Playing the hard – yes or no?

Let’s consider the words of the song “I’ll Never Fall In Love” whose writer I don’t know, sorry, but I’ve heard many versions of it, my favorite is the Dione Warwick’s one. I first heard this song at “My best friend’s weeding”, at the cinema, few years ago.

“What do you get when you kiss a guy?
You get enough germs to catch pneumonia
After you do, he’ll never phone ya
I’ll never fall in love again”

OK, it’s confession time. I’m not exactly single now, it’s complicated, and I’ve been a member of a couple of Internet dating sites in the past. There’s a lot of apps for that and they’re not different from their ancestral websites. And you know what I’ve found? There seems to be a hell of a lot of single fucking crazy people on internet! I know I’m one of them, but God, at least I know I’m a weirdo and I try to change that. What I saw is: people know their flaws but they don’t seem to care about fixing themselves before facing a new journey through the tough love storm. To wish for love is pretty easy, to be ready for it and to be committed to it is a whole different story.

Once again, it comes back to the old saying regarding the Internet: “If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is”. And this includes romance. I’m not saying you can’t find love on the Internet, but be very wary and DON’T dive into a relationship based on your projections over the other person. I’ve been a victim of the top cliché “We found love in the hopeless place” that Rihanna have been spreading, I really though it happened to me, but it didn’t. We’ll maybe it’s happening right now, but the other times, God, just bullshit. I really hope it’s happening to me right now.

“What do you get when you fall in love?
Nothing but pain, lies and sorrow
So for at least, until tomorrow
I’ll never fall in love again”

Many people ask me about unrequited love as if I were an expertise on it. C’mon, guys, I’ve been in love few times over these almost 32 years on Earth and not so many guys or girls felt with me, so, I am not the one to talk about it. Everyone wants to know how to get that person who plays hard to get, they all want that lover just out of reach to get romantic, make a commitment, and return their feelings. Most times I ask them, is it worthwhile? I am very available when I get to know someone new and I am very criticized by my friends. So I decided reading about it: playing hard to get.

I’ve heard that getting that “hard to get” person is sometimes possible, and that’s much more interesting than getting an easy catch. But, before putting in that effort, you should ask yourself some questions. WHY do I like the person? Why do I want him so badly? Does he have some value, some compatibility, some merit for my life? Or, have I simply been swept away, lusting after something I      can’t have?

People value and desire something more when it is rare or difficult to obtain, it’s obvious. This is called the Scarcity Principle. This Scarcity Principle works on the idea of Reactance. Essentially, it happens because none of us like to be told no, limited in any way, or have our freedom constrained. So, when we think we might miss out, not be chosen, or be denied what we want, we “react”. That reactance makes us try all the harder and want what is denied us all the more. I used to instintivelly act like this, trying to get whats unreacheable, fall in love with unavaliable guys.

A study supporting this scarcity effect on desire comes from Johnco, Wheeler, and Taylor (2010). These authors were interested in the bar phenomenon of “all the girls get prettier at closing time”. In other words, the phenomenon that men and women both rate members of the opposite sex as more desirable, the closer a bar gets to closing. I do believe it applies for gay community as well, I’ve been there!

Historically, this phenomenon was attributed to alcohol consumption. It was reasoned that patrons simply got drunk, which negatively influenced their decision-making and impulsivity. However the researchers came up with a different answer. They measured both blood alcohol concentration of participants and attractiveness ratings of opposite sex individuals during the course of the night. Getting drunk did not account for the whole increase in attractiveness of the opposite sex. I believed it would!

Given that, the authors reasoned that the effect was at least partially due to scarcity. As the night goes on, the time left to find a partner diminishes. Also, the people who are left to choose from reduces too. So, it becomes just like a one-day sale at the mall. The leftovers look mighty attractive as they become scarce at the bar—much like they do on the sale rack. Damn, we humans are much more complicated then the peas.

Scarcity can have a big influence on your perception of the attractiveness and worth of someone else. So, if you are chasing someone, you might want to stop and ask yourself why. Do you have something tangible and real to base your attraction on? Or, is that “amazing connection” just an illusion you have created because they are making you chase them and react? Well, this guy I’m hanging arond with doen’t seem to be just effect of scarcity over me, and I think I mean more than that for him, as he’s always very harassed when we’re out, he’s adorable.

I don’t really like the idea of studying love and trying to get a formula to be happy. But when it comes to help me understanding my feelings and motivations I do enjoy taking a glimpse at the scientists discoveries. Just to be clear, I am not living any kind of disturbing situation right know, I am with someone that doesn’t seem to be playing the hard to get with me and I don’t do that as well. It’s just a brainstorm I’m having, trying to find reasons to the huge number of single guys out there. In fact I’m afraid to join them again. Whenever I start a “thing” with a new guy it seems I become more interesting for the rest of them, I’ll never get that. But it’s a theme for another post. Just arrived a child with asthma. Yey!

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3 comentários sobre “Playing the hard – yes or no?

    • Dear, Mr. Wayne. Glad to see you had few minutes between saving the world and hanging around with Catwoman so you read my blog. I’m flattered 🙂

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