How To Play Hard To Get With A Guy & Make Him Want You

Play Hard To Get With A Guy

Do you balk at the very notion of playing hard to get with your guy? Reason: You like to wear your heart on your sleeve, playing hard to get may just seem to come across as too manipulative for your taste. Perhaps, it just does not fit in with your idea of romance and you’re the kind who wants relationships to be more organic and spontaneous rather than planned.

But believe it or not, numerous studies, as reported by Jonason and Li, in their in-depth article, ‘Playing Hard-to-Get: Manipulating One’s Perceived Availability as a Mate’ have found playing hard to get to be more rewarding in the longer run – be it in enhancing your desirability quotient or testing commitment in a potential partner. The question is – how to play hard to get with a guy without hurting his as well as your sensibilities? We’re here to tell you just that.

How To Play Hard To Get With A Guy And Make It Work

There is a thin line between playing hard to get with a man you’re interested in and making him feel like chasing you will be a dead end. Cross that line and you might just end up repelling him.

Steven Owen, a data analyst, recalls the time he was dating a girl in his neighborhood. “I was fine with her playing hard to get initially, but there never seemed to be an end to the game. I stopped trying as it felt like I was being drawn into some kind of power game. I feel it is not necessary to make things complicated in a relationship. Now, I run a mile when I recognize similar patterns in a girl I am interested in – a warning goes off in my head about there being issues with her.”

Now the dilemma is: how to play hard to get with a guy without falling in the category of those women that Steven is talking about and yet keep things interesting in your relationship? So here is what you should know about how to play hard to get and make it work for both of you as set out to forge a flirty yet meaningful relationship with each other:

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1. Let him make the first move

Perhaps, this may be at odds at a time when going Dutch is the norm. In fact, a woman initiating a romance is also the coolest thing ever. So, letting the man make the first move may sound pretty old-fashioned to your sensibility, yet it will help if you paid heed to the oldest dating advice ever on how to play hard to get with a guy.

No matter how much you are attracted to this man, don’t make the first move. Instead, let him make the effort to show that he wants you in his life. But yes, don’t rush him into a relationship, too.

2. Keep it fun

The code word for dating advice on playing hard to get is often: “Treat them mean, keep them keen.” How often have you heard that and cringed at the word ‘mean’? Do you really need to do that to another human being, let alone someone with whom you are trying to make a heart connection? Would you want him to be so scarred by the experience that the mere mention of your name could bring on a thunderstorm of emotions? No, right? So keep it fun.

Send him a flirty message. Or send him a picture of a dress you plan to wear for your next date with him. This is how you can play hard to get with your guy for sure and also make him look forward to your next encounter, without begging for it.

3. Zip your lips

playing hard to get

Perhaps, you are the kind who believes that if you are to embark on a new relationship, you should come clean about your love life and past relationship experiences. Great, but you can be sure you’ve lost his interest already. In fact, the tables may turn and you may find your guy playing hard to get.

One of the major factors fanning the flame of romance between any two people is keeping the interest alive. Now, if by keeping him guessing you are playing hard to get, so be it. You can unfold your story gradually as you get to know each other well enough to have developed a comfort level where you don’t need to resort to mind games to keep the spark alive.

4. Keep yourself busy

It may have been love at first sight for you. Even so, make sure that you don’t come across as someone who’s available for him at the drop of your hat. Keep yourself busy, no matter how eager you are to be with this dreamboat. Not everyone feels the same way as Steven does about his l’objet d’adoration playing hard to get.

For Nicholas Winton, a budding doctor, it makes his partner more desirable. “In a way, I feel relieved that my girl is not clingy. It makes her more desirable as she seems to be her own person. It also gives us a lot to look forward to,” he says. Maybe you should pay heed to this and make it your go-to strategy for how to play hard to get with a guy.

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5. Stay interested, but aloof

You like someone, you let them know, but you also need to keep them on their feet sometimes. Play hard to get with your man by being a little aloof once in a while – just enough to intrigue him and get him to make an effort to get your attention. However, you need to strike a balance here so that the man you’re interested in doesn’t feel taken for granted or feels neglected in the relationship. Overdo it and you’ll be out on your own.

Robert Martin, a stock trader, says, “I understand that the chase brings a certain excitement in a relationship, but who wants to be on the edge 24×7? I’ve been through that before, it is just unpleasant and makes you restless. For me, that was reason enough to believe that she was uninterested and not as invested as I was, so I decided to move on. I’ve never regretted that decision of mine.”

6. Take your time to text back

Communication is never a problem in this age of internet and social media. If anything, there is an overload of it happening now. Gone are the days when people waited by the telephone for a call from a potential love interest. In the dating rulebook today, making out (sexting, anyone?) or breaking up over a text isn’t considered a big deal at all. But you don’t have to follow the crowd.

How to play hard to get with a guy when things like access and communication are not a problem in the tech age? Good old-fashioned unwritten dating rules combined with e-age etiquette could just lend an edge to your romance. So, hold back a little if you find yourself constantly on a text mode with your guy. Delay your responses and take your time to reply to his calls or texts. Don’t think there can be an easier way than this to play hard to get with your guy.

art of wooing

7. Work up a sexual chemistry

Distance does make the heart grow fonder when a couple finds themselves not being able to meet too often. However, for a couple who has just begun dating, the anticipation of getting intimate and the sexual tension make it even more exciting.

If you want to play hard to get with your man, take relationship experts’ advice on it – they recommend using small, playful gestures to amp up the sexual chemistry. This will not only amp up the sexual fizz in your relationship but also contribute to the romantic and emotional connection that you two have. Sexual compatibility is a huge part of any relationship.

8. Make space for some me-time

Do you find yourself planning every move of your life around your guy? Does a movie with just your girlfriends seem simply out of the question now? Do you feel guilty about going anywhere without him? Perhaps, you are beginning to find it a sacrilege to not be spending the weekends with your boyfriend. If it gets to this level, it’s time to do a rethink. Bring a little bit of self-respect here, even if it means playing hard to get with your guy.

If you feel the need to spend the weekend on your own somewhere, do that. Making space for some me-time is healthy. If you have planned a trip with your girlfriends, go ahead with it. Let your guy, or a potential date, know that you have other plans and that you intend to see them through without him. This sends across the message that you have a social life of your own and that you respect having space in a relationship.

Tina Gonzalez, a copywriter in an advertising firm, knows just how to play hard to get with a guy. She makes it a point to always reserve a weekend for herself – with or without her girlfriends as an excuse. “My guy understands that my social life or my space may not include him all the time, and he’s getting used to that now. I’d have felt claustrophobic if he had reacted to that adversely and opted out a long time ago,” she shares.

Related Reading: How Spending Time With Friends Helps Improve Your Relationship

9. Let him know you have male friends

Among the many things that your crush should be aware of is that you have male friends too. But also make it clear that they are platonic. This way, he’ll know that you have your own world of bonds, which also include male friends who are not lovers. It’s bound to keep him on the edge for sure. Unintentionally, it will also add to your game on how to play hard to get with a guy.

Explore these tactics and see how they work. None of them require you to take love games to toxic levels or feel guilty about playing hard to get with a guy. As we mentioned earlier, research on playing hard to get suggests that early daters opt to indulge in these tactics as they serve as motivation to establish or maintain a long-term relationship. But it need not become a slanging match with unhealthy power dynamics. So if you are planning to play hard to get with your man, make an art of it. All you need to do is to keep it light and moderate.


1. How to play hard to get with your crush?

The code word for dating advice on playing hard to get is: “Treat them mean, keep them keen.” But remember not to take the ‘mean’ part too seriously. While trying to make a heart connection with someone fancy, keep things playful enough to keep him interested.  

2. How to play hard to get through text messages?

Follow good old-fashioned dating to-dos and combine them with e-age etiquette. So, hold back a little instead of constantly texting your guy. Delay your responses and take your time to reply to his calls or texts.

3. How to play hard to get after being clingy?

After making sure to not step out or do anything without him or having him on a speed-dial every time you find yourself in some problem, try to stay a little aloof once in a while. This is enough to have him wondering and on his feet to win you over.

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