One of the more ridiculous pieces of advice I hear spun out to women with frightening regularity is "Play hard to get." I'm certain you've heard these gems as well: "Keep him guessing," "Don't immediately return his call," and of course, "Be a mystery."
Where does this stuff come from? I won't claim to speak for every guy, but I'm confident in saying that I speak for the majority of guys when it comes to this topic. Well intentioned girlfriends are great; they mean well, but they probably don't know what they're talking about. They — and by proxy, you — have been bamboozled.
The whole playing hard to get thing is archaic, 19th century nonsense slung around by prudish parents. This line of thinking certainly has its place ... in the 1800s.
Most reasonably grown men have no interest or tolerance for the "hard to get" game. The men love the chase myth has been propagated for years with very little (if any) rebuttal. It's just one of those things that has always been openly declared and just as openly unchallenged, so the myth has become accepted fact.
Today, we challenge this notion.
Guys love a challenge. We love a woman who's confident, smart, knows who she is and what she wants, and who doesn't need a guy to complete her.
The fact that the woman doesn't need us makes her a challenge. We know that we've got to be at our best with that woman — whatever our best happens to be. If she does end up with him, she's there because she wants him, not because she needs him. And there are no surprises with the woman who's a challenge. We know right away who she is and what she's about.
But what guys don't love, is the chase. When you swaddle the concept of the chase with a healthy dose of logic, it's crystal clear why that type of gamesmanship makes little sense. Why begin something new and potentially great by being artfully disingenuous? When you pretend to be less interested than you really are, does this not set the tone for the rampant game-playing aspect of dating most of us want eliminated?
Additionally, a guy may decide that he's wasting his time because he can't figure out where he stands. So while you and your girlfriends are busy trying to "make him work for it" because you don't want to seem too eager or too interested, he's moved on because he met someone who was interested and wasn't afraid to be open about it.
I'm not saying that women should throw their dignity on the craps table. I'm not saying stuff your underwear into a guy's shirt pocket with a hotel key attached to it. No one's advocating that you get all possessive and Fatal Attraction-esque; we're just saying to keep it real.
If you like the guy, tell him. Feel free to pick that phone up on the second or first ring if you're that excited to hear from him. Call him less than 72 hours after your first date. It's all good. Really, it is. We like to know that you're just as interested as we are.
Don't believe it when someone tries to convince you it's not "ladylike," and definitely don't believe that guys don't like a woman who makes the first introductory move.
Being this mystery woman on the first date is played out, too. Don't you find it interesting that all dating experts push the idea of playing hard to get and being a mystery? They'll say, "Don't talk about politics, religion, money, sex, marriage and/or children on the first or second date," even though every online dating service asks its members to create profiles and matches them based on that exact criteria.
Our varied points of view on those issues shape who we are. Why play coy about it? We're aware that this approach flies in the face of all conventional dating wisdom, but ultimately, it's the way to go. Be honestly you.
Follow your instincts. Navigate your dating life by making your choices based on your rules. You are who you are. And that's good enough.
This article was originally published at GalTime. Reprinted with permission from the author.