How to Play Hard to Get with a Guy: 20 Secrets to Leave Him Smitten

When you’re falling head-over-heels for someone, it’s hard to know how to play hard to get with a guy. But it’s all part of the chase to win his heart.

how to play hard to get with a guy

No matter how much you despise games, learning how to play hard to get with a guy is how you can get him to stay hooked with you. Guys always love a challenge when it comes to girls. So if you want to grab his attention, you need to keep the element of mystery alive by playing hard to get.

If you always give guys what they want right from the start, why would they bother chasing you or desiring you? Men usually don’t enter a relationship with a girl who gives them everything they want, even though that’s what they want.

In the end, they want the reward, which is you, but they want to chase it and earn it. Of course, if it’s too easy, they take it, but it won’t be as satisfying. And they won’t value it either.

[Read: Why men love the chase more than anything else]

What is playing hard to get exactly?

Before you learn how to play hard to get, let’s take just a minute to understand what playing hard to get really means.

Playing hard to get is the idea of allowing someone to pursue you, while you pretend like you don’t reciprocate their feelings. BUT at the same time, you frequently drop just the right amount of subtle hints that make them believe you DO like them back as well.

And this is key.

Playing hard to get with a guy isn’t about pretending like you don’t care, and leaving it at that. Any guy would assume you don’t like him, and move on.

It’s the subtle art of learning how to make a guy pursue you by feigning indifference towards him, while giving him hope that you will eventually date him, all at the same time!

[Read: Do guys play hard to get too? The truth, 21 reasons, and why you should do]

Why you need to learn how to play hard to get

If you’ve been around the dating scene long enough, you know just how important playing hard to get is. However, if you’re new to the dating world, we’ll explain this to you in a bit. If you don’t know how to play hard to get, guys could get bored of you quickly.

We’re not saying that it will happen all the time, but that’s the tendency when guys don’t feel like they worked for it. If you’re too easy, there’s just no desired level of satisfaction for guys when they do win you over.

It won’t break your dating life if you don’t know how to play hard to get with a guy, but if you master it, you’ll see just how much more exciting, and fun, your dating life can be *for you and for the guy pursuing you!*.

How to play hard to get with a guy the right way

Playing hard to get might seem unusual if you really like a guy, and just want to start dating him already. But hey, it works! It leaves a little bit of mystery in the room for him to chase you again.

1. Understand the dating culture

Here’s the thing, you can have casual sex. We’re not saying you shouldn’t have casual sex, but understand the dating culture we live in. Guys love casual sex, but they don’t want to commit to a girl who is so willing or eager to sleep with them.

No matter how much you want to sleep with him, don’t give in yet.

The moment you get into bed with him, it’s game over in playing hard to get. Even if he happens to be the cutest guy on the planet, don’t do it! [Read: Be prepared for these 12 consequences of having sex too soon]

2. Don’t be so willing

Men are strange. They want you to be interested, but if you’re too enthusiastic, it’s a red flag and they get bored. So, play the game, and beat them at their own game.

Instead of replying right away with, “Yes, I’d love to,” write, “Sure, I just need to double-check something and see if I have time.”

It shows him you’re interested, but he’s not the number one priority for you. Do this, and the guy would work hard to become your biggest priority. Learning how to play hard to get with a guy isn’t as hard as you might think. [Read: How to effectively play coy and win the guy]

3. No sex in the first few dates

You probably see a central theme here on how to play hard to get with a guy. Sex isn’t something you should give a guy, at least not right away. It’s fine if you simply want to have sex with someone, but if you’re looking for a relationship, don’t be so quick to hop into bed with him.

This shows him that you’re not just some girl he’s going to catch and release; he’s going to have to work for it. 

You need to leave him wanting more, so why give him the whole package? Sleeping with someone is the most intimate thing you can give in the physical sense, which means there’s nothing more *physically*.

So instead of having sex on the first date, why not give him a kiss and leave it at that? [Read: Sex on the first date: should you give in to the urge?]

4. Do mention your male friends

Men don’t like competition. Neither do women. So mentioning the opposite sex always creates a reaction. This is a tricky strategy in playing hard to get as you don’t want to mention the guys in a way that you’re seeing them, but make sure he knows he’s not the only guy who’s interested in you.

Make it seem like they’re just your friends, nothing more. If you read our feature on how to get men to chase you, there’s another common trick everyone knows: jealousy.

5. Give just enough attention

We want all the attention in the world from someone we like. However, when we get it, we become bored. What you need to do is give him just enough attention. Don’t give him your undivided attention over texts or calls as he’ll get used to it. Instead, give him just enough so that it leaves him wanting more of what you’re giving him.

By giving him the attention he needs, he works harder to get the attention he thinks he deserves. Give him the bare minimum of attention, and take it from there. [Read: 33 sexy ways to seduce a guy who’s not yet yours and hook him hard]

6. Do put in effort though

The thing about learning how to play hard to get with a guy isn’t about being aloof and emotionally distant. A lot of people get this wrong, but that’s not how this works. It’s not about being hot and cold, either.

Chasing becomes more fun the closer you think you are to getting what you want.

But this means you’re also going to have to chase him as well to keep the tension going. So you need to put in the effort, even when learning how to play hard to get with a guy. [Read: How to make the man you like chase you and want you more]

7. Don’t get too personal

The odds are you don’t really know that much about this guy, which is completely cool. But, don’t let this person know everything about you. This is a vital tip if you really want to learn how to play hard to get with a guy.

So don’t go around revealing every detail in your personal life to this guy you like; leave some details for later! Also, it’ll give him something to look forward to. [Read: How to be mysterious without going completely overboard in the role]

8. Make sure there’s space

If you play hard to get, find the right balance between giving him enough affection but also giving him space. If you’re always available, they don’t really see you as an option but rather someone always available.

You need to avoid being taken for granted when playing hard to get. So the best way to get to that point is by not always being available to him whenever he needs you. Be a little busy sometimes; that’ll catch him off guard. [Read: 25 posh and classy ways to make a guy go crazy over you]

9. Don’t tell him you like him

We know you want to tell him how you feel, but you don’t have to. In fact, if you want to know how to play hard to get with a guy and get him to pursue you, you should keep him guessing. It’s all part of keeping him on his toes.

You can give him subtle signs and maybe even flirt with him, but don’t give him the satisfaction by telling him directly that you’ve fallen head over heels for him. This throws you completely off the game in playing hard to get. [Read: How to show a guy you like him and still be a tease]

10. Do reply to his texts

But not right away. He’s not going to die if you reply twenty minutes after he wrote you; he can wait. We know how much you anticipate his texts and even if every fiber of your being urges you to respond immediately, don’t give in to that urge. Remember what we said about not being constantly available?

This applies, especially to texting! If you don’t respond in that same minute he texted you, it leaves him wondering what you’re up to and if you’re busy. You’re not ignoring him, but you’re simply taking your time. There’s a difference.

11. Turn him down

If he asks you out and you’re busy, don’t be afraid to turn him down. However, do offer another day where you could go out. Women tend to make the mistake of dropping everything for a guy, and that’s just the opposite of what you should do when playing hard to get.

He’ll get used to this treatment and frankly, you’re making things way too easy for him. Give him a little bit of a challenge by letting him know you’re not always available at his convenience. Instead, reschedule on a day you’re both free. [Read: How to get a guy to like you without compromising yourself]

12. Don’t toy with guys you don’t like

If you play hard to get with a guy that you’re not interested in, that’s unnecessary and cruel. The whole point of playing hard to get with a guy is because you have feelings for him, and you want something more.

You’re not doing this to play mind games with him, but just to get him hooked on you. Don’t be that heartless as to try using these moves on a guy you don’t ever intend to date. Those are the kind of girls who give playing hard to get a bad name! [Read: 12 moves to play it cool with your crush and win them over]

13. Use reverse psychology

Reverse psychology works, and it’s the primary tactic men love using on women. So why shouldn’t you do the same for them? In fact, most of the tips mentioned above are already using reverse psychology, such as giving them space and making them know that you’re not always available.

It allows you to have full control of the situation without entirely ignoring them or being mean to them. It’s kind of a win-win situation in dating, and men clearly know this. [Read: Have you ever wondered how to use reverse psychology correctly?]

14. Be a strong independent woman

There’s nothing more attractive than a strong independent woman, especially when you’re trying to learn how to play hard to get with a guy. So be confident, do your own thing, and don’t need him. It’s really as simple as that. Again, independence is different from being distant, so be sure you know the difference.

Otherwise, you’ll push away the guy you like entirely! There’s a reason why guys always end up chasing girls out of their league, and it’s because they’re too focused on their own life to seek validation from guys. And that’s always attractive. [Read: How to be a strong independent woman that men love]

15. Let him chase you

You can’t play hard to get if you don’t let him chase you in the first place. So if he asks you out, say no during that first time and something like “maybe some other time…”, and he’ll work even harder to get that yes out of you. The thing is, this always works! Guys do love a challenge, and this is tested and proven.

Make him wait, but not too long or he’ll think you’re really not interested and move on to the next. If he plays the game, show him you can play it harder. [Read: Why do men like a chase? – How to use it in your favor]

16. Avoid flattering him

Don’t flatter him or feed his ego constantly if you really want to learn how to play hard to get. So even if he boasts about his six-pack muscles or how he has a successful business, don’t compliment him for it.

But don’t act indifferent either!

You just need to have a high value for yourself without stroking his ego constantly. Make it evident that you know exactly who you are, and no way would you ever settle for less. Now, that’s a girl a man would probably want to chase.

17. Don’t make him your world

Surprise, surprise. This is another mistake women tend to make and yet wonder why men don’t get hooked on them or chase after them. You made him your entire world and dropped everything for him, and you expect him to chase after you? Wrong.

Don’t give him all of you if you want to learn how to play hard to get with a guy. Leave some for yourself, and that’s the only way he’ll chase after you. [Read: Blowing hot and cold – The 3 stages to explain why someone does this]

18. Give him a taste of affection

Playing hard to get isn’t about depriving the guy you like your affection and care. You’re not supposed to be distant and indifferent, remember? So give him a taste of affection, every now and then.

Perhaps tell him you miss him or compliment him occasionally. Or, spend quality time with him, and then spend time apart. It’ll make him miss you even more and keep wanting more of you. [Read: How to be affectionate – 15 gestures that reveal your feelings best]

19. Be confident

If there’s anything you can take from this feature, it’s that confidence is critical in playing hard to get. You can’t pull this off without high self-esteem and confidence.

So own your worth, remember who you are, and let him do the majority of the chasing. [Read: How to be more confident with 12 simple daily self-love habits]

20. Don’t wait for his texts all day

Another mistake women make is waiting for his text all day. Guys can actually tell when it’s all you do, and you can’t think of anything better to spend your time on. So if you want to know how to play hard to get with a guy, drop your phone and live an interesting life!

Hang out with your friends, go to the gym, do whatever you want. Just don’t focus all your time and energy on him. *no matter how cute you think he is*!

[Read: How to tease a guy and make him realize just how much he likes you]

So, how to play hard to get with a guy?

When playing hard to get, there’s a difference between acting distant and just encouraging him to chase after you. It’s really all about the element of mystery and being secure enough not to let your world and life revolve around him.

[Read: How to talk to a guy – 34 tips to sweet talk any man and make him fall hard instantly]

Learning how to play hard to get with a guy isn’t a bad thing. If you like a guy, it might even encourage him to chase after you and win your heart!

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...