Now I'm sure the title of the post leads you to believe that I'm a Jezebel sympathizer and will be encouraging you to let it all hang out to get the man of your dreams. Wrong... just wrong. If you've been following me for awhile, you know me better than that by now. This post is about getting you out of your own way. Some of us are guilty of obsessively planning our relationships all the way down to how we want to be pursued. (I'm not completely judging you for that, but maybe a little.) Given our age range, it's safe to say, we were influenced by images of guys pining for the girls' love shamelessly (and relentlessly) in our more formative years. Now we have that image of courtship ingrained in our psyche. Lose it. Times have changed and I'm going to give you 10 reasons why playing hard-to-get just may cause you to play yourself.
1. The playing field has been semi-equaled. While most people still hold to men pursuing women, the sentiment is shifting and playing hard-to-get muddies the waters a bit. You may just be carrying out your plan to play hard-to-get while he's waiting on you to show interest and "pursue" him. Tragic. If you really like the guy and are interested, this will leave you both at a stalemate while you're both waiting for something that you will never get.
2. Guys have figured out what emotional abuse is, and they don't like it. Honestly, most of the playing hard-to-get ploys are versions of emotional abuse (if we're calling a spade a spade). Rejecting a man even when he's allowed himself to be vulnerable for the sake of making him "work harder" is just... evil. (or maybe it's a "form of evil") Guys have become hip to this and they aren't just rolling over and allowing themselves to be trampled any more. I actually prefer a man with dignity-- as long as they aren't too proud to be vulnerable.
3. There are plenty of options for both parties. Swipe right baby! That's right. If you're purposely being difficult and making courtship hard for the guy, he literally can just swipe right and there's a willing participant waiting for him. On the flip side, the same is true for you. There's no need in wasting time testing a person's patience and perseverance when you can find a person that compliments you without the drama.
4. We're just not in the 90's anymore when this was romanticized. Urkel and Laura were a strong reference point for us millennials and we learned to expect men to profess their love to no end (no matter how negative our reaction). It was funny and good for television, but even on the show... Myrtle showed up to balance the tables a bit. She was just as into Steve as he was into Laura and he finally started to receive the same effort he was putting out to be with Laura. In today's dating scene, this situation would probably never exist because pop culture doesn't romanticize men being poor saps (stuck in a cycle of unrequited love). This narrative took a turn in the opposite direction and there's no real footing to play hard-to-get anymore.
5. If you really want the guy, you're punishing yourself. Being straight forward is the new wave. Beating around the bush and forcing him to use context clues is just old. AND... you're also basing the chances of you moving forward with him on his ability to read cues and stay patient with your antics. Stop... just stop. Nobody wins when you're running field tests on a man that you know you want to be with. Save the drama and get what you want sooner.
6. You would be salty if he moved on and pursued someone else. If you know you would be bummed if he gave up and started pursuing someone else, why run the risk of forcing that to happen? It's all fun and games until he moves on with another women who won't make him jump through hopes to be with her. (I've even seen some people become a bit stalker-ish over a guy that moved on after much resistance from them. Crazy much?) Guys and their emotions just aren't play things to be discarded and retrieved at will. If you're attracted to him, lock him down when he shows interest or watch him post pics and statuses about another woman. It's that simple.
7. You're just too old for it. Playing ANY games after the age of 27 is just immature and lame-- ESPECIALLY when you're playing hard-to-get. What are we, in middle school here? After a certain age, you have too cut to the chase and make your intentions known. Dating gets to be less about fun and games and more about forever-mate compatibility the older you get. Don't get me wrong, older people date for fun, but they are intentional about what they want going into the situation. There's no reason to be 30 or 40 years old sending him to voicemail intentionally and requiring him to text a certain amount of times before you answer. These type of "games" are the definition of petty and indicate that you probably aren't ready be in a relationship.
8. You can be forward and not be considered promiscuous. Most people that play hard-to-get think it's what they should do so as not to be labeled a whore. Pretending to be a prude hasn't made anyone any more appealing. You can be yourself and be direct without soliciting physical relations up front. Acknowledging you are interested in a man after he makes advances won't make you any less upstanding and he'll appreciate you taking out the guesswork. If you don't want him to think you want to initiate something physical by accepting his advances... say it. There are plenty of ways to say "I'm interested, but I'm not looking for anything physical too fast". (That was actually one of them... straight to the point)
9. There's more value in time spent together over time spent getting together. Time is of the essence! Why spend so much time trying to get with a person when you can spend that time getting to know the person? Playing hard-to-get increases the pre-dating time dramatically for no real reason. The time spent actually dating a person is precious. Why delay it for unnecessary games?
10. It's exhausting. I'm tired just talking about playing hard-to-get. You have to really put a lot of thought into creating hurdles for your potential suitors. Over time, it HAS to effect your mental health to constantly think of ways to "test" a person (even when they've been passing all the tests you've thrown out). I'm creative, but I won't expend my good creative juices on that! I need it for the fun stuff. Disclaimer: I'm no psychologist or psychiatrist, but this has GOT to make a person batty on some level.
There you have it... all the reasons you shouldn't spend time playing hard-to-get.. Now that you know there are literally NO benefits, maybe we can get some good relationships rolling. Let's not be Laura Winslow expecting Steve Urkel to fall at her feet forever. (By they way, Laura still fell for Steve super hard when he changed to his alter-ego, Stephan. She definitely wanted a part of him!) So there's that.