We’re bombarded with dating rules – don’t accept calls after a certain time, don’t accept a date for Saturday on Friday, never see him more than twice a week… and the list goes on. As women, everything we’ve learned about dating says that we have to play hard to get and let a man chase us. Books like these give detailed steps on how to capture the heart of our dream guy and one of those steps includes rarely returning phone calls. The idea is that men value what they work hard to get – making him work for it is supposed to work like a charm.
Although there is some truth to this, there is also the danger of overdoing the whole playing hard to get strategy and turning a guy off completely.
When these dating rules give men the wrong message
One of my girlfriends met a guy she really liked. She went out with him once and liked him even more. He called her the next day to suggest another date while I was over at her house. She saw his number, got really excited and then hit the ignore button. What?! “You can’t always be available, you have to pretend to be busy” was her reasoning.
Four days later, after his third call went unanswered, he left this voicemail:
Translation – “I’m not chasing you anymore. If you’re interested, let me know”.
She said she was stumped… wasn’t he supposed to keep calling? I think she overdid it. Other than the fact that it’s rude not to call someone back after countless voicemails, when you push someone away, they stay away! This is one of the reasons I’ve never been a fan of playing hard to get. Here are my three other reasons:
1) Don’t ‘pretend’ to be busy, you won’t be able to keep it up
The idea is that if a woman is really busy, a guy will feel so lucky to get a minute of her time that he’ll treat her like a gem. So we try to make sure a guy KNOWS just how busy we are… meanwhile, we’re doing our nails resisting calling him back.
The problem with this is that it’s not sustainable. Once you and this guy actually start dating, you simply won’t be able to pretend you’re busy. It will be obvious that active life you pretended to have is all smoke and mirrors and your relationship has started on the wrong foot. Instead, why not make yourself busy and keep an active life. That way if you miss his call, it really is because you’re busy and not because you’re playing games.
2) Overdoing it gives the impression you’re not interested
Let’s look back to the story about my friend – the poor guy called her four times without a callback. Luckily he left her a sweet voicemail (basically saying ‘the ball is in your court’), but most guys would have just assumed that she wasn’t interested and moved on to the next one. No matter how much a guy may be interested, if you keep playing games, he will get turned off.
I agree that men like the thrill of the chase, but what’s the point of chasing if you won’t let him catch you. If he stops chasing you, it’s not because he was never interested enough in the first place, it’s likely because you didn’t allow him to learn more about you and become more interested.
3) Want a family? You really don’t have time to waste
This is by far the most important reason to me for not to play games. I’m in my 30’s and I want to get married and have children. Although we can say 30’s are the new 20’s, my biological clock begs to differ. I literally have no time to waste and I would hate to waste my time playing games with a guy who may end up not being compatible with me anyway. The sooner I know, the sooner I can move on.
We waste so much time trying to get chased that we don’t even know if the guy chasing us is worth our time.