Want dating advice worst FAVOURITE
I had just been asked out on a date for the first time in my life. I was excited and nervous at the same time. When I told my friends and family about my upcoming date, everyone eagerly gave a piece of advice.
My college friends, parents, sisters, and even the clerks at the grocery store were so excited to offer their support. I was surrounded by encouragement, pre-date pep talks, outfit suggestions, hilarious first date stories, and heaps of dating advice.
When I look back on all of the advice I was given, there is no doubt in my mind that it was all well-intentioned. But it didn’t take me long to realize is that not all dating advice is created equal. After that first date with Joseph, I tested out quite a few of the pieces of advice that were given to me.
The Least Helpful Dating Advice—Ever
While some of them turned out to be unhelpful, others were downright destructive when put into practice. Looking back on all of the dating advice I received, the advice I became the most critical of was to “play hard to get” as a sure way to win a man’s heart.
The advice to “play hard to get” came to mind as soon as the date ended. I had an incredible time. We had gone to the state fair and gotten to know each other as we wandered through displays of craft projects and animal pens. We’d laughed over dinner and hugged goodbye before parting ways for the night.
I had my fingers crossed that we would go out again, and thoughts of a second date were on my mind as soon as Joseph and I said goodnight. But I fretted over sending a call or texting Joseph after the date. How long should I wait? Should I even text him before he reached out to me? Should I make him wait a few days before reaching out?
I Know I’m Not the First Person to Be Tempted
“It’s funny, that practice of playing hard to get was documented as early as the 4th century BC. Socrates advised a woman that, to attract more suitors, she had to be welcoming but also know when to withhold her affection. This advice has been given to women for a long time,”
Dr. Kirby Goldin explained. She’s a clinical psychologist who has spent quite a bit of time studying the practice of playing hard to get.
“Women are told not to show too much of their desire for romance, so playing hard to get is almost a last-ditch effort to gain some sort of power in the relationship. It’s the ability to pretend to not be interested and play a game in some way to assert yourself.”
Underneath, a Focus on Control
“Playing hard to get is different than being hard to get, and pretending to be uninterested in someone is different than being selective. When you’re determined to play it cool to impress someone, you lose sight of what you actually want. How are you supposed to develop a genuine connection when you are focused on gaining the upper hand?”
Dr. Goldin explained. Playing hard to get can leave someone confused and hesitant. Letting someone know you’re interested in another date or a relationship is imperative.
Playing hard to get isn’t a great habit to nurture. After all, what happens after you’re in a committed relationship? “Once you’re in a relationship, the absurdity of playing hard to get becomes even more apparent,” Dr. Goldin said, “Relationships are built on shared attraction and commitment, so pretending not to be interested is at odds with what you really want.”
So, if playing hard to get is awful dating advice, what’s the alternative? “Know what you want and say it plainly,” Dr. Goldin advised. “If you’re ready for a relationship, be direct. But be prepared to move on if the other person is not ready. You will be demonstrating comfort with vulnerability, as well as impressive confidence.”
It’s Really an Even Playing Field
When it comes to intentional relationships, authenticity is crucial. If you had a great time on that date, don’t be afraid to say so. You don’t have to wait a certain amount of days, or leave hours between responses to get someone’s attention.
Studies have shown that people play hard to get for two reasons – to make someone want them more, and to test a partner’s level of interest and willingness to commit. But a better way to discern a relationship is through honest communication.
I’m so glad that I texted Joseph after our first date and told him that I had a great time and loved spending time with him. He replied and told me that he really enjoyed our first date. It didn’t take very long until he asked me out on a second date—and quite a few more after that. Almost two years after that first date, we’re getting ready to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I’ve never regretted rejecting the advice of playing hard to get.
Playing the hard-to-get game is harmful when you’re ready to invest in a relationship with someone. The next time you find yourself doing it, take a minute to think about whether you’re truly enjoying the experience.
If you’re interested in someone, be direct. You won’t come across as needy, but instead you’ll be showing vulnerability and confidence—and that is much more attractive counting the hours before you respond to a text.