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The Pleasure Of Uncertainty (Don’t Tell Her How Much You Like Her) « The Guru Black Book

The Pleasure Of Uncertainty (Don’t Tell Her How Much You Like Her)

There’s an age old debate about how much yous should let a woman know you like her.  For instance, we all know that women are attracted to what they can’t have, but it seems like indifference might even be a bigger influencer of attraction.

I know that if I find out a woman actually “likes” me I’m usually more attracted to her, of course there’s that exciting moment where you don’t know how she feels and you’re bound and determined to get her to like you.

Surfing around at the Huffington Post last night I discovered this interesting article.

Here’s the “jist” in case you’re in a hurry…

There was a scientific study done with a group of women, primarily concerning “online dating” and they found (and I quote):

“…women were more attracted to the men who liked them a lot — much more attracted than they were to men who were lukewarm in their feelings. This isn’t all that surprising, and it lends support to the reciprocity principle. But — and it’s a big “but” — the women were most attracted to the men whose feelings remained unknown. They found these mystery men even more attractive than men who openly declared their attraction.”

Here’s the full story also available at the HuffPost here

You’ve just been on a first date with a woman you find attractive and intelligent, and things went well — at least from your point of view. The conversation was comfortable, and you have the same taste in books and politics. You’re still savoring the pleasure of the experience when you run into a mutual friend, who reports some good news: Your date really had a good time, too, and is looking forward to seeing you again soon.

But what if, instead, your mutual friend hems and haws and finally shares that the woman liked you “well enough,” which anyone can translate as “bored to tears”? Or what if (yet another scenario) your mutual friend leaves you dangling? Your friend has indeed talked to the woman since your date but is uncertain of her feelings. She didn’t really say how she felt about the evening — or you.

Which of these hypothetical women do you find most attractive? Classical psychological theory says that you will be most drawn to the woman who finds you attractive. Being liked is rewarding, and social rewards create positive emotions — including feelings of comfort and safety. This social phenomenon is so well documented that scientists even have a jargony name for it: the reciprocity principle.

But what ever happened to “playing hard to get”? Aren’t we most drawn to what we can’t have? Or at least to what we have to win? Aren’t courtship and romance and love more complex than simple reciprocation? A team of psychological scientists decided to explore these questions in the laboratory, and — since this is the 21st century — they adapted the three scenarios for Facebook.

Erin Whitchurch and Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia and Daniel Gilbert of Harvard recruited a group of women, all students at UVA, who agreed to supply their Facebook profiles. They thought they were taking part in a study of online dating and were told that male students from other universities had looked at their profiles — along with those of 15 to 20 other women — and had rated each woman according to how well they thought they would get along with her.

This was just a fiction; there were no men involved in the study at all. Even so, the women subsequently viewed Facebook profiles of four men — all likeable, attractive college students. Some heard that these were the men who liked them the most, while others believed these men had given them a so-so rating. Still others were told that these four men’s feelings about them were unknown — they might have been very attracted, or they might have been indifferent.

The scientists asked the women to rate the four men on various measures of attraction: how much they liked the men; how much they’d like to collaborate on a project; how much they’d like the men as friends, casual acquaintances or as potential boyfriends. These ratings were all combined into a single attraction index.

The idea was to see if indeed women reciprocate when men find them attractive — or when they find them unattractive. The scientists also wanted to see if uncertainty is attractive. That is, would the woman be disenchanted or intrigued by men whose feelings were unclear?

The results were clear, and a bit surprising. As described in the online version of the journal Psychological Science, the women were more attracted to the men who liked them a lot — much more attracted than they were to men who were lukewarm in their feelings. This isn’t all that surprising, and it lends support to the reciprocity principle. But — and it’s a big “but” — the women were most attracted to the men whose feelings remained unknown. They found these mystery men even more attractive than men who openly declared their attraction.

The scientists call this the “pleasure of uncertainty,” and they also uncovered a hint as to why this dynamic works. The researchers asked the women how often they thought about the different men — how frequently they “popped into their head” — during the time before they made their ratings. The women spent more time musing about the uncertain men than the others, suggesting that having a man in one’s thoughts can increase attractiveness. These women — the ones contemplating a mystery man — were also in a better mood than the women who had been flattered or deflated.

The women in this study had no information about the men’s choosiness in general. That is, they didn’t know if the men were uniformly “hard to get” or “easy to get.” So this may be a new version of the “playing hard to get” scenario — creating uncertainty to pique interest. And it may be a version especially suited to the 21st century, simulating the kind of information people often get when they meet online. At the very start of the e-dating process, mystery may have some benefits.

Interested to hear YOUR thoughts on this and how you could actually APPLY it to your advantage in both online and offline dating.

If you have an opinion, leave your comment below.

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Leave A Reply (10 comments So Far)


  1. J red
    2374 days ago

    Obviously uncertainty is everything. I’m a nice guy, and there’s no changing that. I feel horrible when I screw over anyone, especially women, cause I REALLY love women. Besides, karma’s always been real harsh to me, so I can’t take a girl home and not at least text her the next day. Just can’t. I found out pretty early that being non-committal, hoping they’d just realize that I’m too nice to not call, with near 100% certainty, yielded the opposite results. If you know what you’re doing in the bedroom, and then you act as if you could take it or leave it, and they fall in love. It drives them wild. It’s good to know about the online stuff, though. I figured it had to be different from regular life.


  2. Karl
    2374 days ago

    Interesting. The study results certainly add to the “mystery” that is women. The logic escapes me, but then, frequently so do women. Escape me that is.


  3. thinktt
    2374 days ago

    It makes sense. I figured it was those who they knew were attracted to them or those who they were uncertain about. The uncertain thing goes along with the intrigue principle. To keep women intrigued you must keep them guessing what you’re thinking and who you are.

    Women like mystery. It allows them to make up what they don’t know, which is way better than if they actually knew everything. It also gives them something to think about. The more they think about and try to figure things out the more invested they become in you.


  4. CJ
    2373 days ago

    Being mysterious definitely helps out at the very beginning of a relationship. We all know not to fawn over a girl, and we all know some of the best pick up artists use this to their advantage, and cash in all the time. Example: Guy talks up a girl for 5-8 minutes then says he’s gotta go, and leaves WITHOUT ASKING HER NUMBER. 10 minutes later he’s back, and guess what? She’s all over him. Why? She’s been thinking about him for the last ten minutes, wondering if he likes her at all. GOLD!!!


  5. Jay Jay
    2373 days ago

    This is only half true. I’ve met girls where everything went wrong because I didn’t tell them how much I liked them. Some girls are insecure and very romantic……..those particular types of women tend to get more interested if they are told how you felt about them.

    The truth is, every girl will be different. That little experiment just generalizes reality.


  6. arthur
    2371 days ago

    love=hope+doubt – Lelil Loundes…. Seems the study conrfirms it.


  7. yo
    2371 days ago

    i think it all depends on how long a woman dwells on a man in her thoughts and the longer that time is,,, the more attracted shell be, you should really keep her guessing and leave her with no certainty.


  8. akshat yadav
    2370 days ago

    well…it’s quiet complicated..if u go with perticularr mind set u are ment to fail ..every one is unique in him/herself…it’s always good to have right mix….if u can predict everything then it becomes boring..so i think the mistery parts make the whole game more interesting and you play it with your whole presence…..


  9. Dave
    2272 days ago

    Of course it works. Women do it all the time. Mixed or unclear signals are part of a woman’s repertoire. This is just another way of using a woman’s own playbook on her.

    The more material from a woman’s playbook you use on her, the less material she has to use on you.


  10. Nate GG
    1950 days ago

    My feelings and thoughts are written all over my face 24-7 so if I try this approach I look like a total bastard. What else could I try to give her this pleasure? Other unexpected activities which do no harm to anybody or 14 different foreplay techniques and manoeuvres to rotate.


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