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3 Aug 2011

Why is "Hard To Get" so Hard? Why We Hate (and Love) the Dating Chase

By Erica Conte, BounceBack.comEditorial Staff

Have you ever waited an unbearably long time to text someone back that you were interested in? Have you ever made yourself unavailable just so you didn’t appear too eager? Have you ever had "plans" that involved you, your couch, and a glass of wine - just to seem busy and popular? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you have contributed to that exciting dating game known as The Chase.
The chase is the initial period before a relationship becomes more official where both partners ignite interest in one another but aren’t ready to come out and say it...just yet. The idea of the chase is thrilling, for it keeps both partners on their toes. It’s exciting because it’s new, but it’s even more exciting because it’s unpredictable. An unexpected phone call you’ve been secretly wanting or light physical displays of affection that were not initiated by you are just a few small ways that make the chase thrilling.
In addition to thrilling, the chase can also be frustrating. Playing hard-to-get runs both ways. Just because you’re appearing less attainable does not mean your recent crush isn’t doing the same. The hard-to-get approach can be a rollercoaster of emotion where you feel your crush is interested in you one minute and then you think he has lost interest in you another minute. This unsettling butterfly feeling is why we both love and hate the chase. The chase ultimately lets your crush know that you are worth fighting for and that you’re a challenge for a reason. Appearing over-eager or dropping everything to be available when your crush calls is a huge turn-off and does not bode well for a potential relationship.
In order to play the game of the chase effectively, you yourself must believe that you are worth it and that he/she might be as well. The chase demonstrates independence on both partners’ sides with the potential of letting each other into their lives little by little. If done patiently and without drastic measures, the outcome of the chase is usually positive. If done incorrectly, the chase could cause your partner to lose interest because you have made yourself too unavailable or gave too many mixed signals. To master the chase, one must be consistent with how he or she feels. Appearing unavailable is one thing but appearing more and more unavailable could give your crush the hint that you don’t want to waste your time. Ambiguous behavior is often misinterpreted, which is why there also needs to be genuine interest and flirtatious behavior to accurately balance the chase.

Okay, so now you’re in a relationship that was initially consisted of the chase. Does the chase ever end even when you’re in a relationship? Yes and no. You have let your partner into your life, but you are still the same person. Often in relationships, people lose themselves and gradually embody the persona and even the life of their partners. In healthy relationships, there is a comfortable place where the games have ended but you both still manage to keep each other on one another’s toes. Ultimately, the chase involves slowly letting someone into your life while letting him or her know that you value your self-worth and the life you have created on your own. Realizing you have won or achieved your goal ends the chase and also ends a relationship, but constantly knowing how lucky you are is why the continued chase is important.
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