7 Signs She’s Playing Hard to Get but Is Interested in You

Man talking to woman who is playing hard to get

Have you ever gotten mixed signals in a relationship? What about when you’re uncertain if she’s into you or just playing hard to get? Like it or not, relationships can be a gigantic mind game, and a lot of people will mess with your feelings a bit.

No matter how much of a connection you have with someone, how attractive you are, or how wonderful the two of you would be together, women can often play hard to get in ways that make you question if they ever liked you in the first place. The fact of the matter is that dating is a mind game, and you often have to put your game face on in order to win.

Unfortunately, that means sometimes having to figure out if she likes you and is playing hard to get or if she’s just not that into you.

While we don’t necessarily condone messing with your significant other or playing mind games, we want you to feel confident as you enter into a new relationship, so we’ll help you out.

Here are seven signs to look out for if you want to know whether she’s playing hard to get but is still interested in you.

Why Do Women Play Hard to Get?

Nothing can be too easy in life and love, or else you’ll start to take it for granted. Women want to be wanted, and they want to be pursued. One of the best and easiest ways to make sure both will happen is to play hard to get in the beginning and see if their man cracks under pressure or rises to the occasion. One thing about women is that they will always keep you on your toes when you’re dating them.

One of the most common ways a woman will make sure you’re interested and invested in them is by playing hard to get. And according to a study completed by the University of Virginia, this mind game isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

The study found that its subjects were more attracted to their potential partners who withheld information about their true feelings towards them than those who showed an interest in them. In other words, the more mysterious you are, the more likely your potential partner will like you.

That said, being coy and playing the relationship game should only go so far if you eventually want a healthy and stable relationship. If you need clarification on whether your potential partner is playing hard to get or if they actually don’t like you, here are the seven signs to look out for.

1. When She Says She Might be Busy

If you’re trying to plan a date night with a girl you’re talking to and she frequently says ‘maybe’ or ‘I’ll see what I can do,’ those words often mean that she’s playing hard to get. If she seems to have a genuine interest in you and continues the conversation after the initial brush-off, maybe ask again. Or ask if there is something she would rather do than your initial idea. Sometimes women will give a half-hearted reply when they’re not interested in the date, but they’re still interested in you. Also, by making you sweat it out a little bit, they’re making you work for their affection, which can be sexy.

Another reason why a woman may say she might be busy is that she wants to seem desirable too. She doesn’t want to put all her cards on the table and let you know that she’s always available because that might make her less desirable to you. By alluding to a chance that she might have something to do, she automatically becomes more mysterious, alluring, and in high demand.

All this being said, there is also a chance she’s not into you and doesn’t want to go on a date with you. You’ll realize this pretty quickly. If she’s unresponsive and constantly making excuses for why she can’t go out with you, especially if they’re the same excuses each time or a little far-fetched, she’s probably not that into you. You might want to stop trying to pursue her.

There is a difference between playing the game and beating a dead horse, and you’ll want to take notice of the signs before you get mixed up in the mind game of dating.

Be sure to pick up on her clues, follow her lead, and always respect her boundaries.

2. If Her Friends Know About You

Nothing provides as much of an ego boost as meeting your potential partner’s friends and having them tell you she always talks about you. More than likely, if she’s not interested in you, she won’t bring you up to her friends.

Now, if they’re telling you she talks about you all the time and that statement is accompanied by concerned looks, maybe assess the situation and see if she’s saying positive or negative things. Still, if her friends or the people close to her know about you, you should be able to assume that you’re in her good books.

A woman’s friends are usually her greatest allies and her biggest confidants. You never want to get on the friends’ bad side because there is rarely any coming back from that. But, if her friends like you, and you make an effort to get to know them as well as your potential partner, you might have solidified your bond with her more than you know.

3. If She Teases You

It’s a tale as old as time, one of the easiest ways to know if someone likes you is if they tease you. Making playful jabs and jokes at your partner’s expense is a natural thing for most relationships. Hopefully, you and your potential partner will end up knowing each other better than anyone else in the world. While that relationship will come with its own responsibilities, it will also come with the privilege of getting to tease each other more than anyone else can.

If you’re starting to develop a relationship with a girl and she begins teasing you, know that that might be a sign that she feels comfortable enough with you to poke fun at you. She’s also playing hard to get by not coming off as too interested.

That being said, if the teasing begins to go too far or you ever feel uncomfortable or undervalued by something she says, that might be a red flag. You might want to jump ship because if she’s causing you pain during what ought to be the honeymoon stage of your relationship, there’s no telling what will come after.

However, try to keep an open mind and open communication. Tell her if a joke lands a little too close to home and see how she reacts. Her reaction might tell you all you need to know about further pursuing a relationship with her.

4. If She Looks Away When You Look at Her

There are some things we will never grow out of and avoiding being caught staring at your crush is one of those things. If you catch her looking at you and then playfully avoiding your gaze, pretending like she wasn’t looking, or blushing a bit after being caught in the act, she’s more than likely checking you out behind your back.

You can tease her a bit for this, but we don’t suggest you bring it up too much, or she might get self-conscious and stop doing it.

Eye contact is one of the more intimate connections you can have with a person when you’re first getting to know each other, and it might be disarming for the two of you. Ease into it and have a little fun if you keep catching her staring.

Of course, if she never makes eye contact with you and avoids looking at you altogether, you might want to take that as a sign that she’s actually not into you. Looking at your potential partner is kind of a necessary thing.

Man and woman on date, with the woman looking away from the man

5. If She Takes Her Time Texting You Back

Full disclosure, I have friends who have set timers for how long they’ll wait to text a guy back. It happens much more often than you think. Texting is a minefield when it comes to dating. It can be scary and disarming when you want to maintain power in the relationship.

No one wants to come off as too eager or someone with too much free time. But let’s be honest, we’re all slaves to our phones and we almost always see a text the second it gets sent. If you’re noticing a girl taking a bit longer to respond to texts, but still always responds, she’s playing hard to get.

This is one of those times when you’ll want to keep an eye out for her levels of enthusiasm and the effort she puts into her texts. Cut your losses if she’s taking three days to respond with a ‘K,’ or leaving you on ‘read’ constantly. But if she’s making you wait 20 minutes, then crafting a witty response, you can assume she’s blushing on the other end.

Even though the waiting game can be tiresome, it is also one of the easiest ways to know if a girl is interested in you.

6. If She Talks About Other Guys or Girls

Jealousy is truly the best motivator. If you’re talking to a girl who casually mentions other men or women she finds attractive, she’s probably trying to get you to take the bait and make a move on her. This is another way to establish dominance and prove that she’s in high demand.

She might do this by mentioning an actor in the movie you’re watching together is cute or talking about how much success she’s had on the dating app you two met on. She also might say that someone has already asked her out on the night you were meant to go out, but she’d rather go out with you. These are all signs that she’s playing hard to get but she’s still very into you.

She also might bring up things that people tried to do in the past to impress her or are trying to do right now. If she’s doing that often enough, it might be a subtle nudge to step your game up and impress her a bit too.

Just like with everything else, try to take this sign with a grain of salt. Suppose someone you really like is constantly talking about wanting someone else or going to you with their boy drama. In that case, you might be getting friend zoned without realizing it.

Also, if you’re beginning a relationship with someone and they’re constantly bringing up other people in a romantic context, you should have a conversation about how that makes you feel. Navigating dating can be a mine filed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean one of you has to get hurt.

7. She’s Mysterious and a Bit Confusing

If a woman is interested in you and is trying to play hard to get, they’ll always want you to make the first move and initiate conversation. That said, they can still control the exchange, even if you’re asking the questions.

Sometimes, a woman will say something out of pocket or mysterious that will spark your interest and lead to you asking her about what she said. This is usually not a mistake. Women know what they’re doing when they bring something up, and they know that saying something surprising or mysterious will lead to a follow-up question.

Another thing that makes this tactic work for women is it lets them know that you’re interested in getting to know them. No one puts in the effort and asks questions to people they don’t necessarily care about getting to know, and women know that. So if you’re still asking questions, you’re showing her that you’re still interested, which is valuable information for women to have.

Listen to the Cues and be Honest

While the dating game can be a little more complicated than we’d often like for it to be, it can also be fun and rewarding. If you’re worried about whether or not a girl isn’t interested in you or she’s playing hard to get, the easiest thing to do would be to ask her.

At the end of the day, if she’s still showing interest, wants to be around you, and gets to know you, she’s probably into you; she’s also just playing the game. Have fun with it and enjoy this stage, but also be aware of when it might be time to say goodbye.

Matt Marino
Matt Marino

Matt Marino is an online content writer for DatingApps.com, specializing in trending blogs and dating app reviews. He is a graduate of Geneva College with a Bachelor of the Arts in Communications.