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‘Today’ readers get advice on keeping a man

Women should be confident, but should also make their man feel desired and admired, advises Sherry Argov, author of  “Why Men Marry Bitches.”
/ Source: TODAY

In her new book, “Why Men Marry Bitches: A Woman's Guide to Winning Her Man's Heart,” Sherry Argov tells women how to transform a casual relationship into a committed one. In her interviews with men, Argov found that men want to be with women who exude confidence and are in control of their lives. Women don’t have to be bitches to get married, but it helps if they are strong and self-assured. We asked Argov, who recently appeared on “Today” to discuss her book, if she could give viewers suggestions on how to keep a man. Here are some of your letters and her advice:

Dear Sherry: I'm a 33-year-old single woman who has a college education, no kids and I run my own business. I don't see myself as someone who is overbearing or a bitch, but I can’t find anyone to date. I care about the welfare of my friends, my family, and my community. I consider myself well-rounded, and I'm not bad looking! Most men say I'm a great woman, but I'm either too independent or intimidating. Why can't I seem to find anyone who appreciates these qualities instead of being afraid to date me? What am I doing wrong? — Sensational but Single

Dear Sensational: There’s a certain way to make a man feel desired, admired, and valued.  While you seem to have done a great job developing your own character (and kudos to you, because it isn’t easy), the next step for you is to figure out how to make him feel special. Men tend to fall in love when they feel like they are cherished or revered as the “man” in the relationship. Part of that is creating intrigue and mystery, the other part is allowing him to feel like he’s pursuing you. And how you measure up is not always as important as how he feels when he’s with you. He wants to feel smart, funny, witty, charming — and if you’re busy trying to prove how wonderful you are, that doesn’t leave room for him to win you over.

Dear Sherry: I dated someone for 3-1/2 years only to find out he didn’t love me enough to marry me. I am now 30. I don’t feel like I will ever meet someone who will pursue me, love me, and want to marry me. I also want to have children and the clock is ticking. Suggestions? — Impassioned but Impatient

Simon Schuster

Dear Impassioned: Don’t ever tell a man that your clock is ticking, that you want to get married, and that the last guy wouldn’t marry you. And don’t tell him that a year is your cut-off point. But at the same time, don’t spend more than a year with someone in a dead-end relationship. If you’re 30 years old, you have your whole life ahead of you. And you will attract infinitely more men if you believe in yourself and your intrinsic worth as a human being. Confidence is sexy, happiness is sexy, so don’t allow your past boyfriend to take more of your time by bringing down your confidence level as you move forward.  Everybody has fallen down or been disappointed in love. Where you truly shine is when you get back up. Use it as a learning experience and believe in all of the possibilities.  The world is at your fingertips. 

Dear Sherry: I'm 29 years old, and six months ago I bought a house with my ex-fiancé. We were engaged for about eight months, but we never set a wedding date and then we called off the engagement. In total, we’ve been together for about nine years, and he’s been the only man I've ever called my boyfriend. I love him, but he doesn't wow me. I dream of one day being free from him, so that I can date around. However, when we’ve broken up in the past, I have missed him so much that I’ve begged him to come back. He’s my best friend and I can’t imagine my life without him. Having said all this, I know if I stay with him, I will continue meeting random men, going out on several dates for fun and then dropping them because technically I'm unavailable. I am lonely and tired of being in a relationship that is going nowhere. My ex-fiancé and I don’t have sex. I want to be passionate about someone and I want to feel what it's like to actually have a real relationship with someone else. I feel trapped, even though the house is up for sale. I feel like we’re at a standstill. Help! What do I do? — Homebound and Heartsick

Dear Homebound: There is no worse feeling than the feeling of entrapment because you’re suffocated in a relationship that feels stagnant. There is an old saying: “Don’t marry the person you think you can live with, marry the person who you think you can’t live without.” The reason for this is because if you feel attracted to other men now, that will only grow worse with time.  If you have to sell the house at a loss, so be it. The price of being trapped in a relationship for life is far more costly than holding on to an investment. People with far more complicated situations — several homes, cars, children, etc. — are able to leave their partners.  If you feel compelled to explore other men, and you’re mentally or emotionally stimulated outside your relationship, you already have your answer. So, the next step for you is to be true to yourself and honor what your soul is telling you to do.

Dear Sherry:  I love the title of this book! It's so true; it seems that nice men only marry mean women. For those of us who are kind-hearted singles who don’t give ultimatums, aren’t demanding, aren’t disrespectful, and prefer to be givers rather than takers, we can’t seem to find any nice guys. They're all taken, albeit miserable. I haven't read your book, so I’m curious to see what the author thinks a nice girl should do differently, because I’m not going to change who I am. — Nice but Neglected

Dear Nice: It’s not about changing who you are, and it’s also not about being mean. There is a fundamental difference between men and women — women need romance, men need intrigue. And the way to a man’s heart is through his imagination. You can still be who you are. Simply know that he doesn’t need to have the whole enchilada within the first three dates and he doesn’t need to ride all the rides of Disneyland on his first visit to the park. As far as being a giver not a taker, good relationships were meant to be reciprocal.  Men enjoy working to win a woman’s attention. It stimulates their imagination when they have to strategize and pursue, it’s just like giving a little kid a jigsaw puzzle — if the puzzle is already put together, there’s nothing for the child to think about and he instantly becomes bored. But if the child has to put all the little pieces together, he’s having fun.  I’m not suggesting that you stop being giving or change the fact that you’re good natured, but you also need to learn how to receive.

Dear Sherry: I've been with my boyfriend for almost 10 months. I want to marry him once school is over, but now that doesn’t look too likely.  First of all, we have a 16-year age gap (I'm 20 and he’s 36). He's been married twice. The first time he didn’t marry for love, his girlfriend was pregnant. The second time was for love. They got engaged eight months after they started dating. Then eight months later, they both went to jail and got married there. She was in jail for 11 months and he was there for four years. They divorced three years after he got out of jail. I think he wants to take it slow, but I don’t.  Within the next year I would like to get engaged and then soon after get married. We haven’t really talked about it but when we talk about the future we always include each other. I'm confused and I want to know where he stands, but I don’t want him to think I'm pushing the issue or giving him an ultimatum. Help, please. — Young and Restless

Dear Restless: You’ve been dating an ex-convict who has at least one child, not to mention two ex-wives.  He’s not dating someone his own age; he’s dating a woman who is barely out of high school, which signifies his inability to relate to a woman as an equal.  He needs someone to dominate. At 20, you have so much growing to do. Your orientation should not be “How do I get him to marry me?” Your orientation should be “What is the advantage of having this guy in my life?” Judging by his own life, and the fate of his two ex-wives, this guy is not going to elevate you in life. You have to be focused on how to elevate yourself.  Don’t get married because you think marriage is a solution to your problems. It isn’t, it could be the worst thing that ever happens to you. Don’t throw away your future because of a blind fantasy. So my answer to you is; you shouldn’t even be thinking about marriage before the age of 30. And until then, use condoms.