[Excerpt from Bliss Copyright © 2017 Edward K. Watson. All rights reserved. Chapter 3.]


After your desired guy spent time with you and noticed your good qualities that show you’ll make an excellent wife, you two will need to secure each other’s exclusive affection for the relationship to move onto the next phase.

Since this is not an inevitable process (there’s no guarantee that you’ll become an exclusive couple just because you’ve gone out a few times) and we guys want to “Keep our options open” no matter how awesome the woman we’re going out with is; something needs to happen for him to propose going steady and close those options.

Hilariously, we men think we have “options,” which is: There are other women. But we always forget or ignore the fact we still need to pursue them! I know it’s silly, but we guys think the opportunity to pursue a woman means we’re keeping our options open. What exactly are we hoping for? If we’ve found a woman who’ll make an excellent wife and will make us happy, why keep on looking? There is no perfect woman just as there is no perfect man—but men are hardwired to keep looking over the shoulder of an excellent woman standing right in front of them.

The best way to have the relationship move forward is for the man to realize you also have options, and he cannot take you for granted because he can lose you to another.

After all, your options are much more credible than his since he still needs to pursue other women while there are many men who want you, and you can pick whomever you want. That’s the real “Keeping my options open.”

Fact: Other Guys Want You

Here’s the ultimate secret that you need to take to heart:


If the relationship needs to progress to the next phase, he needs to know there are other men in your life whom you can select to become your boyfriend because you also spend time with other guys instead of just him. You go out on dates with others just as he probably does. You spend time with male friends and co-workers (even if it’s only for coffee at a café during your lunch break). You are part of a sports team or group that has some single guys.

If you spend time with other eligible men, and your desired guy knows it, especially if you’ve refrained from having any sexual activity with him, he becomes insecure and will contemplate his feelings towards you. Does he really love you? Does he really want to spend the rest of his life with you? Or were you just a fling and he can live without you?

If he can envision a future with you, the suspicion and knowledge that other guys want you for themselves will cause him to worry that he’ll lose you to another. He will then strive to “win” by securing your affections from other men instead of taking you for granted.

Why? Because he cannot complain if you see other men because you two are not in an exclusive relationship. If he does, all you need to do is tell him he can’t tell you who you can and can’t see because you two are not an item. You haven’t even had sex yet! How dare him!

I was intending to stay single despite going out for a while with a woman that had the qualities I wanted in a wife. To be honest, I wanted to “Keep my options open.”

This changed quickly when the woman I was seeing mentioned she went out with a group of friends the previous evening, one of whom was her ex-boyfriend who was still interested in her.

I never said anything, but I suddenly feared losing her to another guy, and I realized that I really loved her and wanted to be with her.

It was this fear that prompted me to propose marriage.

Competition is Always Good

Most female animals practice mate selection by choosing the best male to become the father of her offspring. This sees males competing for the right to mate with females or to secure desirable territory to attract females. This genetic urge has continued in humans: All other things being equal, a typical woman will select a suitor who is more successful than a rival.

As for men, we want to feel like a winner when a woman selects us to become their boyfriend or husband, but that victory needs to be real in our hearts. We know deep down that nothing worthwhile is easy (witness how disinterested we get with an easily beatable video game), and we feel much better about ourselves if we win while others lose. We need competition. We need rivalry. We need to strut, knowing we are the champions in a highly competitive event.

Crass or not, that’s how most successful men feel and why we’re much less interested in women who actively pursue us. It’s too easy, and we didn’t need to work to secure her affection.

Sure, it sucks to lose, but you’re the prize and aren’t you worth it? Shouldn’t a man feel like he’s won when you select him as your partner?

Archie Comics’ Archie and Reggie always fought over Veronica (or over any new pretty girl to visit Riverdale). How did Veronica react? How would you feel if there were several guys fighting over you?

Any woman who’s had men fighting over her will remember it forever: She was special and was so desirable that men fought each other just to be with her. As the saying goes, “The only thing worse than men fighting over you . . . is no men fighting over you.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean the guys need to get into physical fights. Just the act of competition with other men interested in you is sufficient to make him feel like a winner if you select him.

When I was young, I dated a fabulous woman named Karen but wasn’t serious about her even though she was gorgeous, charming, an excellent cook, and talented in so many ways. Just as perfect a woman any guy could ever want. However, my attitude towards her changed when I learned she was spending time with one of her male “friends.” I suddenly became jealous and strove to secure her affection—which I eventually did.

Several months later, I heard reports of her “friend” trying to break us up. When running into him at a dance, I grabbed him and threatened to shove his face through the brick wall if he didn’t stop badmouthing me. Karen saw the altercation and despite expressing her displeasure with me for being an immature hothead, she did accept my marriage proposal a week later.

Boy, was I proud of myself when she agreed to marry me.

A man’s competitive nature also applies to first encounters: If a guy hears or sees other men going gaga over a girl; he will automatically think the woman’s special and worth knowing more – even if this was the first time he’s seen her. He will then join the throng of guys in adulation. His competitive nature comes out, and he will instinctively want to compete with others for her affection.

Competition with other men makes your desired guy want to secure your affection and eventually propose marriage so that he wins and the other guys lose. Even if you’re only dating him and no one else, the mere fact you spend time with other single guys means he will still feel like a winner defeating his rivals when you eventually enter into an exclusive relationship. That’s always a good thing.

He Must Prove He’s Worthy of You

Charlie Sheen’s first attempt to pick up Emmanuelle Vaugier’s character, Mia, in Two and a Half Men is a perfect illustration of how confident men react when summarily shot down by gorgeous women. The quicker and more brutal the shoot down, the more a man will want to pursue a woman.

Most men react in an illogical way to brutal shoot downs: Our ego gets bruised, our pride gets backed up, and our desire to overcome challenges gets triggered—provided the rejection occurred in the following situations:

  1. You are alone, or he approached you without your friends or family knowing or overhearing the details of the attempted pick-up.
  2. The rejection did not make him an object of ridicule in front of others.

After your desired guy noticed you and found you desirable, when he approaches you, the smartest thing to tell him is, “No thank you!” or “Maybe. It depends on whether you’re the type of guy I want to be with.”

If a “player” that you’re attracted to asks you out, you should ask yourself if you’re just going to be another notch in his belt or are you going to be the one that causes him to change and settle down. If the latter, then the best thing to do is keep your self-respect and nicely turn him down with words to the effect of, “I’m sorry but no, I’ve heard of your reputation as a player. I will not go out with you. I’m not some skank you can bang and leave.” He will naturally protest that he doesn’t think of you that way, to which you reply, “OK then. Prove it!” and then walk away.

This is not manipulation provided your body language wasn’t signaling a willingness to have sex with him or flirting in a sexual manner. You weren’t leading him on or tricking him into thinking he’ll be having sex with you only to be a “Cock tease.” This is keeping your dignity and self-respect by not following his playbook. This is avoiding the shame and self-loathing that usually happens after a woman realizes she was just tricked into sex. This is avoiding the “Walk of shame.”

If he’s a guy who’ll give you a meaningful relationship, he will do his best to prove he’s worthy of you. He will decide on his own if he wants to make the effort to get to know you better or if he’s going to give up his promiscuous ways just to be in an exclusive relationship with you. You do not need to do anything—just be yourself, and pay attention to what he’s doing. If he does nothing, you’ll then know you’ve avoided enormous heartache and misery from getting tricked by a guy who just wanted sex and nothing else.

Don’t Appear Eager or Desperate

Just as with applying for a job, never tell or show the man you want that you are desperate to be with him.

Any woman who shows a guy she’s desperate to be with him or she is so in love with him that she’ll do anything to be with him will quickly find herself “Banged and dumped” by him, and if he’s an asshole, by his friends as well.[1] That’s a road that leads to guaranteed misery and self-hatred.

Be cool. You control your destiny. It’s easy for you to go out with other guys—even if it’s only for the possibility of no strings sex. All you have to do is ask, and there’ll be dozens knocking on your door.

I know it’s hard maintaining control when you’re so in love with a guy and he hasn’t asked for an exclusive relationship, but the worst thing you can do is show him or tell him how desperate you are to be with him. You must also avoid the temptation to manipulate him by tricking him into proposing. If your relationship is to work in the long term, it must be based on honesty, not dishonesty.

Don’t Be Easy

Most men do not like girls who are “easy.” We need to work hard in pursuing a woman to care for her as something more than a sex fling.

What this means is there should be some challenge or difficulty he’ll need to overcome to be with you. When he asks for a date for a particular day, but you already have prior plans, say you’re busy that day. If he really wants to go out with you, he’ll suggest another day, or you can meet him half way by suggesting another day to go out. This way, he’ll know you’re not nailing the door shut to developing the relationship further. It is vital that he understands the timing and schedule of your dates are due to your choice, and you are not changing your already-made priorities just to go out with him.

Cancel dates because of unexpected but urgent reasons but suggest rescheduling.

What these things do is it makes it harder for your desired guy to get what he wants. It makes the goal of being with you much more worth it because there were sacrifice and difficulty along the way.

This isn’t “playing hard to get” because it is unreasonable for him to expect you throw out all your previous plans just because he’s now in the picture. By him overcoming obstacles, it makes him appreciate and cherish you and your budding relationship all the more.

Think about this, would your guy enjoy playing a video game if it was super easy to win it? If there were no challenges for him to overcome? Where’s his sense of accomplishment—the satisfaction of achieving a goal? How can he be proud of winning if there is no difficulty involved?

So, if you want to have a worthwhile relationship with your desired guy, you must not rearrange your entire schedule and break previous arrangements just to make it easy for him to be with you. If he decides being with you isn’t worth overcoming some minor difficulty such as nailing down a day to go out on a date, be grateful he gave up. That’s a guaranteed sign he only wanted to have sex with you and was intending to dump you immediately afterward.

You’re in Control of Your Life

You have options: There are lots of other guys who are interested in you and you’re in charge of your own life. You don’t need to passively accept whatever fate throws at you or overturn your whole life in the hope that a guy will eventually propose exclusivity. It is you who chooses whomever you’re going to have as your boyfriend.


If he’s keeping his options open by not committing to an exclusive relationship with you, so should you keep your options open and go out on dates with other men or at the very least, spend time with single male friends. Don’t be too hasty in getting sexual with him or use sex or the promise of sex as a tool to manipulate him.

[1] No decent guy will ever ask a woman to engage in any type of sexual activity with his friends to prove that the woman really loves him. That’s not a test or proof, that’s just evidence that the guy’s an asshole and will never marry you. RUN AWAY while you still have self-respect!

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Nonfiction writer - religious studies, project documentation, human relations, self-help, social commentary, and forecasting