If more men played hard to get, do you think that it would make women more proactive towards dating?

From what I’ve gathered on here, there are a lot of complaints directed at women’s apparent lack of a go-getter attitude when it comes to dating. The discontent comes mostly from the male side, from guys who feel that women leave them no choice but "to do all the work" when it comes to romantic endeavors, especially in the initial stages.

What it comes down to is the notion that women are simply too hard to get. Compared to men, we’re harder to approach, harder to impress, harder to keep impressed.

It makes sense, I suppose. A simple Google search yields an almost unanimous ‘yes’ in regard to the effectiveness of playing hard to get. Although, most of the articles, studies, and pseudo-studies are in favour of women playing hard to get.

So, what do you think would happen if men adopted the same approach for which women are condemned? What effect do you think it would have on women if men became less forward and posed more of a challenge?
If more men played hard to get, do you think that it would make women more proactive towards dating?
Do you think that it would make women more proactive—i. e., more likely to approach potential partners, more likely to pursue someone in whom they’re interested, more likely to take the lead for date-planning?

Or, do you think it would all backfire and there’d be even more single and lonely people than there are now?


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What Guys Said 72

  • Women chase after guys all the time. The problem is these guys are all in the top 20% of men. Because these guys are in such high demand, they really are hard to get already. Even if the other 80% of guys started acting hard to get, it wouldn't mean much. In Japan men have pretty much given up on relationships, so already are hard to get, and the women don't care, because those aren't the guys the women are interested in anyway.

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    • Many Japanese men and women, actually.

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    • @dipta For the men I always heard it was because they were expected to work 60-80 hour work weeks and then had to give all his money to his wife, that might give him a small allowance. That sounds like a horrible deal for a man to take. So a lot of guys had just given up because they were being asked for too much.

    • For me it would be a horrible deal as well but, as far as I noticed, most men here do it happily as work is already one the top priorities of their life.
      Many companies are trying to adapt to international standards and reduce overtime but, like I said, it's not just the married people that work overtime. Ones do it for the family's, other because they don't have anything else.

      Those men haven't given up on women because of money. They just don't have the slightest clue on how to connect with them.

  • I just wish my fellow brothers would realise that *being* hard to get is what draws the ladies in. The guys that need to "play" hard to get would simply end up with nothing because girls don't want them to begin with.

    The honest truth is that, for a guy if you want women to be proactive about approaching you, you just gotta be good at most aspects of life in general. Think about it carefully... women cannot "go get men" if those men are not "ahead" of them right :P

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  • I think people, men and women, need to stop with all the games, stop acting like you're not interested if you are interested, just be yourself be honest. Men and women both already complain a lot about the other, whether it's because men/women are difficult to understand. Or because one thinks the other only wants sex or because he or she was to forward or too emotional, or not emotional enough.

    If people in general were honest with each other about what their intentions were. I would think that men and women both would stop saying things like, "Why are there no decent men/women left in the world?" or "Why do all the women/men play mind games?"

    Unfortunately I think all of these obstacles we put each other through is engrained in us, whether because of a subconscious fear of being rejected. Or perhaps a subconscious need to see if the other person can pass are equally subconscious checklist, to start a relationship with.

    But then there are those who make their "pray" go through the mentally and emotionally draining games, simply because their goal is to torment the person. And then leave them in the dust when they're bored. For no other reason than because he/she only wanted the fun and to see how far they mentally push the person.

    Whether because we are subconsciously trying to keep from instant rejection, or from being sneered at, or for what ever reason we have our guards up to keep from getting hurt.

    Ultimately, if men were to start playing harder to get, then some women might find that attractive, while other women might decide the guy's not interested in her. Others would be insulted and yet for other women, it would likely re-enforce their belief that "all" men are assholes.

    Unlike logic and reason where things are similar to a straight line, emotions and relationships are equal to a roller-coaster. One makes sense and the other you sometimes feel like your holding on for dear life and just trying to figure out if your shoulder harness is sturdy enough.

    Unforunately

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  • The problem is biology. Men have higher sex drives then women due to testosterone and are greater risk takers, all of this pushes them towards action when it comes to women. Women on the other hand have a lower sex drive (as many male to female transsexuals have pointed out they where actually surprised because as they took more estrogens they found they could actually ignore their sex drive which was much harder to do prior to treatment) and are risk averting making them more inclined to wait and see. This immeidatlye works against a system where men play hard to get and women are the persuers. Also the fact that from a reproductive standpoint women are more valuable then men (as gestation has a greater impact on women then men, she does most of the work takes most of the risk and even after birth has to nurse the young for a couple of years while he just spends what ever time and energy it took to impregnate her) making it far more likely that this would just horribly backfire. That's before you get into the issue of requiring the majority of men to do this, if only half of them do this it will just give the other half of men better "pickings" so to speak as the women will not change their approach. So you would need to convince almost every man to do this and almost every woman to do this in order for it to work which is not going to happen (and again we are already predisposed to not function in this way).

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  • My current girlfriend didn't play hard to get at all. She persued me just as much as the reverse, although I was the one to suggest the first date.

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    • To answer your question directly though, yes, I think if the majority of men did play hard to get the dynamics would change, but due to testosterone and sex drive, I don't see men all being of one mind on this. I believe that back in the day, when men were forced to court women before sex, where men were taught to be more disciplined to wait for marriage for sex, men focused more of their energy on finding a purpose in life outside of women and relationships. Women were more active in making themselves available for partnership rather than simply having a fun time. Fun was something that sort of just happened as people were making lives for themselves, while now in our culture of instant gratification, fun is something people constantly seek and actually expect in almost every facet of life. Hard work is all too often seen as an unpleasant distraction from fun rather than something to be embraced, including in relationships.

  • I'm a little torn.
    On one hand, I think it would merely widen the gap between successful and unsuccessful men even further.
    Since taking away the proactivity and confidence, that men often employ to attract women, would leave women with even fewer reasons to get interested in them in the first place.

    On other hand, the perceived "unavailability" of men might be a good reason for women to become more interested.

    In any case, I think men should just go with my approach; initiate, but not finalize.
    Leave the ball on their side of the court, as they say.
    I think it is the most balanced solution for what the current status quo is.

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  • Man do play hard to get. What I see most is woman to show how easy they are going to man and man like it that way. This happens also when a woman has feelings for man the other woman go to that man. This happens a lot. Woman like to steal the man the other woman likes and it works and the woman in love is called immature and inexperienced and dumb and ugly and unattractive , because man like easy woman the most is my experience and date the easy girls the first. I know many woman do not dating anymore for this reason.

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  • The only issue why is there is a difference is not so much that women are pickier per se, but men are too easy. Men will have sex with anything... they’re standards are so low it’s pathetic. If men weren’t easy, you’ll definitely see more proactive women.

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  • I think women would start getting more proactive, but only towards the top 10 or maybe 20 percent of males. The rest of the males playing hard to get would never be gotten. The top 20% of males would suddenly have to learn how to reject women and do it nicely. Women who got one would be happy. Women who didn't would complain that they were treated badly and that men suck. ;-)

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  • wouldn't work.
    Because there isn't such a thing as "playing " hard to get. You either are hard to get or you aren't.
    An unattractive woman can't play hard to get and expect guys to go for it.
    in the same way, average guys can't play hard to get and expect women to go for us.

    The guys who really are hard to get, the really successful, good looking guys, already have tons of women going for them.
    Same with attractive women.
    Only the deal is that more men would go for a woman than vice versa.
    I. e. women have more value on average in the dating/relationship market. I think its always been like this, but in recent times men lost a lot of value.
    With women being self sufficient and entering the workforce, they dont really need a man anymore. So the number of men still attractive to women decreased by a lot.

    Back in the day, a man who took care of family, had a decent job, and wasn't involved in too much bs was a catch. Enough for women to put in a bit of effort.
    Nowadays that isn't the case.

    This playing hard thing wouldn't work.
    I would advice guys to try and maximise their success in everything. Be the best you can ever be. Not just for women, but for yourself.
    And then when you seek women go for girls below your level.
    Like, basically wife up the girl that wants you, not the girls you want.
    Thats the key to success.
    Never ever settle for a girl that feels she settled for you.
    If you are with a girl who adores you, you already won in life. everything else in life will be smooth. Even during rough patches, you will be sure of what you got.

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  • I'll put it this way. I had moderate success with online dating sites, presenting myself as looking for the right person, etc... and all that.

    I then got busy with life and added nuggets such as "Single and proud of it.", "Not looking for a relationship just for the sake of not being single", "If you expect me to pay on the first date then you are a hypocrite for expecting gender roles.

    I kid you not I had so many women take the initiative with me it was crazy.

    So to answer your question, yes. Men need to play hard to get.

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    • Yes sir. You need to get these girls with the program

    • nice, that was a ballsy experiment. I think I might try that.

      I did joke around one time on my tinder profile with the following:

      "NO HOOKUPS! I'm so sick of girls objectifying my body and only wanting one thing! Don't even think about it, nah nah nah " and then a "jk... thought you ladies get to see what us guys deal with ALL THE TIME!".

      I got some girls to laugh their asses off to that. I'm should put it back.

  • The whole Men Going Their Own Way movement could be looked at as men playing hard to get.

    See many women running after that lot, do you?

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  • As a whole yes / supply and demand.

    As an individual though i think playing hard to get has to be done right if its done. Desperate is off putting but at the other end distant makes you think someones probably just not interested.

    I think it's all more nuanced than desperate and distant though.
    I think men and women both want to get closer at a pace that's comfortable for us and without any expectation.
    So knowing some one likes you and would take things further but doesn't expect anything from you.

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    • Thanks for a reasonal, unhyperbolic reply.

      This seems to be how it already is. You can't offer yourself as a lap dog, because lap dogs are happy about their owner just existing - so why would the woman want to develop the desire for making an effort to be part of your happiness (i. e. love)? But at the same time, you won't get anyone develop feelings for you, if you never share any intimate closeness (specifically in the non-physical sense) with them.

  • first off anyone that plays "hard to get" is playing games and the other sex needs to say "fuck off" to them. I would never bother with any woman that played that kind of game.
    second, as long as pussy exists in the world, no guy is going to play hard to get.
    What really needs to happen is that women need to stop having such a messed up view on sex. That would make everything a lot better.

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    • I think the reason we have that "messed up view" is because nobody wants to be screwed over.. literally. They wouldn't want to be used by someone who doesn't care for them. That's what I think anyway.

  • I feel like some women would start to complain even more about where the "real" men were, and how there doesn't seem to be any strong gentlemen anymore.. I think it would just get many women frustrated if they couldn't adapt to the situation..

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  • I would hope so cause least be honest women do leave it up to the men and then there are that I've talked to ON here who straight up have said they will NEVER approach a man cause there afraid of rejection like seriously so what a bout the millions of men that deal with that on a daily basis and as said by women even if they do get rejected they still have tons of guys approaching them every day so why not take a chance or too its just so one sides it kinda ridiculous but i do know that this is NOT all women just the other day this really attractive girl that i replied to and then followed message me first but still it wouldn't kill some girls to take the initiative

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  • Well…men should do that. Give them taste of their own medicine: absolute ignoring, not responding and no interest at all. At least that's what I get.

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    • I have done that before. To girls I wasn't really interested in. I've alway notice if someone really likes you then you can do no wrong in their eyes.

  • People tend to place a higher value on what they can't have.
    I don't play hard to get. But I can say that when I reject girls (especially the ones who try to play me), it takes about 2 seconds for them to come chasing after me. By that time, it's too late, but they still do it. Some persist for years before finally giving up.

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  • I really doubt the needle would move much with women approaching more. There'd just be more women asking "am I not attractive enough?", "how come no one approaches me?", "how do do you get a guy to approach you?". It'd be incessant.

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  • More lonely people, my understanding is that women prefer to learn about someone else in small bits over a period of time while guys are more inclined to decide what they like and pursue it.

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  • Honestly? Yes I do. I've had A LOT of success with the dating app bumble. It's a shitty free app no different from Tinder and yet I will say that the women I met up with off the app seemed "mentally healthier" and a bit more confident/successful.

    Why Bumble? Well it makes guys "harder to get" in a way because women have to do all the work.

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  • No. Women would start piss and moan about it. Where have the real men gone, etc. I see that in my direct surroundings.

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  • Culturally it's known that the man will do everything, even if you go back 1000 years back it was the same and maybe a lot of fixed/arranged marriage. If men start playing hard to get now , guess what ! They are called dogs, pigs, monsters, impostors, A-hole, gay and the list goes on and on. There is men who plays hard to get already, if you want them to be more of those just hashtag it somewhere, people love hashtags

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  • I think it would backfire. Here's a shocking idea, how about everyone stopped playing hard to get? What if there were no games altogether?

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  • I think people think playing hard to get is a bad thing because there are so many girls who don't know how to properly play hard to get, especially in this day and age, which makes it much different from it may have been before. From what I understand, you play hard to get so that the guy will put in effort to pursue you, and he will put effort into being better so that maybe he'll be good enough to somewhat deserve you if you decide you like him. That way he ends up a better person, and she ends up safe from one-and-done guys looking to get a quick one. Since guys are afraid of rape allegations, girls can't start out with playing hard to get, because men won't approach women, and for logically sound reasons. Instead it'd help if women initiated a relationship, but felt free to take as much time as they want, and allow the guy to pursue her. That's the unfortunate situation as long as men are seen as predators by the most vocal part of society.

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  • If men played hard to get, humanity as a whole would die off

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  • I think it might make things worse than it is now. From my time on this site I've seen reoccurring questions from girls that say they are too shy, that are worried that they are abnormally late when it comes to being in their first relationship, and general questions showing that there are girls are having trouble getting a guy. If this gets even more difficult there may even be less relationships.
    Or.. it may make things better. I guess I can't really say. I think it's harder to predict how girls will react than it is to predict guys.

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  • Some girls will definitely get more prowler like. Others will have to join a nunnery. There would be whole new whingy demographic of people on the Internet, mostly things would stay the same, but sexuality might change a little, more assertive dominant females. Might be interesting.

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  • Personally, I don't think either men or women should play hard to get because I think it's stupid and childish. I had a girlfriend when I was a kid who was always playing hard to get and it was very annoying. If a woman is attracted to a man she should just ask him out and if a man is attracted to a woman she should just ask him out. It really is that simple.

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  • Yeah, a survival mechanism would activitate and everything would be up side down. Imagine a man been catcalled by different women x every block he crossed. Strange but possible.

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What Girls Said 21

  • I don't think people should be playing hard to get in the first place. Neither gender should.

    It's different to be selective of the people you want around you than to pretend you're not interested in someone just for the sake of mind games. That literally achieves nothing.

    People seem to be mixing up these two. If someone says no to a date, it doesn't mean that they're "playing" hard to get. They're most likely just not interested and it's not an act.

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  • Generally, people "playing" hard to get are usually the ones being approached and they might have lots of pursuers (technically they may actually BE hard to get and not just playing, but I digress) and therefore can afford to take their time selecting the ideal partner.

    One may also wanna play hard to get even when they're doing the approach, but it's most often counterproductive since THEY were the ones who became attracted to the other person to begin with.

    That is to say, in my opinion there are already many men who rank high in the dating pool and can be as selective as they want with the number of women pursuing them, but the "market odds" are still very much in favour of women.
    You can try and play the market - playing hard to get, improve your make-up skills, go to the gym -, but at the end of the day the rules remain unchanged.

    I find there are mainly two types of men women MAY pursue:
    - Men who stand out with their looks, attitude or success, or
    - Average men women already know and fell in love with.

    The odds of (let's say in the US) a young regular woman pursuing a random average stranger is very, very low imho.
    On top of that, if he decides to play hard to get...

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    • Not true. Even the top guys have to make moves or remain alone.

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    • @BigJake
      I'm telling you all these girls would be befriending me just to get close to him. Not dozen, but at least six of them that I knew.
      That was when we lived in Brazil though, so ladies there might be more proactive and less embarrassed to speak up.
      You don't have to believe me though.

    • Oh, well yeah, Brazil is a bit different. Latin countries are totally different in general. Girls will come up and openly flirt with no hesitation. I was in Brazil for the Olympics and I had several girls ask me to flex, and one girl even asked to see me with my shirt off. They have no shame at all in their game.

  • No more than anything else, playing hard to get can either keep people interested and on their toes or bored enough to realise they aren't getting what they want and go because it isn't worth it. There's a fine line between being eager and losing hope and that's where it can all go wrong. There's nothing wrong with teasing someone but still wanting to be with them; I'm not talking about messing around with emotions, I'm talking genuine interest and just being playful until you want to give up the ghost.

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  • If men were harder to get, women would work for them more. It would be more balanced in my opinion. However, the very shy women would probably have a harder time and they would struggle a bit. in my opinion to remedy this, they could do online dating.

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  • This is based on the assumption that women actively want to be pursued by men.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve met plenty of men lately who ain’t shit. I’m not going out of my way to pursue That™.

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  • If a woman feels like a man is not interested in her by ignoring her or playing hard to get, then she's just going to think he doesn't like her and move on. I would assume the guy is liking the attention or ego boost he's getting but doesn't really want much from her if he's doing the whole hard to get thing.

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  • Yeah

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  • Yep, but it has to be a unified front

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  • Well I read somewhere before that women use the "hard-to-get" tactic due to biological differences. I mean, women are the ones who end up carrying the baby and would have to raise it on their own if their partner just left them, leaving them defenseless. So as a response to keep that from happening, women make sure the men work hard to earn their trust and make sure they won't desert them.
    I just read that somewhere so I don't know :/

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  • No. I find men who are distant a turn off. Even a boyfriend who turns off, it’s not attractive.

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  • It's a no from me.

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  • Maybe, but I think some women would just move on to the next one.

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    • Only after trying hard for a while.

    • Not all women (or people in general) find playing hard to get as a challenge. I, personally, think it's a bit childish and if a guy feels the need to do that, then I'd certainly move on.

    • Obviously no one likes chasing someone who isn't trying but in cases where you actually think they aren't interested since they barely know you and you are interested, you'd try for a while then give up or not try at all.

  • No because we're already sick of their bullshit as it is. Adding more bullshit to the bullshit isn't going to make it any better lol

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  • To a certain degree. I was pining over a dude who was playing hard to get for a year. Then I blew up and left.

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  • It would not work for women. If someone seems uninterested we just move on. That is in our nature.

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    • It would not work for real men either. Only girls and boys do that.

  • yeah guys are thirsty af. They're just waiting for a sign to come get you lol

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  • Yes, definitely

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  • Well if I just did whatever you wanted and I didn't play hard to get in the beginning you would see me as easy, use me and dump me.
    The good are never easy, the easy are never good.
    If you want something good you have to work for it.

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  • Nope, only the players would get all the girls because those guys actually make a move!
    When a guy is distant and doesn't seem to like like me, I believe it and move on. I don't chase him, been there done that in the past and it was no bueno. So if a guy plays hard to get, I have no desire to try to get him, I walk away

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  • Nope. Playing like your not interested isn't the key. Having more to you than meets the eye is where its really at. The idea is to let the guy or girl know who you are and what you want without conveying a desperation or a need for their attention. Playing hard to get only works if the person already likes you anyway. Its not gaurenteed to work on anybody who isn't interested

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  • I always preferred to be the one that did the approaching because its matters if I see him often enough to feel comfortable and to get to know him before I decide if I actually like him enough to trade numbers.

    From my experience, when guys reach out they are just physically attracted and just pretty much hitting on me without genuinely trying to really get to know me. Then there are guys who claim to, but then they are usually also pretending to be someone they are not.

    The men that I find myself to enjoy more are the reserved, open minded, witty, light-hearted and doesn't ask every girl that talks to them for their number. Personally, those guys are who I feel comfortable around and want to get to know more because I don't feel pressure around them.

    I hope this helps!

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