The more cynical (or perhaps realistic) of us would argue that there's a fair amount of game theory going on in the dating game.
A fairly straight forward hypothesis I would put forward is:
- Everybody in the dating game is looking to get hitched with their highest possible value match.
By conveying unconditional interest in the other partner, you let them know that they can safetly 'get you' and so it's safe to pursue higher value mates knowing that they can score at least as highly as you.
Therefore, the smarter strategy is to not let your dating interest know how available you are for them, so that they are incentivised to make commitments to you.
Now I know, this seems like a deeply cynical and flawed way of thinking. I'm not looking for a social criticism of this thinking. Rather I'm interested if there have been any studies carried out, where by the attractiveness of someone is assessed according to the availability they've communicated, etc.