The Truth About Playing Hard to Get

The Truth About Playing Hard to Get

Singles are bombarded with advice from books, articles and friends on how to find and keep “the one.” Knowledge is power so in theory it’s a good thing that there is such a plethora of information available to shed light on the often confusing and convoluted world of dating. But the problem is that almost each new dating book that comes out contradicts a book that was previously looked at as the Bible of dating. The issue where relationship gurus seem to have the most disagreement is whether a woman should play hard to get.

Some relationship experts say that in order to keep a man interested a woman has to appear too busy for him while others say it’s best for a woman to be upfront with her feelings even if that means making the first move. The truth actually lies somewhere in the middle. It is best not to mislead the men you date with cat and mouse games but there is a certain level of technique and restraint that you should apply in the preliminary stages of dating if you want to keep the right man interested. Here are some general guidelines to follow when you’re wondering whether to text back or if you should accept his invitation for Saturday when he asked you out after Wednesday.

You can make the first move just don’t make two plays in a row      

Many dating experts continue to promote the idea that men are natural hunters who are wired to seek out their prey. These experts say that if you are too easy to court you will rob the man of the joy he receives from working hard to win you over.

And then there are the dating gurus that teach the opposite school of thought . These experts characterize men as being paralyzed by the fear of rejection and suggest that if you’re interested you should ask him out because he may be too intimidated to approach you.

The truth is it’s okay to show a man that you are interested but the key is to not push things along without making him do some of the work.

Men love having their egos stroked so if you keep calling him and  asking him out he may continue to see you but you won’t know if he is really interested because you never stepped back and let him expend some effort.  Even if he is initially attracted to you, if you shower him with too much attention he may get bored and lose interest.

Relationships are a two way street, both parties should meet each other in the middle. So if his online dating profile interests you, go ahead and write to him but let him be the one to ask you to meet up.

If you meet a cute guy at an event and you’re the one who suggests that the two of you exchange numbers, put the ball back in his court and ask him to call you. In other words, each time you make a move pause and let him advance things; don’t continue to plow forward without allowing him to pursue a bit.

If you’re assertive enough to go for what you want but balanced enough to not smother him he will be hooked.

Behave like a girlfriend not a groupie

Some dating experts say to let the man do most of the complimenting in the courting stages. Other gurus go so far as to encourage you to criticize your man and to purposely be hard to please. While it is true that kind words tend to go to men’s heads it is still appropriate to let your guy know that you appreciate him.

They key is to not be impressed too easily. Groupies hang on every word a man utters and they constantly gush about how gorgeous he is. On the other hand potential girlfriends give only well deserved compliments, they aren’t impressed by a man’s mere presence.

In the beginning stages when you compliment your new guy compliment his skills rather than his looks. If you immediately tell him you think he is hot he will see you as an easy target to sleep with. If you compliment him on his choice of restaurant, his ability to dress well or his knowledge he will value your opinion and work harder to continue to please you.

It’s also important not to let your compliments get diluted. If you compliment him too often or about things that are trivial he will take your kind words for granted. When you’re just getting to know him don’t lavish him with praise.

If there is something you like about him, acknowledge it but don’t fawn all over him. Let him earn your respect and your praise. It’s important to keep things equal; don’t exalt him as the star and put yourself in the position as his fan.

Make time for your guy but don’t cancel plans just to be with him

There are dating experts that preach never to except a weekend date if the man extends the invitation later than Wednesday. The same gurus tell women to turn a man down and say she is busy so that he will fight harder to be with her. In reality it is not necessary to pretend to be booked so he will want to see you more. If the two of you are right for each other the desire to spend time together will be there without silly antics on your part.

If he asks you out and you happen to be free that day except his invitation even if it’s Thursday and he asks you out for Saturday. The caveat is you should probably decline same day or next day plans. For instance if he texts you at noon asking you to come over tonight it is likely that he does not respect your time. In this scenario you should not have to pretend to be busy you should legitimately be unavailable on such short notice.

If you don’t already have plans with family or friends lined up you likely already have some “me” time planned whether that’s a pedicure at the spa or wine and a movie at home. Don’t break the plans you already have to accommodate his schedule.

In the beginning, seeing each other once a week is enough to get to know each other and it will leave both of you excited to see each other again. Even during the excitement of starting a new relationship it is important to still go to your weekly Zumba sessions or piano lessons. Keep spending time with your family and your girlfriends. Also, even though the urge will be there, don’t immediately sacrifice all of your alone time just to be with your new guy.

Continue to run errands, do your laundry, meditate and go to the salon as usual. Fit him in when and where you can and let the relationship progress gradually not at warp speed. If you become Siamese twins too soon the excitement of seeing each other will quickly dull. So don’t drop everything every time he calls. Make a reasonable amount of time and space for him in your life and let things unfold naturally.

You can kiss on the first date just don’t have sex until there is a commitment

For as long as people have been dating, friends and experts alike have been advising singles never to kiss on the first date. The sentiment behind the advice is still accurate today but the rule needs to be revised and updated to be practical enough to follow.

Each date is different and sometimes there is enough chemistry and mutual respect present between two people to make a kiss on the first date appropriate. If there is a connection and you are fairly confident that the two of you will see each other again kissing on the first date will not throw the relationship off track by any means. What will derail your chances of the relationship lasting is if the physical relationship advances more quickly than the pace of the emotional relationship.

Women often form a stronger emotional bond with a man every time she is physical with him, whereas, men are able to separate the physical from the emotional. So all too often the woman is hurt when she formed a physical attachment from all of the hot and heavy hook up sessions while the man just enjoyed the ride. If a man gets everything he wants from a woman physically before he forms an emotional connection to her he has no incentive to stick around and let the relationship progress.

Once his needs are met he’ll often become bored and seek a new conquest. Therefore, you should wait before going too far physically. The important thing to remember is that designating arbitrary dates on a calendar for physical intimacy milestones is not going to do you any good. For instance it would not be helpful to make the rule that you don’t kiss until the third date or you don’t have sex until you’ve dated a guy for six weeks. It doesn’t matter how long you wait chronologically, if you get physically intimate without assessing his feelings for you you’re increasing your chances of getting hurt.

The key is to let how a man feels about you in his heart dictate how far he gets toward getting in your pants. The emotional and the physical aspects of the relationship should be in sync but if one must outpace the other let the emotional relationship lead and let the physical lag slightly behind.

As a rule of thumb don’t have sex until there is a mutual emotional commitment. When in doubt about how he feels, wait. The bedroom will always be there but once you give him the sacred gift of sex you can never take it back. Make sure your relationship warrants sexual intimacy before you go there.

Always remember you don’t have to manipulate and mislead a man to leave him wanting more. Be your balanced and confident self, follow these guidelines and your own instincts and if he is meant for you he will be yours to keep. Happy Dating!

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