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Here’s Why Women Shouldn’t Play Hard To Get

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So as a woman, you are consistently told that you shouldn’t show too much interest in a man. That you should play hard to get. Make him work for it. While this is sound advice in the respect that you should of course never lower your standards and accept advances from just any random man who shows interest in you, it is too broad to really be useful.

If all of this was such great advice, then why are so many women who follow it still single? Because women aren’t the ones who should follow it – men are.

That’s right, but don’t take my word for it, there are studies to prove it.

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While women are more attracted to men who tend to play it cool and show less physical interest in them on a first date, men are more attracted to women who do show physical interest to them on a first date. This does not mean that men just want to think they have a chance of sleeping with you, it also hints at their interest in long term commitment.

“Men who perceive women to be interested in them rated the women as more feminine and sexually attractive. They also showed more interest in having long-term relationships with the responsive women than with the nonresponsive women.”

Now, as a man, this is not news. I can already tell you that if a woman shows interest in me, I will be more interested in her. This is often misconstrued as a level of desperation where we are just looking for anyone who is attracted to us in return. The truth is that apathy and disinterest are not exactly things that will attract us to a woman, so naturally the opposite is also true.

Men are used to being the pursuer. We are accustomed to being the ones who have to show interest, especially at first. We are not usually approached by women and are sometimes left guessing about how they feel about us. But, we want to be wanted, too. We want to be desired and we want to be confident that the interest we have in a woman is reciprocated, so we know we are not setting ourselves up for heartbreak.

If we feel that a woman enjoys our company, has a good time with us, and is attracted to us, we are more likely to show similar interest in her. Believe it or not, it really is that simple. So if you are interested in a man, make sure he knows it. 

As far as the other side of the coin: “Women may think the men are trying too hard to win their affection and get them into bed. Or, women may see responsive men as eager to please, or even desperate,” Birnbaum said. Perhaps, the researchers noted, women may view a responsive man as vulnerable and less dominant.”

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So we have a clear divide. When on a date, men want women who show more interest, and women want men who show less. Don’t worry, ladies, if he is out with you he is interested, and he is very much hoping to learn that you are, too.

The truth is that you shouldn’t play hard to get, you should be hard to get. This means living a life that you love and only accepting people into it who will enhance your experiences. When you find that man, make sure he knows it.

Do the study’s findings match up with your personal feelings? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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18 Comments

  1. Tricia on October 14, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Hey James. I love your blog and read it daily. This post makes a lot of sense in some ways. I definitely find myself less attracted to the guys that are pursuing me too much. However in cases where I’m interested in the guy I find I am having to play hard to get – by not contacting them all the time. It seems to be a bit of a double edged sword…

  2. Dan on October 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    This was right on point! Everyone makes relationships super-complicated, when all that needs to happen is both parties communicating what is important, instead of playing ridiculous games with people’s lives

  3. Angela Hetrick on October 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I have tried so hard to tell my girlfriends to stop playing hard to get if they actually want to get into a relationship. I am a huge believer in just being yourself, and if you like someone don’t try to pretend you don’t. Be aware of your feelings and go with them, the worst that would happen is you don’t click with them, and you’ll learn quickly that the two of you aren’t meant to be which is not a bad thing. We should all be striving to find who we are meant to be with forever.

  4. thesteadfastsoldier on October 14, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Such good words. I follow your blog, and love what you write.

    • James Michael Sama on October 14, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Thank you Ricky! I really appreciate the support my friend. It means a lot.

      • thesteadfastsoldier on October 14, 2014 at 9:35 pm

        You’re welcome, James! I study psychology, and relationships are always a topic on my heart. I could converse much about this very blog. Women should have high standards…that’s good and all, but the lack in communication conveyed hinders a possible courtship.

        I also am concerned with the standards that women hold today. I feel that no one really knows what should and shouldn’t be valued in a man.

        I’m sorry; I’m really passionate about relationships 🙂



      • James Michael Sama on October 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm

        Nothing to be sorry about! Needless to say, I share your passions. I am actually a guest speaker at a group on Manhood in the 21st century at a college tomorrow (which, ironically, is comprised only of women this semester) and I will be discussing these topics with them and reporting back on the blog. I will bring up what you have mentioned here in your comments as well. I think given your interests you will enjoy the entry!

        Stay in touch!

        – James



      • thesteadfastsoldier on October 14, 2014 at 9:40 pm

        Awesome! I’ll stay tuned in. I feel that your blog is one I’ll enjoy and learn from greatly. 🙂



  5. mjmsprt40 on October 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Speaking for myself: I’ve grown up hearing “No means no”. So— “Hard to get” simply won’t work. I made up my mind a long time ago that if she said “no” and the excuse– if any– was plausible I might call again. But if not, or it’s the second “no” in succession, she would never hear from me again. The coquettish games of the 1950s are too dangerous for a man to mess with in 2014, and that’s pretty much that.

  6. NickiMo on October 14, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    I never play hard to get and I don’t want a man to either. I completely agree that women should show signs of interest on the first date while staying true to herself and her values, but, for me, the man must peruse.

    The best first date I ever went on was a couple months ago with a Match.com interest. We were both slightly nervous at first, but we hit it off. As the night progressed and we hopped around to a few places, we were flirtatious, smiling, and communicative. He didn’t hesitate to strongly hold my hand, guide me through the streets, and pull me away from suspicious-looking people who walked by. His protective nature was very attractive and was his confidence to be this way from the start. We sat side-by-side at dinner and had a fantastic time. He pursued me every week while I was traveling until we had our second date; this made me build trust that his interest was real. Now we are exclusively dating each other (Bye, Match!) and happily getting to know one another all the while I am withholding intercourse until I am confident that we are right for one another (Is that playing hard to get? I don’t think so!). This element of anticipation and self-respect is making the journey even better (and keeps him in hot pursuit). A lady wants to know she is desired and worth fighting for, and worth the wait.

    Gentlemen, my advice is to let her know you are interested (and WHY) if you feel there is a connection and if she is showing you signs of wanting you too.

  7. Naicker, Jeeva J on October 15, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Thank you..
    Have an awesome day

  8. lauranatalie1 on October 20, 2014 at 5:40 am

    Great post again, James.
    I can’t seem to re-post? 🙁 It says ‘reblogging’ but doesn’t proceed to reblog it!

  9. […] Here’s Why Women Shouldn’t Play Hard To Get […]

  10. sarcasticbeholder on October 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm
  11. Dk on October 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Reblogged this on The Best Self By D.K and commented:
    If it were really such great advice, then why are so many women who “play hard to get” still single? In my personal experience this only detracts them from potentially finding someone highly compatible.

  12. […] not seen as separate qualities, but in fact directly related. In a previous article, I discussed the science behind why women shouldn’t play hard to get. The studies seem to be piling up in favor of kindness being physically attractive to men and […]

  13. Becca on January 15, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    From a woman’s perspective… I agree with this! I will often find myself becoming a bit annoyed with guys who are complimenting me (my physical appearance) right up front. It comes across to me as though they are sucking up or being pushy. I respond much better to compliments about my personality, which I wouldn’t recieve if I was playing hard to get!

  14. Don’t Play Hard to Get – SOLO MAGAZINE on March 14, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    […] Because that’s how it works. She liked me, so she became more attractive to me. James M. Sama writes: […]

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