Does Acting Aloof Make You More Attractive?

Question: I’ve been with a guy for a year and a few months. He’s very sweet and charming but can also be so cold and distant to a point where I resent him because then I want him so bad. This is when I do everything I know how to draw him closer but when he responds, I lose interest and start acting cold and aloof. He then becomes more interested in me but when I show interest, he breaks up with me. Right now, we’re not together and I know he expects me to make the first move. I’m trying to understand why people find those who act aloof and distant more attractive. And how can we have a normal relationship?

Yangki’s Answer:  Not everyone finds people who act aloof and distant more attractive. For some people it makes them want someone more, and for others it’s an instant total turn off.

You see, when someone is intentionally making him or herself inaccessible physically or emotionally, he or she is trying to trigger the “fear of rejection” or “fear of abandonment” in another person. If you have this fear inside of you  – due to insecurities, low self-esteem, jealousy, controlling personality, co-dependency issues etc – you’ll respond from that place of fear. You’ll try to “stop” the rejection or abandonment by drawing closer to the person who is triggering this fears inside of you.

Your words/language and actions will (sub-consciously) reflect that fear. E.g. over-declarations of love, doing too much to please and all the things that look like you’re becoming “more attracted’ to the other person but which in reality are your fears being acted out.

The sad part is that most people who use acting aloof and distant to make someone attracted to them are people who have issues themselves (insecurities, low self-esteem, jealousy, controlling personality, co-dependency issues etc.)

This is why it’s important to be aware of what’s happening when someone is trying to draw you closer by acting aloof and distant. Some people have likened it to emotional abuse where someone repeatedly withdraws physical and emotional access and attention just to make you feel unwanted and/or undesirable. It’s like someone hitting you on the head several times and you can’t figure out who is hitting you and why.

Can you have a normal relationship in this dynamic?

If you’re looking for hook-ups or one night-stands, this may work with certain men and women (insecure, low self-esteem, jealous, controlling personality, co-dependent etc.). But if you’re looking for a long term relationship, this strategy doesn’t stand a chance.

To make this work, one (or both of you) has to quit playing “the game” and create a different dynamic where you draw closer to each other at the same time.

Problem is, for most people acting aloof and distant is the only way they know how to get someone’s attention or interest (a carry-over from childhood), and so are just not willing or ready to give it up.

Sometimes what is best is to let go the person who thinks the only way to get you to be attracted/fall in love with him or her is to make you feel unwanted and/or undesirable. It’ll hurt now, but it’s better than hurting over and over every time they feel they want to draw you closer.

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  1. says: shakti

    I am the aloof type through and through. I know this about myself, but then I don’t see it as some sort of game.. I truly just enjoy my ‘me’ time and have become quite a bit more introverted as I’ve aged. Some people cannot handle that and attempt to cling or get jealous of such things as my wanting to stay in and read a book.

    I have become painfully aware of my penchant for becoming involved in push-pull relationship dynamics. I desire that closer intimacy, but can never quite reach it. And I know I do this to myself by choosing the relationships that I choose. I even know that this stems from not feeling worthy and.. fear of that intimacy I desire. I’ve read the books, taken the classes, etc.. but it hasn’t changed a whole lot. Sure, I like me a lot more and that is good, but the pattern seems to always creep back in there.

    Its actually made me feel that maybe I should simply remain romantically alone. Which is what I have done for the vast majority of my life. So anyway, I’ve written this to simply ask, what in your opinion is the best way to break this pattern?

  2. says: Jimmy

    I think most people who act aloof and distant do so out of fear of rejection, at least I know I do. When I feel that I might get hurt I close off emotionally and sometimes cut of all contact. That way I don’t have to deal with the uncomfortable emotions.

    1. Good self-awareness there! Fear is a strong emotion that can make people act against their own best interest. In trying to avoid the uncomfortable emotions, you are at the same time keeping away the very love and intimacy you’re trying to bring into your life. But when you accept that in order to experience and feel love in it’s fullness, you might also have to feel those uncomfortable emotions, the fear disappears. You open yourself to what it is you really want – love and intimacy!

  3. says: MissyXOXO

    You’re right Doc. Most people act aloof so that you don’t think they care, but it comes off as mean, immature and small. I personally find it annoying.There are far more fascinating things on the earth than people who try to con people with an act. Pathetic and childish!

  4. says: Ogle

    Yangki is right: No Contact is rubbish. It’s a silly manipulative game that may, but most likely may not get back your Ex. I entertained the idea of NC for a while, having read other so-called relationship gurus. But deep in my heart I felt it to be regressive, and wrong. Your Ex will likely spurn you if she knows this game and how it’s played. But why would you want to jeopardize getting your Ex back using NC, knowing its inherent risks? Limited Contact is better than no contact, especially if you are like me and need the time and space to heal from a relationship break-up. But at least keep in touch with your Ex even if she or he broke up with you. You leave the door to your Ex open, however ajar. And you may not be the only one who’s hurting; she or he could be hurting too. Keeping in touch is a way of helping one another heal in your own spaces and in your own time, but at least you’d both know you’re more or less on the same path, if not the same page, and surely that ought to be hopeful of reconciliation some time in the near future. Right?