Testing His Love: Why You Do It And How To Stop

By

testing his love
Are you guilty of testing a guy to see if he'll stick around in the relationship?

Do you find yourself setting up "tests" for your partner in order to measure his love for you? It is not uncommon for partners to test each other. A poll conducted by WhatsYourPrice.com confirmed that 3 out of 5 women "test" their significant others to see if the relationship will last. According to results of the survey, 46 percent of men fail the majority of relationship tests.

People test their partners in all sorts of ways. As a couples counselor, I see it a lot in both men and women, whether it's a wife giving her husband the silent treatment while hoping that he proves his love for her or a husband who purposely withholds information to test his wife's interest in his life.

It's common, but is it healthy?

Testing is a roundabout (read: passive aggressive) way of asking for what we need without really being in touch with what we need. People test when they feel insecure or unsure. If I doubt my partner's love for me and I conduct a test, I do it because it feels better than making myself vulnerable by sharing honestly with my partner about my doubt. Testing is also a way to avoid taking responsibility for our part in the demise of a relationship. Sometimes, people test their partners knowing that they will fail. In these cases, failing the test is used as an excuse to end the relationship instead of the real, deep-rooted reason.

Stop testing, start asking!

Sometimes, being healthy means being uncomfortable—but only temporarily. The effort you expend setting up tests for your partner actually does more damage than if you just did the thing you were afraid to do in the first place! Brené Brown, an expert on vulnerability, describes it like this: "Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage." It takes courage to look into why we do what we do.

The next time you feel the urge to "test" your partner, stop and ask yourself, "What is it I truly need to know here?" In other words, what do you hope your test proves or disproves? The strength of your partner's love?  His commitment to you? Your incompatibility as a couple? Next, notice what you're feeling. And that last piece right there? That is what I suggest you share with your partner instead of testing him. Keep reading...

More love advice from YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Jamie (Simkins) Rogers

Counselor/Therapist

Jamie Simkins, LPC, EMDR
Primary Counselor
Millennium Counseling Center

jamie@millenniumhope.com
65 East Wacker Place, Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60601
312-460-8001 ext.7

Location: Chicago, IL
Credentials: LPC
Other Articles/News by Jamie (Simkins) Rogers:

3 Tips For Teaching Your Kids About LGBT Pride Month

By

The other day, my husband and I had a frank discussion with my 8-year-old stepdaughter about equal rights and National LGBT Pride Month. I may be considered an "expert" here at YourTango.com, but I confess I rarely feel like one when it comes to parenting. That conversation, however, was something that I felt that I had done right. I was heartened by ... Read more

3 Love Quotes From Joyce Brothers That Shaped Me As A Therapist

By

I've been feeling nostalgic since the recent death of Dr. Joyce Brothers. I grew up watching Brothers on shows like Donahue and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson while my grandmother crocheted afghans beside me. I knew I wanted to be a therapist from a very young age, having analyzed my own familial relationships ad nauseum (I was a weird kid). Back ... Read more

Second Marriages: 4 Reasons They Are Better Than The First

By

According to the Marriage Foundation, 45 percent of marriages between first-timers are destined for the divorce courts, but just 31 percent of second weddings will end in failure. But is it true that people tying the knot for the second time are more likely to find happiness? This topic is one that is near and dear to my heart: I counsel couples and ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB