“Mike, Why do I do this? Why do women do this? I am in a wonderful, committed relationship. I love him more than I have words for. He loves me and I know it. I have no doubts at all that he loves me back. But, why? Why do I always find myself pushing him for more, for him to always prove it to me? Why can’t I be happy with the fact that I know it, he shows it, he says it. I believe it and understand it, so why??? Ugh, I sometimes hate myself and wonder, I can’t be that insecure, can I? I want nothing more than for us to be together and be happy. We were together for 2 years, broke up for a few months and back together for 6 months now. I am really, really happy this time around and so is he. We are different people this go-around. I wish I could stop making him feel like he has to prove it all the time.”
You know, I actually asked my dad this question years and years ago when I was in high school. I was desperately in love with a tall-but-awkward (we were teenagers) brunette.
We’d walk down the hallway hand in hand. We’d make out on the stairwells during school dances. We felt those crazy teenaged hormones pushing us like a mack truck closer and closer to physicality we just weren’t ready for.
And then out of nowhere she’d turn on me like an angry dragon, yell and scream about what an awful boyfriend I was and make me do backflips of penance to get back in her good graces.
It kind of sucked.
And when I went to my (charming, roguish, womanizing, really-bad-husband) of a father he just looked at me and said “Bitches be crazy.” (Which I promptly made into a song. But I can’t sing it here.)
Anyway, I loved my dad (he passed away a looong time age) but he was a womanizer and a misogynist (and a really bad dancer).
So it’s not that you’re crazy.
At least not any more crazy than the rest of us.
It’s that you’re subconsciously scared.
You’re scared that all the signals he’s giving you that say “YES, I LOVE YOU” (in big, bold neon letters that could hang in Times Square) are a lie.
You’re scared that he’s hiding behind a mask, laughing at you, manipulating you, twirling you around his pinkie finger and sucking away the good years you’ve got.
You’re scared of being a fool.
And you know what? In some ways that’s pretty normal.
Evolutionary Psychologists (the guys and gals who study how the human brain evolved to the crazy, powerful and . . . well, let’s go back to crazy supercomputer we carry around in our skulls) say that women’s “testing” behavior comes from a deep desire and need to choose “the right” mate.
After all, from a purely physical standpoint women have a lot more eggs in the love/sex basket than men do.
Men can go off and “mate” with dozens of women and still have plenty of time and energy to “mate” with dozens more.
But for women sleeping with someone (and the needy little bundles of cute that can come with it) is kind of a big deal.
So Here’s What You Do . . .
1. Calm down and forgive yourself. Yes, you’re testing him. Yes, you’re kind of insecure. But that just makes you human and makes you just like the other 99,000 women who get this newsletter (OK, I’m sure not EVERY woman on this list is insecure. But I’m insecure too, so I’ll take up their spots.)
2. Remember this: Just because you feel something doesn’t make it true. Instincts and “intuition” are awesome but instincts and “intuition” can be really, really wrong. The part of your brain that’s making you “test” this guy is really the same kind of your brain that makes you really, really like processed sugar. When those feelings come up you can just look at them, laugh at them and even talk to your guy about them (he sounds like a good guy.) But you don’t have to ACT on them.
3. Set up a ritual for yourself. When you feel the “Testing urge” come up: Take a deep breathe. Point and laugh at the urge (Oh, look, I’m feeling an urge to push my guy away.) Do the absolute opposite. Instead of dragging him through the coals either give him a compliment or just say “I really love how much you love me.” or something cheesy like that.)