friendship

Why the secret tests you set for your lover are bound to backfire.

We’ve all done it.

You’re so keen you’re practically frothing at the mouth if you’re apart for two days, but there’s no way you’re letting them know that until you’re damn sure they feel the same.

So instead of asking (too humiliating), you set up little ‘tests’ and see how they perform.

‘I went round to see Sarah last night,’ you say casually to your boyfriend, ‘and a guy called Steve was there.’

If he instantly launches into, ‘Who is he? Did you fancy him? What did he look like? Did you talk to him all night?’ you get the info you’re digging for: he likes me as much as I like him.

Never mind that Steve was Sarah’s six-year-old nephew.

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If you’re not sure what priority you are in his life, you’ll invite him to a romantic dinner for two on a planned boys’ night.

He’s forced to choose between you or them, and God help him if he chooses the boys.

We all test our partners to a point, but there’s a huge risk in deliberately setting up scenarios like these.

Why?

Because the person who’s doing the testing is usually the one who’s more committed to the relationship.

If that’s the case, your partner will probably fail every test you set them and you could walk out on what could have been a great relationship.

People don’t always fall in love at exactly the same rate.

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Some people fall fast and hard, others take time.

He might not be in the slightest bit interested in who Steve is because he’s not as into you as you are him right now.

Six months down the track might be a different story.

And while most of us think our tests are a foolproof way to work out where their heart is, we forget about other circumstances.

He might choose the boys’ night out simply because his friends are giving him heaps for not being so available since he’s met you.

Most partners fail the secret test without knowing they were being examined.

When you test, the basic line is, “If you loved me, then you’d…..”.

You’re playing a guessing game with your partner forced to try to predict what will make you happy.

But the more specific you are about what you do and don’t want in a relationship, the more likely you are to get it - and the happier your partner generally is.

We all like to know what’s expected of us - it’s not only simpler, it makes it relatively easy to side-step potential pitfalls and rows.

Tests are nearly always manipulative.

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Driven by insecurity and a craving for some type of love declaration, they inevitably end up achieving the opposite.

They create even more insecurity because it’s hit or miss whether your partner knows the ‘correct’ response.

The best way to avoid testing is to be honest with yourself about why you’re doing it.

If it’s a need to know where you stand with your partner or want reassurance, ask them.

If you’re angry about something they did, tell them.

If everything is going swimmingly well and you’re tempted to test, see a therapist to work out why you’re sabotaging a good relationship and perhaps struggling with intimacy issues.

Save the plotting and scheming and creativity for your sex life instead – it’ll get you a lot further!

For more great sex or relationship advice, visit traceycox.com

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