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How to play hard to get: 21 no bullsh*t tips (complete guide)

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Playing hard to get might seem like a total BS, but sometimes you have to play hard-to-get to get the man.

Let’s get real: we’re all playing games…at least at the start. We’re no different than a peacock who spreads his feathers to attract a female’s attention.

When it comes to seduction, men generally show off, and women play hard to get. You see, being too available and ready too soon kills attraction.

In this article, let me show you how to play hard-to-get the right way so you can make any man who’s slightly interested go crazy for you.

Why play hard to get?

A study conducted by the University of Rochester indicated that men will put more value in you if they worked hard for your affections.

Men like it when someone likes them back, but if they get the impression that you’re “too easy”, they won’t feel as valued.

After all, if they didn’t have to work hard to get your attention, then what of other men?

If you are “pickier” and less available with how you approach men, however, your relationship will feel like a true achievement. It’s like you’re telling him that he has something that other men don’t have.

Playing hard to get works because he feels like he has won the jackpot when you finally decide to accept him into your life.

How to do it right

Playing hard to get can backfire, especially if you don’t do it well. Instead of it working in your favor, it can do the exact opposite.

You see, men are not as dense as you might think. Since they’re young, they’ve dealt with a lot of women who do this trick and they can detect it oh so easily.

And when they’re 100% sure you’re playing hard to get, they won’t chase you…they’ll probably give you a taste of your medicine then ditch you.

The best way to make sure you get the result that you want is by being subtle.

You’ve already won his interest, do not kill it by being too obvious that you’re playing hard to get!

The goal is to let his feelings “marinate” and to increase his attraction so that he’d see you as the one for him. I know it’s quite sneaky but it’s a proven tactic to make you more irresistible…if you do it right.

Ways to play “hard to get” the right way

1) Say “NO” to some dates

If you say yes all the time, then you’re too available.

You have to show the man that you’re not just waiting around for your dates because you actually have a life.

I know you’re very willing to ditch your friends over this guy but don’t do it. Trust me, he won’t grab the next girl just because you’re not free on a Friday night. And if he does, well…you didn’t really lose a high-value guy.

But the thing is, it can actually do the opposite. It can make him want you more because you have your own thing. That is sexy as hell.

2) Don’t reply to messages too fast

Again, this is a way to show you’re not too available.

You’re a busy woman who has things to accomplish in her day. If you aren’t, fake it til you make it…then start getting busy. If you’re online all the damn time and you send replies in less than two seconds, then even if he’s totally into you, he’ll slowly lose attraction.

We’re not saying you should let him wait hours if you really feel like talking to him. Just don’t be glued to your phone all the time and instead get busy with your life.

He should be the icing to your cake, the cherry to your ice cream. In other words, make him feel like he’s just a good addition to your already full life…as it should be.

3) Tease him then stop

Teasing will make him feel that he’s already “got you” that’s why when you stop doing it, he’d think you’re hard to get.

This makes you hard to read and hard to predict, which will make him want you more.

Just do it sparingly though, and playfully. This is something that men get furious about because they don’t want to be manipulated.

Just mild teasing would do. Something more than that would make him think you’re playing with him…which you are, so please don’t get caught. You might sabotage your blossoming relationship.

4)Trigger his hero instinct but hold the urge to give him more than what he’s giving you

You see, for guys, it’s all about triggering their inner hero. As “outdated” as it may seem, men still want to be the saviors.

I learned about this from the hero instinct. Coined by relationship expert James Bauer, this fascinating concept is about what really drives men in relationships, which is ingrained in their DNA.

And it’s something most women don’t know anything about.

Once triggered, these drivers make men into the heroes of their own lives. They feel better, love harder, and commit stronger when they find someone who knows how to trigger it.

Now, you may be wondering why it’s called “the hero instinct”? Do guys really need to feel like superheroes to commit to a woman?

Not at all. Forget about Marvel. You won’t need to play the damsel in distress or buy your man a cape.

The easiest thing to do is to check out James Bauer’s excellent free video here. He shares some easy tips to get you started, such as sending him a 12 word text that will trigger his hero instinct right away.

Because that’s the beauty of the hero instinct.

It’s only a matter of knowing the right things to say to make him realize that he wants you and only you.

Click here to watch the free video.

5) Let him know you’re not rushing to find love

When you come to a point that you’ll talk about love and relationships, don’t dismiss him by saying you’re not looking for love, but tell him that you’re not rushing to find love because you want the next one to be the one.

This will make him know that you are dating intentionally and not just messing around. If he’s not into that, he will slowly fade out.

By telling him you’re not rushing, you’re actually telling him you’re not desperate—that you have standards. Just by knowing this will keep him to his toes. He’d think “I should prove to her I’m worthy” instead of “yeah sure, why not.”

6) Don’t kiss on the first date

A good connection would not get ruined if you kiss on the first date. However, if you want the guy to chase you, then you have to not give him what you want on the first try.

Use the first few dates as a time to get to know each other better. He has to WIN you in other aspects before he can get a kiss.

You might be scared to lose the chance of having to kiss at all, but rest assured that a man who’s interested will not stop just because you didn’t kiss.

7) Don’t rush into sex

They say that men are always thinking about sex. There is some truth to this, and for many it’s the one thing they want out of a relationship.

If you give him sex too soon, he’s going to feel like he has “won” too easily. So don’t do that. Instead, try to keep him at arm’s length and let him earn the right to take you to bed. Have him impress you, please you, work hard to appease you before you give him the privilege.

There is a sexual practice called “erotic sexual denial” and that’s basically what you’re doing here, but with his right to take you to bed.

The way it works is that you would tease him and make him desire you, but keep him from actually acting on that desire. What happens is that his need for you will grow and grow without release.

This makes it so that when he does get to have sex with you, his brain is going to get flooded with dopamine. This not only gets him addicted to you, it also makes his climax extra satisfying.

8) Don’t overpraise him for doing nice things

When he does something nice to you—especially if it’s something just simple—don’t act like he’s pulled heaven down to earth. Thank him but not too much that it would make him think you rarely get nice things.

You have to act like it’s not something that’s totally life altering for you.

Appreciate but don’t gush. Even if you haven’t been given too much attention in your life, you have to act like you DESERVE to be treated that way.

9) Get busy with your career

If you really don’t like the feeling that you’re pretending to be busy just so you’re unavailable, then don’t fake it. Go get busy. Of course don’t do this just for men, do this for you.

By focusing on your goals—especially career goals—instead of just waiting around for a man to chase you, you’ll remind yourself that you’re the most important person in your life.

Our careers and life calling do more to us than any guy would. Men come and go but what you cultivate for yourself will stay with you until you die. Unless he proves himself worthy, prioritize yourself.

10) Get busy with your hobbies

Well, you don’t want to be a workaholic so when you’re done getting busy with your career, spend time doing your hobbies.

Do things for pleasure. If you’re into mountaineering, go do it. If you’re into embroidery, go do it.

Whatever the things you’re interested in, do them. Yes, even if you’re in love.

It has almost the same effect as getting busy with your career—it makes you prioritize yourself—but instead of “life’s purpose”, doing your hobbies can make you feel like you own your happiness.

If you know how to make yourself happy, a guy would automatically see you as a high-value woman.

11) Don’t change your life for him

You become easy to get when you’re willing to pull the heavens down to earth just to win his love and attention. Don’t do that.

You don’t have to cancel your plans just to be with him, you don’t have to dress like Ariana Grande if you’re actually just into shirts and jeans.

Look, if you want him to value you more, you have to show him who you really are and stick to it. A guy would know if you’re trying to impress him, and this can make him lose his attraction.

12) Don’t put love at the very top of your list of life priorities

The best way to be hard to get is to not play it.

What I mean by that is if you want to be chased like you’re a woman of value, then you should be a woman of value.

If you put love as your number one goal, guys will sense that. You’ll become clingy, your world will revolve around him. Please don’t do that.

There are many other things that are more important in this world than romantic love. Interestingly, the more you realize this, the more “hard to get” you are…thus, making you a catch.

13) Text like a high-value woman

Unless your man is a sleaze, he’ll be drawn by more than just your body. By projecting the aura of a high-value woman, you do more than just get him looking at you. You’ll have him needing you.

As dating and relationship coach Clayton Max says, “It’s not about checking all the boxes on a man’s list of what makes his ‘perfect girl’. A woman can’t “convince” a man to want to be with her”.

Instead, men choose women who they are infatuated with. These women stir up a sense of excitement and desire to chase them by what they say in their texts.

Want a few simple tips to be this woman?

Then watch Clayton Max’s quick video here where he shows you how to make a man infatuated with you (it’s easier than you probably think).

Infatuation is triggered by a primal drive deep within the male brain. And although it sounds crazy, there are a combination of words you can say to generate feelings of red-hot passion for you.

To learn exactly what these texts are, watch Clayton’s excellent video now.

14) Set boundaries

If he makes advances and you just let him go all the way even if it makes you feel uncomfortable because you have this need to please him, then stop that right now.

You might think it can make you win his heart but it really doesn’t. All it does is make him feel that he’s already got you in the bag. And of course, that he can easily get you.

Set boundaries. You’re the girl so you are the one with the “say” here.

If you think he’s hanging around your cubicle too often, tell him he should stop because management might not like it.

If he’s touching you like you’re already a couple when you still aren’t, and it makes you feel uncomfortable, tell him so.

15) Don’t stop talking to your male friends

Seeing a guy doesn’t mean you have to be with only one guy for the rest of your life.

You’re a human being with a need for interactions. You won’t just ditch male friends simply because they’re male just to be “loyal” to your date.

But other than that, if you really want to increase his attraction to you fast, especially if his interest and attraction to you is in plateau, this is the “jolt” that he needs.

It would make him think that you’re not saving all your love for him, that you can actually form other connections and easily have a guy if you want to.

16) Make him miss you

Aside from saying no to some dates, there are other ways that you can make a guy miss you.

If you’re colleagues and you always have lunch together, then skip a few days. Be with other people. It’s a “move” that’s actually healthy for you, too.

Even if you really want to be with him 24/7, don’t do it. You have to have deep inner strength to say no to something that you really want so you can be balanced.

Show him you’re independent. Fake it til you make it. And you’ll be glad that by “faking it” at first, you’ll slowly become genuinely independent…which is hella sexy.

If he has no room to miss you, he’ll slowly lose interest and wonder if you’re truly a catch.

17) Have a little mystery

It’s good to let go of your inhibitions and just say everything that’s on your mind. You want to be with someone you can share everything with, after all.

But you gotta keep a little something for yourself.

This will work because you’re withholding something from him…and that will make you more interesting to his eyes.

By all means, talk about your childhood but don’t keep yapping like you’re writing a novel.

Don’t keep talking nonstop about how you feel about everything, and don’t give him blow by blow updates of your day. Better to only share the most important details and skip the rest.

18) Be 100% okay with being alone

A person becomes “hard to get” when they’re not needy.

There’s no use of getting busy with your career or hobbies or friends when deep down you’re truly not okay with being alone. You’d only exhaust yourself trying to impress him by appearing independent.

Instead of pretending to be okay, of forcing yourself to be okay, be truly okay with being alone.

This way, you don’t have to fill your days with activities if you really don’t feel like it.

This will not make you a boring person, this will make you a content person. And if you’re content, you’re definitely not easy to get because you’re already happy with yourself.

19) Act like a queen

Imagine you’re a queen. When you wake up, what do you do?

Do you wait around for a guy to be happy…or do you treat yourself like a royal because you have bigger things to do?

Do you say YES to the first guy who shows the least bit of attention or do you take your time before you commit?

Remind yourself that you don’t have to be a real queen to start acting like one. You are worthy and you should treat yourself like you’re the most important person in the world.

20) Don’t put up with sleazy behavior

Men might brag about “bagging” easy women, but they sure as hell don’t appreciate them. And men will think you’re easy if you ignore or humor creepy, sleazy behavior.

If he’s doing things that are making you want to roll your eyes—then roll your eyes and call him out on it.

Don’t tolerate him being all touchy-feely with you in public, or talking like he already has you when he’s with his friends.

Let him know you’re not a woman to be trifled with.

Men who are legitimately sleazy will back off and stop. But all other men would realize that there’s more to you than just your looks or your body, and will want to know more about you.

 21) Have high standards

If you have high standards, you won’t need this guide because you won’t be “playing” like you have high standards— you actually have one.

In fact, you would be looking through this list and go “oh yeah, I’m already doing that… next!”

And that isn’t a coincidence!

That’s because playing “hard to get” is, ultimately, trying to present as a woman who has high standards. Someone who isn’t willing to bend the knee for the first guy who manages to send a cute look her way or falls head over heels for a free beer at a bar.

As a bonus, women who try to present themselves as having high standards will eventually become one.

Last words

If you want to be successful with relationships, you need to strike a good balance in how you approach men.

If you’re too easy, he won’t bother being serious with you. If you’re too hard to get, he won’t even try.

But if you tease him with the notion that he can get you if he works hard enough, but at the same time keeping him at a reasonable distance, then you will not only take you seriously, he will also value you like you’re the most important person in the world—and hey, don’t we all want that?

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

Click here to get started.

Written by Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey.

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