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Like John Travolta’s character Danny Zuko in Grease, the men of today (and yesteryear) all labour through the trials of dating under the misguided notion that “playing it cool” gets the girl. They play “The Game”.
And don’t think that the ladies are any different. Following “The Rules” that state that you cannot seem too interested in a guy is probably the wrong way to go about getting your man.
So why do we do it? Do we really think that “treat ’em mean to keep ’em keen” is really all it’s cracked up to be? Well, if the dating game today is anything to go by, then apparently we do. It seems that the dating world is full of guys being overly cool and girls being uncommonly cold. How then, can we find our perfect match if both guys and girls try their best to seem uninterested? Well, it might help to first figure out which side the players are on in this big game of indifference.
Hard to get vs uninterested
A person who is playing hard to get will more than likely have other guys or girls that are interested in them. But the fact that they still give you some kind of encouraging signal suggests that you are the one they want to get “caught” by. But if you find yourself in the situation of not knowing whether they will even answer your calls, then the chances are, you are not their type.
The guy or girl playing hard to get will still give off those tell tale signs that we just mentioned. You will feel encouraged and even though they are playing hard to get, you can still talk to them and approach them. However, if someone is not interested, you should have noticed an extreme change in their behaviour. Maybe initially they were approachable and keen, then after a while seem distant and unavailable.
If someone is playing hard to get they will avoid hurting your feelings unnecessarily. They will call when they are thinking of you and if they say they will meet for coffee then that’s what they will do. Someone who is uninterested will just leave you hanging. They won’t call you or even return your calls, and to be honest, you should really have spotted that something is wrong at this stage.
If you’ve tried to arrange a date, but it has been cancelled, the person playing hard to get will have a genuine reason for not showing up. They will also probably have another time and date in mind so you two can get together. The uninterested person, if they have agreed to a date will not have a clear idea of when you can meet again in the future. It’s actually possible that they will just stand you up and leave you waiting alone at the restaurant.
The hard to get player will take a genuine interest in your life. They may still not seem 100%, keen and will try to maintain the act of indifference, but the personal questions they ask give them away. They will remember things that you have told them and will try to bring up common interests in conversation. The uninterested person will remember very little of what you have told them and will try their best to avoid asking you anything too personal. Quite often this type of person just needs someone to talk to or to give them advice. You might feel like their best friend and that things are going well, but it’s possible that you are just a feel good friend that makes them feel better about themselves.
Should we play hard to get?
You might have told all your friends that you are done with playing games, and you just want to be honest with the next person you date. Well, perhaps you should hold your horses! It’s all well and good being straight and upfront with your next date, but if you are looking for something serious then honesty might not be the best policy.
A study in The European Journal of Personality presents data collected from a group of young men and women attending four different universities. The results show that those seeking a long term relationship had a better success rate when playing hard to get. If you think about it, this makes absolute sense. Our subconscious is probably telling us that if your prospective partner is willing to put in the hard work, then they are probably in for the long haul.
The problem with going down this path is that in all likelihood your love interest will be pulling the same stunt. You could end up missing out on the love of your life because neither of you was willing to admit your interest in the other. So maybe it’s time to drop the mind games and get back to some good, honest romance and leave “playing it cool” to the Danny Zukos of this world.