General Dating Questions/Is this a test?
Dear Dr. Neder,
I recently read your book (Being a Man) which had a lot of content regarding passing women's tests.
I'm a college student and I'm in a complicated situation with a girl I met a month ago. Shes fun, pretty and quite aggressive towards me (its obvious shes attracted to me in the way she acts). However, I think there is another guy in her life. I don't really know anything about this guy but one time she referred to him as her "friend" and another time she referred to him as her "boyfriend". Strangely, even while referring to this guy she never even gave me the slightest hint that she wants me to back off.
I THINK in a way she wants me to be forward and claim her (in a manner of speaking). I think this because even though she might have a boyfriend she's always asking whether I'm single, if I'll be available to hang out on so and so day, she asks me about the girls in my life etc. It seems like she is trying to see if im available.
Anyway, heres the problem: DESPITE all these positive signs, whenever I ask her to get together she can't make it. Something always comes up. Maybe she has an exam, or family problems or whatever. Now, some of these excuses might be valid but I know shes not THAT busy. Would you say this is an example of a test? (Or maybe shes just toying with me). Next time I run into her and she mentions getting together I'm thinking of just saying something like "I'd love to get together but it simply never works out whenever we plan stuff. You have my number, give me a call when you feel you are genuinely available". and then basically just leave it at that.
You see the problem I'm having is that I don't know her THAT well. We've talked many times but I don't know why she's unavailable sometimes. She is very affectionate, warm and aggressive towards me when we run into each other but we never seem to be able to get together (which is necessary if this is going to go anywhere). Further, I'm afraid that placing the blame on HER for not being able to make it might make her resent me. I've had a few bad experiences in the past where I've been honest with people...and on the surface they seem to be thankful for my honesty but then they start to harbor hostility for being criticized.
What do you think?
First, thanks for supporting the cause by buying and reading BAM1!
Here's the problem with women at college. This is probably the first time she's been out on her own. She's trying to discover just how far her sexuality will take her. Right now, you're her target and you're playing into everything she's delivering without expecting anything back in return for all that great, free attention.
Kevin, understand this: to women, attention is like sex is to men. How many women give away free sex? It doesn't happen often for most guys does it? There's a reason why: women understand the value of sex to men. Unfortunately men don't understand the value of attention to women! Thus, they give it away for free without expectation or compensation in the HOPES of getting what they want. These same guys wind up squarely in the friend-zone because of it.
Think about this for a moment: which guy do you think has the greater "value" to a woman; considering everything else being equal: the guy that responds to every single thing she throws out at him or the guy that holds off expecting her to exchange what he wants for what she wants?
One of the parts of this game is the "boyfriend". You don't know if the guy is a boyfriend/lover or a guy-friend - someone else that is just trying to give her all the free attention hoping to get what he wants in exchange. You'd better learn this lesson now because you're going to be faced with it for the rest of your life. ALL women have "boyfriends" - and you won't know what kind they are. That's specifically why they're there. Women keep them around in order to look attached and to give the higher-value guys something to fight for. It's manipulation pure and simple.
Another game is being "busy" with all the emergencies and priorities. Kevin, stop and think about this: over the last year, how many real "emergencies" have you had? Two? One? None? The reality is that there are exceedingly few true emergencies. However, claiming that things are creates tension and drama. That's also true of priorities.
I like to use this example:
Let's say that you and I are sitting in a room and I ask to you to go next door and get me a pen. You get up, walk over to the next room, turn the doorknob and find that it's locked. So, you come back and say, "Sorry Doc, I can't get you the pen".
Now, let's change things just a bit: let's say that your 6-month-old daughter is behind that door and the building is on fire. Are you then going to come back and tell me that the door is locked and thus, you can't save your daughter? Of course not! You're going to do every; and anything you can to get through that door.
This is the way priorities work too. Everything can be a priority or an emergency or a barrier when it works to convenience. However, not every door is locked and not every building is on fire. Further, if something is important (and "of value") you'll find a way to make it happen.
This game (or Test) takes many different paths from not answering phone calls or responding to texts in a timely way to handling dates. Texting is one of the most egregious examples because; let's face it, EVERYONE always has their phones with them - always! When you text someone they get the text instantly. Oh, they can make up the excuse that their battery died or that they just didn't see it, but come on here. That is RARE because nobody wants to risk missing that "important text" or call! Instead, that person just wants you to think that they are "busy" and thus, more important (obviously doing all those important things!) than they really are! However, busy people actually respond quickly because; by being busy they don't have time to waste on less important things - they get them out of the way.
OF COURSE blaming her will make her "resent you"! That's part of the Test! You tell her that you're tired of the games. She gets indignant and tells you she "...doesn't play games". (In fact, she's ALL ABOUT GAMES, but can say any damn thing she wants to say because it costs her nothing!) Then, she "punishes" you by being scarce. It's classic.
This is nothing but a Test, but the real issue is that you don't know what she's using it for. Is she interested in you or is she only interested in your attention?
Since you can't know up-front (and trust me, she's not going to play her hand) you need to forget trying to respond to her games. Instead, you need to play your own and STOP RESPONDING TO HERS!
Go back and re-read "The Test" from BAM1. I also strongly urge you to read BAM2 as it goes into dealing with the "boyfriend issue" and much more on handing these Tests. Trust me, you're going to get more of them whether you pass this one or not with her!
If you're just looking for the quick answer, just contact her for one more date. When she gives you some excuse (or even if she cancels as the last minute - another Test) just tell her, "Ok, I've tried too many times to connect with you. I'm done. You have my number. When you're ready to get together, let me know. I'm moving on." Then, call your backup-up girl (again, as per BAM1) and don't look back.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”