Dr. Dennis Neder,
"Being a Man in a Woman's World"
Hey Dr. Neder,
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
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 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
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
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
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
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 nonchalant 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
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!
Dr. Dennis Neder
Have a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all email. You
can write to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org for answers.
For more information about my book,
"Being a Man in a Woman's World",
Copyright (c) 2007 Dr. Dennis W. Neder All rights reserved.