Should Women Play Hard To Get?

The-truth-about-playing-hard-to-getA best-selling book from a few years back advised women to follow “The Rules” (the book’s title) to catch a man.

The rules are all about playing hard to get. A sampling:

  • Don’t talk to a man first and don’t ask him to dance
  • Don’t call him and rarely return his calls
  • Always end the date first
  • Don’t see him more than once or twice a week
  • Don’t open up too fast

Guys in my classes have mixed feelings about this advice. A few seem to like the chase but most feel manipulated or say they would think the woman wasn’t interested.

dating blogger asked some of her male friends to share their thoughts. One felt that playing hard to get is great: 

The first rule of relationship fight club: Wait as long as he took to write before you reply to his email, and never write more than he wrote.”

But another guy felt differently:

That sounds like crap. Back in my early twenties, yes, “hard to get” was great. But now, I’m too tired after work, so “easy to get” is preferable, although I can handle “moderately challenging” on weekends.

Another said that playing hard to get definitely doesn’t make him more interested.

If she seems to be only reacting tit-for-tat, I quickly lose interest.

Three of the guys she talked to said they’d likely mistake “playing hard to get” for “not interested.”

On the other hand, “too easy” isn’t appealing, either. One guy put it this way:

It’s a real attraction-killer if a woman comes off like she’ll take whatever she can get — and you happen to be her current target.

So the men were all over the place.

Research suggests the most common reaction is a bit more complicated.

Early experiments failed to find any evidence that “hard to get” works. Women who initially declined a date were no more — or less — desirable than women who eagerly accepted.

Eventually researchers realized there are two different ways to be hard-to-get: (1) how hard it is for me to get her and (2) how hard it is for other men to get her.

Turns out that women are most attractive when they are hard for other men to get, but easy for “me” to get.

A recent study on speed dating found that women had the best chance of landing a guy if they both (1) desired a particular man more than other women did and (2) were uninterested in the other men at the event.

Researcher, Eli Finkel opined, “People can tell lickety-split whether you have a special attraction for them, and this special attraction seems to inspire their attraction in return.” But he added:

Of course, it’s never good to be desperate, either. The key is to be selectively hard to get. If you’re interested in somebody, make sure he knows you like him, but do so in a way that doesn’t suggest that you’d take just anybody. It’s okay to be eager, as long as you do it with dignity.

For those who want to know.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on November 11, 2013, in men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.

  1. I think the reasons women play hard to get is because it’s both a pride thing or something we think guys want. By playing hard to get we’re not easy. I guess as a girl when you’re too easy to get you don’t think the guy value you as much. That they would lose their interest on us. However I haven’t think about playing hard to get when you’re older. In a way it makes sense that when we’re older that we have so many different thing to focus on that perhaps playing hard to get is too much effort. At the same time I think if we like the person we’d make an effort to get them. So playing hard to get is a way for us to know how much value we have to the other person.

  2. Ashley Velasquez

    I think this is a topic that brings a lot of thought depending on what kind of culture you were raised in. I grew up in a Hispanic culture and men are raised to be the head of the house. They wear the pants, and they make the rules. That was the kind of advice my parents always gave me, “Never chase a guy, let him come to you…If he really wants to see you, he will make a way.” And that is always how I saw it. A man has to work for my affection. So why not play hard to get? It protects you from those who don’t want something serious. I never wanted to invest my emotions with someone who wasn’t going to invest in trying to win my affection. If a woman truly believes she is worth it, she will await for a man who has done his best to win her over. Although let’s not mistaken “playing hard to get” with having extremely high standards. A woman can’t make it nearly impossible for any man to win her affection because clearly men will definitely lose interest.Not every guy wants to feel rejection, so not answering a phone call can be a game to try harder for one, but a letdown for the other.

  3. I think that there is a fine line between playing hard to get, being a tease and simply just not that interested. The whole idea of playing hard to get kind of makes my head. Of course being easy is not a good option. But in opinion we should just drop the whole playing hard to get act because it usually confuses the partner whether you are really interested or not. It just ends to feel like a game and I don’t know about everyone else but I’m not into games nowadays I like being straight forward it’s less of a hassle.

  4. Majority of women thinks that playing hard to get is the way to get a guy but I think it depends on the way women acts around the guy. Women who plays hard-to-get tends to be rude towards a guy at times like not answering the phone when a guy calls which makes it seem like they are uninterested. They also don’t need to be attached to the guy so easily, it may give the guy the wrong message from the women. I think that women to some extent can play hard-to-get as long as they can also be friendly towards the guy allowing him to make plans to hang out but not every single day. The women should let the guy know that the women has her own plans as well.

  5. I think women should always play hard to get, the worst they make the dating situation the more men will realize they are getting shafted in the relationship field. At least the Japanese are starting to get it with the whole herbivore situation. Women got the relationship thing under their control, The courts, The social stigma against being single as a man. Women really can’t fail and can play hard to get as much as they want.

    Women are experts in Hypergamy.

  6. In my dating experience I have found that a strategy in between playing “hard to get” and “easily accessible” works the best. The “hard to get” strategy often leaves guys feeling ignored or that you are uninterested. Of course the opposite (being TOO easy to get is a turn off as well). One strategy that works is to let a guy know that you’re interested and follow up on that without being overly clingy. It’s funny that so many people think there is a right and wrong way to find someone of the opposite sex, when really the true method to finding the perfect person for you is to just be yourself. This is the one real way of finding someone who will like you for who you are, instead of someone who just follows The Rules.

  7. Playing hard to get doesn’t seem like a smart move for a few reasons. First of all you’re not being honest to the person you like. If you keep telling someone that you are not interested in them, then they will eventually believe you, and go away. You’re also not being honest with yourself. Who wants to play manipulative games? How can you expect to be treated with respect and as an equal when you are not doing the same? The kind of people that feel the need to trick other’s into liking them, already have low self worth and are just making it worse. Even if you succeed, you’re still left feeling hollow and unsure if this other person actually likes you back. A smarter plan would be to act like yourself and be honest about how you feel with those in your life. Then you have nothing to be ashamed of at the end of the day and know you are surround by people that enjoy being around you, and like you for who you truly are.

  8. There is no doubt about it, men get a rush out of pursuing women. I think women should play hard to get, but, there’s a limit to that. However, you first have to see if the guy has the patience for the game.

    But with playing hard to get, you have to be careful.
    You do not want to push a guy away, by seeming “not interested”. Also when the guy finally has you, it is a sense of accomplishment, and now that he has you, where he wants you to be he might not even want you. Some guys just the chase part of it.

    On a side note, when I was reading this all I could think about was the movie: Think Like a Man, inspired by the book: “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey.

  9. Like one of the people who commented previously I dislike the fact there has to be rules to dating. You have to do this or you can’t do that, I feel that in a way we can’t be ourselves and society has shaped these views. With that being said, coming from my personal experience and feelings over this subject there are a couple points made that I have felt and would agree on. Both men and women play these games or follow these so called ruled of dating and in my opinion I feel that if as a man you approach a women because you are attracted to her and if she feel is attracted to you then she shouldn’t be any sort of way but open to seeing where things go. This would go vice versa as well although as mentioned above women will most likely not be the first to approach a guy. Furthermore the whole playing hard to get, I feel is played out. I feel that this only causes that either person waists their time trying to figure out if the other likes them or not. There are so many people for either gender to choose from so they shouldn’t feel entitled because at some point depending on how far you push the other person will lose interest and only you are to blame and will be the one missing out if you were interested to but was playing these games.

  10. I sincerely believe in selectivity being a good thing. Selectivity does not mean seeing someone who exhibits the desired traits in a partner, who is compelling to approach, and is similarly interested in getting together, and then playing “hard to get.” As the article states, it is better to show that the person being approached has been carefully selected. Brownie points are not going to be earned for “selectivity” if the person in question has no way of realizing it. There needs to be a balance, as with anything. Attractive traits fail to attract anything, if they become masked by illusory unattractive ones. The application can make or break the connection.

  11. Ah, this seems like a mystery age old question for all those single today. I read once that “a lack in consistency breeds disinterest.” First of all, for there to be a set of “rules” around something that should be so honest and genuine as true love (which is the obvious goal of dating, right?) sounds asinine! Furthermore, this only fuels the ingrained gender roles that we as men/women should be making larger steps to deny. I get it, the whole prey/predator thing seems enticing, but none of us are animals nor do we live in the jungle. I have (embarasisngly) read a book around the same genre that indulged in all of these “mind-games” needed to play in order to make a man fall in love with you. I didn’t finish the book and would wish the whole idea wasn’t entertained at all. Playing games sounds pretty immature and I would have to say if you are finding yourself needing to play ANY sort of game in order to find a partner, you probably are too old for it anyway.

  12. The rule of playing hard to get is absurd, women always seem to want attention in any way and manner, and this clearly is one of them. Women want to feel special and wanted all the time that is way they always wait for a man to hit on them or call them. I believe if women continue to follow this rule they will continue to be single. They need to be more thoughtful and caring that the guy they are talking to you took the time out of his day to call or text you. Imagine if men began to follow the rule of playing hard to get, then women would get frustrated and not even try. That is the same feeling men go through when this occurs.

  13. As some have already said, I too believe that “The Rules” are just a total game for men.Over the years I’ve tried many different approaches. Although easy to get, holding back, and playing hard to get have all worked in the past, I feel like they attract the wrong guys. When I played easy to get, the guys that were more fling-y were more interested. They didn’t care because they were just looking for a casual thing. Playing hard to get I feel attracted the bad boy type. They liked the mystery. Then holding back just the right about, but also putting myself out there is how I got my long-term boyfriends. All of my ex’s and my current boyfriend see the “playing hard to get card” as playing a game and most serious guys don’t want to have to deal with the back and forth of questioning whether a girl is interested or not, whether she’s dating another guy or not, etc…most men these days like to be told straightforward answers.

  14. I have always been annoyed by this idea that there are “rules” to dating, like the ones mentioned here. The most damaging aspect, I think, is that these ideas turn dating into some kind of game. As if it is not about real life, real people and real interpersonal relationships but that it is just some kind of play. Because a game also implies that there will be a loser and a winner, and so it creates these unhealthy power dynamics which is not what life should be about, much less romantic relationships!
    These “rules” are also obviously made up so that the woman should play passive while the men always take the firsts steps. This of course creates a tremendous pressure on men but also makes it so that women are always sort of available to approach. I myself find this especially annoying, how guys will approach me in a setting or situation where I am clearly busy and not looking for any kind of attention. And when I politely reject them, they tend to not give up right away, probably since they might think I am just playing hard to get. Sometimes I just want to scream to the world that I am perfectly capable of approaching someone I am interested in on my own, thank you very much, and if I approve of your advances I will make that very clear very quickly. Because absolutely nothing allures me about this “game”, I would rather not start out a relationship with strategies, tricks and attempts to one-up the other.

  15. I believe some women play hard to get due to past relationship experiences which I understand yet I believe their should be a limit to “playing hard to get.” Therefore, I believe a woman, if interested in a man, should indeed hint out that she is interested but perhaps show that she wants to takes things slow and get to know the person a little better before taking bigger steps. Reason why I believe a woman should show interest if interested is because the man might get tired of the “playing hard to get actions” and turn around. What could have been between the two never happened and it might of turned out to be something more. On second thought, women might “play hard to get” because they are focusing on what they want in a man. Perhaps they don’t meet her qualifications. Men might find this “uptight” but might not realize that she is looking for something different from the previous. In summation, I believe being hard to get can have both positive and negative outcomes. In other words, it might show that you have self respect and don’t need of anyone to be happy but it might also turn out to be the loss of something beautiful that never started.

  16. To be honest I am kind of against playing hard to get because honestly you are just wasting time. Really who has time for games in the first place. Just tell the dude how you feel or let the lady know how it is. Women feel that they need to play hard to get because they do not want to seem easy. Society rules of dating makes things more complicated. Who wants to be in a relationship that started off with games. Especially now and days time has changed nobody really has time for that. Most men forget about it and than its the women that do most of the work. I agree with this quote, “Of course, it’s never good to be desperate, either. The key is to be selectively hard to get. If you’re interested in somebody, make sure he knows you like him, but do so in a way that doesn’t suggest that you’d take just anybody. It’s okay to be eager, as long as you do it with dignity.” this quote basically breaks it down don’t waste your time and hurry up and get to it already. But just be more aware.

  17. I think this is hard, because playing hard to get would imply that we as women are a piece in a game that’s being played. While I would love to say that we should play hard to get, I do not know that I necessarily like the play part. I know that men have been conditioned to like a women that does certain things. Going against the norm, fighting temptation, to that perfect point when both are at their peak, male and female. While that sounds nice and fun, I think to have to go through all of this to secure interest, is far too much.

    I do not require a man to play hard to get to get my attention. I meet him, and we either hit it off or we dont. This whole idea surrounding the concept of hard to get is too much to me. For instance, the article states that it has been found that women that decline a date has better success, and I am thinking, IF i LIKE someone, why would there be a need for me to decline anything? If a guy that is interested in me would be more interested only after I shoot him down, what does that say about him?

    I understand that to some people, life is a game. I get it, but I don’t embrace it. I do not want to me a pawn on anyones chess board. While games are fun, the only game of life that I enjoy playing is on a board.

  18. This is definitely an interesting topic and probably not the most clear to get an answer to because of different opinions. So here’s mine, I definitely would agree that if a woman plays hard to get too much it would give off the message that she is not interested, which is a reasonable assumption for the guy interested in her. As Eli Finkel said, “the key is to be selectively hard to get” and there is where a woman becomes very interesting for a man because most men don’t want a woman that goes all the way with anybody that shows interest in her. Instead by being selectively hard to get, a man can see that a woman has respect for herself and isn’t easy, which is an appealing characteristic. By being this way it gives both parties some time to get to know each other to see if they are compatible, and it allows them to see past the initial interest in each other, which was most likely based on looks.

  19. Times have changed and as it goes on we see that the interactions between men and women appear to have switched in the favor of women being forward. Talking to my mother she always tells me that men want and like the chase. I grew up in a family of belle’s and abiding to a cotillion loving lifestyle where men are to call on women while the women sit there quietly and blush. However, every time I have this conversation with her I have to remind her that times have changed and men like a strong women. Men not only like to wear the pants in the relationship they have changed to like the act of sharing the pants and giving some to the woman. Women no longer need to be tiptoed around but need to be considered equal in the relationship. This means that the woman pays for dinner on a date or the women is the one to ask the man out. There are things that have stayed the same like men still are the ones to propose to the woman. I am not sure if this change is a positive thing. I myself like the idea of an equal relationship but while the increase in woman participation in the courting part of a relationship so has there been an increase in the divorce rate. Whether this is due to the fact that men no longer work as hard as they use to just to take out a woman on a date or just that there are now more issue to be worried about like the economy.

  20. It’s probably never a good idea to act completely desperate and throw yourself at someone, but I don’t think it makes sense to act un-interested in the hopes of making someone more interested. I think it’s best to just be yourself and not worry about playing games.

  21. When people “set” rules for how to be a winner in a relationship or how girls can get more guys, it’s far beyond the conception of love. But, those “rules” seem pretty universal nowadays, which is sad.
    I really don’t agree to the idea that girls should play hard to get. Of course, we’re not doing guys a favor, either. Things would be so much nicer and easier if both guys and girls are just being honest and down to earth. No tricks, no games. Relationships need no rules but dedication and passion. It’s so ridiculous that everybody wants true love without opening up their true selves.

  22. Honestly there are many ways of taking the whole “hard to get” scenario. For example, there could be like 2 different girls and both are hard to get but one happens to be much more attractive than the other one but the other one had her charms, what do guys do in that aspect of the question. Well I believe that this happens a lot, much more with women that aren’t so physically attractive, so men tend to call her names and get annoyed from the whole “acting hard to get” when in his head he expects for her to be easy since she’s not very good looking. And men also believe is such a turn off when good looking women isn’t hard to get. In reality in my opinion, it might be on how the man is raised in which what is a turn on and what is not a turn on for him. It just really depends.

  23. I definitely agree with the last quote. Once a woman is attracted to a man, she should not seem “easy to get” or “desperate” but she not ignore the guy either. A woman should rather give signs that she is interested, and avoid having one night stands. One night stands make women feel used and thrown away. Unless that is what a woman wanted then that’s a different story. In my opinion, I like taking things slow to see how much potential a man has, and how much he is into me.
    Women like to feel appreciated, and like to feel like they are worth the effort. That’s why women like to see how far men would go for them. Also that’s why women like to take things slow. They like to see how much they have in common with the man, see what his hobbies are, hear about what his goals are in life, etc. If I was single, I would not want to waste my time with a man who is not on the same level as me. For example, if I was single right now I would be looking for a man who works and studies hard to reach his dream job, who is family oriented, and who is ready to have children. Also of course with a great personality and is able to get along with my family and friends. Once I notice a man lacks one of these I would not give the man I chance. I know it sounds harsh but as I get older the more standards I have.

  24. Just reading this post freaks out my head. These games that a person is supposed to or not supposed to play are too confusing for me. I never even realised I had to be something other than myself when I was young. I still can’t figure out how other people do it.

    • I couldn’t have put it better myself! This is a pretty interesting comment thread, though, all over the place as well. What I see is that in some way playing hard to get seems to work for some people of both sexes, but they don’t define it the same way as those who don’t like it. It’s like a dance that not everybody gets, or can even clearly see.

      • Goes to show how we’re all individuals and one method doesn’t work for all. That probably is the best dating advice everyone should learn.

      • I’m an aspie so a person would probably have to tell me straight out if they wanted me to understand that they were interested. I am so lost to the meaning of the courtships dances, it’s probably hilarious to watch if someone tried to do whatever it is they do. =)

  25. I can’t really comment on this as some women can be confusing and others straight talking. So I treat them as an equal 😀 xox

  26. A woman’s guide I meant*

  27. All game playing. I woman’s guide to getting a man, playing hard to get? Yes, guides to men using pick up lines or tactics to get women, get’s a bad rap. It’s all game playing and somewhat manipulative. It’s good wants to have or show worth, but if she’s making a man work so much for her, does she respect him though? It makes it seem like she values herself over men. I think women should meet men half way and, not have men jump through hopes either to prove themselves. It’s good to not do too much as you don’t want to look desperate or clingy, but playing hard to get just for the sake of it, its over analyzing.

  28. I never in my whole entire life – known a woman who likes playing “hard to get”.

    I may have talked to someone once about why women like playing hard to get…she never gave me a fully an answer. I’ve never been the one chasing after woman who like playing hard to get. I prefer a woman who wants to get to know someone because they both feel interested in each other. I am lucky because I met my girlfriend who I love so very much. She is everything to me and we’ve been together for 3 years already.

    I’m curious to see if guys like playing hard to get with a women. I’d be laughing at how ridiculous a guy would do anything to get a girl. 🙂

    I very much like your blog post and the topic you picked out. Very interesting discussions.

  29. I completely agree with Eli Finkel’s advice. Being too “desperate” is definitely a turn-off for some people –especially if they barely even know the person. Personally, I think it’s always safe and best for to just wait it out with that special someone before I show him how interested I really am. Otherwise, I could give him the impression that I fall for guys easily and want things to move quickly when I barely even know him.

    I guess it all depends on the people involved though. Playing hard to get isn’t bad if there’s a balance between being interested and not appearing too desperate.

  30. I don’t think there can be hard and fast rules when it comes to dating and flirting, because there are no hard and fast rules for every possible behavior in a relationship– things are going to look different based on those individuals. THAT BEING SAID…. I am totally a fan of playing hard to get. I mean– I express my interest, for sure, and I’m not manipulative or dismissive but when my boyfriend and I had just started dating I held my cards pretty close to my chest and didn’t let myself seem too eager or too available. It worked out pretty well for me 🙂

    • But you DID express your interest!
      Many women misunderstand the meaning of “playing hard to get” and they think that IGNORING completely a man is the way to attract him and get his attention!

      Why everybody is talking about the two extremes?
      It’s either women chasing men and seem to be desperate OR completely IGNORE a man you like?
      Expressing your interest FIRST and THEN taking it slowly it’s how it should be.
      Besides you should know that men aren’t that good at reading social cues!
      If you are making a move to show him that you aren’t interested and you believe that it’s too obvious, don’t be so sure that he will get the message.
      Men aren’t that good at reading subtle social signs – that’s true.

  31. It’s also worth noting that people who don’t read social cues well just get hammered by this kind of thing. For some, being direct is the only way they know how to navigate what they are otherwise blind to.

    I understand that some guys are aggrieved at getting rebuffed rudely when being direct, and I can understand how that can be frustrating. At the same time, if she says no, and you keep trying, you are harassing her, and any woman who encourages the idea that she can be “gotten” by repeated efforts really is muddying the water.

    I encourage women taking the initiative. I’ve straight out propositioned men at times, and been turned down, but never once were any of them anything other than polite about it.

  32. if a woman is acting to be not interested that should make the man go after her?
    so when a man sees a woman not being interested he should think “oh he is acting being not interested so she must BE interested, I will go after her”
    How that can make sense to some people, is beyond me.

    And how the man can tell the difference between a woman ACTING being not interested and really being not interested?

  33. I’ve long seen playing hard to get as being very bad for women, because it can encourage men to imagine they are being teased and that being aggressive is how they should properly respond. The woman in question may have no idea of the man’s interest and the outcome can get ugly.

    But at the same time, people who are too needy set off warning bells. Ideally a person should have enough going on in the way of work and/or projects that she (or he for that matter) won’t try to turn the other person into a project. So my advice would be to play it straight but don’t push, and also watch out for situations where most of the interest and involvement is coming from one direction.

  34. Thank you for your post! This was the first time I heard about “The Rules” book and it sounds really interesting. I like that the book started from countless advices from the authors to their friends or to each other even. The whole concept of playing hard to get is something I have thought about all throughout college because I used to be someone that gave advice to my friends all the time. I failed once and since, I am so hesitant to tell my friends to play hard to get. My friend told me that this boy is not texting her at all even though he was begging for her number first. I said just wait it out and see if you get anything. A week went by, and I am glad she was patient, but no text. It was the weekend again and she received a text and this seemed to be a routine. One weekend, I told her to simply stop texting him back. He asked her out on a date and I told her do not respond, this cannot be only a weekend thing. Long story short, the following weekend, he was with someone else when we saw him at a bar. I was shocked that he could quickly move on like that! But, I learned that showing some sort of interest is best, maybe just in this case. It is so hard to tell how to get a guy or how much or little to show interest. It is always something I believe that people use their previous experiences upon. Going with the flow seems to work quite well, but taking a chance might be good too. We just have to experiment and see for ourselves!

    • “It is so hard to tell how to get a guy”

      Really? that’s the easiest thing in the world.
      Some eye contact, a smile and just say ‘hi’.

    • “One weekend, I told her to simply stop texting him back. He asked her out on a date and I told her do not respond, this cannot be only a weekend thing”

      Wasn’t that rude?
      he asked her out, he didn’t do anything wrong. If she wasn’t interested she could have replied and politely deny his invitation, if she was interested she could have told him to arrange it some other time, but IGNORING is rude.

      Imagine if you were at his place and you talked to someone and that person IGNORED you, what would you thought?

  35. I have read some stuffs regarding this and the conclusion that I deduced from these writings was that all of them considered the men to be a constant figure rather than considering them variable. Choices a man will make is highly subjective, it would depend upon the person (how & what influences his decision) and it will also depend upon the chemistry between woman and the man. If the man thinks the woman is not at the person he would like to go out with then all the permutations fail. Isn’t it?

    • Yeah. If you make chemistry the independent variable, it certainly trumps being hard to get, or not. Of course, some guys might still give up if he thinks she’s not interested. Or desperate. And those two things might affect chemistry, I suppose.

  36. The play hard to get advice is really bad. It is what essentially leads to men not accepting a woman’s no(which can lead to stalkers or even rape). I agree with Eli Finkel’s advice and I think it’s good advice for both men and women. I always said I hate men who are easy to get. What I really meant was i hate when I feel like a man is obsessed with me before getting to know me. That makes me feel like he falls for women easily all the time and it’s only my looks that he is most attracted to and not who I am as a person, which is what sets me apart from other women.

    My advice to men and women: Show interest when you’re interested but get to know the person and let them get to know you before you start doing exceptional things for each other. Otherwise the new relationship can be very overwhelming.

  37. I hate the idea of dating rules because it makes it feel like a game. There are people out there who treat it like a game, I know, but it’s not. These are people’s feelings and lives being messed with here. I think people should be honest and express their attraction from the get go. “I like you, let’s go out” is a far cry from “I don’t care who you are or what you do to me, I just don’t want to be alone.” The first is being honest; the second is desperate.

  38. I think that last quote sums it up pretty well. I have tried to play by the rules, only to be left for some other chick who was eager to an extreme. I assume he took my actions for indifference and wanted someone who he could tell was into him, and I couldn’t blame him for that. But I believe I have also weirded out a couple guys by acting eager and moving quickly. It just depends on the guy, but generally I find a balance between the extremes, and often it’s just letting the natural course of things have it’s way.

  39. Sorry, you’re comments button wasn’t working.

    I have always felt that The Rules got misinterpreted by calling it playing hard to get.  I read the book and took away from it that a woman should value herself highly enough to not chase after men just to have a man, to not settle for the last call booty call, to know herself well enough to know what kind of mate she’s truly looking for (i.e. is smoking a deal-breaker?  do you love to travel and won’t settle for a couch potato?), and to take the time to get to know a guy (and let him get to know her) before jumping into a sexual relationship.  The Rules also taught that a woman shouldn’t “waste time” dating a guy whom she’d never consider marrying – once you know he’s not “the one”, break up and move on.  That seems pretty straightforward to me, and in keeping with your research that men want a woman to be easy for THEM to get, but hard for OTHERS to get.  

    Kallen Kneeland Please enjoy my (slightly fictionalized) tales of semi-retired life at

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