Q. In today’s column, we reached out to our expert to get her thoughts on ‘playing hard to get’ in relationships. Does this tactic work, especially for women who are interested in having a long term committed relationship?
A. Since the beginning of time women have pondered and then created many formulas designed to attract a mate.
For example, makeup was invented to make women more desirable for men. In the 1980’s there was a book called The Rules in which women were instructed on how to attract and ultimately marry a man. Over time so many advices and strategies have been given all centered around “how to make a man fall in love with me”. Unfortunately, true love doesn’t work that way, in fact there is only one recipe for success.
One common myth was in women believing that if they were “hard to get” it would then create a chemical response in men that would lead to men chasing their prey, women.
Unfortunately, men and women are not predator and prey so men who enjoy the “thrill of the chase” actually have commitment/power/control issues and are unsuitable mates anyway. It was also thought that if a woman was “hard to get” then she would be more alluring or mysterious which would then make her seem more interesting to men.
If you are working to present an image of who you are rather than being yourself, what do you think will happen when he finds out the truth?
If he has any sense of himself he will leave and you have a broken heart. If he stays it shows some unhealthiness on his part and this is likely going to be a really unhappy relationship. Think about it, how is it going to work when the relationship is built on a game and/or a lie?
Playing hard to get is a game, a tactic, both of which would be ill-advised and unnecessary in a healthy relationship.
Healthy relationships are based on two people showing up as themselves, clicking and working to evolve a relationship in a mutually agreed upon manner. If you think about it, would you want a man to use a tactic, or rules to lure you in? When said that way, it sounds kind of creepy doesn’t it? However, if that sounds like love then I suggest doing a lot of work on yourself before getting into any relationship.
There is far too much focus on being coupled in today’s society.
Since we are trying to get so much of our emotional needs met through a partner, rather than doing it ourselves, it causes us to make poor relationship choices which, ultimately leads to unhappy relationships.
If you have to force things by employing tactics or convincing someone, you are starting out on the wrong track.
Please take the time to work on you to the point that you are comfortable being alone and that you are not looking for anyone. For then you will be in an emotional space in which you are just being you and there is no more powerful aphrodisiac.
Cynthia Pickett, LCSW