How Women Test Men - How Do Men Respond?
Journey to the Core of the Masculine
'Conversations about Men & Masculinity' & 'A 40 Day Challenge for Men'
This is a unique and powerful book. It is a record of a series of conversations with Christopher Howard on masculinity, sex, addiction and relationships. In them both Chris and myself opened ourselves up in a very personal and revealing way. We held nothing back and explored what it is to be men.
Tom found that women usually lost interest in him. They started off feeling attracted to him, then when they acted 'moody' he saw it as a sign that he need to fill an emotional need in them. He filled that need, becoming their emotional punchbag. The women became aloof and were, eventually, repulsed by him. They walked away. Females!!
Dick found his relationships crashing and burning. When they acted 'moody' with him he just walked away, he thought that if a woman doesn't want to be with you, that was that. They don't know what they want, no point dealing with their unpredictable behaviour. He saw intimate relationships as a power-play of status, sexual rights and control. He walked away.
Harry had a secure long-term relationship and found women constantly interested in him. When his woman acted 'moody' he listened and gave her the space to talk. He stayed true to what he felt and ensured she understood that. He was confident in himself and was not affected by the wild emotional swings he was experiencing. He knew what was good for them and was open and straight with her, even if it 'hurt' her. They stayed together
All three men had the same advantages in terms of looks, wealth and other 'important' issues, so what's the difference in their behaviour, given that the women initially acted the same way each time? The difference is in how they reacted to female testing, that reaction resulted in the dramatically different results. The difference is in love and men.
What is female testing?
In a recent post, Pleading Does Not Hack It, while talking about the failure of a man's relationship through too much pleading, I said,
"Finally I just want to say a quick word about female testing. They will always do it, as long as you are together. Women need to trust their men and the only way they can be sure you are trustworthy is to constantly test it. Look for it and love it. If it upsets you, you are finished, try becoming a monk instead."
A women is attracted to a man who is in control of himself but not controlling, to her the most unattractive trait in a man is insecurity. A woman has a constant need to know where she is with a man, she needs to feel safe, to feel excited and to feel free. That's the source of women testing men.
A major feminine characteristic is trust. She needs to trust her man, totally trust him, with her emotions, with her life. Only when a woman can trust a man will she surrender to him, will she love him. Unfortunately men are not good at showing emotions, they tend to keep things hidden, they tend not to talk very much. So it's no use a woman asking a man about this, the best she might get will be a shrug. So testing is the only proven method that gets results, that shows the truth, that reveals the sub-conscious motives of a man.
How women test men?
Men all know that women test them all the time, women can't help it. But why do they do it? There are a few simple reasons:
She needs a man to know that he can't take her for granted, she is not a push-over. She needs a man to show that he can respect her. She wants a man to see that she has standards and that he has to meet them.
She needs to find a man that she can't take for granted, he is not a push-over. She needs to know that she can respect him. She wants to see how strong emotionally he is, how smart he is.
Need for Re-assurance
She wants the certainty that a man cares for her and wants to protect her. She wants to know that he is trustworthy and that she is safe surrendering to him and his love.
She wants a man to know that she loves him, that he is important to her. Only a man she cares for and wants in her life is worth constantly testing.
Sometimes a woman tests because she enjoys making a man uncomfortable, because she can. Men ask for it by getting nervous and uncertain. Ultimately she wants a man to reveal himself, particularly if he is not uncomfortable is his masculinity. This is not meant cruelly, but to help the man see who he really is and what he needs to do to become worthy of her.
This is a serious issue that needs to be treated with care by a man. It is a psychological trait that a woman has stemming from abandonment by men, usually starting with her father. Often nothing the man can do will satisfy the inability of the woman to trust the man. It is not solvable by the man (men, don't try to solve it!) and needs professional help.
How do men react to testing?
The more a man passes a woman's test, the more intimacy he achieves with her, the more he is trusted by her. Women want a man who is in control of himself yet slightly out of control; a confident, independent man who excels in life. This is because a woman ultimately surrenders herself to a man who she believes to be 'the one'. If a man doesn't understand this then he can create chaos in a relationship. As we saw at the beginning a man can fall victim to the testing or get angry with it. Either way he fails. He can, however, take it in his stride, be a rock, be sure of himself and let her swirl around him. The he passes. There is no control involved, just openness and freedom, on both sides.
Tom Dick and Harry.
So what about Tom, Dick and Harry. By now you should have worked it out. Tom is needy and falls victim to her tests, he fails because he has no inner strength that enables her to trust him. Dick is angry and doesn't respect women, he fails because he will always be fighting her. Harry treats her with respect but also respects himself. He passes because he is strong and certain, she can trust him because he trusts himself.
What am I to do?
Best to just accept that women do and will test men. Be aware of it when it happens and deal with it in a way that gains you authority and understanding in the relationship. Personally, I see it as a supreme act of love. I become nervous when I am not being tested by my partner. She loves me and she wants to show it, she wants to feel safe with me, she wants to know if I love her.
- Do you understand that your woman needs certainty?
- Can you accept her testing?
- Are you able to take it?
—Photo Credit: Flickr/Tony Alter">[NAME]