I’m single and wondering how much “playing hard to get” should factor into my dating strategy?
I have a problem with “playing hard to get”: it implies dishonesty. Attempting to deceive or manipulate your prospective sexual partners is the stuff of pick-up artists, a community of (mostly) men who study “seduction techniques” but ultimately end up having sex with the vagina-shaped holes they carved into microwaved melons.
However, there is science to support the idea that humans find less accessible partners more attractive. It’s conventional wisdom in psychology that humans hate being told we can’t have something, which means we’re naturally drawn toward anything (or anyone) that lingers outside of our reach.
Partners that are hard to get are attractive because they balance dating with enriching work, hobbies, friends, family, exercise, etc. But faking a fulfilling life is bound to backfire more than losing a game of “soggy biscuit.” Once your partner figures out you’re playing games, you’ll instantly lose all of your allure — as if they discovered you were three midgets in a trenchcoat all along. The key is to show interest, not obsession. Once you find that sweet spot, you’ll no longer need to rape the ripest vegetables in the produce drawer.