Is Playing Hard To Get Still In Vogue?


“Don’t act too cheap.”

Don’t show him that you are in love with him too.”

“Keep him guessing, and if he really wants you, he will come for you.”

Plenty of us ladies have heard these statements and some variations of it, all of it encouraging a woman not to give in too easily to a man’s advances. Interestingly, this could also be the other way round, but I’m mostly concerned with the way ladies play hard to get.

I’m not against playing hard to get, but is it really ideal in this 21st century, where men are more finicky and ladies are not completely shy about showing a guy that they fancy him?

I don’t even have answer but I hope this incident I’m about to relate will help us come to a conclusion.

A friend of my younger sister’s just got married, and we had all attended the wedding, which was a fun one. We had wined and dined aplenty and then the gist started to flow. The story of how the bride and groom met emerged…and lots more.

You see, Lara had met her husband Francis on the street, literally. He had been visiting with a lady, whom he was interested in, and would have wanted to marry but she wasn’t making things easy for him. She acted both hot and cold. At one moment, she’d be all over him, and at other times, she wouldn’t want to even see him. She would invite him to her house and end up refusing to see him. She was being disrespectful and he accepted all that she threw his way, because he thought he loved her.

This continued for months and then one day, Francis had gone to his ex-girlfriend’s place, only to meet her absence and a note letting him know she would be back soon. Soon turned into a four-hour wait and then, instead of a “sorry for keeping you waiting,” she had hissed at seeing him and asked him if he didn’t have anything better to do with his time, than wait for her.

At this statement, Francis had been too angry to speak; he had simply taken his leave.  He was in a very foul mood and was literally stomping his way home, when he bumped into Lara, who had nearly fallen down from the impact. Coming out of his dark mood, he had helped her up and as he did, Lara smiled and he beheld her tantalising gap tooth, which literally melted the anger in his heart. He had apologised, asked for her name and left.

He had no idea that meeting was significant until later, when he found himself going to the same spot to look for her.

Even after leaving his ex’s place angry, he still went back there and told her of his anger and it only grew worse, because she made it known that, if he truly wanted to be with her, then he wouldn’t be angry at whatever she did or didn’t do.

That was the last his ex saw of him, and the end of whatever had been between them. He left, and the next time she saw him, he had Lara on his arms and she had reacted shrewdly.

Whether she likes it or not, Lara and Francis just celebrated their one month wedding anniversary. She had wasted two years of his life, perhaps her life too, dangling him in a non-committal relationship.


On the other hand is Bisi, who played hard to get, and, till date, claims, she was trying to fully understand the personality of the person she wanted to marry, before committing herself fully to him. So, for months, she didn’t say yes to him…btu she didn’t say no either. She just kept mute. And for the three years plus that they dated, Bisi played all sorts of cards; anger, deceit and more, just to get a rise out of him. But God was good to her. He had created Rotimi specifically for her, because that is the only way he could have withstood all she threw at him.

They have been married for 2 years now, but a lot has changed in those two years on the dating scene. Patience is increasingly becoming a virtue that more singles need to learn.

For me, playing hard to get is okay, as long as it is done within reason.  But these points should throw some light on this playing hard to get business.

Dating is all about supply and demand:

There starts to be this acute sense that if you’re available all the time when someone asks you out, your time doesn’t seem especially valuable. By playing hard to get, you’re making it seem like demand for you and your time is high. This can be a good and bad thing; making you seem high maintenance to some men and thus out of reach, which might lead to scarcity of dates. On the other hand, it also makes you only available to a certain group of men, who may, or may not, be interested in you.

Just because you can play hard to get, doesn’t mean you should:

By deliberately playing hard to get, you run the risk of not being genuine or authentic with yourself.  You are trying to be someone you are not. You are being defensive; you’re not letting yourself be vulnerable.

In order to have or develop intimacy in a close, loving relationship, vulnerability is a necessary condition. Any time you’re putting a wall up, or you’re not allowing yourself to be vulnerable I think that you’re essentially blocking yourself from developing a true intimate relationship.

You call it playing hard to get but I see fear of being hurt.

I realise that, playing hard to get now is not something we can throw completely out of the window, but it is still not something I can advise any lady to embrace whole heartedly.

Balance is the key.

Stay in love!


Kristine is a member of  The Lovelint team. She  is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.

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