Are We All Just Playing Hard to Get?

by Jackie Potts

Do you play hard to get when you meet someone you really like? Or do you go all in with excited texts and phone calls?

Two new psychology studies are making the case for both (a) playing hard to get and (b) just saying no to sex on the first few dates if you want to find True Wuv. And not just for women, but for guys too.

The less available a person is, the more a crush is willing to invest time and money in them, according to the European Journal of Personality. Women surveyed said they played hard to get by acting self-confident, talking to other people, and withholding sex.

Aha, you might be thinking. But I don’t want a relationship. I just wanna hit it and quit it! Or I just want to casually date and see where things go.

In that case, if you’re a guy looking for a fling, be impossible to get, advises study author Peter Jonason, Ph.D. Ostensibly, because women really do like men who seem like a challenge.

Of course, you also run the risk of sleeping alone, and being wildly unpopular with the ladies – especially if you wear eyeliner and a feather boa like that creepy Mystery guy from “The Pickup Artist.”

However, if you are looking for a relationship, neither of you should give up the goodies too easily, clucks Study 2, or you’ll fall into the dreaded Pit of Despair.

Of 11,000 couples together for at least one year, those who got it on within the first few weeks of dating admitted they had less relationship satisfaction, communication, and stability compared with twosomes who waited or abstained (that means no hoopdi-hoo) entirely, according to the Journal of Sex Research. (C’mon, this is a real publication? We couldn’t believe it either!)

“We all want honesty in dating, but it’s never going to happen,” Jonason dourly told  “We’re not overtly lying, but we’re always trying to marry up.”

Sounds like Jonason is nursing a bit of a broken heart. After all, we know at least three happily married couples who all consummated on the first date. So tell us, do you believe in showing your feelings upfront, or playing hard to get? And why?

Jackie Potts is a blogger at


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Filed under Date Etiquette, Dating Tips, Single Life

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