QUESTION: Hi, Mrs. Adler, big fan of your book! I have a question for you. My question is: How do you get someone that you really like to respect you, be serious with you and drop the whole “hard to get” game? Hope you can shed some light. Thanks.
Response from Mrs. Adler: Typically, people play “hard to get” when they are not confident in the reality of what they feel that they have or may not have to offer. Sometimes, a person sells him or her self-short in their own mind. That said – the result of a self-imposed short sale could go many ways. One way is this way.
For some people, the choice to play “hard to get” can seem like a good way to grasp control in a budding relationship. This control is temporary at best. Playing hard to get can also be used as an attempt to escape the inevitable reality of a situation – judgment.
For some people, especially, those lacking a level of self confidence, they are unable to cope with others feeling that they are “not for them.” Interestingly enough, I have met people that have been rejected by potential spouses that they have no interest in and they are still very hurt. Why? They want everyone to like them. They also want the to hold the control and be the one that ultimately says yes or no.
Now, let’s go deeper. Finding a marriage partner is about finding someone whom you can build a life-together with. This means, on a daily – if not hourly basis – you two will be forced (by life) to devise plans and assign tasks that are based on the strengths and weaknesses that you each possess.
When a person is dating, they should notice and act on the signs that blink like neon lights in Times Square. In this case, a huge sign would be that a person who is busy playing ‘hard to get’ is busy comforting his or her own needs. This is a sign that they are not available for a “team project.”
Seek specific compatibility. This means, find out what you want in a daily routine and various things about running a home. How do you want to raise your kids? Then discuss how your relationship as two people “in love” will be able to continually develop from this. Not every day is ‘date night’, and sometimes there may be no money for a vacation. What happens then?
If you can say that you two match up in these points then you are moving in the right direction. If one of you is busy babysitting the other ones inability to handle the other ones ideas or criticism, then there is a long, tough, road ahead. Avoid taking a complicated path with potholes when the highway is an option.
Make them “Get Real”: Example Questions to Ask
From my book 1,000 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married
- Question # 130: Do you think I naturally help you grow as a person?
- Follow-up Questions: (If, YES) How? (If, NO) Why not? (If, NO) Do you think I ever could?
Why ask this question?
- A person focusing on their own needs and their ability to control the conversations focus by talking about his or her self wouldn’t scare off the person. Plus, maybe your potential match actually realizes they don’t want to play hard to get. They could reveal that here.
- Question #132: Have you ever felt that I could distract you from living up to your responsibilities and upholding your commitments?
(See follow-up questions in book). Why ask this Question?
- Because, life is about living alive as opposed to a lie. If a person can’t talk about where they are going then they certainly can’t articulate where you and he or she is going and if they can go there with you. This is a tougher question than the last.
- The answer to this question should be understood to determine your present and potential “team capability” or lack there of. If you cannot be a team then you should NOT be a couple.
More on this Question and Topic
When a person plays hard to get, the dynamic of the foundation that they are creating is that of acquisition. At best, they are inspiring someone to want to acquire them. This is not a relationship. A relationship aims for merger as opposed to acquisition.
That said – getting someone to respect you isn’t a cut and dry formula. However, respect is something a person must understand before they can do it. Some people are oblivious to this. In this case, a person who has not been raised to dwell in or at least comprehend the basic levels of respect is dangerous to one who has.
Hence, ‘playing hard to get’ does not make someone respect you. If a person knows how to respect others then they will respect you until you show them reasons not to. If a person does not know how to respect others, you cannot make them.
Playing any game with a person wastes their time. Be direct. Identify what you want with someone then let them answer you. If they are not on the same page as you, then thank Hashem that do not have to waste any more time on a dead end. Value yourself and your time. The more time you waste on the road to marriage, means the less time you have to enjoy your marriage.
The Simple Answer to this Question
People will always do what they “want” to do. If a person wants to be with someone then they will. If not, then they won’t. Please know that some people will never be the one to leave a potential relationship. They will stall it from progressing though so they must be left. And, many times that is not only what they want but also what both parties need.