Sometimes – wait, who are we kidding? Always – being successful in your relationship means gaining the upper hand. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, some old-fashioned (like being the breadwinner) and some newfangled (like being the househusband), but in any scenario, there comes a time when you must remind your lady just how lucky she is to have you in her life. From Cleopatra v Caesar to Sammi v Ronnie, lovers have been making one another jealous on purpose for centuries. Who are you to spit in the face of tradition? If she should stray from the path of thinking you’re the bee’s knees, use these tricks to get her back on the right track.

Flirt (casually) in front of her

Flirting is a potent, versatile tool, but you run the risk of looking like a tool if you don’t use it correctly. As we’ve mentioned before in the Omega Man post, the key to successful flirtation is to make it seem like you aren’t trying to flirt; trying to flirt is desperate, but accidentally flirting indicates that you’re undeniably desirable. Ladies are crafty, so if you make a big show of your flirtations in front of them, they’ll see through your act immediately. Remember: you aren’t trying to pick up other women, you’re simply (and subtly) demonstrating to your paramour that she’s not the only one with eyes for you.

In order to make your flirting seem accidental, flirt with strangers (not her friends; it’s a universal signal of assholery), and don’t linger too long. Cutting off the conversation before you hit the two-minute mark means you not only have an airtight argument (you were “just being friendly”), but you can also knock out another three or four flirtatious conversations before cocktail hour is over. Efficient and effective!

Act (occasionally) unavailable

Ponder, if you will, how frustrating it is when your woman rebuffs you with an “oh, sorry, I’m busy tonight” but neglects to provide an adequate explanation as to what (and who) she plans to do with the time she isn’t spending with you. It really burns you up, right? Well, it’s not rocket science, this maintenance of mystery; it’s simply having the will power to occasionally make up a vague excuse not to see her that suggests you might have other engaging females demanding your precious time.

This is something to use only occasionally, especially if you’re in a serious relationship, but becoming over-available is a trap that’s all too easy to fall into once you’ve fallen for someone. Keep her on her toes by not sharing every detail of your weekly schedule with her, because you can be sure she isn’t inviting you to every single Outlook event she creates.

Revel (modestly) in your inherent awesomeness

Relationships aren’t a shortcut to personal greatness. We’ve all dated that needy woman who uses her boyfriend to ratchet up her sense of self-worth, and we’ve all broken up with her because she’s exhausting, depressing, boring, or all of the above. It is, however, disturbingly easy to become the desperate, boring half of an otherwise awesome twosome. If you don’t know why you’re worth having, then your partner sure as hell won’t be able to figure it out, so make it a point to rediscover your own awesomeness from time to time so as to remind her that you’re top-quality merchandise.

While you don’t want to make her envious of your success, you do want to make it clear that you’re pursuing great things, and you hope that she will, too. Maintaining a strong sense of self elevates your relationship to something greater than the sum of its parts; it also guarantees that you remain her better half.

In the end, remember that you’re playing a woman’s game, and the laws of nature dictate that some women will be better at it than you are. If you are met with defeat, however, never, even if tortured, admit to her that you were trying to make her jealous. The first rule of this game is not to admit that you’re playing it, as if it were a far more socially acceptable version of LARP-ing in the forest; you might have lost this round, but you’ll want the option to play again sometime in the future.