This is such an interesting topic, I’m surprised I haven’t written about it before.

First, a definition: to behave in a calmcontrolled way, often intentionally appearing not to be interested.

Translation for dating?

You’re slow to initiate and respond to communications.

So why do we do it?  What’s really going on here?

The short answer?

To avoid rejection and appearing needy.

I really relate to the latter.  In my early dating years I was very needy and still defend against it to this day.

The irony in playing it cool is that we’re not being cool at all. 

Our actions are being driven by fear and insecurity rather than what really drives “cool”.


The tragedy of playing it cool is that we’re shutting ourselves off from a genuine connection by being inauthentic.

We’re resorting to a power play because we feel powerless.

In Robert Greene’s book, The 48 Laws of Power, he states “use absence to create respect”.  He goes on to say “the more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear”.

Good advice if your objective is to assert power.

Not so much for dating, which should be about love.

But it’s easy to get pulled into a power play, right?

Women play hard to get and neither person wants to lose the upper hand.  We don’t want to get hurt and we certainly don’t want to be dictated to.

So what’s a guy to do?

How ‘bout this?    Instead of trying to seem busy, how ‘bout actually being busy?

If you cultivate a genuinely busy life, you won’t have to fake it.  And here’s the kicker, genuinely busy people actually respond more quickly. 

They have a full life and don’t want their texts and phone messages to pile up. 

They’re also less likely to overthink things, which, let’s face it, is what “playing it cool” really is.

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