The Boyfriend Test You Should Be Giving

This girl hugging her boyfriend put him through the boyfriend test and found out he was the one.

We’ve all been there, moments when we’re unsure about a relationship, unsure about ourselves and even unsure of our partner’s devotion. We find little ways to ‘test’ their trust and in turn sometimes end up ‘testing’ ourselves and our patience. But is there really a fail-proof boyfriend test?

It’s not healthy to consciously seek out a way to test someone. No one likes being tested and ultimately set up for failure (because if you’re testing him, you’re already doubting him). While this behavior is negative, derives from insecurity, and can easily be fixed with open communication and honesty – there’s some boyfriend tests that are okay.

The boyfriend test you should be giving is more than likely subconscious, or either innocent and minor…it’s an easy way to see just who you’re involved with, who they will be as a serious partner, and who they are as a person.

1. The ‘reaching for the door’ boyfriend test.

This can be at a restaurant, getting in the car, or even walking into the house. For those who think chivalry is dead—it’s not (I can say this because I live in the south). There’s nothing more attractive than a man reaching for the door FIRST to let you walk through, or opening the car door for you.

While this activity does not have to be done EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU GO ANYWHERE—important nights like date night or around friends and family is when you want to see if your boo lets his chivalrous side show. Before you touch that door handle, see if he reaches out first or makes a gesture for you to walk through.

While it’s not the end of the world if he isn’t opening every restaurant and car door for you, there’s nothing more attractive than some old school chivalry.

If he opens the door for you, it shows he has ingrained notions of how to treat a woman, he’s protective and focuses on putting your needs first. There’s nothing more unattractive than a guy who lets the door swing RIGHT in your face and frankly, it’s rude.

2. The ‘I’ve had too much to drink’ boyfriend test.

There comes a time in every relationship when you take a ‘girls night out’ but end up missing your boo halfway through the fun. After the third (or fifth) cocktail you’re feeling warm and fuzzy and want nothing more than to cuddle up in the arms of your S.O. Presumably, you’ll be texting BAE and BAE will know you’ve had one too many drinks. Assuming BAE is sober too. does he offer to come pick you up? Does he order you an Uber? Or does he insist you ‘find your own way to his place?’

It’s a serious red flag if he doesn’t value your safety (and legality, drinking and driving is NOT cute) and doesn’t make a sacrifice on his end (i.e. leaving whatever function or comfy couch to come rescue his cute damsel in distress from the bar).

Any decent man will at least offer you a ride or offer to send you a cab. Don’t go out of your way to see him, if you’ve had a few drinks and he insists you ‘find your own way.’ Instead, find your way home!

3. The ‘remember when’ boyfriend test.

Let’s face it, most men don’t have a stellar memory. I’m convinced there’s a black, blank headspace they transport themselves to when women talk on and on and sometimes – they just absolutely suck at remembering details of a fun time you two shared or even a funny story you’ve told him about your past.

It’s not that they don’t care or they’re not listening, men just don’t pay attention to details the way women do. They box in their experiences and stories into a total package rather than a broken-down tally of every little occurrence.

It’s ok if he doesn’t remember the black shoes you were wearing the time you went bowling and fell on your butt. But he should at least remember the time you went bowling and fell on your butt and laughed about it, together.

Another one, there’s something I find SO sexy about a man who remembers what you wore on your first date.

Don’t boyfriend test his knowledge by salvaging obscure details, instead, remember when…we went bowling that night and…. (see if he mentions how you busted your butt). Or pull out the dress from your first date and see if his face changes. I know it’s silly, but men are visual creatures. When they really care, they WANT to remember that little black number and they WILL remember.

4. Throw him into the wild boyfriend test.

No, please don’t African safari him, but see how he reacts in a social situation without you present. Don’t stalk him, either. You can do this at a small social gathering, or at a bar or restaurant with friends.

Leave for a quick ‘pee’ or go order a few drinks with the girls and let the boys talk by themselves. If you can, see how he interacts without you there. Is he engaging in conversation with others? Is he scrolling on his phone and ignoring everyone? Is he initiating conversation but his eyes are gazing around the room for you? Even worse….is he checking out the girls at the next table or checking his watch like he is uncomfortable and wants to leave?

More than likely, the group or crowd you’re around consists of close friends and even some family members. You won’t always be there to hold his hand through awkward times, but you want to make sure he is making an effort to strike up conversation, show interest and overall be social and friendly.

I subconsciously performed this boyfriend test at my best friend’s cookout. We were at her parent’s house, and her family basically serves as my second family. It was a big deal I was bringing (we’ll call him Joe) around.

The girls wandered inside to look at jewelry and discuss wedding presents (my best friend is getting married) while we left the boys out back for some ‘bro time.’ I noticed (through the window, ok I’m a creeper, sue me) that Joe was scrolling away on his phone while the other men had a lively conversation. He’s not necessarily shy, but I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to initiate a conversation or even make a good impression. I found his behavior unattractive. Why did he not want to communicate with the boys?

Not even five minutes later, he wanders inside to find me and begins to interrupt ‘girl talk,’ because he either 1. Couldn’t handle the situation I left him in 2. Simply didn’t want to make a good impression or was 3. Too clingy.

All in all, it turned me off, and Joe failed. (Among other factors, it didn’t work out).

5. The ‘oh no this broke’ boyfriend test.

While a man should not be at your beck and call for every single one of your needs or mishaps (you’re an independent woman, don’t forget that) it’s important they make an effort to help you or at least ease the stress. If something breaks, like a vase, a bracelet, even your toilet—how do they react to your struggle? Does he surprise you with a new one (assuming it’s a piece of jewelry or personal item)? Offer to fix it? Even offer to send ‘his plumber’ over (assuming he’s a very busy man).

Not sure if I’ve used this word enough – but effort is one of the sexiest and surest signs you’re with the right person. For this test of all tests, I’m going to recall the perfect parallel example involving Joe and my ex-boyfriend Mitch. *

When Mitch and I first started dating, I wore an evil-eye bracelet that I was absolutely in love with. I swore it kept bad energy away and that bracelet never left my wrist. But like all things, one night it broke and I was low key devastated. Two days later, I stepped on a wasp while at my cousin’s birthday party (#megaouch).

Between breaking my bracelet and the wasp sting, I was having a hellish week. I had been out of town and was seeing Mitch on the day of the wasp sting. Needless to say, I had informed him of all of my unfortunate mishaps and he offered as many ‘sorry’ and sad emoji’s as texts would allow.

I arrive to his house with a swollen foot, a broken spirit, and plenty of bad juju (sans evil-eye). To my ultimate surprise, Mitch pulls out a handmade evil-eye. He had taken the time to go to the bead store, get the base of the bracelet, and place the evil eye on the bracelet himself. It was grade-A handmade and I’m not going to lie, to this day, it was one of the SWEETEST things anyone has done for me.

Now on to Joe*

At the time I was with Joe, I was kicking the ole cig habit (thanks college), and had picked up a vape pen to help with the cravings. (This is going to sound like the douschiest statement ever) but— Joe and I coincidentally had matching vape pens (mine was white, his was black). I went out of town and while on my trip, my vape pen accidentally rolled off a friend’s table and the mouth-piece and top part shattered. I was without my cig replacement and immediately texted Joe (#vapebuds) to see if it was replaceable.

He told me it was and he was actually going to the store to pick up a few things and could grab me a new one. How sweet!

Flash forward a few hours, I get to Joe’s house. He pulls out the box for the top piece and I immediately notice it wasn’t the same color as mine (as I had specified, get a white one) it was black, like his. He takes off the cap to his vape pen (which at this point was pretty gross from lots of use) and tells me he figured I’d be fine with his old one and he got himself a new one.

Instead of just doing the right thing and getting the CORRECT cap, he essentially did himself a favor while trying to spin it as doing me a favor. This of course, led to a small fight in which I tried to express my ultimate feelings of WTF, and he, instead, played the pity card that I didn’t appreciate his ‘effort.’

I’ll save you the details of this disastrous relationship and tell you that through Joe’s actions I saw one thing – an immature boy still focused on himself. If we had been dating for quite some time, maybe I would have cared less, but the relationship was still very new and he should’ve been, at that point, trying his best to woo me. While Joe did plenty of nice things for me…there’s something to learn between the Joe and Mitch comparison.

Mitch went out of his way to make me happy, he deserved the gratitude. Joe went out of his way to ultimately do himself a favor, while then, trying to reverse psychology me to think I’m the bad guy (i.e. not appreciative) then never taking other actions to fix or make the situation right.

Deep down, people are who they are, Mitch continued to do sweet gestures for me throughout the relationship and well…. with Joe, I immediately knew after that this wasn’t going to change OR get better.

See, some boyfriend tests ARE healthy. They can save you wasted time or (even better) confirm you aren’t wasting your time. While no one should be tested in a malicious or insecure way, be reasonable (and patient) with your partner. No two people are the same. While these scenarios might not fit all relationships, there’s sure to be a couple that can confirm whether you’re on the right track.

Emory Rakestraw

Emory is a freelance writer, photographer, and traveler with years of experience covering dating and relationships.

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