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Three Sure-Fire Ways to Screw Up a Relationship

2. Remember: You didn’t steal her from a convent.

When a woman thinks a man is cheating, she’s right about 90% of the time. The comparable figure for men is 40%. Statistically, your suspicions are probably unfounded. And if you accuse her of cheating enough, she may figure that if she’s going to be punished for it anyway, she may as well commit the crime, too. So you’d be driving her to the very behavior you’re trying to avoid.

But jealousy doesn’t have to be accusing her of cheating. It can be little things that add up, like that extra second of hesitation in your voice when she mentions a male friend, or sulking when other men pay attention to her at a party.

You didn’t steal her from a convent. She’s met many men other than you, and chosen to be with you. If you act like your relationship is threatened every time she talks with a man, you’re implying that other men offer her something that you don’t, or that she is out of your league.

And if you project the feeling that you don’t deserve her, eventually she’ll catch on and it will be hard for her to disagree.

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3. Don't be needy.

If she doesn’t text you for a while, do you message her to ask if anything’s wrong? Do you get nervous when she’s in a bad mood or not wanting to talk, and happy when she seems happy with you? If so, you’re needy. “Needy” is somewhere between “creepy” and “leprous” on a list of Qualities Women Never Want in a Partner.  

Some single men base their self-worth on how many women they’ve picked up or slept with. With some attached men, it’s about their partner’s approval. Either way, it’s a strategy doomed to failure, like trying to fill a bucket with water when it has a hole in it.

It’s somewhat paradoxical, but the more obsessively a man tries to make his partner happy and the more he reacts to every perceived change in her mood, the less likely he is to keep her interested in him. No one likes a pushover, and few women like to be the one leading the relationship all the time.

Good luck!

Nick Savoy is the president of Love Systems, author of the Magic Bullets Handbook, and is a regular contributor to Men’s Fitness. Follow him on twitter at @LS_Savoy.

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