Originally Posted by Coco Maui
So...if you act like an air-head and "give it up" (returning his calls every waking moment, falling all over yourself at the beginning, sex on the first date, etc...)he has no other challenge left. Therfore you need to reserve yourself and be "hunted" while enjoying all that is involved in the "hunt"
I have never really liked the hunting theory. To a certain extent it is true. But the issue is whether sticking to it will result in something good. Personally, if a person plays hard to get I would not do a follow up simply on the grounds that if a person does not like you why bother pestering them and making their life miserable. Hunting > Harassment = Restraining Order. hehe. And if someone wants to "desperately" spend their time with you and you enjoy the company of the person why play hard to get. Or if lets say a person thinks you are too available and as a result decide not to go out with you would you want to go out with a person that shallow. Of course there is a distinction between being too available and coming on too fast.
But that is just an anecdotal evidence.
Since we are in a philosophical mood today, let me tell you about my theory on the 'rules of the hunt' or the rule to play hard to get may result in some problems. But to illustrate the point I first need to bring in an economic theory.
Market for Lemons
George Akerlof the nobel prize winner for economics wrote a short essay in the 60s about the market for lemons. Basically it talks about how asymmetric information (Lack of full information/Difference in information between parties) can play a part in one's decision. He talks about the market for used cars. Imagine the seller knows which car is a good car and which car is a bad car (hence the term lemons) but that the buyer have no idea which car is good or bad. Therefore the buyer will make an offer which would be perhaps the average price of both cars. This is to take into account the fact that he may have made a mistake and bought the bad car.
Good = $10
Lemon = $5
Probability of picking a Good car = 50% or 1/2
Price offer = ($10 + $5)/2 = $7.50
But since the seller have full information if the car is a good car he will not accept the $7.50 offer since it is less than $10. Of course the theory is more complicated than that and that simple changes in the price and probability can change the equation but for now this is sufficient.
Instead of a market for used cars think about a market for true love. You have the same problem, asymmetric information. Assuming that each party know what they are 'worth', or at least know better than the person opposite trying to make a connection.
So the question now is, based on what you have to offer (humour, committment, caring, educated, etc) you have to decide whether the person opposite you has 'better value' or is a lemon vis-a-vis what you have to offer.
Remember the car salesperson? If what you are offering is below his valuation he would not accept. So taking this analogy to the game of playing hard to get. By telling the person that lets say you are busy for the next week or not calling after a date, you are signalling to the person that you are not a 'lemon' and that if there is to be any progress in the 'negotiation' or 'courtship' the person would have to offer more. Conversely if you are 'too available' you are signalling to the person that you are a lemon.
A further point with regards to the used car market, if what is offered is consistenly below the good car valuation, then there will be no market for good cars. Translating this to the dating world, the maxim 'all good wo/man are already taken.' Thus suggesting that all is left is lemons. Hence the need to signal you are not a lemon through playing hard to get.
But of course the market of love is significantly different from the market of used car. Such a signalling effect can be abused. And unlike the market for used cars, there is no offer or warranty (unless you view marriage as a warranty of sorts where if the 'good' or partner does not 'perform as guaranteed or advertised', one could seek divorce and maybe get some money). And since there is no warranty, the signals can be abused by people.
Sure there are times where you reject the person simply because you think that person is a lemon. But there are people who play the game so as to speak and follow the rules. And there are people who simply do not play the game and follow the rules. Logically the people who are playing the game might be punching above their weight or is a lemon. After all why play the game if one knows what one is 'worth'. But for the people who do not play the game, their value is depressed by the market despite the fact that they are not necessarily lemons and may be a good partner.
Well, that is just my rambling thoughts on the matter. Therefore sometimes the right person may be out there just that based on the rules, he is supposed to be a lemon but that is not true. Oh boy, I really need to stop thinking about such wierd analogies and silly theories and give my brain some rest.