The Core of Relationship Management: You are the Prize

by Eric Disco
Jul 20

A few years ago, I started dating a girl. She was a bit of a party girl. But I liked her because she was also an artist.

For the first few months, I was struggling to keep her invested. She had the upper hand.

I got her to be exclusive with me, but only because I asked.

One night, she said she was going out with some friends and would call me later on. I didn’t get a call from her.

At six in the morning, she calls me up and tells me she got really drunk the night before and that she made out with a guy.

I got off the phone with her and was completely unsure of what I should do.

Then a friend of mine gave me some advice which worked perfectly and ended up turning the tide of our relationship.

I met up with her to have a ‘talk.’

But I didn’t tell her I was mad. I didn’t tell her she messed up or anything like that.

Instead, I told her that I no longer wanted to be exclusive.

She hung her head in shame and said, “Okay.”

After that, things started to change in the relationship. She started to chase after me.

I had taken away something that she once had and she wanted it back.

A few months later, she came to me asking if we could be exclusive.

When your partner isn’t holding up her end of the relationship, there is a tendency to want to ‘have a talk’ with them.

You sit them down and tell them that you are upset or hurt or that you didn’t like what they did.

And you ask them to not do it again.

But ‘having a talk’ rarely works. 95% of the time, it’s the wrong move.

This is because it puts you in a bad position.

You are opening up communication and showing her that you aren’t getting something that you need from her.

You are expressing that you need more of her presence in the relationship.

Instead, the best way to approach this is with the thought in mind that your presence is a gift to her.

You are the prize. You are valuable in the relationship.

If she doesn’t value it, you can’t talk her into valuing it. You can’t ask her to value it more.

You need to show her that it’s valuable to her by taking it away.

Once you take it away, you start to teach her how valuable it is to her.

When she loses you, she starts to feel for you.

And, of course, if you take it away and she doesn’t miss it, guess what? You had nothing anyway.

This is the most important concept of relationship management.

You are the prize.

And really, you shouldn’t have women in your life like the one above. That was years ago.

Since then, I’ve learned to manage relationships on a micro level.

The very first time she does something disrespectful or unacceptable-and they will always test those boundaries-you let her know that it’s unacceptable.

You take your attention away from her for a short while. Maybe a few seconds. Maybe a few minutes.

You can verbally let her know it was unacceptable. You usually in some way let her know exactly what it was that was unacceptable.

But talk without the threat of action is worthless.

All your power in the relationship comes from a position of valuing yourself.


posted in Relationships

17 responses
TAllagash says:

you have to show you are 100% willing to walk away from her. and know that some girls, a small percentage, will stay gone once you walk away. but, when it works, the relationship will be on your terms.
it has to at the end of the day be your way or no way and you HAVE TO MEAN IT. if she calls you on it and it’s a bluff, you lose and she will lose respect for you.

And if there is anything, that bothers her to the core, it is a man she does not respect.

MrAntiquity says:


I’ve always been of the mentality that if a girl cheats on me (physically)-however minor–she’s outta there. Short of that, some aspects of disrespect I’ll chastise her for, but those aren’t worth ending relationships over.

Are there cases now where you’d take the girl back after pulling something like that? Just curious…

Eric Disco says:

Well, there were a lot of things wrong with this situation aside from the fact that she cheated on me. The fact that she drank so much. The fact that I had to ask her to be exclusive. I probably wasn’t managing the relationship that well from the start. I doubt I would get into a situation like this now. And if I did, it certainly wouldn’t bode well for a long-term relationship.

On the flipside, she did tell me herself that she cheated. And she (supposedly) only made out with a guy. So pulling the relationship back to non-exclusive seemed like an appropriate measure at the time. But yeah, for a long-term prospect, that’s certainly not a good sign and I would probably not stand for something like that now.


MrAntiquity says:

Thanks, for the response, Eric–

Makes a lot of sense.

Amor says:

Hello Eric,

First of all, I am one of the lucky owners of your coaching program “She is six steps away”. Second of all this the one subject that obsesses me the most because here is usually where I lose the girl. I fail to show her what the boundaries early in the relationship, I’m not the Nice guy that lets a walk over him either but I never know the right way to “discipline” her. I must say I disagree when you say you should not call it out verbally, in order for her to know why you are taking action against her, she must know exactly why you are doing this. In my opinion ( depending on the degree of her action ) you should not make a big deal out of it but you must by all means let her know something that she did was wrong & got you mad. What are your comments ?
How else would you take action?

Eric Disco says:

Hey Amor,

I’m not saying you should never call it out. Sometimes you need to direct your attention to what she did wrong. But if you do call it out, that’s secondary. And most guys when they call it out usually only do that. They say something without taking action.

This discussion would probably be easier if you gave a specific example of what sort of behavior is unacceptable to you. I’ll give some I can think of off the top of my head.

Let’s say she calls you an asshole in conversation in a non-joking and disrespectful way. That I may call attention to. But my first priority is to discontinue the conversation at that point. After she does that, there is nothing more to talk about. The conversation is over. Whether I’ve just met her five minutes ago, or we’ve been dating for six months, I’m not continuing a conversation with someone who’s disrespectful.

Let’s say she takes way too long to text you back or return a call. In that case, I may take twice as long as she did to text her back after that or return the call. She’ll get the message. She’ll wonder what’s going on. In that situation, you can’t tell her, “Why did you take so long to get back to me?”

The last example is an example of distancing yourself from her the same amount (or more than) she distances herself from you. That’s what some of the tactics are about here in this post, Advanced Tactics to Turn Back the Tide. If she is legitimately distancing herself from you, you should be legitimately distancing yourself from her, not ‘having a talk’ with her or pointing out that she is distancing herself from you.

Here’s some more examples.

Let’s say she tries to boss you around. “Pick up your clothes off the floor.” You don’t really need to say, “Don’t boss me around.” You simply disobey her order. You ignore what she said. If she asks you why you’re ignoring her, you can tell her. Or you can simply wait until she asks nicely. (Women will love you for this, by the way. She doesn’t want to be a bossypants in the relationship. She wants you to keep her in her place. If you let her turn into a bossy beast, she’ll hate you for it.)

Another example is if she nags you. “Stop doing blah blah blah.” This is sort of like bossing you around. But it is completely unacceptable and up to you to nip that in the bud. You simply ignore it.

By managing this immediately when it happens, you really don’t need to explicitly tell her to do something or not to do something. She’ll get the message by seeing your behavior (or non-behavior, depending on the situation.) It’s a much more effective way of managing the relationship.


Amor says:

Hey Eric,

Sorry, I should have given you more concrete examples. I’ll list situations with the last 3 women:

-Women A: we had a big fight and instead of working things out she decided to start seeing someone else without further notice, weeks after she tried to come back to me, she tried for several weeks but I didn’t take her back there was no turning back, even though I liked her a lot, what she did was a deal breaker.

-Women B: With this one, it was different. The only girl Ive ever been madly in love with, I met her several years ago while I was still a chump and a wuss I courted her since. This one was the one who turned me into a “real man” whenever she felt like, she would go out with me but also whenever she felt like it she would break dates and I would do….. NOTHING! She wouldn’t let me escalate on her either..I wanted to get out it but I couldnt because I was in love with her and she knew that, she knew she had the upper had, she knew that she could get away with everything, that is way I became obssesed with this subject because I let her walk over me.

It wasn’t until I saw her making out with a dude that I cut her off my life and of course she started looking for me after telling me she missed me, she wanted to see me, blah, blah but I was done after several years I completely cut her off of my life, I had finally liberated myself.

How would you have handled both of the situations? How would you have handled woman B since the beginning? would you have gone back with her nowwith an upper hand prespective? would you have it a shot or do as I did?

Luckily for me women think I’m attractive I have a considerate amount of quality women showing interest & willing without much effort but once again this is the part when I lose the girl early in the relationship, I lack the ability of properly “discipline” her and showing her what my boundaries are. I usually let most bad behavior sly.


Eric Disco says:

Woman A. You handled this situation exactly right. The fact that she went with another guy right after a big fight, that’s a complete deal-breaker. Chances are you didn’t have your hooks into her completely anyway if she was doing that. You probably could have managed the relationship better earlier on. But if you had taken her back, you would have gotten walked all over even more. I think even seeing her casually after that would have compromised you too much.

Woman B. This is completely different. You never even had a shot with this girl. You say you were in love with her, but you weren’t. You weren’t even with her, so you can’t be in love. You were in one-itis. You never made the move. In this case you should have escalated early on until she pushed you away. To hang around as a friend when you’re in love with a girl is completely unacceaptable, which I’m sure you know now. So whatever happened after that, like her making out with another guy, was simply icing on the cake. You’re lucky you saw that so you knew to get out.

Long and short of it, you took the correct action once she walked all over you, but you should have managed the relationship better. I probably should have managed the relationship better with the girl in my example, except my situation wasn’t that far gone that I couldn’t reel it back in. Your two examples were too far gone in my opinion.


Amor says:

Thanks Eric, I found your website right after I found out girl B was with some dude. It enlighted my mind, opened my eyes and made me see where I’ve gone wrong but overall it gave me mental strength on tough times and helped me get back on my feet again, your articles, blogs, programs have made a difference in my life. It must feel pretty good being able to help brothers in need, thanks. Your program is also top-notch is one of those things everyman should have, also thanks for your grade A customer service.

cory says:

I’m dating a great girl right now, she is my girlfriend. But its been 6 months and I’m at the point where I don’t want a girlfriend anymore, for the most part. I’m finding myself fantasising about other girls and its hard for me to Not talk to other girls at the gym, in bars, and wherever I go. I’m 32 years old but I still feel like I’m not exactly ready to settle down. I enjoy going out and sleeping and meeting new girls all the time, but I.also really know how great this girl is… Any thoughts?



George says:

Stop being an arse and appreciate the girl you’ve got or level with her and stop clogging up her chance to find someone who is actually ready for her.

cory says:

Hey a hoe, George.Don’t assume I don’t appreciate her just because I sort of feel like I’m not done dating/sleeping with other girls.

Am I supposed to just turn it off? The fact that I wonder how it is with other girls? Or the fact that I love meeting new girls wherever I go?

I wasn’t looking to be judged, Mr. “George”

I Just wanted some good advice from Eric or anyone else who can be realistic.

To me, that’s far from being an “arse” or whatever that is…

Eric Disco says:

Hey Cory,

It sounds like you really aren’t ready to be in a serious relationship. It could be this particular girl making you feel this way or it could be that you’re just at a point where you need to go out and have fun or get better at meeting women.

If you’re feeling this way, it’s likely you are ready to leave but can’t muster up the courage to go through the discomfort of ending the relationship. I would suggest getting comfortable with the idea of ending the relationship first and then distancing yourself from her in some ways. Talk/text less. Hangout less. Just to see how you feel about being away from her.

A guy will stay in a relationship for a lot longer than he should for not-so-noble reasons. He’s worried about hurting her. He likes having ‘someone’ around. Lord knows I’ve stayed in most of my relationships too long. But it’s a huge problem. I think that second to being unable to approach women in the first place, staying in mediocre relationships is the biggest thing keeping people from meeting someone they really like and being happy in relationships.

There is plenty of advice out there about breakups (like this article here). Before it gets any deeper, move toward doing what makes you happy without considering her happiness in this case because if you’re not happy, she won’t be either.


Socialkenny says:

Hey Eric,I plugged your “She’s 6 steps away” product on the latest episode of my PUA show(where I review and give my take on seduction products).Feel free to give thanks.If not,I’ll have to give you a bad review lol.Just kidding.As fellow New Yorkers;it’s all good.

loyal says:

Hello Eric!

This subject hits home for me big time!!

I have been with my partner JUST under a year known her for about 2 months before we started dating.

I believe i am weak at times, i hate her being mad at me, she can crack it over the smallest thing, and usually wont talk to me after that point, sometimes i dont even know what has happened! (whats made her upset) It can be something like not replying fast enough on facebook so she thinks i am to busy to talk to her… and will say goodnight.

its very confusing for me her getting hurt so easy, and to me i dont think i have done anything actually really hurtful to her, its more her feeling insecure.. but when this happens in the past ive tried to msg call all that sort of thing to much, even tho i dont believe i am not in the wrong. its seem to make it worse because then she believes i have done something wrong or why would i call so much.

When this happens she is very rude and nasty to me, basically a bitch! its annoying when this happens and i am at her place. which is a 45 min drive from my home and i feel like i should leave because how she is treating me but i never have. because i feel if i do and i know i am in the right that she still will think she is and stay mad at me. so i end up trying to make things better and not stand my ground because how i feel.

I few times recently when shes acted this way ive ignored her or being short. shes come back to me later on and apologized. i think this is the right thing for me to do. but havnt felt strong enough to leave her place and do all that. as i think its a bit of an effort for me for something i think is small for her to be upset about.

That brings me to the next thing. Shes is very insecure and even depressed at times and wont believe that i love her etc because of how she feels about herself. nore does she ask me ever to come around because she feels she is taking up my time. i am welcome to visit when ever, also she will never come visit me. its hard to deal with someone like this at times because its confusing to me. Please can you add some insight for me.

Eric Disco says:

Great question. I responded here: Her Temper Tantrums are Your Fault.


Jeff says:

Hello Eric
It is nice to read your article that encouraged me much!

I have the same situation. I’m dating a girl and I get her to be exclusive with me, but only because I asked. At that time she say “yes”,then we date about everyday for 6 months. And, she study abroad for 2 years and she always takes too long to text back or doesn’t return a call. I take twice as long as she did to text her back and the situation is the same. Now, I want to do the final test and do I need “have a talk” with her and tell her “no longer wanted to be exclusive?”or just follow the situation?
any thoughts?