According to new research, playing hard to get tests the commitment and quality of any would-be mate. Researchers identified 58 different hard-to-get strategies used, from on/off flirting and being snooty to using voicemail to intercept calls from would-be partners.
“Playing hard to get might be one way that people – women in particular – can test their prospective mate’s commitment and to manipulate their prospective mates to obtain what – or whom – they want,” said the psychologists who carried out the study. “We revealed that the more unavailable a person is, the more people are willing to invest in them.”
In the study, reported in the European Journal of Personality, the researchers carried out four separate projects involving more than 1,500 people, looking at playing hard to get as a mating strategy to see how and why it works. […]
Women used the tactics more than men. That, say the researchers, could be because women are trying to learn more information about a potential mate as they have more to lose in terms of pregnancy. […]
Appearing highly self-confident was the top-ranked tactic, followed by talking to other people and, third, withholding sex.