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Is playing hard to get in a relationship effective at making someone fall in love?

One of the most widely offered pieces of advice you’ll find when trying to make someone like (or love) you, is to play hard to get. The tactic is based on the idea that what is rare, is valuable:

  • Gold is rare …thus it is expensive
  • Platinum is rare …thus it is expensive
  • Meteorites are rare …thus they are expensive

Even though these things don’t have any real inherent value in them (gold and platinum are just metals at the end of the day), the fact that they are rare is what causes them to be so sought after and a high price placed on them.

So some people take the idea that if you can make yourself seem difficult to get (ie rare), that this will increase your perceived value in the eyes of the person you like …and help make fall in love with you.

So when it comes to relationships, does “playing hard to get” work?

Yes …and no.

Playing hard to get can be a very effective technique for making someone fall in love with you – BUT only as long as you don't over do it. 

It’s a fine balance …which unfortunately a lot of people get wrong. Most people end up over-doing it and end up coming across as being stuck up, manipulative and liking themselves too much.

These are not attractive qualities, and can actually result in putting the person off ...even if they had initially liked you.

So how do you avoid over-doing it?

Let’s take two practical examples to give you a clearer idea of this:

EXAMPLE #1: You’ve just got the persons number, and you don’t text them until 3 days afterwards (in the belief that this will raise your perceived value)

Alot of people do this …and it’s lame. They think that they should make themselves look like they have such a busy life that they don’t have time to text the person they have bothered to exchange numbers with.

It just makes you look manipulative …and that you’re thinking too hard about the situation. A better way to handle this type of situation is to follow the advice in this article – “How Many Days Should I Wait Before Texting A Woman I Just Met”.

EXAMPLE #2: Let’s say that you and the person are friends and talking about meeting up for a coffee (i.e. a potential date)

Some people play hard to get in this type of situation by thinking that if they were to cancel the date at the last minute and re-schedule for another time, that this would make themselves appear “more valuable” in the other persons eyes. Indeed I’ve seen this tactic mentioned in several “pick-up” guides (for both men and women) ...and it’s terrible advice.  

People are generally more intelligent than we give them credit for. The result is that the person is very likley to see through your game and consequently see you as stuck-up and manipulative. And if the person begins to associate you as someone who plays games, your viability (in their eyes) as a potential long-term partner will take a significant hit.


One of the highest characteristics people continually put high on the list of things they are looking for in a potential future partner – is someone who is genuine. And when you play hard to get with the person you like, you lose this attractive quality in their eyes.

The reality is that there is a right and a wrong way to play hard to get when trying to make someone fall in love with you. I’ve covered the wrong way to do it here. In my book “THE LOVEMAP CODE: How To Make Someone Fall In Love With You Using Psychology” …I devote a whole chapter to the CORRECT way to play hard to get so that you achieve the effect of making this person like you more (as a direct consequence of playing hard to get) ...but while also maintaining your “genuineness” in that persons eyes.

And it's this balance which is crucial when trying to make someone fall in love with you.