On That “Cow/Milk” Situation, and the Difference Between Negotiations and Ultimatums

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Editor’s note: You might remember Serria Tawan from her stint as Playboy’s Miss November 2002. Now the former playmate is in her 30s, recently married, and ready to dish out some love advice. She says, “I want you to win and I’m going to give it to you straight.” Read more from her at, and check back here each Friday for her latest Dating Advice from a Playboy Bunny post.


I hear this advice over and over again of how women should hold back in a relationship, for example: “why buy the cow when you get the milk for free.” But how do you show them it all and not give them it all? It’s confusing. And how do you know when you’re giving too much?

Plus: How to Compliment a Woman: 7 Things Every Guy Should Know


Brace yourself, because what I am going to tell you will sound a like a game — but it’s not. Or is it?

No, seriously, I’m asking a question.

In real life there are promotions. Promotions are a reward for doing a good job, and as a result of your stellar performance you receive a pay increase and a better position. In life we have promotions as well. Think of your girlfriends, for example: when you meet a girl, she does not become your best friend instantly. It has to be earned; she has to be promoted. And there is no exception for boyfriends.

My assumption is that your goal is marriage in asking about the “cow/milk” situation; so let’s focus on how to not give away too much in a relationship when that’s your goal.

What does that look like, realistically? First, please understand that every guy you date is not a potential husband; some are potential boyfriends, and most aren’t even that. (Would you consider every woman you meet a potential best friend?)

Allow yourself the time to figure out who he is for you, and more importantly who he thinks you are. The better you prepare here, the less you stress later.

Plus: The 5-Year Non-Relationship: Why No Man (Including Me) Is Worth Waiting Around For

This is your life and it requires as much planning and strategy as everything else.

One thing that I’d like you to keep is your single status. If you are not married, you are single, that’s how the world sees you and that’s the way you need to see yourself if you want to be married because that motivation will make it happen. If you pretend to be married just by being a girlfriend, then why would anyone marry you? Why work hard for a promotion when it’s the same pay and position? Just stay where you are.

Don’t check the relationship box on Facebook, announcing your boyfriend. Who cares?! Secondly, keep your home and your own space. Shacking up makes the road to marriage take longer. And guess what? Living together as roommates is nothing like being married.

The last part of keeping your “milk” involves maintaining “sense” about yourself. Marriage is a result of a promotion in the same way that a relationship is a result of a negotiation. The strength in negotiating is being able to walk away.

 Plus: What To Do If You Have Feelings For Your Friend’s Ex

The biggest mistake that I see with women revolves around the negotiation, specifically: rather than thinking ahead and negotiating, waiting until the point where they feel they need to make an ultimatum. I am not a fan of ultimatums; if you have to resort to that it simply means you lost. Remember, we can’t make men do anything they don’t want to do. A negotiation and an ultimatum are completely different, and to be honest, negotiations are used to prevent ultimatums. For example, you can negotiate with your boyfriend to move in until after your engagement, whereas with an ultimatum it usually involves you moving out because you have not gotten a ring or something along those lines. Pay attention and use your moments to negotiate; this is your life and it requires as much planning and strategy as everything else.

The Bunny Tail (The bottom line, what you should do next):

Women control dating, guys control the selection process. Men treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Take an active role in how you are handled by sweetly communicating what you expect and like; reward good behavior with “thank you,” hugs, and kisses. Forget the bad and reward the good.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below — and for more Serria, check out and follow her on twitter @serriasays.