Why playing it cool doesn’t always work
Waiting days before you answer correspondence, keeping your feelings to yourself, and generally pretending you aren’t interested in a match… is it really going to get you what you want?
When we asked members about playing it cool we found that the old adage ‘treat them mean, keep them keen’ doesn’t work any more. People are too busy to play games with dates. if they don’t feel like their advances are welcome, they’ll move on to someone who’s more open, interested and receptive.
It used to be thought that keeping an air of mystery would be enticing to the opposite sex but according to our poll this is no longer the case. Just one in 14 singles (seven per cent) now obey the ‘three day rule’ before making contact with a date. We also found only four per cent of the 1,000 singletons asked thought you should wait before replying to a message from new partner. Most people have constant access to multi-media devices and smart phones so it’s natural to conclude that if someone doesn’t reply within 24 hours they’re no longer interested.
Here we look at are some of the reasons why playing it cool doesn’t work.
Fear of rejection
No one wants to be rejected, so on a conscious and unconscious level we’re all looking for signs that our interest in a match will be welcomed. If you give off signals that you aren’t interested most people won’t risk rejection by approaching you. Everyone needs a little encouragement. As eHarmony’s relationship expert Jenni Trent Hughes says “Word to the wise, go for the person you like who likes you back in equal measure. Anything else is a colossal waste of time.”
The key isn’t to play cool but to keep the balance right. If someone sends you a message reply to it with one that’s equal in length, tone and openness. If they text, text back but don’t then bombard them with dozens of text messages before they’ve replied to the first one. If you speak on the phone welcome the contact but avoid getting into marathon conversations – a brief chat to set a date will be enough to whet both your appetites and raise anticipation, making the date more exciting.
No time to decode
We live in a fast-paced world where almost everything is available instantly. We have more entertainment available at our fingertips than ever before and as a society people have much busier lives. Online dating is one of the fastest growing industries with an estimated 2 billion people worldwide having tried it.
The amount of choice available is one of the wonderful things about online dating but it’s also one reason why playing it cool no longer works – people don’t have the time or inclination to decode messages from someone who’s trying to retain an air of mystery. Dating isn’t a game and it doesn’t require strategies or manoeuvres. Most members are sincere in their attempts to find a new relationship and they’re looking for someone who shares that goal, not a game player.
Could put everyone off
If you‘re too cool and aloof you’re going to struggle to attract people in the competitive field of online dating. Your strategy could be giving the message to everyone that you’re not authentic or emotionally available. That’s not to say that you must reveal everything about yourself, but to be successful it’s important to be genuine in your responses to people. Don’t be afraid to say you enjoy someone’s company or liked chatting to them on IM. Every human being on the planet is looking for a connection and likes nothing more than to know they are appreciated.
Some people play it cool because they’re afraid of being hurt. They don’t want to be over-eager or enthusiastic in case it scares the other person away. Dating makes you vulnerable but the only key to this is to build some resilience. Rejection is part of the process but if you can be true to yourself every step of the way you’ll at least know you’ve never rejected your own values and one day someone will come along who loves that about you.
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