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Posted March 31, Reviewed by Matt Huston.
Sometimes dating and relationship advice can conflict. For example, some advice suggests that people should "play hard to get" in order to increase attraction and desire.
Other advice suggests we should be more direct and straightforward, improving trust and liking. I began to address this very topic in a article, where I reviewed research that showed playing hard to get does indeed work. In general, being on the receiving end of someone else's aloof and uncertain als does increase desire.
But does that mean you should play hard to get? Not necessarily.
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Recent research has brought a bit more clarity to the question, finding that sometimes playing hard to get is a good way to build desire. On other occasions, it may backfire….
Researchers Dai, Dong, and Jia investigated the question, "When does playing hard to get increase romantic attraction? Specifically, they suggested that playing hard to get might increase feelings of "wanting" in others a desire to pursue the aloof person but at the same time decrease "liking" positive feelings about the person.
The team hypothesized that playing hard to get might only work under certain circumstances—specifically, that such a strategy would only work when partners were already committed and emotionally invested in the relationship. In other words, if the person was not already interested to some degree, playing hard to get would not motivate them to chase. To test these hypotheses, Dai and associates performed two experiments: Male students from a Hong Kong University were asked to read a hypothetical date story, or meet a real woman in a speed-date situation.
Women they read about in the story, or met on the date, either behaved in a positive, interested manner "easy to get"or were passive and aloof hard to get.
In addition, for the speed-date experiment, male participants either had some initial interest and had chosen the woman commitment or were randomly ased the date no commitment. from these experiments offered some insights about how playing hard to get works.
As the research indicates, playing hard to get is a useful strategy… under the right conditions. Put simply, playing hard to get works when your potential partner is already interested and when they think you are "likable" and nice, but are not yet passionate about you.
Dating games: playing ‘hard to get’ really works, study confirms
In that situation, being a little bit of a challenge may increase their perception of your value as a lover and motivate them to chase you more. When people are denied what they want even a littlethey tend to want it all the more! If the partner is not committed or invested in you, however, playing hard to get can backfire.
In those instances, you are simply asking them to work harder for something they don't yet want. Therefore, it is better to be more agreeable, pleasant, and straightforward—increasing liking.
That may give you time to build their commitment and interest in other ways, such as:. Playing hard to get is an effective strategy for some dating and relationship situations.
Playing hard to get might be a terrible idea if you actually like someone — here's why
If a partner is already interested and likes you, posing a challenge can turn up their desire. If they are uncertain and not a little invested, however, it might be best to be more direct and engaging.
That will allow you time to build their interest and commitment in other ways first. Then you can play a little harder-to-get down the road. Articles from The Attraction Doctor.
Dai, X. When does playing hard to get increase romantic attraction? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Jeremy Nicholson, M. Worry is driven by mood, not logic. Anxiety holds your deepest yearnings. And you can subdue it for good.
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Three experts turn everything you know about anxiety inside out. Jeremy Nicholson M. The Attraction Doctor.
Research has uncovered situations when being aloof fuels desire. So, which do you choose? References Dai, X. About the Author. Online: Facebook.
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