When I was younger, I dated a girl named Abby (not her real name). She was beautiful, and also extremely flirtatious. Sometimes the things that would come out of her mouth surprised my younger self. Even though I had a sense that she liked me (she did tell me that), at other moments it seemed like she didn’t, since she would blurt out phrases that seemed designed to get a rise out of me.
The reality is that she wasn’t trying to get a rise out of me so much subconsciously evaluating whether or not I was worthy of her romantic energy. Even if she didn’t know why she was doing it, she was. Why would a woman test a guy she seems to like in this way? And why do some guys seem so taken aback by it?
To understand, let’s get out of our modern world and go back in time to when our brain structures that handle attraction evolved, hundreds of thousands of years ago. In the jungle, desert, or wherever your ancestors lived, life was different. This was before police forces, government welfare programs, and daycare services were there to take care of people.
In terms of human reproduction, women have evolved to thoroughly evaluate a man before committing to him. The common saying is “eggs are expensive; sperm is cheap.” If a woman commits to a guy, she is gearing up for nine months of pregnancy followed by even more years with the guy providing for her and their child. If a guy isn’t able to provide and protect, then neither of their genes survive, and survival is what evolution is all about. Men and women are both wired to find traits in people attractive that promote reproductive success.
So, to simplify things, if a guy can’t handle a little “shit” (or for those in redneck areas like mine, “sheeeeitt”) from a woman, then he certainly isn’t tough enough to provide for her. This is why women’s tests are often called “shit tests” or less crudely, “congruence tests.”
Examples of these tests include statements like:
You know, I just realized how short you are.
I have a boyfriend.
I don’t know if I like you.
You’re too old for me.
You seem like a fuckboy/player.
My younger self didn’t know how to respond to these tests, and at times I couldn’t handle Abby. My older self can. So, here is how you handle these tests and end up coming across as attractive.
1. Control Frame
You control your emotions. While it is beyond the scope of this post, I firmly believe that it isn’t outside events that control your feelings, but your response to those outside events. This is a hallmark principle of both neurolinguistic programming and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
Controlling frame is setting the tone for a situation. Let’s take a day when it starts raining. If you are a farmer in the middle of a drought, rain probably makes you happy. If you were going to an outdoor concert that day you might be sad. Same event, different frame.
So how could the guy disappointed about the concert “control frame?” Well, some of the most fun concerts I have been to were in the rain, so he could decide to enjoy the experience and remind himself that he’ll look back on how cool it was to watch a band while turning into a wet, muddy, mess with a bunch of cool strangers.
In reality, these tests aren’t anything personal. In fact, I view them as basically flirting, albeit more extreme than some guys prefer. You should keep them in that frame. These tests are actually fun. Why? Because you’re going to pass and have some fun flirting.
You pass by not being fazed. You pass by not showing you are bothered. If you get angry, sad, bitter, quiet, etc., guess what? You’re weak and you fail. She will find another guy who doesn’t fail. So, how do you pass? Well, for one…
2. Stay Confident
With past girlfriends and potential dates, I would often let these tests make me insecure. Why would she say I was short? Why would a girl I was getting along with at a club suddenly throw out something about her boyfriend?
My internal mental state was one of dejection, and I’m sure it showed as outward insecurity. I was showing that a little sentence from a woman worked me up. That’s not a good response. Instead stay confident, especially by keeping your body language confident, and your vocal tone consistent. If you do feel dejected, don’t let it show. Just keep going like nothing happened. After a while of faking confidence, you’ll naturally start caring less and less about what a woman says to you.
3. Stay Detached
Detachment is doing what you know to be right and not getting worked up emotionally by the outcome. This is being “outcome independent,” which is to say you remain relaxed and unfazed in your interactions even if something happens you don’t particularly like.
So if “I have a boyfriend” comes out of her mouth, then your attitude should be the same as if she just said, “It’s room temperature in here.” Just keep doing the things you know that are right, like remaining confident, funny, etc. Detachment shows she can’t work you up in a negative way. However, there is nothing wrong with getting worked up in a positive way, i.e….
4. Stay Charming
A lot of guys react to tests by showing sadness (“Oh you have a boyfriend? Thanks; sorry to take up your time”) or anger (“Why did you waste my time?”). Some just go silent or trip over their words. That’s no fun, trust me.
Showing sadness or anger isn’t really attractive, and neither is just sitting there showing awkwardness. All of those reactions show you are bothered. And, those reactions aren’t exactly flirtatious. And, as I mentioned, many times these tests are a type of flirting, or at least can be turned into that very easily.
So, the key is the always stay charming and funny. No matter what comes out of her mouth, stay charming. You pass these tests through charm and flirtatious humor. Some of the responses below show how to respond with some charm.
“I have a boyfriend”: Well I thought you looked like the type who could use two.
“You know, I just realized how short you are”: That’s great, and next time I buy high heels I’m totally taking you along.
“You seem like a fuckboy” : Yeah, and I’m taking applications for fuckgirls, but I don’t like you very much, so you may have to put some work in to qualify.”
“You’re too old for me”: I really am too mature for you. I couldn’t take all the Justin Bieber music you’d make me listen to.
Some of these responses use a technique called “agree and amplify,” when you take her test and respond in a way that agrees with her and then amplifies the comment to the point of absurdity. This is a great way to respond because it shows total detachment, confidence, and charm.
So, yeah, women throw out tests. Passing them is both easy and fun. Every woman worth your time will do it. Abby did it, and I’m sure still does. Her current man knows how to handle her I am sure, and her tests are likely viewed as flirtatious fun.