Do men value women who play hard to get more than the ones who don’t? In the realm of attraction, pheromones, love, dating and the eternal banter that surrounds it, perhaps, all the answers emanate from a simple theory. We as humans, seem to have a peculiar appetite for complexity, atleast for things that fascinate us the most. Hence we like complex answers and theories associated with them. We read, discuss, listen, analyze and like me, ponder and theorize! Upon pondering a little about it myself (I continue to do so), I came across an interesting perspective that I felt rather compelled to share. So, here it goes.
A little background first:
Let us, for a brief moment, turn our clocks back at a time when our predecessors were hunting and gathering to survive. The time when we competed with other animal species in order to survive and the forest was our world.
I think, a simple yet powerful and primitive instinct plays a key role in answering this question – the instinct to acquire the resource that is most valuable to us. This would have had multiple connotations. The correlation of scarcity to value /power (something that is scarce is more valuable than something that is easily available and vice versa) may have determined who lead the groups and which women were considered most valuable. Now,let us look at two important terms – resource and valuable. A resource can be defined as a source of aid or support that can be drawn upon when needed, or an asset or form of wealth that helps us accomplish a goal. Valuable is an adjective to describe something that is extremely useful and important. If neanderthals were to win the race of evolution and come out a winner, then they had an all encompassing, crucial and collective goal to accomplish – to survive and increase in number in order to preserve their species. Let’s call this, the greatest goal.To ensure reproduction, the golden key was to mate with the healthiest/ most fertile women whose bodies could facilitate and survive child birth. This made those women a truly valuable resource, upon whom, depended the achievement of the greatest goal. Now, if our cave men back then naturally selected the mate who was perceived as the most fertile (group A), it implies that the rest of the women (group B) may have had more difficulty in finding partners and would have been easily accessible as they, probably, didn’t have many suitors. Let’s assume the most desirable men, from primitive women’s perspective must have been the ones who were more resourceful in comparison to other men- the leaders / alpha males (Group X) as they exerted the most power and owned more assets than other members (Group Y).
These dynamics may have led to a peculiar behavior profile of Group A,B,X,and Y. Group A, that comprised the most desirable women, may have found it natural to play hard -to- get as they had choices and were in fact scarce, implying that they commanded the highest perceived value and a string of cavemen may have competed to mate with them.
Now, maybe somewhere in the primitive psyche of men, during this time, the memory of the behavior profile of group A somehow became ingrained with the idea of a scarce resource that was worth fighting for in order to accomplish it for an instinctual goal – the greatest goal. A woman who acts like a scarce resource by way of playing hard-to -get, perhaps then, could trigger the primitive male memory (maybe embedded in the Y chromosome) by doing so and activate the mating instinct. In other words, the more easily available a woman is, the instinct in a man might suggest that she belongs to group B and make her seem less desirable thereby turning him away from a not-so-valuable resource. It would be logical then, that the function of the primitive instinct in each man is to propel them towards helping them fulfill the greatest goal by pulling them away from an unvaluable resource and pushing them towards a valuable resource. So conclusively, women who play hard-to-get, if this theory proves to be valid,would indeed be rewarded. And it may be easier for men to reject a woman who does not let him ‘chase’ her; denying him his instinctual and subconscious need to feel that sense of accomplishment.
This write up raises many more questions relating to women’s roles then and now, whether they share this instinctual tendency to reject men who are easily available; that perhaps this is a human instinct? I would love have your feedback to further enrich this article. Please feel free to write me.
Disclaimer: This write up is only an expression of my personal views and opinions. It’s objective is to share an interesting perspective that is open to insightful discussion. Please understand that I am not an expert in anthropology, biology,genetics, dating and do not claim to be so anywhere in my blog.