We've all heard the expression: treat her mean and keep her keen. But, just like the ketchup-to-cheeseburger ratio, getting the balance right is crucial to making it all come together nicely. If you like girls as much as we do – almost as much as we like cheeseburgers, in fact – you'll want to master this key technique and reap the benefits.

All those dating boffins on the telebox keep telling us how to get a girl to like you, and being mean to them, we’re told, is often the way to go. But what they don’t seem to tell us is exactly how to do it. Fortunately, through trial and error (read: countless ruined relationships), we’ve taught ourselves the fundamentals and are happy to share them with you.

THE LAW OF EFFORT

This concept is often discussed by ‘the experts’ – and it’s the notion that anything you have to work hard for is perceived as more treasured and valuable. You know how that kebab you’ve tracked down at 4am when everywhere else is shut tastes so much better? Yeah? Well, it’s the same laws in motion here – only sexier. Make her appreciate you by giving yourself a status that she will want to work for.

If she thinks she can have you at the click of her fingers, she won't be bothered. If she feels like she's got to traverse hell and high water just to get you to acknowledge her, she'll suddenly find you more desirable than Johnny Depp wrapped in milk chocolate carrying a Bridget Jones box set.

Being mean and keeping them keen - the FHM guide

DON’T SEEM TOO AVAILABLE

We'll assume you've identified your target. If not, visit one of our Top Five Places to Meet Women and find someone you like.

Now, whether it’s that petite blonde you sit next to in the office or that delectable brunette from last Saturday, you’ve got a lady in your sights. Initial contact has been made. It's now time to bring your A-game.

One of the major starting points is simply keeping your cool – so don’t be constantly texting her and begging her for dates. Always remember that girls love the thrill of the chase, so make yourself a bit out of her reach – that means not replying to her texts straight away, and say you’re not available until a later date if she suggests meeting up. Think of it like a dog and rabbit situation – in reverse. Rabbits get more action than dogs, remember.

Being mean and keeping them keen - the FHM guide

REMEMBER: GIRLS CRAVE ATTENTION

Girls crave – and are used to – attention, so not giving them what they’re used to will puzzle them and make them want to know more about you and why you aren’t hanging on their every word. If you’re approaching a group of girls, pay more attention to the one that you’re not actually after – the others will feel a pang of jealousy and want to get your attention.

FHM Guide to treating her mean

DON’T BE A DICK ALL THE TIME

Once she’s been wooed, you can start easing off with the games. You’ve got her full attention, so don’t start pushing her away by just simply being an idiot. Once she’s been treated mean and kept keen, most girls will start wanting to be looked after by the perfect gent. Otherwise she'll just think she'd be better of with someone else. It’s this balance that’s the key: just remember, nobody wants to go out with someone who’s a complete tool. Apart from Jordan, maybe.