If you're like many guys, it's not for lack of trying. You probably spend countless hours every week clicking through profiles and messaging attractive women on dating sites and apps. You get a response every now and again, but rarely from anyone you actually want to date. It's not uncommon to feel like dating sites don't work for men. A full third of guys who try online dating sites and apps never go on a single date.
Given how much of a movement there is to break free of gender stereotypes, you would think that we've progressed past a time period when a woman's mate value was determined by looks and a man's was evaluated by financial success—and that there's more equality between the sexes when it comes to splitting the bill or making the first move. Researchers analyzed data from , heterosexual UK users on the online dating site eHarmony for a decade, and found that the number of men initiating contact has actually risen by 24 percent in the last ten years. What's worse is that when women do take initiative and craft the first message, their response rate declines by 15 percent. The study also found that a woman's success rate in the world of online dating is still determined predominantly by her age, appearance, and levels of athleticism. According to evolutionary scientists, this gender bias occurs because women perceive men who are exceptionally handsome as less reliable partners who are more likely to cheat, and apparently we have not moved past such caveman-like logic. Evolutionary scientists have also always argued that just as mate value for women is determined by looks, the mate value of a man is determined predominantly by his resources, and that hasn't budged much either.
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Playing hard to get is the oldest dating 'trick' in the book, for sure. Whether it works or not is a totally different question, because while some people might love the thrill of the chase, others just value honesty. Here, 16 guys explain what they're really thinking when a woman they date plays "hard to get".