Another interesting research report from “Study Finds”.
This one looks at something I was never good at; perhaps it was the lack of practice.
One of the most frequently used dating tactics is “playing hard to get,” or purposely acting cold and even mean toward the person we’re interested in. But, does playing hard to get really work?
A new study from the University of Rochester concludes that yes, playing hard to get does in fact increase a potential mate’s perceived desirability.
“Playing hard to get makes it seem as if you are more in demand—we call that having higher mate value,” says Harry Reis, a professor of psychology and Dean’s Professor in Arts, Sciences & Engineering at Rochester.
“People who are too easy to attract may be perceived as more desperate,” adds co-author Gurit Birnbaum, a social psychologist and associate professor of psychology at the IDC Herzliya in Israel. “That makes them seem less valuable and appealing—than those who do not make their romantic interest apparent right away.”
Reid and Birnbaum set up three inter-connected experiments. Participants were told they were talking to another person of the opposite sex, but in reality they were just talking to an “insider” (member of the research team).
The experiments produced a number of interesting conclusions. First of all, participants who spoke with more “selective” (hard to get) profiles rated that individual as more desirable and valued across the board than participants who spoke with less selective profiles. Participants also universally rated profiles as more valuable and sexually attractive if they had to put in more effort to gain that individual’s attention and affection. Finally, participants who were assigned to the hard to get profiles tried much harder to convince the person they were speaking with to talk or see them again in the future.
The researchers do caution that going overboard while playing hard to get can cause the other person to see you as unapproachable or even unattractive.
I wish I had been aware of this research when I was in high school and college. I never thought to play hard to get, I was the more of the desperate type. Little did I know that such behavior made me seem “less valuable and appealing.”
I am sure there were other things about me that made me seem less valuable and appealing, but for now, let me just blame on my acting desperate.
Fortunately, such behavior only had to work once, and it did.
My junior year of college I met someone at a party who I then desperately pursued.
We have been happily married for nearly 38 years.
*image from The Modern Man