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The Problem With “Hard to Get”


Almost every girl can think back to the first time she was given boy advice. Try to remember the first time you went to someone you trusted, desperate for answers about how to get that ever-elusive boy from science class to Like You Back. Chances are, whatever you were told to do involved everything but actually telling the boy that you liked him. Am I right?

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People love to tell girls- starting super early- to play “hard to get”. Don’t answer any texts right away, don’t say yes the first time, and DON’T ever ask first. While our loved ones mean well when they tell us this, they may not be 100% correct. For a variety of reasons, this mentality actually might do a little more harm than good.

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Disclaimer- I do NOT claim to be any more of an expert than your older sister who’s advice you swear by. Of course, something different works from person-to-person and situation to situation. Lots of people are more comfortable approaching it that way- after all, you can’t lose if you don’t play. In my opinion, I just don’t think that letting people pass you by on the grounds of playing “hard to get” should be the default- at least, not anymore. Here are just a few reasons why.


  • It’s incredibly boring.

No, really. Think about how much waiting is involved in appearing unattainable. If you’re anything like me, waiting is slow torture, so I’d like to not participate in it if at all possible- especially if I’m not entirely sure what it is I’m waiting for. At the end of the day, is “good things come to those who wait” really true? In this case, it might not be. I’d rather know as soon as possible what’s at the end of the road. Maybe this is the result of a short attention span- who’s to say?


  • There’s not as much to lose as you think.

The alternative to seeming impossible to get is making it clearly known that the person you’re into COULD get you if they tried, which usually means straight up telling them. Yes, of course I realize that this seems daunting, especially if you aren’t 100% sure how they’ll respond. Truth is, though, it can only go one of two ways. The absolute worst thing that can happen is that you get turned down, and do you really WANT someone who runs for the hills when someone is forward with them?


  • It wastes too much time.

Let’s face it- you could do a lot of things in the time you spend waiting for a crush to make the first move. A lot of those things involve your crush, so why wait when you could start now? If you end up finding out that your feelings aren’t returned, then congratulations, you’ve been released! You don’t have to spend even ONE more second wondering what you two could be- you can move right onto the next person.


  • It’s dishonest.

Keeping UNREQUITED feelings to yourself is one matter, but having full knowledge that someone is into you and choosing to let them think you aren’t (when you actually are) is another. At that point, you’re not just wasting your own time- you’re wasting their time too. We all know how it feels to be on the other end of that, so why put someone else through it for the sake of making them “do their time”? That’s not just a waste of time- it’s mean.



In short, don’t listen to people who tell you that in order to win someone over, you have to pretend you don’t want them at all. If you’re tired of mind games and you think that you don’t want to play mind games anymore, I promise that the right person won’t mind. 



Lucie (originally from Tulsa, OK) is a fourth-year journalism major at KU. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to) coffee, new music, life in LFK, and every dog in existence (they are all good dogs). While being involved in a handful of student organizations on campus, HerCampus was her first step into campus involvement and she absolutely loves everything it has to offer. She is ecstatic to be HerCampus KU's content copyeditor. 
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