Play Hard to Get … and Win!

Playing hard to get has been a medium used by women to get their chosen men for centuries. The idea behind this practice is to innately urge a man to want what he cannot have. For instance, most men may not have the option to bed Jessica Alba, but that sure hasn’t stopped some of them from desiring to with fervor. However, by this same token, there is another part of this equation that is not always considered. Saving up for a cherry red 1957 Chevrolet Corvette is also a dream for a lot of men. A guy may have saved for decades, finding himself always a few diapers and loaves of bread away from actually affording one. Then finally, one day, he is able to splurge on this car of his dreams, and about a week later he trades it in for a timeshare condo in Miami. What’s going on here?

Easy Come, Medium Go
Automobiles may not offer the same compatibility as an alluring female, but studies from the Stanford School of Business suggest that when a man is denied an object of desire, not only will he want it more, he will also like it less once he attains it. Researchers are not exactly sure why this happens, but they do know that women appear to be even more affected by it, due to their complex emotional nature. During a breakup, a man will have the advantage of gaining a woman’s interest again once she realizes she can no longer have him. Unfortunately for the guy, if he gets back into the relationship, due to the rules of the game, he will be thrown back to the curb as soon as she realizes she was right the first time. In other words, the more difficult he is to get, the higher her expectation, and the more likely she will end up disappointed.

Easy Bedfellow, Bad Choice
Mathematical evidence suggests being too easy (sex wise) increases a woman’s chances of landing a guy who is, well, a jerk. The best way to come out of this particular equation ahead is to allow enough time to pass in the dating cycle to unveil whether or not a guy is a good catch, thus proving he is deserving of a roll in the hay. So, it may not be that the infamous one-night stand causes guys to become less interested, but rather that it rewards jerks before they can be proactively plucked from her preferred bedfellow list. In addition, she can probably consider any man willing to wait for her prize more likely to be a prize himself.

Put Up or Give Up
Studies suggest that playing hard to get is a very naturally selective way to discover how helpful a man could be in the event of rearing children together. Acting coy around a good man urges him to prove his worth by offering his help to her in a variety of ways. While you might think a guy could just pretend to be helpful to gain her attention, science suggests that his genes will actually limit just how helpful he can be. In other words, helpfulness is more of an innate trait than a learned action. Unfortunately, these rules apply only in areas where women are surrounded by a wide variety of men. When the majority of men in the area are predominantly caring or uncaring, there is less competition and therefore less reason to compete with each other.

Lazy, But Easily Egged On
Research suggests acting hard to get can be a very effective means of egging a guy on, especially if he doesn’t have to work all that hard and believes the other guys do. A study in college-age men found that if a women played slightly easier to get, but implied she was normally much more difficult, their interest soared. Researchers call this technique selectively playing hard to get. How exactly does it work in the dating scene? A girl would require her beau to romance her with moderate fervor, letting him know she normally refuses most guys. After stringing him along for a short while, she would then inform him that she finds him different from the others and is going to give him a chance. It indeed appears that guys prefer what other guys want but can’t have. This gives women the advantage of not appearing too easy to get (guys like to feel special) without the drawbacks of appearing too difficult (guys also like to think they’ve at least got a chance).

Playing hard to get is a delicate balancing act of controlling your eagerness while moderately embracing infatuation and ensuring that all outward evidence of self-regard stays fully intact!

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