Playing “Hard To Get” Works

Does “playing hard to get” work when it comes to dating? Yep.

A new study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, concludes that yes, playing hard to get does in fact increase a potential mate’s perceived desirability. Researchers from the University of Rochester set up a series of experiments where participants spoke with – but didn’t see – someone given the task of portraying various levels of desire to continue a relationship. What it all boiled down to was participants who spoke with more “selective” or “hard to get” profiles rated that individual as more desirable than those with less selective profiles.

Researcher Harry Reis, a professor of psychology and Dean’s Professor in Arts, Sciences & Engineering at Rochester, says, “Playing hard to get makes it seem as if you are more in demand – we call that having higher mate value.” Conversely, people who are too easy to attract may be perceived as more desperate, which makes them seem less valuable and appealing.