Singles seeking true love may at one point have been told to play hard to get. But what exactly is being “hard to get”? Is it about sending mixed signals? If so, can mixed signals land you the date of your dreams?
Social scientists have long been aware of the concept of reciprocity: we like those who like us. But what happens if we are unsure of whether a person likes us or not? Will playing it cool increases another person’s interest long enough for you to get the other person interested?
The war of the sexes
No one wants to appear needy, clingy and desperate. We all want to be seen as confident, dashing and cool. In a recent study made on the behavior of “playing hard to get”, researchers from Harvard University discovered that women were more interested in men who did not show their interest over those who declared their interest in them.
Why would women find elusive men more attractive? Wouldn’t it be more practical to entertain men who openly expressed their interest? Researchers from Harvard University believe that the answer lies in a phenomenon called salience – the act of always thinking of something.
Salient information affects how we feel and think. And because you keep thinking about someone’s potential attraction to you, you spend more time thinking about them than those people you know is already attracted to you.
The Pleasures of Uncertainty
The question remains, why would we be more interested in someone who vaguely shows interest in us over someone who has declared his intentions? According to the study, our incapacity to adapt to uncertainty heightens our curiosity in the other person. Because the outcome is undetermined, we are incapable of adapting to the event resulting to frequent thoughts about the situation.
People often interpret frequent thoughts of a person to indicate attraction.
Will playing “hard to get” get you a date?
The studies suggest a positive answer. However, a subsequent study reveals that this can only happen when one party has made up his mind to pursue further relations with the other. Otherwise, there may be nothing there to begin with.
For a girl, getting a date is a matter of catching someone’s interest long enough for a guy to ask her out. This means letting the guy call you instead of you running after him.
For the guy, if he learns to play it cool and send the right signals at the right time, he can pique his favorite girl’s curiosity enough to convince her to say yes. This means being friendly but not too eager.
Playing hard to get is not about sending mixed signals. It’s about allowing rapport to be established long enough for both parties to decide if they want to move forward with each other. Guys, if you are interested in someone you’ve known for some time, you may want to lay the foundation first before asking her out properly. If you only have that moment to ask her out, you might want to establish some rapport first before dropping the question of asking for a date. Give the girl the opportunity to refuse you and chances are, she might just accept your offer. Girls, don’t rush pell mell at him. It’s about giving him time to make up his mind and testing his capacity to invest his time, and resources on you. Let him do the courting and prove his fidelity to you. Men like the thrill of the chase.
What do you think? Will “playing hard to get” get you a date? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below.