Don’t be the guy who just won’t go away—learn to read her cues in order to make real connections.
Some bad news for you Gentlemen:
you’re not the only ones who play the game.
Women will sometimes turn the tables on you and play hard to get. Just like you will work hours (and sometimes days) eliciting value, a girl will shut down in hopes of getting more effort from you. Is she doing it on purpose? At times. Other times, it may be her instinct kicking in, or her mother’s words echoing in her ears: “Make him work for you.”
Does that mean the girl is not interested in you? Absolutely not. Quite the contrary: she is very interested. As a matter of fact, I would take it a step further: the more interested she is, the more she will play hard to get. There are generally two reasons a girl will give you a cold shoulder even when interested: A. She does not want to appear ‘easy’. B: She is testing your level of interest. So how can you tell if a girl is playing hard to get as opposed to just not being interested in you?
Here are a few ways:
- She will not answer your calls… But she will call you in a day or two “just to say hi.” Alternatively, she may text you later to say that she was too busy to answer the phone.
- She will turn down every date proposal you offer. However, she will counter will subtle hints like “there is this trendy club that just opened downtown.” That means she is interested, she just wants you to take her somewhere she prefers.
- Look for physical signs and body language to see if she is really interested. Does she play with or flip her hair in front of you? Does she suggestively suck on her cocktail straw? Does she stroke that wineglass stem as she’s talking to you? All these are tell-tale signs she is interested in you and is just playing hard to get.
So what are some ways to combat these methods?
- Beat her at her own game. If you determined that she is interested, lean back (not toward) her when she speaks to you. Treat flirting the way you would a poker game: you don’t want to reveal all your cards at once. Keep her guessing about your own interest. Give her hints of compliments to make her wonder if you’re into her. If you give away too much, she will lose interest.
- Play her game. If she does not answer your call—do not call back. Wait for her to text or call. Same with texting: don’t be in a hurry to answer her texts. Let one or two of them linger. If she texts back that she is ‘worried’, answer her eventually by saying that you were so wrapped up you did not even have time to read her text.
- Keep the mystery. While dropping subtle hints that you like her, do not actually say so or behave in a way that would smother her. The less you reveal about yourself, the more you spark her curiosity. If she is curious, she will come back.
- Give her space. More often than not, a girl playing hard to get needs her space. Do not initiate lingering contact. Do not invade her space too much and generally. Peak her interest intellectually, not physically.
If none of these tactics work, she is not playing hard to get—she is just not interested. In that case, no matter how much you wanted it, cut your losses and move on. There is nothing worse than a guy who just won’t go away!
Photo: Daniel Zedda/Flickr
This essay originally appeared on NYSocials .
Read Marina Margulis every week here on The Good Men Project!