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Should Women Play Hard to Get?

By December 30, 20076 Comments

For the past three days I have been vacationing with family in Florida, and the one thing that I have done every single day since I arrived is go fishing. There is a little dock right outside where we are staying, and there are lots of fish swimming around it, so it’s a perfect place to pass the time while enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery.

Over these past couple days I have learned a lot about fish. For instance, fish are a lot smarter than we give them credit for (at least some fish are). And due to this fact, I have had to teach myself the art of fish seduction. You see, it’s not enough to just let your bait hang in the water. It’s got to be moving around a little, taunting the fish, as if to say, “You couldn’t catch me if you tried!”

What’s more, many of the fish don’t want the bait if it’s dead. This week we’ve been using live shrimp, and if that little shrimp’s feet stop scurrying, then a lot of the fish will lose interest. A couple greedy fish won’t care and will eat the shrimp either way, but the big fish, the fish you want, can’t be fooled. For them, it’s all about the thrill of the chase.

Now this afternoon as I sat on the dock and carefully moved my bait around so as to catch the fish’s attention, I realized something. What I’ve learned about catching fish can be easily applied to dating men. Like fish, many guys don’t want a girl who chases them, because men also desire the thrill of the chase. Even once you start dating, guys still want some mystery to the relationship. They don’t want a girl who’s always available. They want a girl who makes them work for it. They want a girl who plays hard to get.

That said, the question I want to pose to you is whether or not we should play into this little game. If that is what guys want, and if that is how we can get them to pursue us, then why not try it? Well the obvious answer is “no.” Not only is it manipulative, but you are building a relationship that is not based on reality. What draws these men is not your personality at all. They simply want that which they cannot have. And oftentimes, once they get you they won’t want you anymore. They’ll move on to someone else who can offer that thrill of the chase.

BUT, just because playing hard to get can be manipulative, does not mean we should write off this practice altogether. The opposite of playing hard to get is not being available at all times. Rather, there is a kind of playing hard to get that can actually be godly. Here’s what I mean…

In my past dating relationships I have frequently been tempted to clear my whole schedule to accommodate a guy. I always wanted to be available for him, partially out of a fear that if I wasn’t available, he would move on to someone else. Unfortunately, this degree of availability is sometimes unattractive to godly men, not only because of their desire to chase, but because it says something about your priorities.

A godly man is not looking for a woman who rearranges heaven and earth for a boyfriend. Yes, he will want you to make some time for him, but a godly man is looking for a woman who is in diligent pursuit of God and has her eyes focused on Him alone. If your schedule consists of ministry commitments such as community service or spending valuable fellowship time with other women, then those commitments should not be thrown out the window as soon as a guy comes along. If you can’t spend time with your boyfriend because you are discipling another women, then that will indicate to him that your priorities are Christ-centered, and that will draw him to you, not drive him away.

If, on the other hand, you start to regularly skip out on those commitments to spend time with your guy, then it will also send a message to him and set a dangerous precedent. You are not only indicating that service to God takes a back seat to the relationship, but that your identity comes first from him, and second from God. Any godly man should find that to be very unattractive.

So when it’s all said and done, playing hard to get can actually be a good thing, but only when done in the right way. If a guy wants to take you out but you already have plans, it’s ok to say no and have him wait for another time. It shows him that your life is already full and complete with Christ and godly friendships. It indicates that you are not waiting on a guy to complete you, but to simply complement you.

With that in mind, be intentional about how you spend your time. If you are tempted to make yourself always available to a guy, resist that temptation, not only because he will find you more attractive when you have a strong sense of your own identity and calling, but because you will be guarding your own priorities as well. From that perspective, playing hard to get can actually be a pretty good thing.

I never thought I would hear myself say that!


  • Clifford says:

    well said

  • Hobievision says:

    That is really creepy (but really cool) that you know about that subject in such detail. That is exactly what a Christ-focused guy should want, but it’s hard for girls to see that guy when a lot of guys just “play” Christian just to get to you, then go on living like they were before. In my opinion, a woman should first fall in love with the love of God showing through the man, and then she will know that he genuinely God’s child. Then, she could concentrate on him as a person.

    1 John 2:15-16 says “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

    If he’s not focused on God’s love and will for his life, the how will he understand God’s love, or even God’s will for your life. To put it simply, if he doesn’t truly and fully love God, then He doesn’t love you.

    He he’s not willing to support you fully on your ministries that you were involved in be before you met, or choose to place above him to grow closer, or help others, grow closer to God; then you need to get him out of your life, and then ask God to bring you someone that will.

    Sorry if I seemed to get a little off topic but that’s just one Christian’s point of view on this topic.

    I’m sorry that I took up so much room Sharon, but I have been wanting to say this for a while and never got a chance to. Thanks for your time and God bless.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t think you’re distinguishing properly between PLAYING hard to get and BEING hard to get; cut yourself some slack! Someone who is busy, who has priorities and goals more important than any given guy, will generally end up having to turn down or reschedule dates because she lives a full, worthy life. That’s simply being someone who is confident and contributes to society in a meaningful way, and it sure does make you unavailable to dates sometimes! For example, when I first met my boyfriend (now fiance!) I was working on my Master’s thesis, volunteering at a battered women’s shelter, helping my sister with her new baby, and getting ready to go to Morocco for volunteering work. Did I have tons of time for dinner, movies, coffee, even a freaking game of Scrabble? Absolutely not! But was I deliberately trying to make myself unavailable to him for the sake of prolonging his sense of pursuit? No, not even close–I just had priorities that involved my family, my community, and my career that didn’t allow much wiggle room for a boyfriend (thankfully, though, just enough!).

    But the situation I just described is a completely different ball of wax from someone who makes an effort to “be chased” simply for the sake of being pursued. A girl who has nothing going on but says she can’t make a date simply to see if he’ll ask again isn’t in the same boat; this is a case that no one should strive for, and that doesn’t strike me as very ethical or fair to the guy!

    So anyway, I think you’ve got it, but I would clarify what you said by emphasizing that busy = good, deliberately elusive = bad. That’s all I got. Interesting post.

  • Sharon says:

    great point! thanks for adding that perspective–that’s an important distinction to make.

  • ka says:

    ok I literally just googled “should christian women play hard to get?”

    I have dated several guys christian and non christian and I feel that it is only when I am hard to get that they value me at all. This is sad. I don’t feel like I am looking for my identity in a guy because I know and have expereinced that cannot come form a person; no one is going to “complete” you…I think that many guys buy into this idea of an elusive detached woman from recent movies like “love and other drugs” or no strings attached. A woman that is sexually dominant but emotionally unavailable. It is kind of heart breaking because I will never be that woman, and as a christian the bible teaches me to be the opposite way….”a gentle and quiet spirit”

    guys tell me I am sttractive very often and I get asked out but when I meet someone that I actually start to like and be available to, as soon as I am not as hard to get since I like them, they don’t seem to be as interested and that hurts my feelings. It makes me feel like I have to be come aloof just to keep them interested and I am not an aloof person in life. I enjoy life and am interested in all sorts of activities so aloof is not something that comes easy.

    I’m not sure what the solution is and the bible doesn’t have much advice on dating. I don’t want to “play hard to get” because it seems….wrong on some level but at the same time if I’m interested in a guy I hate the feeling that when I start opening up and being a little more available that they leave. anyway, I just wanted to add my dilema here

  • Joe says:

    You haveent the slightest clue about men. I am 54, i have had very good relationships. No man likes a chase if he sincerly likes/loves the woman. the only guys that like a chase are men not really interested in you, they may lust after you a little, but they dont really like/love/respect you. I think you are trying to justify something you’re having a tough time figuring out. if a man is truly interested in you, you wont have to make him chase you. Ive noticed if a woman is a “10” she has no need for getting a guy to chase her. she is a lot easier to get for a relationship.

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