20 Subtle Secrets to Play It Cool With a Guy & Not Be Distant or Clingy

The dating game is not always easy, and sometimes you might make mistakes. But you can learn how to play it cool with a guy to make him like you more.

how to play it cool with a guy

Dating is so complicated. It is something you look forward to as a teenager, but once you’re actually in the midst of the adult dating world, it is massively overwhelming. Sure, dating is all about your feelings, but sometimes it’s about knowing when to share those feelings and really learning how to play it cool with a guy.

Why you struggle to play it cool with a guy

You’re either insanely nervous for the first date or really like someone and can’t hold back your interest which can scare guys off. As someone who gives their all when it comes to a new relationship or even a new crush, the internal battle you’re having is understandable.

You want this guy to know you’re interested but don’t want to come off too strong. You don’t want him to think you’re not interested, but you also don’t want to scare him off by moving too quickly. Finding that balance can be a nightmare, especially when you really like him.

When you like someone, you want them to stick around. You want to do what you can to keep dating them. It makes sense.

[Read: How to text a guy without seeming overly needy or desperate]

The problem is, that what women want from a new guy and what men want from a new woman aren’t always the same. You might think that going out of your way for him, cooking for him, or keeping in touch all day is what he wants from you when in fact, that is what you want from him.

You are excited and infatuated! Even if you don’t know him very well, you feed on the energy of a new relationship. You want to talk to him so you reach out. You think about him when you’re not together, so you want to spend more time together. [Read: How to be less clingy and avoid becoming a stage 5 clinger]

How to hold back just enough while playing it cool with a guy and taking it easy

It can be hard to control the eagerness for a new romance. Just as enjoyable as it is, if you give in to those feelings too much, you can end it before it ever really started because you weren’t playing it cool.

Yes, you probably want to scream your emotions from the rooftops. You want to share your new beau on social media and cling to him for dear life. Doing all of these things makes you feel more secure.

It puts you in a more steady relationship versus the beginning stages of the unknown. Wanting to lock down the relationship makes sense. The thing is, you can learn how to play it cool with a guy and still feel secure.

[Read: What does dating mean? All the things you should understand about what it is]

Should you play it cool with a guy?

If you believe that honesty is the number one part of any relationship, playing it cool does sound a bit hypocritical. We get that. Playing it cool is, in fact, a way of holding back. But, holding back when necessary isn’t lying or being dishonest.

Sometimes we can be too forthcoming too soon and realize that we confused excitement, infatuation, or even attraction with love.

Many girls have dated people before and thought their feelings were so strong only to look back at that time and realize that they were swept away in the excitement of a new romance more than that actual guy.

There is nothing wrong with that, but if a girl doesn’t play it cool, they could end up a lot worse off. [Read: 23 needy signs you’re too available for your partner]

Not all men, but many men, don’t want to rush into a new relationship. Getting to know each other and taking things slow lets them feel more certain of their feelings.

So, calling or texting all day or asking him to meet your family after two weeks can be not only intimidating but also too much too soon!

If you ask every guy you date for a couple of weeks to meet you more often, or meet your parents or your friends as soon you feel that urge of excitement, you would be a lot more hurt when things end. Things would be a lot messier. And you would manifest a stronger connection than you truly have.

Understanding how to play it cool with a guy isn’t about holding back your feelings or acting like you don’t care. And it isn’t about being mysterious or playing hard to get. Playing it cool with a guy is about not getting ahead of yourself. It is about taking your time and enjoying the present. [Read: How to be mysterious without being too distant]

How to play it cool with a guy the right way

Learning how to play it cool with a guy is easier said than done. Yes, we will offer tips and things you can do to make it easier, but controlling your excitement about a new romance is difficult.

When you gush to your friends about the amazing guy you started seeing, you fall into a trap. You want him to be your boyfriend yesterday. You crave the intimacy and closeness of a relationship more serious than where yours is at the moment.

Trying to hold back that excitement for the benefit of your potential future and happiness is like holding out on ice cream for your summer bikini body. You know it will pay off but can’t help how you feel now.

Before you do any of the following to play it cool with a guy, remind yourself where not playing it cool has led you before. Did it lead you to pain or heartbreak? Did it stop the relationship before it started? Or did it make you clingy and unsure?

Think about the benefits of learning how to play it cool with a guy and go from there.

[Read: How to play hard to get with a guy and make it work for you]

1. Stay busy

The best thing you can do when you’re struggling to play it cool with a guy is to keep busy. You may be dying to text him or make plans, but if you already have plans with your friends you won’t be so eager.

Keep yourself busy with projects, work, or even volunteering. It is easy to lose your cool when you are doing nothing but thinking about the new guy in your life.

2. Remember the rest of your life

We easily get overwhelmed when dating someone new. Everything we do revolves around this new romance.

The thing is, whether it works out or not, there is more to your life than this. Take time for your family and friends. Focus on all the other parts of your life. [Read: 13 relationship mistakes new couples make all the time]

3. Talk about something else

One of the things that makes us even more invested in a new romance is talking about it. Sure, it is great to give your BFF a play-by-play of your first date. But going on and on about this new guy will build him up in your mind.

You spend all of lunch with your girlfriends talking about how much of a gentleman he was. How he is a doctor and is tall that you actually build him up better than you originally thought. This amplifies your feelings unrealistically. [Read: How to make the most out of your alone time]

4. Don’t rush it

When you find someone you think is a great match, you want to know it will work. You want to be in an official relationship. Then you’ll feel secure and no longer wonder what will happen. But, rushing into a relationship can put a lot of pressure on something new.

Enjoy the time you date. Instead of worrying about meeting his parents or introducing him to your friends, focus only on your actual connection.

5. Get off your phone

Being on your phone when you are trying to play it cool with a guy makes it so much harder. Before smartphones, it was easy to not talk to your new beau all day. Now you see a meme and want to send it to him. You have access to communication 24/7.

But over-texting can not only come off as clingy but can leave you with the feeling that you are more involved than you really are.

Maybe you had two dates, but you text all day every day. That can make you think things are moving faster, but they really aren’t. [Read: New boyfriend guide – The dos and don’ts every girl needs to remember]

6. Build your own confidence

A reason we thrive on a new romance is how it makes us feel about ourselves. Knowing this guy likes us boosts our confidence.

There is nothing wrong with that, but remember you are just as amazing and worthy with or without his interest.

7. Be honest about your intentions

Our excitement can get the best of us and prevent us from playing it cool with a guy. After a third date, you could picture him as your husband. But be realistic.

Do you really want a relationship right now? Do you want to be committed? Be honest with yourself and your new guy about what you want from this experience.

8. Think about what you really need

When a woman is dating someone new, she is often described as needy. A woman who wants a lot of attention or is high maintenance is definitely not playing it cool. But, even though that behavior is described as needy it isn’t really what you need.

You don’t need him to say “good morning, beautiful” and “good night.” You don’t need to see him constantly. These things are nice, but you’ve been doing just fine on your own. So think about what you really need from a new relationship.

You want someone who is there for you when you really need it. Someone who will support you and laugh with you. You don’t need someone that buys you flowers for no reason or always tells you where they are or who they’re with 24/7. [Read: How to stop being codependent and have a healthy relationship]

9. Enjoy the moment

The key reason we often don’t play it cool with guys is that we are looking ahead instead of enjoying the moment. These times when you are first getting to know each other are the best parts. The butterflies and nerves are exciting.

Make the most of this time. Don’t rush into something so serious. [Read: How to slow down a relationship – 18 ways to do it without hurting or pushing the guy away]

10. Don’t reach out first

At the beginning of a relationship, you should let the guy take the lead. That’s how nature built humans – for men to be the leading person. Of course, women are independent and strong these days.

But men still like to “hunt” and “chase” women. They’re not a lot different than the caveman days. So don’t text or call him first. Let him initiate communication and dates, at least in the beginning.

11. Take your time texting him back

When you like a guy a lot, it’s exciting to get a text from him. Because you are feeling giddy about it, there is the temptation to text him back within seconds. But when you do this, it shows that you are overeager.

And that is definitely not how to play it cool with a guy *who may not be into you just yet*. So, take your time texting him back. Be more nonchalant and act like you aren’t as excited as you are.

12. Tell him about the other plans you have

When you do talk to him, tell him how busy your life is. Tell him about the concerts you’re going to with your friends or that you are taking a weekend trip.

When he knows that you have a lot more going on in your life, he knows you’re not waiting around for him to text you or ask you out on a date.

This makes him more eager to pursue you and win a bigger piece of your time. It also makes him value any time that you spend with him.

This is how to play it cool with a guy. You see, you’re not trying to manipulate him, you’re only holding yourself back so you don’t make yourself look needy and clingy in his eyes. [Read: Dating checklist – How to make one and why it can benefit your life]

13. Don’t put him on a pedestal

You might be incredibly infatuated with him and think he is the hottest man on earth. Also, you might wonder why he is interested in you because maybe you think he’s out of your league.

But stop putting him on a pedestal. He’s only a human being just like you and everyone else. He’s not a god, so stop thinking that he is.

14. Don’t overthink

Girls always overthink everything. So, if he’s not texting as much as you want him to or taking too long to get back to you, stop inventing reasons in your head.

Don’t freak out too much when he isn’t acting the way you want him to. The more you overthink, the crazier you will make yourself.

15. Don’t be needy or obsessive

You might have an anxious-attachment style where you fear being abandoned or rejected. If you do, that causes needy and obsessive behaviors. But unfortunately, most guys don’t like it when girls act that way.

If you feel clingy, then keep it to yourself or share it with your friends. Never, ever show it to him, or else you will be your own worst enemy. [Read: How to stop being needy – Why people get clingy and 32 ways to fix it]

16. Don’t drunk text him

Watch how much you drink, because when you get tipsy or drunk, logic and reasoning slip away. Instead, the emotional side of you takes over, and that is not a good way to play it cool with a guy.

If you are drinking with your friends, have someone hold your phone so you’re not tempted to drunk text him. You never know what you might say that you will regret.

17. Keep things playful and light

When we really like someone, it’s easy to make the conversation a little serious. You want to talk about “us” and the future and/or define the relationship. But if you want to play it cool with a guy, keep things playful and light when you talk to him. You don’t want to scare him off.

18. Take the physical relationship slowly

If you haven’t had sex yet, then put the brakes on it a little bit. That doesn’t mean you have to wait forever, but you don’t want him to think that you’re too easy.

You want him to know that you have standards and that you are assessing whether or not he meets them. If you have had sex with him already, then don’t get needy and clingy because of it. [Read: Having sex with someone new for the first time? 17 must-follow rules]

19. Give him space to miss you

Guys fall in love with a girl’s absence. Yes, that sounds silly, but it’s true. So, give him a lot of space.

Don’t be so available for him all the time. When he doesn’t see or talk to you very often, he will eventually miss you, and then he will like you more.

20. Tell him “no” sometimes

Sure, you are very eager to see him, but don’t be ready at the drop of a hat to see him anytime. If he asks you to hang out, tell him “no” sometimes.

That doesn’t mean you should play games with him, but if your life is busy, it will just be natural that you have other plans. It will make him want to see you more.

[Read: How to make him miss you – 20 subtle ways to leave a guy obsessed with you]

With a bit of perspective and practice, learn how to play it cool with a guy. Then, really enjoy your new relationship!

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