Hey Doc!

I met this girl a couple of months ago and we started to hang out. At first she said she only wanted to be friends when I made a move so I just blew it off but she continued to call me all the time wanting to see me.

One night we went out, and she kept on flirting with me and getting mad when I would check out other girls, by the way this whole time I would go from being a nice guy to being something of a jerk, and before the night was over, we were making out. I never really asked her out or anything, but she made it seem as if we were together. She would always call me and tell me that I better be “only hers”.

I left for two and a half weeks on vacation and when I got back I called her and she said that things had happened since I left and that she had gone back to her ex-boyfriend. I said, “Well, ok, but what about us?” She tried to make some lame excuse that I never talked to her about starting a serious relationship with her so she didn't think I wanted one. I just said “whatever” and ended the phone call.

This seems to happen to me a lot. The girl seems really into me and then in about 2-3 weeks she wants to break up! At first, I was being too needy by always calling them and bugging them, but the last couple of times I’ve completely changed my approach by acting like I didn't really care if they called or not.

To make matters worse, my last few girlfriends call me to check up and tell me they still think about me and miss me every three-four months. They call and say they were just thinking of me and wanted to hear my voice. Why is it that they don't want to be with me but then don't really want to let me go either?


Welcome to a little thing I call "The Test".

Many years ago when I first began my research into all of this, I began noticing a pattern. This pattern happened in every relationship I ever had (and still have!) and with every guy, in every relationship they had too! It was a very odd situation (always different of course) where the woman they were seeing would pull something totally unexplainable and out of the blue, just like your situation.

I began to realize what this was, and why women do this.

First, women aren't going to get you to be the guy they want in the relationship through brute force. Thus, they've had to "evolve" a series of tools to make this happen. The most important one is what I call, "The Test".

The Test happens in EVERY SINGLE relationship, usually early-on within the first month or two. It's ultimately a way for women to determine who is going to be the person steering the ship; so to speak. By the way - it'd had better be you!

You see, women understand that someone has to be the man in the relationship. If you're not going to be him, then she has to be. That means that she doesn't get the chance to be the woman. By being the leader of the relationship, you actually make a woman feel "safe" and "feminine".

By not being him, she'll either do one of two things:

1) Continue to Test you; or,
2) Reluctantly become the relationship leader

Most women will eventually move on after a while of either of these things. Here's an interesting thing however: this behavior is so ingrained in women, most of them don't even know that they do it!

So, what exactly is The Test? It can take any number of forms and you've seen some of them already. In general, you'll know The Test by the following:

1) It's totally out of the blue and unexpected.
2) It can happen at any time - like just getting back from vacation, getting ready to walk into a movie or when you come home from work or schoool.
3) It always has an emergency component to it - the relationship will seem to live or die based on your response.
4) How you deal with The Test will be the deciding factor.

The Test is never about the particular issue she brings up however! It's always about control. For instance, some women will wait until you're about to fall asleep or watch some favorite program and will then ask, "Honey, where is our relationship going?" Other times, she will be very close, loving, caring and happy and then will turn instantly (like your vacation example).

The way you handle The Test is always the same. You first recognize it for what it is - just a Test - nothing more. Then, you see that this is about control, so you put aside the supposed "issue" and deal with the relationship itself. The point however is to be active and involved - not nonchalant about it.

By being nonchallant about things, you are actually inciting The Test. If you just pull back and say "whatever", she has to Test you in order to see if you're serious! On the other hand, if you deal with it head-on, she'll know you're serious and won't Test you again unless she thinks otherwise. This is actually a response to feeling insecure about the relationship!

In your example, you didn't bother to "define" things when they got started and actually left that to her. That's why you got Tested. With your ex-girlfriends, they would like you to be the guy that can pass their Tests too and that's why they keep calling.

With this last situation, you should just say, "You know, I'm not interested in being your friend - I already have enough friends. If you want something more then just say so or stop calling me." Notice how this sets the tone for a relationship? Doing nothing or being too casual creates nothing and gives her nowhere to go.

You can't avoid Tests - even relationship has them. You can become an expert at passing them however. Just learn to recognize The Test; set your path through it and run that path by being active and involved. If you do this every time, you'll find that soon, you get no more Tests - and very happy girlfriends!

Best regards...
Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? You can write to me by going to: http://beingaman.com/ask_question.asp for answers. For more information about my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's Worldtm" (volumes I & II), and other products visit: www.beingaman.com. Check out the discussion group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beingaman.

Copyright (c) 2007, Dr. Dennis W. Neder
All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. Having written 3 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World™" series) and is working on others, hundreds of articles, been on hundreds of radio and TV shows, he is funny, direct and intuitive.

Do you have a burning question that needs an answer? Are you a man that wants to better experiences with women, or a woman that wants to better understand men? To learn more, go to http://beingaman.com.