Her Highness Eleni at 2026 asked for more info about men acting hardtoget. Cocoa suggested my response as a standalone post, so here it is before the subject cools.
The Battlefield. Let’s look first at the female side of life. To love is to give. To be loved is to earn it by giving. The hardtoget guy offers little or nothing of himself except apparent lack of interest wrapped in what he believes to be inimitable charm. So why should he be loved or, more importantly, shown any of the benefits that he might or could be loved? The more he seeks you to pay attention to him rather than the reverse, the more you should be harder to get. You defeat his game plan in order to earn his respect, which weakens his desire to dominate, which recognizes you as deserving of greater influence in whatever relationship develops.
The Motivations. Men act vague and unavailable because it 1) makes conquest less costly in time, effort, and money; 2) is less risky to the male ego; 3) strengthens male dominance in whatever relationship develops; 4) quadruples the pleasure of conquest by having outsmarted her. (His devious cast of mind comes from the lack of unconditional respect for the female gender caused by the feminist-induced lack of unconditional respect for the male gender.)
Women are intent on pleasing an attractive or interesting guy or having a boyfriend. So much so that they chase a guy and yield sex thinking that he will bond with her as prelude to permanent mating. Such female mistakes while reaching for female-friendly relationships enable conquest with little or no investment of the guy’s time, money, and effort.
Play by Play. Vague and unavailable is the female game—INDIRECTNESS—exploited by men to both facilitate conquest and dominate whatever relationship follows. They want and let women do all the relationship development work. They perceive an opportunity to win sex, booty, or escape by lazily outsmarting women. They risk virtually nothing as they drift uninvolved into her nest of dreams and his access to frequent and convenient sex. Such men induce whorish behavior in women with men establishing the fee so subtly that women don’t recognize how it inflates male dominance, deflates female influence, and nullifies female hopes and dreams of long-term relationships.
How do you gals handle the guy playing hardtoget? First, never abandon your own game plan, which should be that of the female standard—harder to get. Make each guy prove himself worthy of you. Second, you ignore him more dismissively than he can possibly ignore you. You take control with polite passiveness until it grates on his nerves that his approach is NOT GOING TO WORK. Regardless of what he does, which means a lot of nothing except gentle put downs of you (inflicting guilt), outdo him at the same game. While inflicting guilt on a man doesn’t profit a woman, in this case it helps keep him uncomfortable. (He won’t take the guilt as a game changer, but it does weaken his determination that you’re a pushover for his charm and all else he has but refuses to offer.)
Make nothing easy for him; he has to earn even your smiles. Harden the shell you normally keep yourself in. With actions and not words, he has to make himself worthy of you. Any help you give him works against you. You’re the teacher who has to convince him that he’s more disposable than important, weak than strong, unappealing than admirable, less dominant than he thinks.
It may take days, weeks, or months of contact or even dates. Ultimately, he will see that he wants you under your conditions more than he wants sex with you under his conditions. That’s the game breaker for you. If he never learns to see it your way, he was only after sex to begin with or he was unwilling to pay the price of your standards and expectations. IOW the game plays out like this. Men pursue with sex foremost on their minds. Targeted women change each man’s heart behind his back (that is, mind) by enabling him to discover qualities other than sexual assets that he can admire (aka virtues) about her as person, woman, and possible mate.
If he gives up chasing you, you’ve won. He was only after sex to begin with, and finding that out is the primary objective for women. They must have the patience to determine whether he’s truly after her more than just having sex with her? Her victory and his defeat hang on her patience and the reverse on her impatience. It’s all up to her; he’s just another player in her life until he foregoes sex in order to sincerely pursue her for his mate.
Recovery. He begins to rethink his vague and unavailable approach. He takes action to pursue you sincerely and with willingness to invest himself by giving of himself. Then and only then, you start paying more than the slightest attention to him. He will do so cautiously at first for fear of losing you before he even gets started. So don’t be anxious to help him escape his discomfort; give him the freedom to fail so that he will try something more appealing to you. Moreover, success when he overcomes your resistance means much more if he’s done it by himself and without the help he tried to con out of you.
We all keep doing what makes us comfortable. Only discomfort makes us change or even want to. That’s why you should call all his bluffs. For example, be prepared and if he threatens not to see you again, say goodbye before he finishes. Show that separation does not bother you. Keep him uncomfortable with your apparent disinterest or else he reverts to hardtoget for everything that he wants out of you.
Don’t become sympathetic or even empathetic to his situation. Let him dangle in miserable discomfort at not being able to capture your heart with his newfound and expected-to-be-easy effort. Let time and his greater effort to please you resolve his discomfort. (Modern women complain that younger men lack initiative and staying power when things get tough or don’t go the easy way. Men become what women expect of them, so less determined men don’t quit when the right woman guides them with natural female charm, the kind they inherit at birth. The female blessings page at blog top provides many details of the female nature.)
Until he abandons his hardtoget attitude, and unless he makes himself worthy of you to even carry on a decent conversation that leads to proposals to get together or for dates, you will never earn enough of his attention for it to grow into respect and ultimately love, devotion, and promise that you’d make him a good mate. And without doing that, you’ll never get him to subordinate having sex to having you.
I suggest you also study the article 1985, How Men Decide to Marry. It’s more what the woman doesn’t do that sets the hook.