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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

Playing Hard to Get

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Feb 9th 2011

Playing Hard To GetIts getting to be Valentines Day again and that brings out all the feelings of romance and love. However, for those who are single, how to find a partner with whom romance can begin is what is most important. For many people, finding the right partner is difficult and discouraging. My experience as a therapist was that a variety of women report falling in love with men who do not reciprocate the same feelings. Yet, these women continue to pursue and even fall in love with men who are, at the very least ambivalent and at worst, do not care at all. Evidently my experience is supported by the results of an experiment using college young men and women placed in a variety of situations designed to imitate dating in the outside world.

The findings of the study were recently reported in the journal, "Psychological Science" It found that a woman is sometimes more attracted to a man when she is uncertain about how much he likes her. Wouldn't you think it would be the opposite?

This is true in many circumstances but not all. According to the study, if "Woman A" is unsure of how much "Man B" likes her, she might spend a lot of time thinking about him. In situations like this, the woman might spend a lot of time thinking about him, wondering how he feels about her. In fact, the more she thinks about him, the more attractive she finds him to be.

So, what it seems to mean is that, if you are looking for an intimate partner, its better to "hold your cards close to the vest." In other words, the more you remain mysterious the better the chances of finding the right partner. This translates into not revealing to much about yourself too soon. My late and great grandma called this "playing hard to get."

Perhaps not revealing too much too soon includes avoiding "hopping into bed too soon." What mystery is left if we are premature about having sex with a potential serious partner?

What do you think about this? Do you reveal too much about yourself too soon? Do you find yourself telling your date, too soon, how much you like him or her?

Your opinions and comments are strongly encouraged.

In the meantime, enjoy Valentines Day.

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at for details.

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