Adolescents and Young AdultsHealth Trends

The Psychology behind Playing “Hard-to-Get

Playing “hard-to-get” has been an age-long strategy for dating and mating. Typically, potential partners adopt this strategy to look more desirable by withholding signs of romantic interest. A new study shows that this may be more than just a game, but a behavior that has its roots in childhood experiences.

The study, led by a team of psychologists, revealed that people who play “hard-to-get” – and those who pursue them – in dating and mating are usually insecure. This insecurity is associated with an attachment style called anxious or avoidant attachment style. People with this attachment style tend to play this game to win affection of the pursuer, who also has this attachment style.

The team explained that attachment styles are learnt during childhood and are coping mechanisms to manage and self-protect from a potential partner’s behavior. People who are secure in themselves are less likely to play hard-to-get and less likely to pursue a potential partner who is playing hard-to-get.

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