This principle generally prevents rejections of individuals who appear to be attractive to us, a fundamental human characteristic. Psychologists have called it “reciprocity of attraction.” When used to establish relationships, it works well. While making the chase harder is also advantageous, there are also drawbacks. In this case, which strategy does it make more sense to use in order to find The researchers, one from the University of Rochester and the other from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, examined the effects of playing hard to get, a mating strategy that is likely to result in an aura According to a recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, making the chase harder increased the ability to attract a partner. Professors Gurit Birnbaum, a social psychologist at the IDC Herzliya, and Harry Reis, a psychology professor at the University of Rochester, discovered that immediately reciprocating another person’s interest may not be the best way to attract someone to you. People who are perceived as more desperate when they are comfortable may be seen as too easy to attract, Birnbaum says. “This would make them seem less desirable and appealing – in comparison to those who do not project any romantic interest

The act of playing hard to get is a common strategy used by lonely people to attract partners, but previous research has raised questions about whether and why this strategy works – a concern this study attempted to answer. Some aren’t keen to employ this approach because they are concerned that it will backfire and drive prospective partners away out of fear of rejection. As previously shown in previous studies by the pair, people who are more certain that their romantic interests will be reciprocated will make more effort to see their date again, and will rate the possibility of a date as more physically attractive than they would if they were less sure. But in their latest work, the team tested three interrelated experiments with tactics that gave the impression that potential partners were hard to find, signaling their “mate value” by being selective as to what kind of partners they chose. In reality, research participants acted as though they had interacted with another male participant of their own gender, but a member of the research team was conducting the study. Participants were asked to rate their perceptions of the insider’s value as a mate (e.g., “I perceive the other participant as a valued mate”), and their desire to engage in specific

The researchers at the University of Michigan found that participants who interacted with study insiders who were either hard to get or easy to attract thought the insider was more desirable as a partner, as opposed to participants who interacted with less selective insiders (who were

Researchers during study 2 examined the attempts made to pursue a potential partner and whether such efforts inspired heightened sexual interest. Here participants used real efforts (or not) to attract the insider during face-to-face interactions with their possible partner. The experiment involved participants engaging in conversation with a study insider (the participant who was actually part of the experiment). A list of 10 questions was presented to participants and insiders who discussed their preferences in various situations (e.g., “Do What is the extent to which you like cuddling with your partner at night?”). Among the 10 questions, the insider expressed a different preference than those of the participants for seven of them. Members of the hard-to-get group were told to try to resolve arguments with each other. In using a fixed script, the insiders gradually backed down and let themselves be “persuaded” by the participants, in order to express agreement with their viewpoint. So they tried to convey to participants that they had invested time and efforts and that they had even succeeded in their efforts. With the no-effort group, participants were instructed to only express their preferences and explain their point of view without attempting to resolve the differences between them. Participants felt that they were not exerting effort to convince the insider, so they felt that the discussion was not attempting to persuade. Researchers found that not only selectiveness, but investments in the pursuit of a mate made potential partners more valuable and sexually desirable than those who put little effort into finding a mate.

The participants in study 3 engaged in spontaneous interactions with each other and the effort undertaken by them to be seen by the insider was recorded. In this study, researchers examined whether choosing to be hard to get made someone more desirable in terms of their sexual desire as well as the amount of effort devoted to seeing them later. In order to carry out this process, participants interacted via Instant Messenger with the insider in a chat window. Participants were asked to leave one final message for the insider at the end of the session. By counting the messages, the researchers computed how many times participants expressed romantic interest or wished to interact again with the insider — for example, by complimenting and flirting with the insider, or by asking him/her out on It turned out that interacting with those who were perceived as hard to get improved their mate value and desirability as well as the amount of effort they invested in seeing


“I believe that people who are perceived as hard to get have a higher mate value” The study participants made greater efforts/and found more sexually desirable those potential dates they perceived as hard to get The study participants made greater efforts to see those again for whom they had made efforts from the beginning. It’s our goal to make the dearest deal we can.” Of course, some may be hesitant to use this scarcity strategy, worrying that it could drive prospective partners away due to fear of rejection. It is true that the strategy is not effective for everyone, all the time. “If being dishonest or arrogant backfires,” Reis says. So, how do you reconcile these two approaches — doing hard to get, and removing uncertainty at the same time? Make an effort to interact with potential partners right off the bat in order not to alienate them, Birnbaum advises. Nevertheless, not too much personal information is too much to give away. Getting more of what you already have is less likely to satisfy your desire, her reasoning goes. It is better to build a connection with a potential partner gradually, thus creating a feeling of anticipation and the desire to learn more about them. Playing hard to get may work for a while as long as relationships feel like they’re heading in the right direction.