Those Who Play Hard to Get End Up with Higher-Quality Partners

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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If you’ve ever played hard to get, you’ve learned something modern research is only just now validating: This dating tactic actually works.

A recent publication, authored by Peter Jonason of the University of Western Sydney in Australia, looked at four different studies combining data from hundreds of college-aged individuals.

Jonason found respondents play hard to get for a variety of reasons, but more often than not, individuals play these games in order to increase the quality of their romantic partners and test their partner’s commitment.

“Individuals play these games in order to

increase the quality of their romantic partners.”

However, playing hard to get isn’t limited to singles. Jonason found individuals in committed unions preferred partners who limited their availability as well, noting playing hard to get within the context of a relationship helped maintain some of the excitement of the “chase.”

Jonason also found women played hard to get more often than men and preferred men with “medium availability,” while men preferred women with “low availability.”

While women increased their dating value by demonstrating limited availability, Jonason found men increased their dating value by demonstrating limited interest in their potential partners.

Jonason concludes:

“We all would want honesty in dating, but this is never going to happen. We are not overtly lying, but we’re always trying to marry up.”

From: European Journal of Personality

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