By: Suze Lee, Matchmaker, Three Day Rule
Contrary to popular belief, playing hard to get all the time isn’t a good strategy. Showing interest, especially in the initial stages, is an important way to draw him in. The key lies in the degree of interest you show him and how you maintain it over time. It’s a delicate balancing act between giving him enough signals to assure him you’re interested while maintaining just enough allure to keep him wanting more.
When you first meet him…
Men are flattered when women make the first move. If you do make the first move, be subtle about it (i.e. don’t throw yourself all over him, which gives him the vibe that you’re too eager or desperate). Don’t be afraid to approach him first at a party or send him a quick first message online. If you don’t want to physically approach him first, make eye contact and give him a flirty smile for a few seconds before turning away. If he’s interested, he’ll take the cue and approach you. These subtle signals are just the encouragement that he needs to know that you’re interested in him. Men are used to being the predators so when they have the rare moment to be prey, they love it.
So, he got your number the night before and actually followed up with a call or text the next day (yay!) Instead of making him wait a few days or even a week, text him back within 24 hours. In this digital age, a 24 hour turnaround is totally appropriate and even common courtesy. At this early stage, he doesn’t feel overly attached or invested in you so the longer you make him wait, the more chances he may have moved on. Most daters are on multiple dating apps and platforms at any time, so he could be easily distracted with other opportunities if you don’t respond within a reasonable time frame. If you start engaging in a text exchange, you should vary your response time to keep him on his toes and to show him that you have an active life. Don’t immediately text him back every time he reaches out, but keep it within the 24 hour time frame to signal your interest.
If you agreed to go on a first date with him, he obviously knows that you have some level of interest. During the date, if you feel that he has potential, don’t be afraid to give him a little encouragement. Be flirty with him, don’t forget to laugh and have fun, play with your hair, and touch him occasionally. Be present on the date (translation: don’t text or check your phone constantly). If you like him and thought the date went well, it doesn’t hurt to send him a quick text the next day thanking him for the drinks he bought you and letting him know you had a fun time. If he’s interested in you too, he’ll respond and take the opportunity to ask you out again.
Don’t make the first move…and then the second, third, and fourth…
While it’s perfectly fine to make the first move to catch his attention, once you’ve gone on the first date, it’s time to sit back. If a man is truly interested in a woman, he will follow up and make an effort. We have plenty of male clients who are incredibly busy with their careers, but still carve out time to follow up with women that they’re interested in. If he doesn’t follow up within a week after the first date (especially if you have already sent him a thank-you text), it’s likely that he’s not interested. At this point, it’s best to move on and pursue other opportunities. If he’s not into it, he’s missing out – consider it his loss, not yours!
If he does follow up, make sure you set boundaries. If you are always available to hang out with him or constantly re-arranging your schedule to fit his needs, he won’t value you as much. In the beginning, don’t see him more than once or twice a week so he is left wanting more. Remember to maintain a vibrant social life so you stay interesting, desirable, and not needy. Signaling to him that you are busy and have other social engagements will make you even more attractive to him because men like independent, fun women who have lives outside of them.