Do guys ever test you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Do guys ever test you?
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 10:56am
Just refelcting for a minute...

I was dating a guy for a while... he was treating me 100% perfectly...I mean 100%. He asked to see me more frequently at one point (after he pursued me for a few weeks and we had been dating about a month, to whcih I agreed). Things were going smoothly, or so I thought.

At the end of probably our 7th date, I mentioned that I wish he could sleep over that night b/c I wanted to spend more time with him that night (fool around) but he couldn't b/c he had to wake up he said "Why don't you skip going away this weekend with your frineds so we can hang out?" (I was going to a summer share house every other weekend. My response to his question was a laugh and said "Are you crazy? No way!" (I know this wasn't the best move but we had only been dating a couple of months and I payed about $3,000 for 6 weekends out there, which I don't know if he knows how expensive it was but he knows how much I liked going out there wiht my friends).

I feel that it was around this time that he started to pull back slightly... we saw eachother a couple of more times, but I could sense a change in his effort he was putting out. His calls became less frequent and then he asked me out fot a date that he never followed up on. When I bumped into him, he pretended like he totally forgot about even asking me about it and it was the end of our dating.

Now, during this whole time- he was really acting perfect. And he pursued me for a while...I never called him...and it was the kind of attraction that was really growing rather than 'hot' from the start. I was responding to him physically, however, in fact I was a little more pushy with going forward sexually than I think he was really ready for.

Do you think the question about staying home to hang out with him that weekend was a test? (that i failed, obviosuly). Do you think the tapering calls were an attempt to gauge my interest and see if I would call him? I never called him throughout the relationship (only returned calls). Do you think it's possible that he thought I was using him for sex???

Thank you so much for any help you can provide!



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 12:06pm
i think i should also add that this was the same night that he tried to hold my hand while we were walking, but i kind of wriggled out of it after about 10 seconds b/c honesyly i'm one of those people that just can't STAND hand-holding in public. i am very physically/publically affectionate in many other ways. this was the first time he tried to hold my hand (we had been physically intimate before this however, not sex)

i want to also add that he really went out of his way to put a lot of effort into this potential relaitonship up to this point (he is a phd. student with no money and had really gone out of his way the whole time to make me feel special)

could it have something to do with the fact that me running off to these expensive weekends (that he can not afford) made him feel like he couldn't please me? it was around this time (the few dates following) that he kept bringing up the fact how he has no money and how it bothers him...maybe that he can't please me is the problem? i tried to reassure him that his situation is only temporary and that it doesn't matter to me, etc...

this is one of those situations where his actions while we were dating were so dead-on perfect that i'm just wondering where it could have gone wrong. I've bumped into him a few times and he's been really chatty, i've held back a little b/c i feel a little hurt that i got dumped. do you think he could be lookiing for any kind of sign that i even care that we are no longer speaking?

when he set up the date that he never followed up on (the last time he called me)- i bumped into him the next day after the date was supposed to haooen. i didn't mention one word about the fact that we were supposed to have a date the night before and neither did he. he's not the 'forgetful' type.

i'm wondering if he's looking for a sign that i even cared that he cancelled the date?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 3:28pm
I totally agree with your decision to go away but think it could have been said in a different, friendlier way - such as "oh you know I'd love to but I don't want to let my friends down." I also think your asking him to stay over was probably a little overwhelming/too forward for him - too early to be making that kind of request. JMHO!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 6:55pm
I think you are right on many of your thoughts. If you *never* initiated a call, and only returned calls. He might feel you aren't very *in* to the relationship. I doubt his question to you was a test in any way. However, each of us is *always* watching the people we are dating. Gauging how they handle situations, and always judging whether we want to continue seeing them. Deena has mentioned watching how someone treats waiters and waitresses when she is dating them.

My point is that your response to his question may have been more of a final straw. That he decided perhaps the type of person you are, is not the type he wants to spend so much time and energy on "making you feel special". Then he started looking around again, as he grew more distant.

From what I can tell, it worked out best this way. You continued to be yourself, and show your true self to him. He saw who you were, and finally decided you two weren't the best match. Better now than later. With luck he found someone who is more compatible in returning his interest. Or better yet, shows interest on her own.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 7:17pm
Personally I think you should not have been so forward about wanting him to spend the night. Please don't get upset with me for stating this.

I don't think he was testing you in anyway. If a man is REALLY interested in a woman, he doesn't put her through games or tests.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 7:35pm
Let me make things a bit clearer... this was our 7th date. He is a man who 'begged' to perform oral sex on me on our 4th date... so it's not like he didn't show any sexual interest.

I only had to really seduce him, in a way, to stay the night... I didn't beg, only asked and turned him on enough to stay. He had brought a condom (so I don't think he thought sex was COMPLETELY out of the question that night.) Plus I explained to him that I appreciated the company b/c my roomate is away and I hate sleeping in the apartment alone.

I understand that I shouldn't have *influenced* him to stay over/have sex, but it's OK for him to *influence* me into performing oral (on me) on our 4th date when I was hesitant to participate?

Why do you see me asking him to stay over as such an issue? And I am now substituting the word "test" for more like... looking for feedback on how much I will bend for him. I think he wanted to see how I would react to the request, /c he knew that my weekends are fun (I'm always talking about how much fun they are)...he wanted to see if I liked him enough to sacrifice that. I don't think I would sacrifice that much fun unless he was my BOYFRIEND.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 8:06pm
Title: I totally agree...

..I think he simply figured out that this person was more of a "taker" than he wanted to be involved with.

There are all sorts of clues...

**"he was treating me 100% perfectly...I mean 100%"**

Not "things were going well". No, this seems to imply that she was focused on how SHE felt...with not much concern about whether or not SHE was treating HIM "100% perfectly"

**"My response to his question was a laugh and said "Are you crazy? No way!"** in "your interest or desires are ridiculous. How absurd for you to even suggest I think of you before myself".

**"i think i should also add that this was the same night that he tried to hold my hand while we were walking, but i kind of wriggled out of it after about 10 seconds b/c honesyly i'm one of those people that just can't STAND hand-holding in public."**

Translation: You aren't important enough for me to try to be open minded enough to share something with you that YOU might like, even if it isn't something I would chose.

Then of course there is the "yes, I'll let you go down on me, but no, there will be no sex. But you can keep me company because I don't like being alone in the apartment".

This is of course on top of the fact that he had to initiate EVERY telephone exchange…and EVERY date…(hmm…I wonder how many times he was told “no, I can’t go out with you that night” without a counter proposal being made).

Me thinks he finally just got feed up. He doesn't see his desires being accommodated at all, and he is tired of putting himself out. So...he has just decided to forget about the whole thing.

Good for him, I say...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 8:21pm
I thought that women were the 'indirect' ones? If he wasn't sure how I felt, and it came to a point where it was going to make him give up on me, he should have come out and asked. Instead of silently tallying all that I *didn't* show him/ do for him... and then dumping me without ever giving me a chance to modify my behaviour.

Do you not think that my interest in sexual intercourse showed that I was interested? What was he looking for?? How WAS I supposed to show interest besides eagerly accpting his dates, and calls, asking questions, being physically affectionate???

So you're saying I should have called him and asked him out during the course of things? That was the one thing I *diodn't* do that made all the things I *did* do not matter?

What happened to good old fashioned courtship? FOr goodness sakes, I even payed for myself!!

And by the way, we had actual intercourse on that 7th date...I jsut mentioned the oral to show that I didn't molest him.

Edited 9/19/2003 8:33:32 PM ET by sj5az

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 9:14pm
Title: Well...since you asked...

**"If he wasn't sure how I felt, and it came to a point where it was going to make him give up on me, he should have come out and asked."**

You could make that argument, and I would say it is fairly legitimate. Then again though, since he wasn't your "boyfriend" as you point out, maybe he felt a "relationship talk" would be inappropriate...since there was no relationship. Speaking for myself, I would say it would depend on just how much interest in the person I REALLY had...if I really thought there was potential and my interest was high, then I might make an effort to be clearer on things and try to understand the relationship. On the other hand, if I really didn't think that things were gonna amount to much, and I was clear that she was "Ms. Right Now" versus "Ms. Right", then I probably wouldn't bother. That is how I have typically operated in the past...when someone got to be more of a hassle than they were worth, I just forgot about them.

Let me be clear on one point though...his just "forgetting" you had a date scheduled was wrong, wrong, wrong. It is ALWAYS WRONG to fail to keep one's commitments. That WAS WRONG.

But no, I don't give blame him for not wanting to bother with a conversation with you about things. He may have just decided, based on the behavior he had observed, that it wasn't worth the effort.

**"and then dumping me without ever giving me a chance to modify my behaviour. "**

See...that is the key...just as Brokk said. Why modify your behavior? Why not just be yourself and then decide if the two of you are compatible? If you were being yourself...and he decided you weren't the woman for him...isn't that for the best?

**"Do you not think that my interest in sexual intercourse showed that I was interested?"**

Nope. Now, I am not saying that it DIDN'T mean that for you...every woman is different. But from what you posted **I** would have interpreted it as trading sex for "good behavior"...not the same as actually having an interest in ME, as a person. Many, many women play that game during the dating ritual...exchanging sex for the behavior they want from men, versus having sex simply because they want to and it feels right. You held out for 7 dates, you accepted other sexual favors short of intercourse; you declined to accept his form of public affection (hand holding). To me, that all reads as "'ve been a good boy, so I will finally let you have some". Again, I am NOT saying that was your intent, and I don't have any problem accepting that it wasn't if you say so. I **AM** saying that in lieu of further data, he could have interpreted it that way...I certainly would have.

**"How WAS I supposed to show interest besides eagerly accepting his dates, and calls, asking questions, being physically affectionate???"

Actually...a very simple way, that some women don't agree with, but that's ok...they date men that they are more compatible with (and vice versa...which is what this is all about right?).

You could have actually made the effort to initiate contact with him, versus simply accepting whatever overtures he made.

If you, as a woman...take time and effort to call ME...versus simply always waiting for me to call YOU...that tells me you have a genuine interest. If you, as a woman, make an effort to see ME, versus simply accepting the dates I arrange, that tells me you have genuine interest.

The problem is that some (most?) women think it is just a one-way street...that the positive feelings they feel in being pursued don't have to be reciprocated. That might work for some guys...and it might have worked for most guys some time ago.

In current society however, I think most people (male and female) expect things to be on equal terms...50 / 50. I am not saying that it isn't perhaps best for the guy to do the initial asking out. And maybe he should be the "pursuer" for the first 2 or 3 dates.

But after date 3, in my mind, I need a CLEAR sign "you" are into "me". And simply continuing to accept my dates doesn't count, because, let's be honest here, lots of women (not necessarily you) will accept ANY DATE from ANY GUY who isn't a creep if they don't have plans for Friday / Saturday night. For some women, there is NOTHING worse than being at home on a Friday / Saturday night, so no, accepting my invitations is NOT a clear sign that you like simply means you don't like being at home (and yeah, it also means you don't hate me.) A clear sign that you LIKE ME is if you ask ME out...just like you assume my asking you out is a sign that I like you.

Insofar as the other stuff (questions, calls), I actually can't speak to that because I don't know how the conversations went. But...insofar as being physically, that doesn't prove anything. Many women trade physical affection for behavior...they use it as a reward. could be being "physically affectionate" simply because you want me to keep asking you doesn't mean you actually LIKE ME. Of course, you aren't like that...I know you will point this out...but that doesn't mean he didn't read it that way.

**"So you're saying I should have called him and asked him out during the course of things? That was the one thing I *diodn't* do that made all the things I *did* do not matter?"**

Yup. Because unless you have failed to mention something, nothing you've said so far that you "did" is a clear indication of genuine interest, in my book. And your unwillingness to spend that weekend with him, which would have showed that you were willing to accommodate HIM as much as he had been trying to accommodate YOU, was probably the final straw. It didn't help that you laughed at him either, BTW...

**"What happened to good old fashioned courtship? FOr goodness sakes, I even payed for myself!!"**

I think it is still alive and well. You just need to find someone who does it within the same rules / context as your expectations.

To speak to you point, it is RARE that I wouldn't pay for a date. I mean really, things had to be pretty serious at that point (I can only think of 4 women in my life who have brought me a meal before...and I was married to two of them at some point). I open doors, I send flowers...I think my wife would verify that I am a fairly "courtship" kinda guy.

I just don't like playing games. And to me, the "you call me, I don't call petition to have an audience with me, I decide if I will see you" thing is just game. Mind you, it is a game I will play BRIEFLY for the right woman, because I don't entirely dismiss the notion of the male being the pursuer. But 7 dates is WAAAAY TOO LONG.

**"And by the way, we had actual intercourse on that 7th date...I jsut mentioned the oral to show that I didn't molest him."**

I never thought that was the problem...I never thought you "scared him away". Like you said, he WAS packing condoms. I think he just got sick of waiting for you stand by his side versus holding the hoop for him to jump

Edited 9/24/2003 7:10:30 PM ET by gogobear

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 9:47pm
Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. Now...

Here's what I agrree with...

1- Not calling....This is how I have acted since I was probably about 21 (I need to be old-fashioned courted)...and almost every relationship I've had (about 6 years since age 21 now) ended with him using the excuse "Well...what do you expect you never call me, you never show me that you like me"...I'm starting to question whether or not that is just an excuse. I just read a John Gray Mars/Venus book which actually supports my side of things so I'm being encouraged to continue to believe that it is just an excuse they use to pin the blame on me when they leave. I'm up in the air about that.

2- It's funny about the being affectionate in private thing b/c the last two times we were intimate in bed together... after the s-e-x I was physically affectionate with him still giving him lots of kisses, cute stuff etc... to which he asked- both times "Now why are you being so affectionate?" (like he was a little surprised by my behaviour) and "What did I do to deserve you being so affectionate?"-- I took it as maybe it was too much for him, like he didn't want me to get too mushy/clingy with him... but could it support your theory that my shows of affection didn't really even prove anything to him either way and that he didn't understand why I was showing physical affection if I wasn't really showing interest in other ways? Hmmm...what do you think those comments mean?

3- The whole "relationship talk" thing I think he'd risk not having even if he really liked me. I say this b/c he knows he will see me at work- we work in large office together where we run into eachother anywhere from twice a week to twice a month. He has, in fact, seen me twice since the blow-off.. each time atttempting to initate some kind of friendship/chatty thing which I have cooly denied since I feel like it's just a pit "let's be friends after i blew you off" thing-- plus i'm really pissed about the "fake date"- that pissed me off and was really insulting. Both times he bumped into me he has tried to initate very chatty conversations with me through an invitation to go to the coffee machine with him, and to join he and his friend for lunch both of which I blew off in a "I don't give a shyte about you or the fact that we no longer speak I'm busy screw off" way). It just seems so fake how he's so overly-friendly and chatty like nothing ever happened...I can't bring myself to be civil. I just act like a bi-atch.

Here's what I see to be the major flaw in this thinking that you shouldn't modify your behavior at the beginning of a relationship b/c that is who you are...I would have modified myself to be more of who I would be if we werre in a more advanced stage of the relationship. I do not act the same way with someone that I've been dating 2 months as someone I've been dating 9 months. I give more at 9 months after trust is earned. I don't think that I should be held to the level of treatment of soomeone that I don't really know as someone withwhom I am in a relationship. Plus- I don't know that one phone call is going to take me from a borderline taker - to giver.

By the way-- do you think he was cheap? Normally I would NEVER even offer...I didn't on our first date, then I felt terrible b/c He currently is a student with no income at all. His loans- He has 4 yrs of med school, 3 yrs of phd schooling to pay off and he will be earning a resident salary (not much) for the next 7 yrs... his mother still buys him his shirts, as he says. Do you think tha'ts a good enough excuse? I'll tell you the dynamic made me VERY UNCOMFORTABLE...and judging by how he was constantly talking about/mentioning how he had no money I know he was not happy about that either.

You are correct on many of your points. Of course I reward attraction/ good behaviour with sex!

Thoughts GOGo? What do you think of his comments to me when I *was* being affectionate after sex? How do you think I should handle this when I bump into him next time? I'd like to date him again, but I don't want to totally risk jsut looking like an a** and thinking he dropped me for certain reasons when he really just dumped me cause he lost interest??


Edited 9/19/2003 10:16:40 PM ET by sj5az

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 11:51pm
Title: Okay...

I've read the whole thread. So here's the thing--you are coming here for advice. You are reading "Doctor" John Gray's books. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts you're familiar with The Rules. You're doing *everything* but listen to the wisdom of YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE. I hate to have to be the one to tell you this, but real life supercedes self-help books. If the men you date want you to initiate phone calls and dates on occasion and tell you they don't like it when you don't, BELIEVE THEM. They are most likely telling you THE TRUTH. GoGo certainly is telling you the truth as he sees it--I've known him for a long time.

You are also terribly concerned that your ex-whatever was "testing" you. I don't see that at all based on what you wrote. Nor do I believe that you "scared him" by sleeping with him too fast. I agree with Brokk and GoGo--it sounds to me like it was very simple--this man decided that he wasn't interested in you, based on how you acted/treated him. He didn't feel that you were someone he wanted to date anymore. This can be accomplished without tests or tricks or games. It can be done just by saying to yourself, "hm--I really don't think this person is right for me because of x, y, and z".

I also agree with Brokk and GoGo that there's no reason you should modify your behavior. You are who you are, and ALL you will accomplish by modifying your behavior to suit someone else is to attach yourself more and more deeply to someone you truly aren't compatible with. That's just no fun. And I do not mean the kind of compromises one makes in a long-term relationship. We all have to be a bit flexible to live with another human being for any length of time. But at the beginning of a relationship? How many times have we on these boards seen both men and women begging us for an explanation of why he/she changed so much after 6 months or a year?

Personally, I disagree with the "put your best foot forward" dating behavior to the core of my being. Basically, it amounts to erecting a false front. Both the man and the woman do this for the first 3-12 months. They think they are getting to know somebody, and often fall in love. Then as time passes and the comfort level increases, the facade drops. Often, a partially or entirely different person emerges. And that leaves you back at the very beginning--getting to know someone who is actually a stranger to you, because you've been pretending up till the comfort point.

My own marriage bears this out (and prejudices me in favor of my theory). My dh and I met at low points in our lives. Our attitudes were, separately, that if anyone we dated couldn't handle us as-is, they were absolutely free to go have a nice life somewhere else. As a result, when we began dating each other, there were no best feet or false fronts. We got to know who the other *really* was right up front. I truly believe that this is the best way.

Back to your situation. To me, it seems like YOU are the game-player here.If you want to date this man again, stop blowing him off in the hallways at work. If you want his explanation for why he dumped you, invite him to a private lunch and say the words "why did you dump me?" If *you want* to change yourself into the kind of woman who asks men for dates sometimes, do so. If you *don't want* to change yourself into that kind of woman, don't. But you will have to become one with the reality that this isn't 1953. There are a LOT of men out there who DO expect that a woman will reciprocate his interest by calling, planning dates, etc and will break up with a woman who doesn't do these things. You will find men who want to date a woman like you, but understand and accept that by having these requirements, you are narrowing the field. (Nothing wrong with that, btw. We all do it. We just have diferent criteria.)

Also, remember that every individual man is unique and every relationship is unique. No one-size-fits-all self-help book could ever hope to cover all the situations found in the day-to-day life of real people.