There is an excellent discussion going on in my private group : "For years we read from women that we should play hard to get. There are countless books written by women on this topic. What are your thoughts on why women believe we should play hard to get and men believe we should not? Do you believe women who hold the idea of playing hard to get contribute to their own demise?"
Here's my answer to this common question: It really is about semantics. The truth is always somewhere in between. From a man's perspective and instant reaction, "play hard to get" means playing games. From a coach's terminology, it basically means "raise your degree of difficulty naturally" without playing games but through the cultivation of self-esteem and self-love, as well as through understanding how attraction works on the emotional and psychological levels in human beings.
Am I hard to get? Yes and no. If a man is putting in the efforts I certainly am easy to get, but I will not make it too easy for him by doing his work as a man because he won't appreciate me unless he invests in me. And it has worked marvelously for me in my personal relationship (he's the most romantic, most affectionate, most doting man I have met in a long time).
The right meaning of hard to get is NOT about making men jump through hoops.
The correct meaning of hard-to-get is on how the dynamics of the relationship starts, develops and blooms. There are a few ways how this should be seen from:
3. Moving the relationship to the next level of commitment
Let's get through TWO of these points at this time: initiating and leading.
A man is filled with up to 10 times as much testosterone as a woman is. This is the go-getter hormone. So think about it, if a man needs a woman to initiate -by that I mean to approach her, ask for her number and ask her out- what does it tell you?
Oh, you will protest, but he's been rejected so many times before and he's probably just a shy guy who needs a clear signal that it's okay to ask me out.
I get it, it's not easy to be a guy who has to face rejections all their lives. And I'm not saying as a woman we have to be totally passive about it. Actually in an indirect way women do initiate all the time. In the old days, so we are told, they would drop the hankie so the guy they were interested in could pick it up and return it to them.
We do give signals when we are attracted to a guy, some of us are more blatant than others. And even with seemingly "clear signals" often time guys are misled thinking the women are interested while in fact they are not. I get it that often times guys will just either develop thick skin or just pass a lot of signals unless they are sure it's worth pursuing.
Still, in most situations flirting, a smile and a prolonged eye contact should be more than enough to make guys -with a backbone- to approach you and ask for your number. And I'm not saying you can't initiate a conversation either. In a function or a party you can mingle in or join the conversation or even start one if you feel so inclined.
But to ask his number or call him first and ask him out? No. Give enough signals and back off. If he can't man up, he's probably just not interested. Not every man is going to be attracted to you and why do you want to force yourself onto a man who is not romantically into you? That's a waste of time and precious mental energy ( Check this out if you have done all those mistakes and you want to know further how to erase common mistakes women make with men).
This is what the correct way of playing hard-to-get will protect you from being taken for a ride in a convenience relationship that doesn't serve you, unless of course you are happy with just casual sex and not wanting anything serious.
If you want a masculine man, initiating isn't the way to go. You might end up with a feminine-energy man. And you also want to establish a pattern from the get go in which you want a man to step up and lead and you are not operating from your masculine energy most of the time.
A lot of post-feminist women will react violently to this. Trust me, I'm not a shrinking violet myself. I know how to support myself -and even a man- and be all alpha on my own and stand up to anyone when I have to.
But when it comes to relationship I have tried the "in-charge style" and it didn't go anywhere. Whether I ended up with a beta male or an alpha guy who didn't care of my female needs. The truth is you can't be "caught" and leading at the same time. You have to choose one or the other.
Sure, there is a middle ground, but still at the end of the day a man won't feel like a man when he's in some ways not ahead of you in the seating arrangement, you know what I mean? And the same way a woman won't feel like a woman when she is in some ways not feeling protected.
The fairy tale of a knight in shining armor rescuing a damsel in distress is not that farfetched after all. It's the archetype of men-women way of relating that works the best since the beginning of time. Sure we can add a modern twist here and there but bottom line is testosterone can't be secondary to estrogen in the leadership department without killing romance and intimacy.
You can all be testosterone-driven in the work place. I'm all for that. But when you are home, leave your power-driven suit at the door. Your man doesn't need a competitor at home. He needs a sanctuary that only feminine essence can provide him with. That LIES your true power as a woman, hands down!
To understand further of this concept, click the link below.
And read the third point addressed here: Should I Initiate The Talk?
This article is one of understanding men series I write. Please check my author page for more articles on the subejct or join me in my ex-back support group and relationship forum for more tips on how to deal with your breakup and how to get yourself on the path of getting your love and your life back. Please also follow me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katarina.phang for my daily nuggets of reflections/insights/advice and tips on attracting and maintaining a lasting relationship and fixing a broken one.
Katarina Phang is an author, love/life coach specializing on reuniting couples and curing troubled relationship. She founded a free ex-back support group and relationship forum http://gettheloveyoudeserve.info.