Apparently, playing hard to get really works. Science says so!

The practice, where one purposefully plays it cold or even mean toward someone they’re, in fact, actually interested in, supposedly plays on the “thrill of uncertainty” of going after someone we’re not sure is interested back. Or something.

“Playing hard to get makes it seem as if you are more in demand—we call that having higher mate value,” Harry Reis, a professor of psychology and Dean’s Professor in Arts, Sciences & Engineering at Rochester, said.

Reis was part of a study that looked into human attraction and courtship. He, along with fellow researcher Gurit Birnbaum, a social psychologist and associate professor of psychology at the IDC Herzliya in Israel, set up three inter-connected experiments. It found that, indeed, those who were more…choosy about whom they showed romantic interest in were the most desirable to potential mates.

However, one should be careful to not be too hard to get.

“If playing hard to get makes you seem disinterested or arrogant,” Reis said. “It will backfire.”

They suggest, instead, to play semi-hard to get. Be approachable, but don’t reveal too much too soon.