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Men Like A Challenge: Should You Play Hard To Get

men like a challenge playing video game

I really want to emphasize how much I dislike and disagree with this belief as it pertains to relationships. I hear it all the time and as a matter of fact I heard it yesterday which is what prompted me to write this post. Is there some truth to the idea that men like a challenge? Yes, but women (and some men) have taken this concept and blown it out of proportion. There is a big misunderstanding of what this really means and when it can work for you or work against you. Women are shooting themselves in the foot on a daily basis and don’t even realize it. People are feeding them this “just play hard to get” strategy and setting many up to never be gotten. As you can clearly see I do not like this challenge concept at all, so let me better explain my position against the idea that men like a challenge.

How many of you know a woman or have been a woman who has used this strategy. You did the whole play hard to get thing and from what you can see it worked. You were able to get the man’s attention and were successful in reeling him in. Then the minute you want to let your guard down or get serious about the relationship this man decides to fall back and shows resistance to moving forward. Do you want to know why that happens? It’s not because men want a challenge so bad and you easing up turned him off. It’s because he was never that into you as a person in the first place. You were successful at intriguing him with that challenge and intrigue can be a passing phase. What was never established was a genuine interest in who you really are as a person which is a much better foundation for a good and healthy relationship.  Men loving a challenge is a self-fulfilling desire. It is an ego booster and it feeds their competitive nature. It is our way of separating ourselves from the rest in being able to say we were able to overcome this challenge and conquer it. Recognize that this all comes from a selfish place and do you really want to build your relationship based on a selfish principle? Look at it like this, a man being attracted to your challenge can be like a man who finds a new video game he wants to play. He will stay up all night trying to play the game. He will think about it daily trying to figure out how to maneuver through it and reach new levels (kissing, sex, head, free food and gifts). I mean some will become so obsessed with it and it will be what they constantly talk about. Then guess what happens after the man has “won” that challenge and conquered that game…he throws it to the back with the rest of the previous challenges and starts his search for a new conquest. It can be as simple as that because you presented a challenge to attract him and not a genuine person to attract him. Now I know what some of you are thinking. You know of women who have done this and succeeded in getting a man as well as getting a ring. There are many explanations as to why this can happen and I will just point out a couple of them. Sometimes women are fortunate and despite the challenge they presented that man was genuinely into who she was. So though she may think the challenge helped, that really was not what created a great relationship. In some cases the woman is able to reel the man in and he simply gets “stuck”. So because he doesn’t have the balls to pull out now because he is in too deep, he allows the relationship to drag on. They are not in a healthy and happy relationship so that does not support the challenge concept. Things are not always what they seem and though there may be exceptions to the rule I am willing to bet those numbers are not in favor of using the challenge strategy.

Here is what this boils down to. Men do love when you are a woman who cannot be had by every and any man. When you have standards and don’t fall for every lame man who throws some game at you. When they can view being with you is like an honor, then yes many men will be drawn to that when they are looking to be in a serious relationship. That is not the equivalent of being difficult and “playing hard to get”. It just means you are able to recognize B.S. and you don’t stand for anything less than you deserve. That is the challenge that men like. You should still operate with an open and loving heart. You should not be playing mind games and calculating who should call and when. You should not have the mentality that he needs to do everything to get you while you sit back and do nothing. I mean there is so much more to say and explain on this topic but this is a blog and I have to cut this short. I think I need to add a chapter in my next book just for this subject. Don’t focus on being the challenge he wants…focus on being the person that you truly are. The right man will embrace that and the video game players can just keep it moving.

Have you ever felt like guys always overlook the good girls? Well find out why, and what you can do about it by purchasing your copy of the “Why Men Overlook The Good Girls” teleseminar audio here. It is worth the listen

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53 thoughts on “Men Like A Challenge: Should You Play Hard To Get”

  1. Drl Charles

    I love this is very insightful.  I agree with you but you did not talk about the flip side to this.  Yes, “You should still operate with an open and loving heart. You should not be playing mind games and calculating who should call and when. You should not have the mentality that he needs to do everything to get you while you sit back and do nothing,” but much easier said than done, especially for women.  We can operate with an open heart and present our interest and the men can still use that to his advantage.  In the playing hard to get concept, I believe another reason women act this out is as a form of security.  It helps us to filter out the true vs. the gamer.  Yet, as you said, the gamer may always be the one catching the bite for the thrill of the challenge.  Here is the question in demonstrating your interest with an open heart, when do you holt the natural flow?  Men do not willingly convey their disinterest for I truly believe they enjoy the perception of being a woman’s object of affection. 

    1. Thank Dr. Charles. I understand it is easier said than done, but it can be done and I believe more women should strive for that. Yes there will always be people that can try to take advantage, but rarely do we completely not see this happen before our own eyes. We may make excuses for it, convince ourselves why this isn’t a bad situation, or simply become attached to that person for other reasons. At the end of the day people just have to do a better job at recognizing it, acknowledging it, and then moving on from it. As far as “playing hard to get” helping seperate the true from the gamer, this is risky business. In a situation like that even the man who is true can become discouraged by that woman being difficult or taking the whole concept too far. Understand that when a man is truly into a woman, that can be scary for men as well. So her resistance may cause him to put his wall up which leads to conflict and unnecessary negativity. Basically you will have two people trying to protect their hearts, so neither truly gets the heart of the other. Not a good recipe for success in my opinion. To answer your question “when do you holt the natural flow” well once you recognize you two are not on the same page, you have attempted to address it in a calm and positive manner, yet no improvement has been made, well it may be time to move on. Many women sit back and do not express their concerns because they fear they will run the man away. If a man runs because you are looking to make things better, then let him run because he is not serious about this relationship or he is not currently ready to put in the work. So I feel if there is communication it will be much clearer when to holt and when you can feel comfortable with the constant flow.

      1. Marie

        A friend of mine, was very open about being respected in a relationship, and found that she needed to just move on because her comments fell on deaf ears. She was so calm and honest…I was so proud of her, but then she started to feel bad because she felt that he didn’t hear her. She said she still felt bad and would have felt better if she cussed him out. She thinks she was a push over, but she wasn’t! I wish I had courage like her when I was a young lady. Any advice?

  2. Joelle Paule

    Play hard to get is the dumbest thing women do all the time. Just like that “90-day rule” it’s such a joke. I talk to men all the time and they tell me the same thing over and over, when a girl acts hard to get, we think about a strategy to make her fall each day and when it’s all said and done, we are also done with her. 
    I cannot wait for the next book Stephan I am sure you going to go very deeply on this topic.

    1. I kind of agree with the “90 Day Rule” in principle lol. I know that somewhat goes against what I said in this article but I would have to break it down in a post to better explain : )…Yeah I am excited about the next book.

      1. Joelle Paule

        I am waiting on the break down Stephan. I will say this, I did the 90-day rule, as a matter of fact I did the 115days rule LOL Still didn’t work so since that day I said that is a joke! But I want to read what you have to say 🙂

        1. Lol it will come. I was going to post it tomorrow but it may have to wait another week or so. The 90 day rule cannot guarantee you anything, but it does increase your chances of weeding some guys out.

          1. Joelle Paule

            what? and I am still single? Stephan post the break down and let me apply it~!! 🙂 ok I’ll wait

          2. Lynn

            Technically Stephan, the 90 day rule is a standard that’s all. Like you said it weeds the bad guys out. I can attest to that and I definitely live by it and it stands true to show you who the non bullshitters are and who the video gamers are who are just looking for their next good “challenge”. “Focus on being who you really are and not an opponent in the game of Quest!”

    2. mosesmoses

      You’re the first lady I’ve heard say that the 90 day rule is dumb. <<<<#Salute

  3. Mosesjustmoses

    The hard to get role is absurd! It will backfire in an instant. Don’ tplay hard to get,play wide open book. While you’re playing hard to get on a good man, don’t believe for a minute you are the only one that sees this. Let him see if he listens to you, pays attention. Play hard to screw if anything.

  4. Men know right away if you are the one.  They back off because as long as they could keep their options open all is good, when you take away their right to sleep with other women………..the gig is up.  UNLESS they have decided you could be the one and this can be immediately or within 30 days.   I like the 90 day rule.  You shouldn’t be co mingling body parts and getting naked with people that you truly cannot get really naked with. 

  5. TheTruthKills

    As soon as a women starts playing hard to get I just cut them off right there. That’s not challenging. It’s just playing childish games that I don’t have time for.

  6. Men dont like a “challenge” we like someone who is real and honest. Dont put up a wall thinking that’s proving something. Playing games is why you’re single. 

  7. Dylan

     Dr Stanley helped my marriage. The problem was not between my husband and I, but from jealousy brought on by his family. Ever since we met, they have tried to sabotage our relationship. It felt to me as if I wasn’t just married to him, but also his family, which was slowly dividing us. We were on the verge of divorcing, I consulted to find out if he could help save our marriage. I’m happy to say that he did and I can’t thank him enough. So if you have a marriage problem contact………Dylan

  8. Lovely

    Not every woman plays hard to get. Sometimes the man is in a situation that he is looking to get out of and looks for that women he feels could be capable of getting him out. They often take advantage of women. I believe in what u are saying, but I think there’s more…. So i will be looking for that other chapter. Thanks for the words

  9. Muahxno

    I really do understand this concept. Wow, ladies I hope you listen, because I did.

  10. El

    I’m actually glad to read this and the comments, because I don’t even know how to “play hard to get”. Of course I have standards, and not everyone can even get my number. But if I do choose to give a guy my number and go out with him, then I’m already interested. And when I’m interested as much as a guy is trying to impress, I am too. And I am an open book, if I like u, u will know it. And as for the 90 day rule, I don’t believe in it, I have too many guy friends to know a guy will wait those 90 days if u r fine/desirable enough, and be out once he gets it. Drake said it best “just need to know what that pu**y like so one time is fine with me” lol lol

  11. Playing hard to get is very intelligent under certain circumstances, however there’s a couple HUGE problems. First women tend to take it to far, which leads good men to just give up or grow extremely tired of the game! Second women make the massive mistake of letting good men see them give in so fast to bad men, and playboys, then try to play hard to get with them.

    Basically ladies as I have said on my show many times, Keep Them Legs Closed! Just be upfront with the guy how you feel about him, and tell him he will NOT be getting any until you are sure he is the one. This way you both have plenty of opportunity to back out if needed. Also say NO, but don’t hold it against him from trying from time to time.

  12. Rildabomb

    “Men Love a Challenge” is very inspiritaional, which can cater to males and females. It is important to be yourself and if he/she feels as though being you is not good enough, then, “bye bye baby.” This reading was very refreshing and I give it two thumbs up!

  13. Alex

    My girlfriend gave me the “play hard-to-get” advice the other day & I was like “Nahh!”
    It’s also that some men like women that play games like that & are spontaneous. But other men like women who are sincere & open-hearted. I can tell that the guy I like likes that I’m honest & will reply to his messages & hang out with him a lot whenever we can. My friend told me to not reply to his messages & not be so willing to hang out with him when he can. But I’m not like that, I hate playing games.
    I also look into astrology. As a Scorpio, I’m straightforward. I love me a Taurus man, & they generally don’t like the girls who play hard to get. My girlfriend who gave me the advice is an Aquarius and, her boyfriend & one of her most compatible zodiac signs is an Aries. Aries men LOVE a challenge.
    But ima keep it real and do my own thing.

  14. Jenna

    !!! This article is amazing. Literally the best response to the whole “men like a challenge” concept i’ve come across.  I’ve always found that concept incredibly depressing and limiting – it degrades men to animals who don’t actually value the people they date, and makes women manipulative game players who don’t see themselves as valuable enough to just be loved for who they are.  To me it makes dating heartless and fake.

    Your take on this is so intelligent, refreshing, and as a woman it gives me hope for men-kind 🙂 Many of the comments here are just as refreshing – so thank you so much for posting this!

  15. Jenna

    One more note…

    This should be every woman’s mantra for relationships in general…

    “Don’t focus on being the challenge he wants…focus on being the person that you truly are. ”

    just change it up a little…

    “Don’t focus on being what you think he wants…focus on being the person that you truly are.”

    Life motto right there.

  16. Totally confused

    I have been talking to a guy for about a month and a half now. Our first date we went out to dinner. Had a great time. Since then we have been seeing each other pretty regularly. We have agreed for right now to just keep taking the time to get to know one another, which is fine with me. In the last couple of weeks he has made a few comments that lead me to believe he enjoys being with me. He told me he was staring to get stronger feelings for me. Then he told me last Tuesday he wanted to eventually move closer to me and me being one of the reasons. We live a couple hours away from each other so I took that comment as a positive. Last week we pretty much talked everyday via phone. I mentioned to him that I was going to be down by him visiting a girlfriend and was dropping hints that I would like to see him. He pretty much told me he just wanted to take a day to be by himself. I said that was fine, but after hanging with my gf and a couple cocktails I decided to drive over there. He wasn’t real happy about it but offered to let me stay. That night before going to bed he told me that he is feeling a bit pressured and told me about another girl he had been talking to also. He also told me he felt like he was obligated to call me every day that week and felt like I was checking up on him. I left it at that. We did talk about it the next morning and I left for home. In the meantime, since I’ve returned home I checked my calls on my phone and had to laugh because he had mentioned that I called him all the time. After going through all my recent calls from that week, we had talked 20 times, 4 of those call I called him and the rest of them he called me. Talk about utter confusion!!! Since then I have not called him I have let him make all the moves and its working. Not sure why, so I don’t know what to think about the playing hard to get concept, very frustrating. I will tell you from the beginning of getting to know one another we had both agreed that our past relationships, marriages, etc. were just all about lust and this time around we wanted to find our best friend. We have not taken our relationship to the next level and not sure if we will or not. Time will tell. One thing I know for sure is that both of us are very real with one another and there are no trust issues or drama. We have good fun when we are together. So after sharing all this I guess I’m just wondering of any thoughts, opinions, advice you could give me? I am seeing him this weekend and was contemplating talking to him about it but undecided still. We have agreed that one of the things we like about each other is we are truthful and share our thoughts and feelings with one another. Can anyone help? Thanks and sorry for the winded comment. 🙂

    1. I think talking about it would be the best approach. If you two want to build something great and genuine you have to always embrace being open and honest with each other. As long as you do it in a calm, positive, and loving manner you are good. So I definitely say let him know how you feel and get things off your chest.

  17. Kimberly

    Amen, It is beautiful to have an open heart ….honor yourself the way God made you and honor your man the way God made him. Two mature people with integrity can have an eternal love this way.

  18. Wow…that's great! best explanation I've ever heard. I never understood why women would put up any front in a relationship…a big challenge…or pretending domestic goddess…after you are in the relationship…don't they know the truth comes out? Too hard to keep up all that work..guess I'm just lazy.

  19. McLennan Ppc

    A very interesting read. Its about time someone set the record straight on this.. thanks for the blog

  20. Shelita Jones

    Great post, some real truth us women need to listen and take heed to.

  21. This is beneficial information for women and men that are serious about presenting their best self for a fulfilling relationship.

    Please post any events you are presenting on the east coast near Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia.
    Thank you so much!

  22. Dating Men w/ Lips

    Thanks for this – Always been worried that I wasn’t good at playing the dating game. Glad to hear that being yourself will work in the long run.

  23. MForte Ferguson

    Very well written and something we must really think about when we want to be desired. Its not a game, games end and someone has to loose.

  24. How to get a woman to have sex with you… If youre her husband….HAHAHAHAHA!!!

  25. Charlene Krueger

    Now THAT is true!!!

  26. Overland Aimiti Afo EsperanzaPooja

    I love this post! Keep it coming

  27. Hey this is good…I don't chase after men but I do try to be open and let him know that I am interested. I hate when people play games. If I'm interested I try to be honest and if not I move on.

  28. This is very true. However, there is a psychology to people and the psychology is this, people want what they cannot have so easily and they appreciate what isn't sold to them easily or overwhelmingly. I have noticed that if and when I give in too soon and or give too much, it repel because it is not in my nature to do so. Men like what doesn't come easily. I agree with this article but this supports my point , read below:

    Ladies , did you know that's there's absolutely nothing you can do to get a man! You can have the best looks, best smile, greatest personality and be the best woman all around and be either A) committed in a relationship or B) Single. Ladies did you know that there's absolutely no way you can behave , that will guarantee yourself a man! You can be ugly , never smile, be mean spirited, wicked , crazy , fat, evil and have the worst personality all the way around and be either A) committed in a relationship or B) Single. If you don't believe, just look around. Some of the worst are taken and some of the best are single. Don't allow people to fool nor manipulate you into believing that you have to behave in a certain manner or dress a certain way, smile a certain way, get an online dating profile or go to this and that event , in order to get a man. It's bullshit! You can do all that and still be single and you can do the least and be taken! Why? Because it's Gods will for your life , not man's will! God determines the time and season, not man! Man has no control over these circumstances, they just think they do. Yes, date with self esteem, & don't be easy but don't think for one second your good or bad behavior , nor the books you read or advice you get will lead you into any committed relationship. For more info , blog me at Follow me @Relationships 1O

  29. Marlene Miller

    Yes I wanted to hear that Stephan.

  30. Judianne Grey

    You're absolutely right!

  31. Great article and I agree with you 100%. Personally I think exhausting playing hard to get. Just be who you are and know what deserve.

  32. I agree with you. Women who know deir worth, don't need to play games and play with the man's mind.. however, it's good to have some standards and show it with smart ways. A woman should know how to treat a man who seems like playing games and a man who seems like is really interested in her. You can give a chance to the man you like, but you should be careful..

  33. Theevolutionof Jennelle Deschwanden

    I agree 100% I feel that most of the time relationships don't work simply because people don't know themselves well enough to know what they are truly looking for in another person. So they play with their own minds, making something out of nothing, and you're right people do get stuck.. comfort zones, comfort sex, comfort drama. . I heard someone say the other day, they're all crazy you just have to find one with an amount of crazy that works for you.. NOT TRUE, they aren't all crazy, you simply don't know and respect yourself well enough to resist what you know isn't going to work for you, and hold to your standards and wait for something that will. A lot of time you aren't even up to your standard. You can't be a merchant waiting for a queen/king.. You have to be a queen/king and run across an equal. Life is only as complicated as we make it.. but by knowing ourselves, and figuring ourselves out, desires, boundaries, wants, likes, dislikes, passions, etc.. it makes it a lot easier not to end up with people in another book.. I want someone in the same chapter.. but I know me.. I know what im capable of and I wouldn't even consider someone who I couldn't compliment and who couldn't compliment me. If we can't do more together than we could do solomente.. Then there's honestly no point. I may one night stand you.. lol just cause sometimes it's like that.. but I'm not going to consider relationshipping you or spending time with you if I don't appreciate your mentalism. I think there would be a lot less relationship issues if more people thought that way. Don't me more in love with the idea of love.. than you are with the person you are trying to fall in love with.. Okay.. I'll give your eyes a break – Peace

  34. Some men are so stupid,when a woman is so free ,genuine and trustworthy they tk advantage of that cos they thought they had no challenges prior to the relationship…

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