New studies have shown that playing hard to get actually works. You end up with a better quality partner and nearly always bag that man.
This advice conflicts those who over the last decade have been telling us that the three day rule is nonsense and the right man will want us regardless as now it seems it's time to play the game.
I already knew this as I inadvertently played this game with my husband. I seriously didn't do it on purpose but I learned a lesson that my single friends have used to their advantage ever since.
I'd finally reached a point in my life where I was happy just as I was, a single mum, a good job, a happy life and so on so I wasn't in a rush to find a man. I would date but actually ran a mile when men asked for a second, I remember one that I actually giggled the night away with saying, 'same time next week?" which completely threw me, as I saw the commitment of weekly appointments looming before me.
So when, after 15 years apart, I met up with a friend I'd been flirting with online, I had no intention of making it a regular thing. We had a great first date where he spent the night and in the morning I asked him to leave before the children came home.
Then I put it to the back of my mind. I was super busy and really didn't have the time to check my phone, but when I did in the evening, I noticed a few texts from him.
I told him I didn't want anything serious, or anything at all and we should only meet as friends in the future. He was obviously defensive at first but agreed to be friends in the end. So we met as friends a few weeks later and needed up in bed; then again weeks after that until suddenly I'd fallen into this routine where we saw each other every weekend.
It was a slow burn for me, a lightning bolt for him, but now I can honestly say I've never met anyone who compares in any way. I do wonder though what may have happened if I'd have been over keen from the outset?
The psychologist that studies this, Peter Jonason, says that women and men have a different approach when playing hard to get. Men make it clear they are available but act as if they're not bothered, while women will show a great interest but act as if they are not on the lookout for a man.
This is probably why my approach worked so well. In essence it comes back to the most basic of principles as it's a game that tries to emulate natural circumstances that lead to the most fulfilling relationships.
The message is clear. If you are happy alone, with your life, your job and your friends, if you feel as though you don't have space for a man, if you'd happily spend the next five years without a man in your life, you'll bag the man of your dreams.
The secret isn't playing hard to get, the secret is making sure you are 100% in yourself so when a man comes along he isn't there to make all the bad things better or to fix you, he's there to add a wonderful bonus to an already happy life.
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