No Second Chances Period

The Long-Term Relationship

A good portion of the men reading this book will want a long term relationship, while many others will only want casual dating. Your background and beliefs will play a large role in your decisions and goals with women. I will share my own personal philosophy with respect to long-term relationships, and you can hold this up in light of your own situation.

I decided at an early age that I didn't want to get married before I was 30. (That seemed a respectable age at the time, and I still feel that way now that I'm older.) I knew in my heart that I would not have enough worldly experience to bond to another person for the rest of my life until well down the road. So I held out, and I'm glad I did, because I can almost guarantee I would have had a miserable divorce along the way, and I'm pretty sure a child could have been caught in the middle along the way. Those risks are always there, but I chose to wait out the part where it was too likely.

Mistakes often made in long-term relationships and marriages:

- Mistaking lust for love

- Unwilling to grow and change, or growing apart rather than together

- Desire for a family and children (without understanding the sacrifices and effort)

- Unhealthy needs being fueled in a relationship

Cheating

- Going along with societal expectations rather than your own judgment

- Desire for a long-term sex partner

- Fear of dating and engaging in the search for another (otherwise known as settling, or "better the devil you know than the one you don't.")

The list goes on and on. The underlying factor is inevitably understanding and experience. Most people don't know enough about themselves when they're young to make the kind of decisions and choices that a long-term commitment requires. There's no rush. There will always be a sizeable pool of eligible candidates for you to choose from, at any age. Don't let fear of being "left out" or "missing out" persuade you into making a hasty decision. Women have a time limit on their biological imperative (having children.) You do not.

Women will want a monogamous, committed relationship as soon as they have determined that you are a marriageable option. She will want to lock you in and keep you from dating around, so you must be clear and careful in your communication early on as to your intentions. If you have no intention of getting married, say so. If you have no intention to date just one woman, say so. But also be sure to say this with your actions. If you court a woman intensely, and spend a great deal of time with her, she will want to be exclusive with you. It's a perfectly understandable protection mechanism. You'd want a woman you were getting serious with to date only you, as well.

My recommendation is to get yourself to a point where you are comfortable in your own skin (develop the Three S's), get enough experience under your belt to make better decisions, and then decide what woman you want in your life, and then you're ready (possibly) for a long-term relationship. Until then, you are merely a seeker and learner.

Remember: You do not have to have a committed relationship to enjoy the company of a woman.

Going Exclusive

At some point, you will be tempted to want to take a woman you're seeing off the market. You'll want to go exclusive, where you only date each other and no one else. There are only two reasons a man (or a woman) will want to do this:

- You have a lot of attraction and interest in her, as she meets most of your requirements in a woman

- You don't want some other guy coming along and snapping her up (see the next section below)

Should you reach this point and decide that you do want to date one woman exclusively (and, again, I state that this should only happen if your goal is a long-term relationship and you clearly understand what it is you are looking for) you must not ask her to be exclusive. If you truly want her to date only you, it must come as her choice. Younger women will want to date around more, in general, and older women (28+) will already have an idea of what they are looking for. No matter the age, all women will want to feel that it is their idea to be exclusive for it to work. If she hasn't asked you, she still has doubts about you or the relationship that need to be cleared up before she will go exclusive.

If you do ask her, you run the risk of rushing things, as well as coming across as needy. You will also be the one telling her how you feel (removing mystery) before she has. And, as a result, you'll always wonder what her interest level really is in you.

Don't become exclusive with a woman just because you don't want her seeing other people. Your jealousy or insecurity should not be a factor, since your decision will mean that you must date only her as well. Again, this is a case of settling instead of keeping your options open.

Let her ask you to go exclusive first. A highly interested and attracted woman will not want to let a good catch go, so she will eventually ask for exclusivity. If she doesn't, she's not interested enough yet.

Relationship Maintenance Program

To keep a relationship going long-term, you need to attend to it, the same way you keep a plant healthy or a car running smooth and trouble-free. I subscribe to the HMO theory of life, and that is if you take small maintenance steps along the way, you can avoid larger problems down the road.

Let's be very clear on one point: Relationships take work. It takes a mature and strong dynamic between two people to make it last and be enjoyable. Most men and women treat marriage as some kind of crowning glory - once you slip the ring on they can now relax and stop putting any effort in. Everything's all locked up.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are some of the things you'll need to maintain over time if you want to keep your relationship fresh and enduring:

Continue reading here: Never drop your guard

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