(Jesus, no posts for almost a week! Eeek. I'm a naughty blogger. It was also a really bad week at work.)
A friend of mine has been interested in a girl who keeps giving him come-ons, then rejecting him. Not just rejecting him but doing it in a condescending, "aw, too bad, better luck next time" sort of way. It happened several times and then he finally gave up. He decided that either she really didn't want him, or she was so devoted to game-playing that he didn't want her.
I've never done this even a little. Partly it's because, honestly, although I'm in slightly better physical and way better emotional shape than I was a few years ago, I still don't think of myself as so attractive that I can push boys away and have them stay attracted anyway. And part of it's because I often want guys so strongly that I couldn't stop myself from leaping at the first chance. But it's more because I just don't like the idea of a pursuit. Pursuing is frustrating, being pursued is creepy, and it's all unnecessary and couterproductive if the pursued likes the pursuer anyway.
This isn't some utopian/socially-clueless "we should just immediately agree on our relationships" thing because I know people don't work like that, but there's a difference between pursuit and courtship. Courtship is the good-faith development of a relationship, taking time to learn more about each other and to create a connection. Pursuit is trying to make someone attracted to you. It's one-sided and it's an invitation to manipulation.
It also assumes that the pursuer isn't questioning their own desire, which is the appeal of playing hard to get; a guy who's busting his ass to impress you would suffer cognitive dissonance if you didn't turn out to be All That.
But I don't want cognitive dissonance in my relationships, and I don't want to make myself the prize in some bullshit contest. I want to date guys who are cute and awesome and not date guys who are not, and spend enough time with intermediate cases to tell the difference. But when I say I don't want someone it's because I don't, and when I do want someone, shit, they know.