So there’s this guy that I really like (let’s call him Jon). He is caring, cute, and basically almost everything my "perfect guy" is. The problem is, he told me before that he likes girls that are hard to get: if a girl that he likes a lot likes him back, he’ll stop liking her. Two years ago, he liked me a LOT. And then I started liking him back.
And of course, he stopped liking me once I told him about it. Since then, we have just been friends but honestly I don’t think I got over him completely; I always thought of him in a special way.
So, about a month ago, when I started dating another guy, Jon started acting like he liked me. He would flirt with me a lot and started talking to me a lot more. Whenever he saw me with my boyfriend, he would get all jealous and upset. And of course, I realized that I still had feelings for Jon. So, I broke up with my (now ex) boyfriend.
Jon and I are, like, super close now, and he’s been bugging me about who I like. A lot of my friends and his friends have mentioned to me that I am different than all the other girls he has liked—apparently, he values me and my friendship a lot and I'm very special to him. I don’t know if I should just give up and focus on strengthening our friendship or if I should tell him I like him. I just want to let him know my feelings. But I’m so scared. What do I do if I like a guy who likes girls who are hard to get?
Well, there's always the obvious: if the guy likes girls who are hard to get, then you'll just have to be a hard-to-get kind of girl. Right? Go on, play that game! Be coy! Be cool! Be fickle and aloof! Act delighted to see him one day, then completely ignore him the next. Make plans, then break them, giving no reason for your unavailability other than a shrug and a mysterious smile. Be indifferent to his enthusiasm. Disappear for hours. Drop other guys' names into your conversations. Answer his texts sporadically, and never initiate contact. Tease him! Toy with him! Mess around with his head until he doesn't know whether he's coming or going! Avoid honesty or genuine displays emotion at all costs! And only when his spirit is utterly broken, only when you find him sobbing on your doorstep with a bouquet of roses and a kneebound plea to put him out of his misery, should you suggest that maybe, maaaaaybe, you might like him... or not.
And if this sounds like fun to you, then congratulations: you're awful, and so is he, and you totally deserve each other.
Only you're not awful, Sparkler. Right? Like you said, this entire construct drives you absolutely crazy—as it would any reasonable person. Decent human beings don't appreciate being forced to waste their time with elaborate charades and emotional manipulation, just so some insecure guy can satisfy the longings of his inner caveman. (Not to mention that the "No means yes" attitude of hard-to-get-ness is also the root of so much date-rapey evil; perpetuating it, and teaching guys to view resistance as veiled encouragement, isn't doing any of us any favors.)
But don't worry, darling, there's good news, too. Because the truth is, this game doesn't work if you're too tired to play it—or if you're brave enough to call out the BS for what it is. Or in other words (and in your own words), the next time he bugs you for the identity of your crush, you reply as follows:
"I like you, as I think you know. But I don't like stupid games, and I don't like guys who play them. So if what you want is a girl who's hard to get, then I'm telling you now, I'm not her. On the other hand, if you want to cut the crap and date me like a normal human being, you know where to find me."
And then—and this is important—assume that he won't, that it's over, and that you'll only ever be friends. And please, be okay with that. You don't want a relationship with someone who thinks your interest in him makes you less appealing. You don't want to earn love by being someone that you're not. You want to be valued as a person, not a prize. And that means that your relationship with Jon will never be anything but platonic... until or unless he comes back with an honest, open, straightforward admission of his desire to be with you. Accept nothing less than total transparency, and respond to nothing less than out-in-the-open interest. If this guy wants to be with you, he'll have to tell you so out loud and without obfuscation.
Which, for a guy like him, is probably the hardest thing he'll ever have to do to get a girl. Irony!
Do you play dating games, or is honesty your best policy? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at email@example.com.