That's right, hold back the flowers. Think about every cheesy ’80s movie you’ve ever seen, and you’ll realize that bad guys alm...
Think about every cheesy ’80s movie you’ve ever seen, and you’ll realize that bad guys almost always get the girl. Now there’s research that proves it: According to a study published in the European Journal of Personality, playing hard-to-get can land you a hotter, more committed woman.
In a series of studies, Australian researchers showed college students attractive photos of the opposite sex, and told them how often the people in the photos went out with someone they just met, from never to occasionally to often. The results: Both men and women preferred dates who rated “medium” in availability. Plus, people were more likely to dole out cash for less available dates.
It goes back to the age-old theory of supply and demand, says study author Peter Jonason, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Western Sydney in Australia. “Commodities that are viewed as less available are viewed as more valuable,” he says.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a total jerk to play hard-to-get. (And besides, in all those ’80s flicks, the nice guy always landed the girl in the end.) Here are four simple ways to flip your dating tactics and bring her home tonight.
1. Tell the Truth
There’s a fine line between mysterious and rude—don’t cross it. “You’re a jerk when you don’t fulfill promises, like saying you’re going to call and not calling, or saying you’re going to show up and not showing up,” says NYC-based flirting and dating expert Tracey Steinberg. You want to be someone whose word can be relied on. So if you’re not going to really call tomorrow, simply say, “I had a great time, I’d love to do this again soon.” You’ll show interest and can follow up on your own time without letting her down or appearing too needy.
2. Play Tennis
Not literally, but figuratively. “You hit the ball to her, she hits the ball back,” Steinberg says. Read: If you call her, and she doesn’t answer, then don’t call her again. “The too-nice guy keeps calling, and the jerk would say, ‘call me later’ and not be there.” Giving her space to hit the ball back leaves you looking interested and confident.
3. Talk Yourself Up
The trick to looking busy: actually being busy. There’s a reason women love rock stars, athletes, and actors: “They’re excellent in a certain category, and that’s attractive,” Steinberg says. You don’t need to brag, but it’s OK to work your recent Ironman time into conversation if you spend every non-working hour racing. Ask her what she’s doing in her off-hours, too. Every woman wants a guy who’s got a full life that he loves—with room for her.
4. Delay the Date
When you first meet someone, remember: they’re a stranger—and you wouldn’t just drop everything for a stranger, Steinberg says. If you meet on a Saturday, don’t call her for brunch on Sunday morning. Instead, call on Monday, and schedule a date for Thursday. Relationships build slowly over time, and that pace should start from day one.
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