It can result in an Unwanted Harem or even a Love Dodecahedron for maximum hilarity.
Dogged Nice Guys in particular suffer from having violated this trope.
Often played for comedy when a person actually isn't playing hard to get, but their Stalker with a Crush assumes they are and are thus actually interested in them.
When we met, I had pretty much given up — not in a resigned, self-pitying way; my attitude was that online dating was wasting too much of my time and energy, with unsatisfactory results, so I was going to keep myself open to romantic possibility, but not actively pursue finding someone.
Then I met this dude — we went for coffee, and I was surprised at the ease of our conversation, and we kept seeing each other and it kept being really nice.
On the down side, he also expected several phone calls a day and needed to know where I was all the time — I fully realize that a lot of what I thought was sweet and thoughtful at the time was pretty damn toxic.
But I think I’ve subconsciously conflated “caring” with “tons of communication” in a relationship, and this is something that is not happening with New Dude.This is the old idea that the best way to attract romantic interest is by "playing hard to get" because of course "the chase" is an important part of romance.Traditionally used by women to attract men, and "let them think they are in control." However, it can also be reversed, and probably is connected to why All Girls Want Bad Boys and Nice Guys Finish Last.About a month later, we had a vague relationship talk (he asked something along the lines of whether I considered him my boyfriend) and thereafter considered ourselves exclusive.He is not the type of dude I usually go for, and this is a refreshing change.Why play along with “Your Pal” and “dude” and “Hey, let’s hang out occasionally and ignore each other the rest of the time” when that’s not the life you want?