Women are known for testing men when it comes to relationships. They test their commitment. They test their patience. They test their confidence.
At times it feels like we are on the television game show "Deal or No Deal," and if we don't make the right choice we're going to end up without the payoff -- in this case the pretty woman at our side. (Although I would take my chances with any of the "Deal or No Deal" babes!)
But guys can test women, too. I'm not talking about testing a woman about her knowledge of a favorite football team (like in the movie, "Diner." Never seen it? Go rent it. I can imagine a Dolphins fan somewhere has taken a cue from that movie.). And I'm not talking about how long a she can stand a guy sitting around, watching sports and eating pizza (although that's one heck of a test).
Men can test women in very subtle ways, especially in the early stages of dating.
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One of the best tests relies on the art of observation. Men are visual to begin with, and can easily find distractions -- especially attractive ones. My favorite test is observing how your date handles social situations. My most recent case study: when she invites you to a party and you don't know a single person there.
I was invited to a few parties as guests of different women, and each time I did more observing than talking.
One was a birthday party, in which I knew I was the oldest person in the swanky South Beach pad when someone decided to play some music and questioned if the song Billie Jean was from Michael Jackson's most recent album because she hears it in the clubs.
That moment, coupled with the fact people were grabbing ice from the shrimp tray because there was no more ice for the drinks, led me to take notice of my date. There she was, meeting new people, giving advice to old friends and making sure I was properly introduced. Listening to her conversations and how she engaged people was a nice break from some of the mindless dates you can experience in Miami (see MJ historian above).
Another party I attended was an engagement party for a young couple who were so in love I thought I was going to be ill. Of course I can be cynical, having experienced those same emotions and phrases (''We're not losing a daughter, we are gaining a son'') when I was their age and seen how the fairy tale ending can crash at midnight.
So I turned my attention to my date, and noticed she had more small talk moments with her friends than deep conversations. She would give me the dirt on guests' reputations, and while she was happy for the couple, I couldn't tell how happy she was to be there.
At a recent party at the Versace Mansion on South Beach, mega male model Tyson Beckford talked about the party test method.
"When she is doing that thing, typing on the BlackBerry and trying to figure out who the most famous person is in the room," he said. "And usually she is working the whole room with her friend. That's when you know she is trouble."
He added when he meets a woman who tells him what makes her happy, what her personal interests are, then he knows she is genuine.
And she has passed the test.