Should you date mysterious people?

Mysterious people exude a certain allure when you first get to know them. They keep us on our feet. They keep us guessing. They keep us yearning to learn more about them.

I know this firsthand -- not only because I dated a couple of mysterious girls, but several I've met over the years have cited "mystique" as one of my most magnetic qualities.

Being mysterious can certainly work to one's advantage during the courtship stage, especially if the object of your affection is very attractive and used to having people fawn over him or her.

However, once things get more serious, it can be detrimental to a budding relationship.

If one still seems mysterious after, say, five or six dates, it comes off as them hiding something, or shows an inability to open up. Naturally, most people would find such reticence a little off-putting, especially if they see the other person as being long-term material.

I would let my guard down as soon as I felt comfortable enough with the girl I was dating. Once I was convinced that she liked me, was someone I saw myself with over the long haul, and would no longer test her options on the dating market, I dropped the mystery ruse and tried to present myself as authentically as possible.

If I saw that she seemed more into me when I was being mysterious than when I showed her my true colors, I knew she was more interested in playing games -- and the field -- than seriously settling down.

In other words, you can use a little mystery to charm and reel someone in during the early stages, but it can have an adverse effect once the other person wants to lift the curtain and get to know the real you.

If you find yourself unable to get through to the other person, tell them you want to be sure of their intentions: Do they want a relationship, or are they out to play games?

If the person can't be communicative even at the very beginning -- the "honeymoon" phase when people usually put their best foot forward -- they're likely hiding some skeletons in the closet and are not the kind of person you want to waste time on.

Like confidence, romanticism, and a sense of humor, mysteriousness can backfire if used in excess.

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