How To Play Hard To Get – AND WIN: 5 Tips
Knowing how to play hard to get is one of the most essential skills in dating and starting a relationship on the right foot.
But playing hard to get has gotten a bad name in recent years. Almost everyone thinks that it’s a horrible manipulative mind game.
But it’s not!
The truth is that it’s an important and playful way to “tug-o-war” in a healthy way with your love dynamic. IF you know how it’s supposed to work!
But the question many women wonder about up front is:
Should You Play Hard To Get?
I could beat around the bush about this for a few paragraphs, but I’ll just tell you up front that
YES – you should play hard to get!
But only every so often.
It’s not something you do every day – or even every week.
Carlos Cavallo, Dating and Attraction Adviser
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Let me give you a few of the reasons you should NOT to play hard to get:
DO NOT Play Hard To Get: To get revenge or for “payback”…
DO NOT Play Hard To Get: To get the upper hand…
DO NOT Play Hard To Get: To calm your anxieties about the relationship…
DO NOT Play Hard To Get: To manipulate or control him…
DO NOT Play Hard To Get: To make him sweat for once…
DO NOT Play Hard To Get: To make him propose…
DO NOT Play Hard To Get: To get a commitment…
DO NOT Play Hard To Get: To flip the tables on him…
DO NOT Play Hard To Get: To win him back…
There are tons of reasons why you shouldn’t play hard to get, and really only one reason TO play hard to get.
What is that reason? That reason is to drive up your value – and the feelings of love – in your relationship. From a man who might not see it otherwise.
If you use hard to get correctly – a man will thank you for it!
The question isn’t IF you should – but how to do it with kindness and compassion.
Let’s start with the part you need to know:
Why Playing Hard To Get Works…
The reason this “game” works is because … well, it works!
The principle of why playing hard to get works is based on simple psychology.
It’s called the Scarcity Principle. It’s a principle that has been used on you for decades, and you might not have been aware of it. Advertisers and marketers use scarcity to drive up the perceived value of something in your mind.
And that’s exactly what scarcity does in his mind.
The Scarcity Principle: In social psychology, the scarcity principle refers to the tendency to place a higher value on things that are perceived as rare while devaluing things that are seen as common or abundant.
In the real world, this means that things you get easily are not valued. Things that you work to get – on the other hand – are seen as valuable.
For example, the harder it is to find oil and refine it, the higher the price is when you buy gas at the gas pumps.
The harder it is to get that college degree, the more it’s valued in the work world as something desirable on your resumé.
And the harder it is to get a date with someone, the more we value our time with them.
You should also know this principle works in both directions. BOTH of you should be a little “hard to get” from time to time. This will help each of you know the value of the other person.
Have you ever played a stringed instrument like a guitar or ukulele?
The sound is created when you pluck or strum the strings. This energy on the string starts it vibrating along the length of the string, which creates the sound. This is called resonance.
When you pluck the string of a guitar, you get the musical note that can be turned into music.
When you play hard to get with a guy, you’re basically plucking his heart string to get him to resonate with you. You’re starting the vibration of his heart string – activating his energy level for your relationship.
And yes – he will resonate with you.
A guy doesn’t appreciate a relationship that goes too easily. If you don’t pluck his string with some “hard to get” energy, he’s never going to really appreciate you.
You have to balance your nurturing with your self-care. And that means that you can’t just jump into a relationship and start trying to build it out as a marriage from the inside out. He has to see you as valuable all on his own BEFORE he will propose to you.
The fact is that a lot of guys propose because
A) He already loves you, and
B) He doesn’t want to LOSE you.
And “B” is much more important, to be brutally honest. His love isn’t the hard thing to make happen. What’s tricky for most women is getting him to worry about losing YOU instead of the other way around!
Do guys play hard-to-get by not texting?
Is he playing games when he does this?
No, they’re not TRYING to play games with you. Which is what many women think men are up to when he waits for hours, or even days, to reply to your text.
The real reason he isn’t texting you (and what to do when he doesn’t) is probably one of these three reasons:
- He didn’t think your text needed an immediate reply. Yes, a man can actually believe that everything was said in ONE text – and that he doesn’t need to respond. Men simply don’t place the same level of social importance on texting that most women do. (I’m not saying he SHOULDN’T reply, mind you. Only that he might not see a reason to.)
- He’s genuinely trying to disappear from your life. This is actually a lot less likely than you might think. But still, it does happen…
- He hasn’t had a chance to reply to you yet. The text may not have seemed urgent, so he’s waiting until he has a free moment…
The truth is that men NEVER try to play “hard to get” on their own. It just never occurs to us. Men don’t engage in social game playing intentionally.
We don’t hold back from women, no matter how much it may seem that way.
And – to be fair – most women don’t intentionally play games, either. The game playing is usually just a natural outcome of events. But we think there is some INTENTION there that simply isn’t there!
He’s just going with the flow and reacting naturally.
When a man sends mixed signals or acts hard to get, it’s actually a signal to you about your relationship!
So now let’s dig in and discover:
How To Play Hard To Get – 5 Tips
TIP 1: Anticipation is the best part…
There used to be a ketchup commercial that had a song playing – “Antic-i-paaaa-tion” – as we waited for the ketchup to flow out of the bottle. (In reality we all know you have to do that spin between your hands thing, or stick a butter knife in there…)
But the point of the commercial was well made. We – the viewers – just sat there watching the slow blob of ketchup make its way out of the bottle onto that burger. And it somehow resonated that this wasn’t some watery, junky ketchup. No – this was thick ketchup that was worth waiting for!
Well, guess what?
Yup – anticipation in a relationship is every bit as good as watching and waiting for a slow blob of delicious ketchup.
You have to honor the build up of energy in a relationship. It’s the part that makes the whole thing so juicy (like a burger!) when you finally bite in and fill yourself up with the love from your partner.
But alas, most people are in such a rush to find out if they need to go back on Tinder or Match.com or whatever that they wind up sabotaging this anticipation energy at the start. All because we’re so impatient now.
We don’t start or nurture relationships anymore – what we do is see how soon we can get back to looking for a replacement.
Get back to letting anticipation build up. It’s a key ingredient in a man’s love circuits. If you short-circuit this need of his, you’ll wind up with him disappearing on you.
TIP 2: Make Him WAIT!
This is kind of like the anticipation thing, but we’re talking about ONE thing in particular here.
Sleeping with him.
Yes, it can wait. HE can wait!
Again, everyone seems to be in a rush these days to get jiggy with it. What’s the rush?
I’ve heard a lot of excuses in my day:
– “I don’t want to risk some other woman getting him! I gotta lock this down!” (This was something an ex-girlfriend once said of me, btw. And NO, that didn’t lock me down.)
– “If I don’t sleep with him quick, someone else will!” This is just like the first one, only more apathetic than desperate.
– “Hey, I can date like a guy!” Yup, you can. But why are you trying to be a guy?
– “Oh we had such good chemistry, I thought – why not?”
Well, I’ll give you a huge reason why not...
Because once a guy gets laid, he realizes there’s not much more to motivate him. You see, guys know that sex is a huge motivator for us. It makes us get off our asses and WORK for your love. And it invests us in the relationship.
And if you don’t get him WORKING to win you early on and for at least a little while, you’ll fail to get his hormones involved. (Remember: No one would fish if the fish just came to you.)
So ease off the gas and relax a bit. There’s no rush to see who can get naked first.
And if he leaves because you didn’t give it up in the first 15 minutes, he would never have stayed with you anyway.
I’ll come back to this in a minute… but now for the next hard-to-get tip –
TIP 3: Whoah, Nelly…!
The single most common problem I see as a therapist and relationship counselor is that most women are far too willing to jump in headfirst and throw caution to the wind. They meet a guy that really makes them light up, and she wants to go shopping for a ring.
Look, I get it. As a guy, I would even do this. (YES there are men that are really into the romantic love stuff…)
But this moving too fast behavior has a lot of flaws…
1. You’re looking through what I call “Love Goggles.” You’re under the influence of hormones and a lot of idealized thinking. So your judgement is impaired.
2. You may get in too deep too quick. I’ve made this mistake before, too. You’ll jump in willingly and then spot the red flags later, but by then it’s REALLY hard to back out.
3. You suffer from “Day After Christmas” syndrome – Like when you realize that after all the gifts are unwrapped, things are still the same. Only in a relationship you realize that no matter how great it seems, they’re just another person.
And this feels like a big let-down.
Remember that anticipation thing I told you before. Taking it slow ALWAYS beats jumping in too fast.
When you’re in a rush, you get sloppy, and you make mistakes.
When you take your time and really watch your step, you’ll always do better.
So if he asks you to go out more than once in a week, slow him down. Tell him you’re busy and push it into the next week.
And keep your heart in check until you’re REALLY sure about him.
TIP 4: Put Him To WORK!
If you’ve been watching my videos or reading these articles enough, you know this is one of the essential rules of making a man value a relationship.
If you give a 16 year old kid a BMW for his birthday, don’t be too surprised if he trashes the inside, and eventually even trashes the outside of the car within months.
On the other hand, if you loaned him the money to buy his own car – and setup a repayment schedule for the loan, you can bet he’ll treat that car like his baby.
Plain and simple, folks: We don’t value something we get too easily. And usually not until we’ve lost it!
This goes for material possessions, relationships, or anything else you can imagine. It’s the old “scarcity principle” again – only this is the dark side of it.
Did you know that a large percentage of lottery winners go broke? Far higher than the usual bankruptcy rate.
Why do you think that happens?
It’s because they got the money easily, and never had the education of how to make it grow – or make it last! So they squander the money and usually wind up back where they started. Only now they have a bunch of stuff they don’t need.
Do you know why all the fairy tales of old had a princess that would give a task to her Knight In Shining Armor?
That idea stemmed from a woman’s need to know if he really wanted her and desired her. She gave him a mission, and if he accomplished it, he won her hand in marriage. Because he proved himself!
These days that would seem pretty ridiculous. But the principle is still the same: You gotta make him work to earn your love.
Women who know they’re valuable don’t just give themselves away to anyone. They know they’re valuable, and they wait for the right “buyer” to come along.
TIP 5: KNOW what he really wants!
This is really the essence of what I teach:
You gotta know what men think, what they want, and what they need!
Most women are simply winging it out there. They think they know what men want, from reading a ton of crappy magazines, but they still wind up struggling in relationships.
I hate to see it happen, because with just a few small tweaks, any woman can turn almost any man into a guy that would beg her to be his wife.
SECRET: Why YOU Are Secretly Afraid To Play Hard To Get…
There’s a reason you’re reading this article. Deep inside you know that playing hard to get WORKS. It absolutely does. It’s a proven psychological principle.
But you don’t want to be a manipulating b*tch. Or it just feels a little “game playing” to you…
And you’d be right to be concerned. You don’t want to play games…
No matter what the reason is, you can relax. And you should also know – You’re not a horrible person for wanting to learn how to play hard to get with a guy – in the right way.
Here’s the secret that will make all the difference for you:
SECRET: The Point is Not to PLAY hard to get – it’s to BE hard to get!
Most women simply see other women who ARE hard to get and think that this woman must be playing at it – doing it on purpose.
Think about it this way: What if you were so busy this weekend that you legitimately couldn’t call back the three guys you met? In fact, you really didn’t have time to send a thoughtful text to any of them.
What’s the difference between that happening by accident or intentionally?
The point is not to artificially behave “hard to get.” The point is to actually BE busy enough and into your own life enough to not have to sit there waiting for his next text or phone call.
When your life has its own momentum, he’ll feel that you’re a challenge. And this is the BEST way to play hard to get, because you’re not PLAYING at all!
You can’t just wing it when it comes to dating men. You need to KNOW what he wants!
Early on, you had an excuse – you probably started dating in your teenage years. Back then you didn’t have a clue! And it was fun just trying stuff and figuring out how romance worked.
But you probably developed a lot of bad habits.
A LOT of them.
Sure you might have lucked into a good relationship eventually. But chances are, that relationship or marriage ended.
And you realized that you didn’t really know what you should have before settling down.
And I’m here to tell you that if you’re dating after a divorce, or dating in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond, you can’t afford to work from this bad information.
So what is it men really want?
Well, if you’ve been paying attention through these tips, you’ll realize that all I’ve been talking about here is how you show your value.
That’s all there is to playing hard to get. You get him to realize that not only are you valuable, you value yourself. And that’s so much more important than any man you might meet.
Because sooner or later, you’ll be back to the same issues, after the glow of infatuation has dimmed.
For a man to see your value – for him to recognize you as THE ONE – he has to feel Irresistible Desire for YOU.