Psychological research shows that desire is related to the availability or scarcity of an object. If it is too easy to obtain we do not place as much value upon the item and the desire decreases. Stephen Worchel’s experiment involved handing a cookie jar with ten identical cookies to someone. He then asked them to take one, taste it and rate it for taste. The same experiment was carried out with others, but with only two cookies instead of ten, in the jar. Those handed the jar with only two cookies rated the taste as significantly better than the jar with ten cookies in it.
The same applies to dating. The more choice we have, the less each option appeals to us and we end up being a lot fussier than if we happen to meet someone through work or at the pub. The ‘tick-box’ mentality that influences our choices with online dating doesn’t apply when we are out and about meeting people randomly. But does playing hard to get increase your chances in the dating game? Well, yes and no.
Everyone likes to feel wanted and valued and playing hard to get can put potential suitors off. People who have low self esteem and confidence will probably be unlikely to pursue someone who plays their cards close to their chest and maintains a poker face. The older we get, the less we are into playing games and it can be refreshing to meet someone who is upfront and open about how they feel. Younger daters tend to wear their heart on their sleeve more than their older counterparts and this has a lot to do with having less emotional baggage. When we reach our 30’s and 40’s, many of us have been hurt and disappointed and have built up emotional barriers to protect ourselves.
It would seem the best way forward is to act friendly and interested but to variate our availability. Don’t jump at the chance to see someone each and every time they suggest it. Hopefully you have a life and other interests apart from this person. Acting enthusiastic makes others feel good about themselves and to most of us, this feeling is like a drug. We actively seek out people who make us feel good. People who make us feel great possess charisma and are always in demand. The key is to display high self confidence, like yourself and see yourself as a prize. This self acceptance intrigues others and we love to be around someone who is happy with themselves. They tend to be a lot of fun and spread that feeling around wherever they go.
So, work on the self love, don’t always be available and be kind, friendly and enthusiastic about others. Job done.