15 Signs She’s Playing Hard to Get

Don't miss these dead giveaways that she's playing coy.

15 Signs She’s Playing Hard to Get

Don't miss these dead giveaways that she's playing coy.

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No matter how attractive you are, how much money you make, or how well you’ve perfected your dating profile, dating can still feel like a game that’s nearly impossible to win. Unfortunately, that’s truer than ever when conventional wisdom dictates that the best way for a woman to land a great guy is to keep him on his toes by playing hard to get.

In fact, researchers at the University of Virginia found that study subjects were more attracted to potential romantic partners who withheld the exact amount of their true affection than those who exhibited keen interest in them.

However, in real life, it’s often harder to tell when that perceived disinterest is the result of someone trying to entice you or trying to get you to leave them alone. These signs she’s playing hard to get may mean you can still score that date—if you don’t mind a little chase first. And when you want to wow her, start with the 50 Easy Ways to Be a (Much) More Romantic Man!

woman fixing hair

1
She Says She Might Be Busy

If a woman keeps saying no to your invitations to hang out, making it abundantly clear that her calendar is booked for the foreseeable future, take that as a sign she’s not interested and back off.

However, if your requests to hang out are frequently met with “maybe” or “I’ll see what I can do,” she’s likely playing hard to get. Playing hard to get is all about making yourself seem desirable, and having a party to attend every night does just that. Fortunately, it’s easy to sidestep future love landmines by avoiding these 40 Relationship Tips That Are Actually Terrible.

Friends Jamming Out

2
She Brings You Up in Conversation With Your Friends

If a woman you’re interested in doesn’t spend much time talking to you, but seems to mention you constantly when she’s in the presence of your friends, she might just be playing coy. If she’s talking about you to members of your inner circle, it means you’re definitely on her mind. Research suggests that women talk to their female friends as a means of relieving stress, which might stem from her being not-so-secretly into you. And for more helpful advice on dating, here’s how to know if you—or others—identify as “demisexual,” the new term for people who require deep emotional bonds to have a romantic relationship. 

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3
She Tries to Get Your Attention, But Not Your Compliments

Is the girl of your dreams always talking about some big promotion she got at work or the amazing concert she went to over the weekend? If so, she may be playing hard to get. When playing hard to get, many women try to make themselves appear interesting and cool, but without making themselves seem like they’re overtly seeking flattery. And if you want to make her laugh, try out one of these 50 Pick-Up Lines So Bad They Might Just Work.

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4
She Takes Her Time Texting Back

So, you thought this woman was interested in you, but it takes her three days to respond to your texts—what gives?

If she’s taking her sweet time to get back to you, that may be a power play. Playing hard to get often means making the other person wait, even when it personally pains you to do so. And when your long-term relationship needs some housekeeping, start with the 50 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Fresh.

Man shows woman he can make anyone laugh

5
She Takes Playful Jabs at You

While you should probably steer clear of anyone who’s eager to outright insult you, a few playful barbs when you’re talking to her might be a good sign. If she’s playing hard to get, she’s trying to make herself not seem too eager, hence the occasional ribbing. In fact, research suggests that we’re generally pretty bad at telling when people like us, so don’t immediately mistake those flirtatious jabs for disinterest.

Office dating

6
She Looks Away When You’re Talking

It’s not easy to stare into the eyes of someone you’re into and not want more. If every look from you is met with her casting her glance downward, that might be a sign she’s playing hard to get. Of course, if you look at her, she sees it, and abruptly runs away, don’t take that as a good sign.

Facebook friend request

7
She Doesn’t Request You on Social Media

Have you been waiting forever for her to request you on social media? Don’t assume that’s a bad thing. While social media can play a major role in the early stages of a relationship, if she’s playing hard to get, she’ll wait for you to make the first move to establish her dominance.

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8
She Keeps Details About Her Life Private

Some women are open books. Those playing hard to get rarely are, however. If she seems eager to talk to you, but keeps the details of her life a mystery, that’s another point in the hard to get column. In fact, research suggests that women generally tend to downplay details of their life, particularly their past relationships, so don’t always assume that her secretive behavior is a bad thing.

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9
She Won’t Confirm Plans, But Shows Up Places You’ll Be

You keep inviting her out. She’ll only say “maybe.” And yet, lo and behold, she magically appears at the events you invited her to, looking like a million bucks. Witchcraft? No, she’s just playing hard to get.

dress well 50s

10
She’s Always Dressed Up Around You

If you find yourself wondering why the object of your affection looks like a supermodel every time you see her, even when she’s usually more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, it could be a sign she’s playing hard to get. However, don’t assume that just because any woman looks good in your presence means she wants you—generally speaking, women are just dressing for themselves.

healthier woman

11
She Talks About Other People She Finds Cute

As much as it may sting, if she’s talking about other guys she finds cute, or ones that want her, it may be an indication she’s playing hard to get. However, if she can’t wait to tell you about how much she wants to date somebody else, it’s time to move on.

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12
Her Friends All Know Who You Are

Do her friends call you by name, even if you’ve never introduced yourself to them? Definitely a sign of someone playing hard to get. If she’s talking about you when you’re not around, you’ve probably piqued her interest in some way.

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13
She Won’t Let You Do Things for Her

Does she like spending time with you, but refuse your help opening doors, changing tires, or turn down your offer to foot the bill? She might be playing hard to get and trying to demonstrate her independence. However, if she keeps turning your offers for help down and tries to get away from you as quickly as possible, don’t keep pursuing her.

Office dating

14
She’s Slightly Affectionate

If she seems to have her leg pressed against yours whenever you sit together or puts her hands on yours when she’s showing you how to do something, consider that a good sign. Giving you some physical cues without going overboard with her affection is one way to show you she wants more.

Time Being Single in your thirties

15
She Arrives Fashionably Late

If she seems to show up fashionably late to everything you invite her to, it might be part of her hard to get routine. Showing you that she’s independent and won’t be constrained by your schedule when you’re not even dating can help her dial up the intrigue. And when you want to make yourself feel like a catch, start with the 70 Genius Tricks to Boost Your Confidence.

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