Many people have heard of the common advice, “play hard to get” when you like someone as this is supposed to increase the other person’s attraction level. Although I would have to agree that this can be effective because it is human nature to want what you do not have, this approach can often be counterintuitive and have zero impact on whether or not someone is going to develop a romantic interest in you in return. Reason being that attraction is not a one size fits all formula and it is unrealistic to expect this tactic or any single tactic to work on every single person. (If only it was that easy, right?) While there is no denying that playing hard to get might provide short term success and work in certain instances; on the other hand, there are reasons as to why this tactic is unsuccessful.
Emotionally Unavailable – Some people are emotionally unavailable where they have too much going on in their personal lives to even be open and receptive to love. Examples of this can include just getting out of a relationship, having unresolved feelings towards an ex, or already possessing a different love interest (that’s not you) which all confirm emotional unavailability. When someone is in this stage in life, it is apparent there is no need to invest any time and energy because any attraction tactic will be a lost cause in any of these scenarios.
Just Not Interested / Indifferent – If the person feels pretty neutral towards you and indifferent where they do not care whether they hear from you or not, chances are if you are playing hard to get, they are not even going to miss your presence much at all and may not even notice you’re going out of your way to apply this tactic. The same also goes if this person is not interested in you romantically as this person will probably feel more relieved to not hear from you rather than an increased level of attraction.
In a Relationship – It goes without saying that you should not even be approaching someone who is in a serious relationship which would also explain why playing hard to get would not really work because this person is emotionally locked into their significant other and I would also classify this as a situation where someone is in a state of emotional unavailability as mentioned previously. No attraction tactic is going to have an effect if someone is happily taken so again, you should not even be thinking about doing anything about it and find a new love interest.
Too Many Options – When someone has too many options in the love department, while a person might be craving more of the attention from the person not giving it to them, I think this can backfire because if someone is absent for too long, this person can easily be forgotten simply due to a lack of contact or simply think the person is not interested while those who are more persistent with their affection will most likely be noticed than forgotten.
Out of Touch, Out of Time – To expand on my last point, when someone is out of touch for too long (in this case, playing hard to get), eventually time runs out too. Why should someone wait around for someone to give them their time? More specifically, someone who has a strong love for self and a high level of confidence is just not going to tolerate this type of behavior and will move onto to someone who is giving them validation as opposed to someone who is playing hard to get because they recognize that this is an unhealthy way to win their heart.
Final Note: If you are in a situation where you feel that you need to ignore someone, disappear for a certain amount of time, or play games to win anyone’s love and attention then you are choosing the wrong person–bottom line. This is not the way that you should want to start off any relationship because clearly there is not a mutual interest (or interest at all) and even if the other person has an interest but perhaps is trying to apply this tactic on you to win your heart, again–this just is not a healthy way to begin any relationship. It can easily turn into a toxic dynamic where one or both people stay emotionally attached for the wrong reasons.
Remember, it goes both ways: 1) Always love yourself and know that you deserve more than someone who has to use manipulation to try to obtain your attention. Your affection and time should be EARNED once the other person steps up to the plate by taking the time to emotionally invest in getting to know you and consistently spending their quality time with you. 2) You should also avoid playing hard to get because when the right person comes along, you won’t feel the need to pull away or play games–quite the opposite will happen as the relationship will unfold much more naturally and the connection will increase over time by bringing two people together rather than apart.