

  • I honestly don't think that playing hard to get is an act all. I think its just a natural defense that girls have unconsciously to test guys to see if they are good enough. Sounds harsh I know, but its the truth and someone had to say it. Sorry boys

  • We act like it for all the right reasons.. would you want to be played yourself??

  • Someone commented on playing hard to get as a defense mechanism due to past hurts, and I think it is a valid point. I've been doing the "playing hard to get" thing, but not on purpose. Though I sort of like the guy, I can't help but past hurts caused me to resist the possibility of something turning serious and end up unconsciously stepping back. In other cases, girls don't want to come off easy. Just gotta know you can be open, friendly, and receptive without being percieved as easy bait.

  • It's sad how people always say "i hate it when girls/guys play hard to get. it's annoying." when, in fact, they ONLY GO FOR PEOPLE WHO PLAY HARD TO GET!

    good article.