THE BLOG

Like Her a Lot? Consider Keeping It a Secret... At Least for a While

02/26/2011 07:00 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

It sounds like such a game, but playing hard-to-get may be the best strategy in attracting a gal. Recent research published in Psychological Science is reporting that keeping a woman guessing about your interest, at least initially, is what draws her in.

Such conclusions were drawn after presenting 47 college women at the University of Virginia with four fictitious, attractive, likeable, undergraduate male Facebook profiles. Participants were told that these male students at two other universities had viewed her profile, as well as those of about 20 other female college students, and rated the degree to which they thought they'd get on with each given the opportunity to get to know her better.

The women were most attracted to men whom they weren't sure liked them a lot or who liked them simply "average." This is grabbing, given that people tend to like people who like them. Yet being kept in the dark appears to have an even stronger draw. With so many singles, especially women, sick of dealing with "players," the question is, "Why??"

Typically, people tend to think that it's the challenge that ups interest. And certainly, keeping a potential mate at arm's length can add to the allure and the desire to win somebody over. After all, when we work hard for something, the rewards tend to garner a great deal more satisfaction. The "prize" becomes that much more attractive.

Social scientists are speculating, however, that the reason for the attraction is much simpler than that. The desire to want what you at least think you can't easily have may simply be due to finding yourself thinking about the person that much more.

With earlier research indicating that feeling uncertain increases one's thoughts about an unpredictable situation, it's this uncertainty that can be mistaken for attraction. It's presumed that having "X" on the brain must mean a crush -- or something more...