Does Seeming Less Interested Really Give You The Upper Hand In Relationships? Experts Explain


"You have to play hard to get." "You can’t show them you’re too interested." "You can’t make it too easy." I’ve heard these statements over and over again as the key to winning someone over, and they’ve made me think, does seeming less interested give you the upper hand in relationships?Do you have to play the game if you want to come out on top? I’d like to think that we live in a world where we no longer have to play games, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Seeming just the right amount of interested has become somewhat of a scale — not too much and not too little. "If we go back to caveman days, we have to remember that a man loves the chase. He likes to choose and protect the one he is interested in, by providing food, sex, and shelter," online dating expert Julie Spira tells Elite Daily. "This wiring still exists in the brain of a man today, to a certain extent, but playing games in today’s over-connected digital world by playing too hard to get can result in having your love interest fizzle out if you don’t show a certain level of interest."

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So, how do you find that balance? In short, Shira says not to smother the person you’re into or appear "needy," but also, don’t feel like you have to do all the work. "Allow the other person to take the lead, but never show a continuous level of disinterest, or you’ll be sending off the message that you aren’t excited by their advances, and won’t be able to form a meaningful connection," she explains. "Communicating your interest without smothering someone will keep them interested and intrigued to learn more about you. Being too available 24/7, and being over-eager in a one-sided way, may result in their interest wane."

But if you play too hard to get, Spira warns, it could make the relationship difficult, and that’s not how relationships are supposed to be, especially at the beginning. "You can lose the connection or flow that you’ve developed with someone you’re interested in if you go MIA and don’t show appreciation," she explains. "If a woman doesn’t seem excited after multiple attempts to keep a relationship going, they’ll assume she isn’t interested and will bail."

With this balance in mind, it’s important to remember that, "relationships are not meant to be power struggles," spiritual matchmaker Heather Kristian Strang tells Elite Daily. But, they can very easily become so, if one or both people are constantly trying to have the upper hand. "To have a lasting, heart-centered and deeply fulfilling relationship, we want to be authentic in our feelings and not stuff or hide emotions in order to feel ‘more in control.’" she says.

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Life’s about balance. You balance binge-watching your new favorite show with going out in public and actually wearing pants. You balance your daily craving for pizza with a salad from time to time. You balance your desire to seem mysterious and intriguing by seeming less interested in someone with also not being too disinterested. It’s all about finding that middle point, while simultaneously ensuring you’re not constantly trying to have the upper hand. Find your balance, and let the chips fall where they may.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!

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