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What are tests? How do they look like? What are the signs your ex is testing you? Is your ex even testing you, or is it all in your head? How do you deal with those supposed tests? Do they even exist? Over the years, many people commonly came to me with these same questions. Well, I got sick of the questions and decided to write an article addressing them.
To be fair, I was never a fan of the test label. I think it’s one of those concepts, similar to (over)analyzing attraction or using reverse psychology and games to get an ex back, that does more harm than good.
Specifically, it makes a person develop a defensive mindset around how they must defeat their ex’s tests instead of accepting them and connecting over them regardless.
Nevertheless, we can still learn some valuable insights about attraction and emotional stability from the concept — perhaps you’ll even get one or two revelations.
What Are Tests
It is used to describe an ex who does or says something derogatory, shocking, or offensive to see how you’ll react. Your ex essentially challenges you somehow — they test your confidence, self-respect, character, and frame — and you have to show that you’re unaffected by their interjections. This is how you pass their test.
The more tests you pass, the more attractive your ex will perceive you. The fewer tests you pass, the less attractive your ex will perceive you. The more attractive your ex perceives you, the better your chances get at getting them back. The less attractive your ex perceives you, the lower your chances of getting them back get.
Why is your ex testing you
Before going over the signs your ex is testing you, let’s consider why they may be testing you.
Most commonly, they’re doing it to judge how attractive and trustworthy you are and whether you’re worth going back to or not. In other words, because they are, on some level, still interested in you.
But there could also be other less common reasons why they test you, two in fact.
First, your ex may want an ego boost. They feel bad about themselves and need something to cheer them up and make them feel confident, attractive, and desirable again. And what better way is there to achieve this than by getting your attention and charming you.
Second, your ex may be a shitty person. For example, instead of moving on after the breakup, they choose to do you harm — be that through making you jealous, talking behind your back, making fun of you, or burning down your home.
6 Signs Your Ex Is Testing You
Below are six telltale signs your ex is testing you. As you’ll see, some are obvious, others less so. And, surprisingly to most, a lot of them aren’t even signs half of the time. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll let your curiosity simmer a bit longer.
1. Inappropriate Comments
The most common signs your ex is testing you are when they make fun of you — your personality, your clothing, your hobbies, or whatever — or when they make snotty or snide comments like the following:
- “Are you gay now?”
- “Don’t you have any other friends?”
- “You were always insecure about your small breasts.”
- “Looks like someone has man-boobs.”
- “You’re balding.”
- “That dress makes you look fluffy.”
- “You won’t be able to handle me.”
- “I don’t think I like you anymore.”
2. Jealousy Tactics
This is another common sign your ex is testing you. They may go about many ways to make you jealous. Here are a couple of typical examples:
- They could hint that they’re seeing/dating/fucking someone new.
- They may blatantly tell you that they’re seeing/dating/fucking someone new.
- They could start posting pictures with attractive strangers of the opposite sex on social media.
- They could get their friends to make up fun and exciting stories about them and share them to you.
- They could pretend they’re over you and that they couldn’t care less about you (when you know they’re not and still, for example, try to get in touch with you every other week).
- They could wait for hours before texting or calling you back.
- They could start suddenly investing in their appearance, health, and fitness, even though they’ve been a lazy slob for span of your whole relationship.
3. Intimate Curiosity
Another sign your ex is testing you is when they get curious about your life, specifically your love life — whether or not you’re seeing anyone, and if you’re open to giving them another chance.
Here are a few key questions that indicate this curiosity: “What did you do this weekend?” “Where did you go?” “Who were you hanging out with” Are you planning to go to the Green Day concert with anyone?” “Are you dating/seeing anyone?” “Are you hooking up with him or her?”
Note, however, that even even though your ex might pester you with questions about your love life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to get back into a committed relationship with you. They may be simply looking for an open and casual relationship — like being friends with benefits.
4. Hot And Cold Behaviour
In other words, sending mixed signals. It’s one of the far less common the signs your ex is testing you, yet still beneficial to recognize. Here are a few examples:
- Your ex tells you how much they love you one minute and grow cold and uninterested the next.
- Your ex gives you mind-numbing, cum-all-over-the-wall sex one week and blue balls the next.
- Your ex goes into a heartfelt conversation about pain and trauma one day, and the other, it feels like you’re talking to a brick wall.
- Your ex keeps immediately answering your texts and calls for a week and then suddenly starts ghosting you.
And here’s one more example of how mixed signals look like, this time with more detail.
Your ex: I think breaking up with you might have been a mistake. What do you think? Do you believe we can still work things out?
You: I think so. We can try and see how it goes. I would love to get back together with you.
Your ex: (pulling away) You know, maybe it’s a bad idea. I’m just not sure if it’s the right choice for us to make. What do you think about simply moving on?
A sign your ex is testing you could also be when they try to get you to do something with the intention to see if you’re going to submit and obey them. In other words, if you’ll stick to your principles and values or will sacrifice a part of your identity to please them.
One of my ex-girlfriends’ was notorious for these types of tests — and I was notorious for failing them. For example, she always wanted me to drive to her place but never wanted to drive to mine.
Under normal circumstances, this isn’t a big deal, but our relationship was long-distance, and I needed to drive about 2 hours to get to her place.
Of course, I didn’t want to do it, but I loved and valued her more than myself and feared losing her more than losing my self-respect, so I went along with her desires. Day in and day out, I drove to her and continued doing so for about a year, that is, until she dumped me for being a spineless pleaser.
I still can’t believe she stuck so long with my needy ass. Kudos to her.
There are few things as attractive as a person who embodies congruency. Two big signs your ex is testing yours is when they say things like, “But I thought you said XYX, or “I thought you were like me.”
I still remember how one of my first exes tested me on my congruency (Spoiler: I sucked at it). Here’s how it went down:
I’d start by expressing my opinion on something (i.e., I love Pokemon). Then she would say, usually on purpose, the opposite opinion (i.e., I don’t like Pokemon). And then, due to my incessant need to get my ex to like me, I would change my opinion to match hers (i.e., You know, on second thought, I also don’t like Pokemon that much.)
What I’ve done there is acted in bad faith — I displayed incongruence.
Never do this. It makes you seem untrustworthy, unattractive and makes the odds of getting back with your ex plummet into nothingness. Nobody wants to be tricked into catching feelings for a mirage you’ve put forward. It’s cowardly and low-key, even manipulative. Instead, develop genuine opinions and character and stand by it — even defend it if you must.
Most Signs Your Ex Is Testing You are not signs at all
I’d say that 90% of the time, what people perceive as signs their ex is testing them, aren’t signs at all. They are either rejecting them, teasing them, showing genuine interest, or being fucking douche nuggets.
More than half of the questions people send me about their ex testing them are nothing more than questions about rejection. When your ex ignores or ghosts you, tells you that they have a new boyfriend/girlfriend/date, that they’re not interested and have to go, or give mixed signals and act flaky, chances are, they’re rejecting you.
And even if your ex is lying in some cases — for instance, when they tell you that they’re dating someone else and can’t come to see you — it still means that they’re turned off, not receptive, and thus, not worth your effort because they will probably never get back with you.
As a rule of thumb: if your ex isn’t attracted to you, they aren’t testing you, they’re rejecting you.
Another large chunk of questions people assume revolve around the signs their ex is testing them, simply revolve around their ex teasing them. And while your ex teasing and flirting with you is a good thing (they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t find you attractive), it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to get back together with you.
How some good-natured ribbing qualifies as a sign your ex is testing you is beyond me. I suspect that people interpret those kinds of interactions as probable tests because they’re overly sensitive and analytical and think they must be prepared to overcome any adversity their ex throws at them — just like cheesy conventional ex-back advice teaches.
Here’s the deal: your friends and family tease you, but are they testing you? According to the logic above, they are, but we both know that’s bullshit. Their teasing is merely a sign of playful affection, so treat it that way.
3. Genuine interest
Here are five signs your ex is testing you I see plastered across other blogs:
- They open up emotionally and are direct and honest with you.
- They casually check-in with you (The shallow reach out)
- They try to see if you’re there for them (A plead for help/The Emotional Support Test).
- They express their concerns about your financial future and career aspirations (The Career Test).
I don’t know if you’ve been gorging on glue throughout your time in kindergarten but do those behaviors really resemble signs your ex is testing you? I don’t think so.
They more so resemble signs your ex is actually trying to reconnect with you. And guess what? They are exactly that. Anyone that expresses genuine concern, curiosity, warmth, or a little bit of all three is not fucking testing you but trying to connect with you.
4. Douche nuggets
I find it amusing how people think their ex is displaying signs of testing them when in reality they’re just a toxic fruitloop who wants to see them suffer — a.k.a., a douche nugget.
This is the ex who keeps making you jealous on purpose. This is the ex who keeps seeking revenge. This is the ex who keeps spreading false stories about you and talking behind your back.
These behaviors are not signs that your ex is testing you. They are acts of someone who is hurting deeply and never learned to express their feeling in a healthy way. They are signs of someone in desperate need of attention, validation, support, and, chiefly, love. They are a cry for help.
It’s often best to Ignore The Signs Your Ex Is Testing You
While it is wise to keep an eye out for signs your ex is testing you, most people would still be served better by ignoring them for the most part.
What’s more, your ex probably won’t even test you often early in your interactions. Your ex testing you is actually a pretty rare sight. And believe it or not, their tests only become more common once you’re officially back together or are at least dating for a few weeks or months.
This is because tests only happen when your ex is already so attracted to you that it makes them uncomfortable. They then ease this discomfort by testing you. It’s their subconscious telling them, “I’m so into you, it’s scary. I don’t know how trustworthy you are. Here, I’ll say or do something obnoxious to see if you’re for real or not.” It’s a subconscious screening strategy that they’re using.
Nevertheless, there’s one caveat to all of this: you harboring or doing something highly unique or formidable.
For instance, if you just started wearing a fuzzy top hat, wearing a Pikachu-themed costume 24/7, or simultaneously hitting on five people while having the reputation of a clueless virgin, you’re naturally going to spark your ex’s interest. After all, those behaviors imply earth-shattering confidence and gusto.
Therefore, your ex will be testing the living shit out of you before they start believing that this is really you — that the image you’re projecting into the world is congruent with the image of yourself that you’ve constructed in your mind.
How to deal with Your Ex’s tests
Let’s assume you’re one of the rare people whose ex actually tests them. How do you go about it, so you don’t diminish their attraction?
First, know that your ex’s testing has nothing to do with you but everything to do with them. If you react negatively or show irritation or defensiveness (remember: the quickest turn-off for your ex is to be butthurt or intimidated by them), they’ll lose attraction for you.
But if you’re unaffected (not to be confused with indifferent), and if you come back at them with playfulness and ease and empathy, if you accept their tests and rest with them, bringing them up to your level with confidence and care, you’re reaffirming to them that you are attractive and worthwhile.
It’s a win/win situation for your ex. If you fail, you expose yourself as a fraud, and they can rest easy and let you go. But if you pass with flying colors, they know that giving your relationship another shot might be worth it.
Again, it’s a win/win for your ex. That’s why they do it.
Extra Resources For Getting Deeper Into The Signs Your Ex Is Testing You
- My Radical Re-Attraction Course: an interactive video course that teaches you how to permanently get your ex back. In it, I go even deeper into the signs your ex is testing you, and give a buttload more tips and advice on how to respond effectively to each type of test.
- Change Your Mind About Getting Your Ex Back: an article for cultivating a mindset in which no test can push you of course anymore.
- Top 16 Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You: sometimes your ex is testing you by pretending to be over you. This article will help you notice their little trick and properly respond.
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