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?