Picture: Voyagerix/Getty
Picture: Voyagerix/Getty

We've been doing dating wrong.

You know how it usually goes: you're romantically interested in someone so you decide to verbalise your interest in a straightforward and mature way. Maybe even ask for a date.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

According to research by Erin R Whitchurch at the University of Virginia, playing hard to get might actually make you more desirable.

In other words, as the study wants to know:

If we want to know how much Sarah likes Bob, a good predictor is how much she thinks Bob likes her.

But what if Sarah is not sure how much Bob likes her?

Whitchurch conducted an experiment in which female university students were shown Facebook profiles of four different men.

They were then told either (a) the men know they have seen their Facebook pages, and like the women; (b) the men know they have seen their Facebook pages and consider the girls ‘average’ looking and (c) the men either liked the women, or thought them average, but they were not told which.

Results of this incredibly scientific study demonstrated that women liked the men who liked them too, but even more women liked the men whose feelings they were uncertain of.

Because women are secretly masochists, obviously.

But before you go cold on that woman you've been Tinder-talking to, consider this:

A separate German study conducted earlier this year claims the opposite.

Men were shown images of women, and found that the ones whose facial expressions were most open, were the most attractive.

We found the better a participant thought they could understand another person’s emotion the more they felt attracted toward that person.

So...which one is it? Do you play hard-to-get or not?

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