You've done it. You met the guy or gal whose face can be seamlessly copied and pasted into your Wedding Pinterest dream board. You've met the perfect human, the one who made your ribcage envelop a butterfly garden. You've met the one. You can't screw it up now!
So how do you navigate the daunting landscape that is modern dating? How can you secure your place in their heart, without having studied its architecture or dimensions? You’ve read dozens upon dozens of articles from your favorite magazines, so you’re sure you’ve mastered the art of flirtation (thanks to the writers and bloggers who don’t have company-specific objectives and deadlines.) But how far can batting your eyelashes and subtle arm grazes really get you?
Not far. Not far at all. But there actually is one thing you can do, and it’s going to sound like a worn and tired suggestion, but hear me out:
Play hard to get.
UGH! I know! You’ve heard it before. But the problem there, I’ve found, is that many will tell you how rewarding it is to be elusive, yet they won’t tell you exactly how to do it. The only quantifiable instruction I’ve gathered from the web is a timetable for how long people wait before responding to a text. So while it's a start, these articles don’t account for important factors like timezone differences, variations in times of day, vacation periods, etc. There are so many questions, and so little answers.
So that’s why I’m here to teach you how to really play the dating game, and how to make him/her absolutely crazy about you.
1. Channel Your Inner Tess McGill
Pretend you have a full-time job. People with jobs generally have tasks that occupy them between the hours of 9AM – 5PM. You can get creative and assign yourself to an imaginary freelancer or entrepreneur role (for which you can pretend to be working outside the confines of a 9 to 5) but start with this standard timeframe to avoid getting confused juggling the lie down the road. If you pretend to be working on something important, something that does not concern your beau, s/he will have no choice but to sit and wait to hear from you! It will drive them mad!
2. Make Room for Holly Hobbie
Take a notebook and write down three things you want your suitor to think you like to do. It could be “hiking, reading, yoga” or “cooking, running, writing” or whatever you want! A good rule of thumb is to include at least one physical activity, as to make it sound like you care about yourself and your physical health. And be sure to bring this up in conversation! This way, when they do text you, you can pretend to be doing one of these things instead of responding. You can assign about an hour to each activity (more on this below) – so that this way, you have about three hours in your day when you can’t respond to their text/call because you're occupied. Stalk their Instagram while they think you’re out for a run.
3. You need a table for four before two
Bring your imaginary friends back! C’mon, you remember them. Back when you were five and Mr. Beetle Nose and company were your best friends. Bring them back. It’s important to give off the impression that you have friends/people in your life that are not your potential partner. This way, s/he won’t feel the pressure of being the only one occupying your time and/or company. That’s a lot for someone to take in! Let his or her calls go to voicemail while you lounge around with Mr. Beetle Nose. (It’s important to rename these friends to something that can be easily traced back to social media. A good standard name would be Mike, or Jen.)
4. pin it to win it
Go to your Pinterest board and find good stock photos of some vacation destinations. This can be anything from Jamaica to Alaska. Find a handful of photos from one location, make sure they all look alike, and Instagram one of them per day. To assure consistency among photos, it would make good practice to choose images from the same source or same time of the year. If neither of those is an option, a good delusory device can be utilized by way of the Instagram filter – apply the same filter to all of your photos to manipulate the public's perception. (I personally like Perpetua, because it's two-toned and the name literally mimics perseverance – qualities perfectly fitting of your endeavor.)
A recent Instagram update now allows you to tag locations anywhere in the world in which your device has never been – so go on a pretend vacation and ignore his/her texts for a full week!!! Some people go with the standard seven-day removal, but this pretend trip can literally be whatever/whenever you want. From a weekend to a month – but a month may be too long and too hard to go without the communication. (I mean, you're only human!)
5. use your brain as bait
Pretend to take a class. Even if you already graduated from high school or university, you can still allocate some time for a fictitious course you are taking. The best part is, you can choose literally any subject without worrying about having to hide out in or around a nearby campus – many courses are available online! It may also be a good idea for your chosen subject(s) to correlate with your pretend job. Of course, this does not have to be the case – but it's important to think about how much of this fake life you can become proficient in – and how quick. A class can be anywhere from 1 - 5 hours. Don't forget to consider things like spring break! Perfect for the aforementioned fictitious trip!
These options have varying schedules, which is great because this allows for much flexibility, and it gives you more options to act like you're busy, while your suitor waits to hear back from you. But it can get a bit confusing trying to memorize these timetables, so I've compiled everything in the chart below:
Things to pretend to do, and how long it takes to do them
(All data derived from living humans who regularly partake in above activities.)
And that’s just about it! I encourage you to print this page with the chart and fill in each line with its respective activity. For the "Your Time" column, you can replicate the "Standard Time" column, should you want to ease into such an undertaking. However, there is no right or wrong! This is just a standard template to guide you and help you figure out how to pretend to occupy your time – and consequently make yourself seem more desirable. An advanced version of this includes opening up your desktop (or mobile) calendar and distributing the activities amongst specific days and times. Keep in mind: no matter what you say you're doing, or how long it takes to do it, the desired outcome will be the same: you will become too occupied to be obsessive, and you won't drive anyone away because you will be far too busy! Because remember: life is too hard and too limiting to be hard to get. So you have to play hard to get.
Best of luck!