Should I make physical contact while dating

"Hard to get" pays off when dating

During the dating phase, there are various ways to arouse the potential partner's interest. Either you are open and interested. Or you make yourself scarce, answer messages only briefly and irregularly, give hardly any personal information, postpone meetings at short notice. You are "hard to get" - hard to get. One remains a mystery to the potential partner.

This somewhat gruff dating strategy is actually very successful. The scientific proof is provided by a new study by the University of Rochester and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel.

According to the study, people who are "hard to get" and whose conquest is a challenge appear more sexually attractive, they radiate a higher partner potential and you just want to see them again more often.

Difficult to conquer

For the study, the researchers carried out three different experiments. Participants thought they were interacting with participants of the opposite sex. In fact, they were insiders who were part of the research team.

Experiment 1: Participants interacted with insiders whose online profiles pointed two different directions: difficult to conquer or easy to have. The researchers found that the participants found difficult-to-conquer and picky insiders to be more valuable and attractive.

"People who are easy to have are probably more desperate," says study author and social psychologist Gurit Birnbaum from IDC Herzliya.

Which dating strategy is most successful and how does a relationship survive the first phase of getting to know each other?

The charm of the hunt

Experiment 2: This time the participants and insiders sat face to face. They should discuss their personal preferences (e.g. "Do you like to cuddle while sleeping with your partner?") The insiders consciously contradicted the preferences of the participants.

Some participants had been instructed not to give up until they convinced the insiders of their opinion. Others should just present their opinion.

Here, too, the result was clear. The participants who had done more persuasion to conquer the Insider rated their counterparts as more sexually attractive.

The effort is worth it

Experiment 3: Finally, the participants were allowed to leave a final message to the insiders via chat. The researchers wanted to find out whether the participants were romantically or sexually interested.

The "hard to get" insiders received compliments or even specific dating inquiries for the future much more often. This confirmed the researchers in their assumption that the participants wanted to meet again those insiders, in whose conquering they had already invested time and effort.

"We want to date all people who have a high partner potential. We try to get the best possible deal for ourselves," says Harry Reis, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester.

Away from the cell phone

In times of online dating, the first phase of getting to know each other usually takes place digitally. The first information and anecdotes about the potential partner can be found in the chat.

According to couple therapist Christian Hemschemeier, it is important to get away from the phone as quickly as possible. "It's best to communicate as analogously as possible and meet up soon," he says.

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Texting back and forth forever in advance is not beneficial, says Hemschemeier. "You can also text a potential relationship to death. Besides, you have to have something to talk about on the first date," says the couple therapist.

Dating strategies

Making yourself scarce is by no means the only strategy used in the complex game of love.

You can also shower the other person with compliments. But be careful with the so-called "Love Bombing": By no means all niceties are meant. And often after the stormy initial phase full of compliments, there is not much left.

Beware of overly promises or exaggerated compliments

You should also be careful when dating, however, when things are getting serious and one of the partners is envisioning an all too dreamy future. This fraud is called "future faking". "Promises are made for the future that will never be kept," warns Hemschemeier.

Oh, you're not single at all?

If, for example, it suddenly turns out that the potential partner is not single at all, it is hastily promised that one will soon break away from the old relationship - even if that usually won't happen.

Others try it after two or three nice meetings together with sudden criticism. "If it is said that the second date was nicer and you were not so satisfied this time, then the other person tries to restore the good impression from the previous meeting," says Hemschemeier.

Find the balance

The "hard to get" method in particular is not without risk. Some are afraid of making themselves scarce because they believe that they will scare off the potential partner. "If making love is seen as arrogance or disinterest, it can backfire" says Harry Reis, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester.

So where is the golden mean? One should show potential partners interest in any case, so as not to deter them directly, but at the same time not to reveal too much about oneself, advises psychologist Birnbaum. "Build a connection that makes you want to get to know each other better," she says.

Of course, there is no such thing as the ultimate dating formula. But to make yourself a bit rare, but still show interest and prefer to meet in real life than hide behind the cell phone forever seems to be a very promising strategy.

  • Touch is vital

    Skin contact makes the tone

    Our skin feels everything: Researchers have found that people can recognize certain emotions such as love, anger, gratitude and disgust through touch. The mere physical contact sets the tone. Regular, positive touch also reduces aggression and builds emotional bonds within relationships. This is how they help maintain social bonds.

  • Touch is vital

    Better by touch

    Tactile communication - communication through touch - can help build trust and improve collaboration. One study found that professional basketball players and teams that interacted more physically at the beginning of the season - for example through high fives or group hugs - scored better in later games.

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    Hugging makes you strong

    Hugs signal “I support you” and thus help to reduce acute stress. Research has shown that the mood of people who were hugged on a conflict-ridden day was significantly better. This type of support also helps people with low self-esteem to reduce self-doubt Cuddling also fends off colds with its stress-buffering effect.

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    Touch me!

    Couples who touch each other lovingly are good for their health. Holding hands and hugging not only make you feel more stress-resistant, but also make a measurable contribution to cardiovascular health: the heart rate slows down, blood pressure drops, as does the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Couples can even sync their heart rates and brain waves through touch!

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    Massages: more than just relaxation

    Touch is not only beautiful, it also works as a pain reliever. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that full body massages reduce pain and increase mobility for patients with arthritis. Incidentally, not only those who are massaged benefit! The treatment also has a positive effect on the masseur.

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    Babies need touch

    Massage can help premature babies gain weight. Stimulating the nervous system releases hormones that improve the absorption of food. The pain relieving effects of skin contact help infants process medical procedures. Touching not only reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol, but also releases the bonding hormone oxytocin.

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    Do it yourself

    Unfortunately, there is not always someone there to massage or stroke. A self-massage has a similarly positive effect. Firm touches are more effective than light ones. Sports such as yoga or weightlifting, in which either the contact between the body and the floor is intense or the pressure on certain parts of the body is particularly high, therefore also have a stress-relieving effect.

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    Technology that touches

    So that people with amputations do not have to do without the important touch, work is being carried out on sensor-supported prostheses. Other researchers are working on the development of an electronic skin technology that can differentiate between different surfaces and perceive heat and cold.

    Author: Sam Baker (jv)