Don't Play "Hard to Get", Actually Be "Hard to Get". |

This post is an expansive follow-up to my #mantramonday video this week. Feast your eyes, kittens:

In this video I blow up the spot on “playing hard to get”, and fiercely impose the idea of actually “being hard to get”.

Which of course led me to consider, “How does one actually do that?” And, "What does being hard to get,” even mean?

DON’T YOU WORRY, I'M GONNA MAKE IT REAL CLEAR FOR YOU. Details on putting this mindset into practice are outlined below in the form of Commandments, because the word “thou” doesn’t get enough action in our dull, modern age. These are the top 5 powerhouse principles that will transform your love life, if you let them.

1) Thou shalt not compromise thy preferences and standards for some guy who probably isn’t worth it.

I don’t have a lot of hard n’ fast rules for my love life, but I have reached a point where I know what will and won't work for me in a potential relationship.

And I honor those preferences and standards with every ounce of self-respect and will-power I can muster.

As an example: at some point I had to own up to the fact that I don’t do well dating stoners. Anytime I’ve dated someone who had a serious marijuana habit, struggles and hardship abounded. (DISCLAIMER: this is a personal preference and I am in no way stating this as a reflection of my beliefs overall! PERSONAL PREFERENCE. Respect!)

So when I met a really sexy-cool photographer who also toured Europe regularly as the lead guitarist in a moderately successful rock-metal band, you can imagine how bummed I was when he casually revealed that he was high pretty much all the time.

RED ALERT! RED ALERT! This has never worked for you, Amy! And you have very little evidence that this guy is worth abandoning your own self-knowledge and strong personal preferences for! Let him go, girl!

Standing firm in what you know works (or doesn’t work) for you in relationships is the mothereffin’ cornerstone of “being hard to get”. Do not compromise your preferences or standards. Do not abandon yourself. Own your shit. Create boundaries. Nothing feels better than empowered self-knowledge. NOTHIN'.

And let your friends know about your non-negotiable needs/preferences/standards so when you’re like, “No but he’s a super hot, smart, sweet guitarist/photographer!” they can be like, “Who gives a shit, you’re smarter than this.” Thanks friends!

2) Thou shalt not shirk off all responsibilities and commitments in the face of a promising love interest.

We’ve all known someone who’s an awesome friend when she’s single, and kinda sucks when she’s seeing someone.

She'll either drop off the face of the earth or cancel plans last-minute, citing some vague “totally unexpected emergency! So sorry! Raincheck?” but you know she’s jilting you in favor of her new beau. Which you could understand and respect, if she wasn’t being such a flaky flake about the other nine-tenth's of her life.

Long and short: don’t be that shitty friend. The right guy and the right relationship will fit seamlessly into the current picture of your life. And perhaps more importantly, the right guy and relationship thrives when you have your own stuff going on.

“Sorry, I have brunch plans with my sorority sisters the first Sunday of the month, can we plan that day-trip some other time?”

GUYS RESPECT THESE KINDS OF BOUNDARIES. THEY LOVE THEM. THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO BE CONSTANTLY AVAILABLE. STOP MAKING YOURSELF CONSTANTLY AVAILABLE.

And if you currently have no responsibilities or commitments to speak of, starting making them for gosh’s sake. A regular yoga class. A volunteer opportunity. A writer’s group. A pottery class. A book club. A salsa night with friends. An intramural kickball league. 

Create commitments that matter to you and enrich your life. Find things that elicit joy, and schedule them into every week. Guard your personal peace with a set of daily rituals and practices that will not be forsaken by the presence of a penis. Amen.

3) Thou shalt have sex on thy own terms, and never before thou art ready, comfortable, and super stoked.

I can sum it up pretty simply like this: try (with everything you have) not to have sex when…

- You don’t feel ready.

- You don’t feel comfortable.

- You’re shit-faced wasted and won’t even remember it the next day. (Cause what’s the point?)

- You think doing it will make him like you more.

- You want to (even unconsciously) coerce someone into a relationship status.

- You have to preface it with the words, “I would normally never have sex this early but…”

- Your self-esteem depends on it.

I’ve “waited” to have sex until the first date, the fifth date, and a few months in, and I’ll tell you what really matters when it comes to makin' whoopy: how you feel waking up the next day.

This isn't about what he'll think of you. This is about what you think of you.

If some part of you is carrying shame into the bedroom, or participating in sex because your self-worth and confidence depends on it, that isn’t fair to you or your partner.

Clearly define for yourself (or begin learning to define) what needs to be emotionally and logistically in place for you to let your freak-flag fly.

The only sex that’s worth having is good sex, and the best sex happens when your terms are understood, respected, and met fully. Sex is confusing enough without feeling guilty or mixed-up about it after-the-fact. Just honor yourself and your lady-parts in whatever way makes the most sense to you, okay?

4) Thou shalt not make the primary focus of thy life OPERATION: BOYFRIEND.

How many conversations are you having a week about your dating life? Potential prospects? What your ex is up to? What percentage of dialogue revolves entirely around who’s dating who, and whatever happened to so-and-so?

PLEASE. GET A LIFE.

I mean that very literally. You have to start focusing on some other shit. You are doing yourself no favors by letting your relationship status dictate the bigger picture of your precious, limited-time-only life experience. Your life and legacy is bigger than just love and relationships. It just is.

What if those hours of sit-down chats with your best lady pals were devoted to dishing on your career or spiritual fulfillment? What if you chose to dive deep into your personal goals for the next year? Adventures? Travel plans?

What if every moment you spent swiping left or right on Tinder was spent reading a book about something you find completely fascinating, and then could go on a date and have a thrilling conversation about?

I am frequently astonished by the volume of conversations I participate in that are completely absorbed by boy-talk. Jesus H, can we all get some hobbies or something? Part of what makes someone very attractive is how well-rounded and unique they are. You can’t be well-rounded and unique if the only thing you have going on in your life is a keen awareness of how single you are. Just sayin’.

5) Thou shalt not lie to thyself about thy feelings and emotional needs.

When there are romantic stakes involved, it’s unfortunately very easy to default to someone else's habits, standards, or behavior.

We like someone! They like us! We’re excited! We don’t wanna interrupt how good things seem to be going! Above all, we don’t want to appear crazy, clingy, difficult or (God forbid!), like a HUMAN WITH FEELINGS. We just want to be the mythical "cool girl" who is so down for whatever!

As a result we ignore our spidey-senses tingling to tell us, “Hey, something feels off here. Maybe you’re moving too fast. It’s okay to slow down…” or any other number of helpful truths and heart-healing hints.

So start paying better, closer attention to how you feel, and honor those feelings. Don’t default to the flow of a new relationship just because it seems to be working for him and you don’t want to rock the boat. This isn’t a problem everyone has, but it’s a problem many of us have. Again, we abandon ourselves. We put our independent, single selves out to pasture, and just want to be in this shiny, new relationship.

But feelings and needs will always find a way of making themselves known, and it will often get very ugly and unhappy before it gets better. At the first sight/smell/touch of a spidey-sense, speak your truth. Take care of yourself. Relationship or no relationship, that will always be your job.

Ultimately, “being hard to get” is about setting standards for yourself, knowing what your personal preferences are, having loads of respect and compassion for yourself, speaking your truth, standing in what’s right for you, and never compromising your own well-being. That’s how you end up in the relationship of you dreams. (Not by dodging texts or playing twisted mind games.)

Can you give yourself those gifts? Forget about the perfect first date outfit, unplug from the sea of drivel that insists you be someone more alluring or thinner or chase-worthy than you are in this moment. Plug into the powerful part of you who knows what she's worth, knows what she deserves, and is ready to receive it. She's waiting for you, and he's waiting for her. Don't fake it, be it. Be that woman. Just start. Now.

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