Is She Not Interested Or Just Playing Hard To Get?

"If she's not talking to you, she's talking to someone else."

When you craft a witty one liner, cultivate a flirty convo, and then ask the girl of your dreams out—only to receive radio silence—your morale tends to drop. Or worse: she replies, “I’ll let you know,” or “maybe next time!”. In these cases it’s pretty clear cut—you’re screwed. Other times, however, they come back with something non comital, but not outright rejection, “That’s such a shame! I have plans that night”.

If this is the case, she could be trying to let you down gently. Or she could be playing hard to get. Maybe she really does have plans, and is still interested. But how do you tell? Are there clues? While the following image hits the nail (and the funny-bone) on the head, it’s hardly an all inclusive guide. So what’s a guy to do?

 

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You could spend hours going through obscure internet forums, trying to seek advice from dudes who’ve never been on a date in their life, and sleazy dating coaches who’ve been on one too many. Or, and we’re highly recommending this plan, you turn to the other side. What do we mean by this?

Bring in the big guns. Consult an expert. Check out what the ladies are saying.

We strolled over to the foremost women’s websites, to see what they had to say. This is the pick of the bunch: the sure fire signs Tinder bae is not into you. Plus: how she would respond to the same questions if the ~chemistry~ was real.

One Word Answers

You: Hey, what are you up to tonight?

Her: Nothing.

*A week passes*

You: Hey, how’s it going?

Her: Good.

Just in case you were wondering, even if her response includes the word, “Good”, it’s not a good sign. Or, in the words of Elite Daily, “If she’s not talking to you, she’s talking to someone else. Consider this a ‘stop’ sign, and do not proceed.”

Just as an example, here’s how she might respond if she was feeling butterflies.

You: Hey, what are you up to tonight?

Her: Heyy, not much. Why do you ask? :p

She’s Realllly Busy

We all get busy. Especially the single among us, who have to juggle work, friends, pizza, working out and keeping our indoor plants alive before we can even consider stepping out the door for a date. So if she’s too busy to meet up, it’s tempting to write it off as a schedule clash and maintain hope.

However, as Narcity points out, we all make time for things we are interested in, so if she says, “I don’t have time,” it means she doesn’t have time for YOU specifically. You didn’t impress enough in your initial interaction; cut your losses and move on.

She Says Her Friends Aren’t Sure About You

Context, context, context. If she says it with a playful: “Are you going to lead me astray?” vibe then it’s a good sign. Then again, if she says something along the lines of, “My friends don’t think it’ll work out,” as the women over at Narcity admit, they often scapegoat their friends when they are uncomfortable rejecting a guy outright. So you have to read the room because, depending on how she says it, this one could mean anything from “keen” to “pity”.

There Is A Long Wait Between Messages

Although it is technically possible she is doing this in an effort to play hard to get, both Thought Catalogue and Elite Daily both agree it’s more likely she’s just not that into you. If she’s really into you, but doesn’t want to come on strong, she might delay one or two messages, but if you’re consistently being “left on read”, you’re out of luck.

She Won’t Give You Her Number, But Says You Can Follow Her On Instagram

If you started the convo on Instagram it’s a different ball game: but if you met on a dating app (or in real life) and she’s not keen on giving you her number—instead suggesting you follow her on Instagram—she’s possibly testing to see if you have an ounce of self respect and definitely not interested.

She’s Indecisive

Put it this way: if Margot Robbie asked you to join her for Friday night cocktails, would you say, “Hey, umm, thanks for the offer but I’m not sure what I’m doing yet.” Hard to get or not, if she’s really into you, she’ll come around without you badgering her for an answer.

As for when you meet in person, allow her facial expressions, desire to get close (or not), eye contact and words to be your guide. Or refer to the following roadmap around the friend zone…

RELATED: How To Tell If She’s Flirting With You Or Just Being Nice 

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Why Playing Hard To Get Works

Hard to get might be your best bet.

Image: @gypsea_lust

They say the key to dating success is playing things cool and not getting overly invested right from the get-go. Sadly, I’m a hopeless romantic who’s far more likely to write a love sonnet than try and ghost someone. But that’s bad news for me, apparently.

Researchers from the University of Rochester in upstate New York and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel have collaborated on a recent study that reveals that the age-old dating strategy of ‘playing hard to get’ actually has tangible results.

“Playing hard to get makes it seem as if you are more in demand,” says Professor Harry Reis from the University of Rochester, one of the architects of the study. When you’re perceived to be a more valuable dating partner, you’re more likely to have dating success.

“We all want to date people with [a] higher ‘mate value’. We’re trying to make the best deal we can.”

“People who are too easy to attract may be perceived as more desperate,” co-author Associate Professor Gurit Birnbaum reinforces. Coming off as too desperate could sink your chances.

However, don’t overdo it with the whole ‘playing hard to get’ thing. Nothing’s sexier than someone who’s actually interested in you. Birnbaum and Reis have also written another study that found “when people feel greater certainty that a prospective romantic partner reciprocates their interest, they will put more effort into seeing that person again.”

Moreover, “[people] will even rate [a] possible date as more sexually attractive than they would if they were less certain about the prospective date’s romantic intentions.”

RELATED: Study Suggests A Relationship’s Expiry Date Is Set The First Time You Have Sex

So… What’s the right move? Should I play hard to get or not? Well, maybe just a little. Confidence, patience and actually being interesting go a long way in making sure you get that second date. Showing a bit of restraint and not laying all your cards on the table on day dot isn’t a bad idea, but you can’t be so reserved and opaque that you don’t seem disinterested.

“People are less likely to desire what they already have,” Birnbaum explains. “Instead, build a connection with a potential partner gradually [to create] a sense of anticipation and a desire to learn more about the other person.”

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