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If you've ever been with the silent, brooding "wounded tiger kind" of a man you might recall the shock of finding out how juvenile you could get.

In trying to pin him down and solve the puzzle called his life, women have been known to give up even their most concrete resolutions.

Playing hard to open up is men's way of keeping women interested, smitten, even mental over them.

Somewhere between varsity and working we lose the concept in the game of love, but as Martin Lawrence states in The Big Momma House, it is the players that change but not the game. "Our mothers battled the same odds that we face today, it's just the little nuances like Hi-Fi as opposed to iPods that set us apart," says relationships therapist Reshma Narayan. "Just like enigmatic women were considered worthy of marriage back then, it is the reclusive "ice queen" kind of women that are considered enthralling," she adds.

Her idea is seconded by Linda Khafula a bartender who claims to have dated "half of Gauteng." Khafula and his colleague Brian Jonase say that being in the business of making women careless with words and their hearts means that they see and analyse more women than most men and pyschologists will ever hope to see in their entire lives. It would be an envious position if it didn't come with so much predictability. "Most women hit the bar for the sole reason of drowning their sorrows and I always end up having to deal with gibberish and

playing Dr Phil or plain waiting for my turn on them," Jokes Khafula.

" There's nothing worse than knowing everything about a woman especially on things like how hurt she's been, how she's been abused in the past, how rich she is, what she would do to settle down, her biological clock. That is pathetic," says Jonase with a devilish smirk.

In Sherry Argov's Why Men Love Bitches, words are not minced on the subject. "Women have to understand that men love the thrill of the chase and are highly competitive. They like racing cars, engaging in athletics and hunting. They like to fix things, to figure things out, to purse..." (page 26).

In simple terms, keep them guessing and we'll teach you how to. It doesn't matter if he already knows that as a five year-old you had a little rag doll that you took everywhere and that your cousin pumped three bullets in his former boss' chest for debauchery. It's never too late.

The problem with telling a man too much too soon is that you snatch the chase away by peeling the rings for him. "This is a big mistake because the mystery behind a woman is one of the key elements to keeping a man attracted to her," says Naidoo.

Tips on undoing the damage:

l Go partying-Make sure to break a leg crawling back in the wee hours like a man would.

His reaction-"That must have been fun, too much fun. Should I be worried?" he wonders.

l Work your ass off-Not only will this keep your mind off him, it shapes your work in ways unimaginable before. You might even forget that 2pm call you promised him and get a promotion.

His reaction-"Should I be worried," he wonders.

l Give your numbers to other suitors and take some of the calls outside or from another room.

His reaction- "Is she talking to a man, why wouldn't she want me to hear it and since when does she do this?" he wonders and might even ask." When he does, keep it cool and don't look him in the eye," says Khafula.

"The secret is to hold your horses and reveal only the essential information needed in order to keep the peace but keep his interest level high," says Naidoo.

l Still on the phone, speak in a language he doesn't underst if you can."

His reaction-"WTF!!!!"

l When he starts ranting about his family hoping for yet another lecture-just listen, don't comment and ask if he wants something to drink. Refuse to be dragged in his domestic issues.

l When he asks if you are cheating answer that you are not (please don't cheat) but state that neither of you hold the crystal ball for relationships.

l Do not always be available for his arrangements. Nothing is more banal than a transparent woman. This may bring about sporadic moments of him apologising for his blase moments in the relationship blaming it on his childhood, his unavailable father and a dog that died and left him. "Respond that you are just enjoying the relationship one day a time," says Khafula.

l Take more care of your appearance-According to Naidoo not only does it rev things up in the right departments of your love life, it makes a woman feel better about herself.

Important tip: Remember games should be played in moderation and winners know when to stop.