9 Risks Of Playing Hard To Get

Some people praise playing hard to get as an effective way to show a guy that you’re interested while still making him chase you. While this strategy can have its desired effect and lead you to a happy, healthy relationship, it also comes with risks that can make a potentially great connection go up in smoke.

  1. You may come off as disinterested. This is honestly the biggest miscommunication that happens when someone plays hard to get. There’s a fine line between playing coy and appearing completely apathetic toward the guy you’re trying to attract. If you’re trying to make him want you more by leaving him on read for hours at a time or pretending like you may have other plans when he asks you to hang out, you could be sending out different signals than you think.
  2. He could get tired of waiting. No matter how great you really are, you can’t expect a guy to wait on you forever. If you keep making him practically beg for your time and attention, he’s only going to put up with it for so long. Soon, he’ll give up on the idea of you ever being truly into him (or at least into him enough to show it) and by the time you decide you’re willing to give him a little more of yourself, it may be too late.
  3. He might think you’re playing with his emotions. No one wants to feel like their feelings are a game. Playing hard to get by acting hot and cold with a guy can make him want you more, but at what cost? The fact that you really do like him isn’t going to make things easier on him when you stop initiating conversations or asking him to hang out. The last thing you want to do is come across like you’re trying to manipulate him.
  4. You give him time to find someone who seems more enthusiastic. Pretending to be busy all the time might make you seem cool and interesting, but it can also make it seem like you just don’t have time to date right now. The guy you like can’t do all the work when it comes to making (and keeping) plans or carrying on conversations. If he meets someone who seems like she’s actively interested in pursuing something with him, you can hardly blame him if he chooses to date her instead.
  5. You could give the poor guy anxiety. Look, romantic and sexual goals aside, it’s a really awful feeling when you like someone and you constantly have to wonder whether they like you or kind of hate you. It’s OK to act a little bit aloof, but check yourself and ask how you’d feel if you were in this guy’s position. Would you think he was just teasing you, or would you feel sick wondering if you’d done something wrong?
  6. He might think you’re more involved with someone else. If you’re not exclusive, you’re completely within your right to see more than one person at a time. If you really are only into one person, though, do you want him to think that you’re splitting your time, attention, and affection between him and multiple other suitors? Making yourself seem emotionally and physically withdrawn from him can suggest that there’s someone else more serious in your life who’s getting more of you. Would you still pursue someone if you thought he was messing around with multiple other people?
  7. He might try the same plan with you. Guys can (and do) play hard to get too. If you set a tone for the relationship that involves playing games to try to get this guy to like you more, he might very well turn that around on you. You’ll be looking at a relationship that’s a constant back-and-forth of giving and withholding attention and communication. This dynamic could be great if you love drama in your relationships, but if you want something more stable, your flirting tactics might backfire on you.
  8. He might think you only want something casual. People who want a serious relationship generally put forth the serious effort required to be in one. By playing hard-to-get, you might communicate that you’re just looking for a fling or a source of attention to pass the time. Again, if this is all you want, great. If you’re looking for someone to settle down with, though, you might want to steer away from this dating strategy.
  9. You could make him clingy and insecure. Sometimes, the attention that you want from playing hard-to-get comes back at you in ways you’re not prepared for. Rather than just making this guy want you a bit more, your tactics could turn him into that guy who triple-texts you all the time and constantly asks if you’re mad at him. Suddenly, he’s no longer a guy who’s interested in you—he’s a guy who’s clingy.
Diana is a writer and waitress living in Tennessee with her "fur family" (two cats and a ferret). When she's not working, you can find her hiking, cooking, or taking really long naps.