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Way back in November I posed the following scenario. What do you do when your girl keeps mentioning the name of another man she’s known since high school and for whom you suspect she nurses some latent sexual attraction?

363 comments suggests this sort of scenario is not that uncommon. Most readers’ responses would fall under the category of “overreaction”. Reacting out of proportion to a woman’s infraction is the quickest way to discredit your alpha cred. A few got it right. Here is a random sampling:

MeMyselfI wrote:

Ignore most of what she’s saying about the other guy. Tuck it away for future use, but don’t worry about it.

Hit on the waitress (assuming she’s reasonably good looking – better if she’s hot) in front of her during that dinner.

Take her home after dinner – no sex that night. Early if possible. Go to another party/event. Maybe text her from that event, if possible. See if she asks what your are doing.

Wait and see how she responds to the above…

In every “Test of your Game” post, I always include a few critical clues to the correct response. In this scenario, I specifically wrote that you had been dating this hypothetical girl for a few months. Now think about it — is it normal behavior for a man who’s been dating a girl for months to blatantly flirt with the waitress over dinner, drop his girl off at home with no sex so he can go to another party without her, and then text her from that party later in the night… all because she mentioned another dude’s name a few too many times during dinner? You don’t think the girl will ask you why you’re dropping her off and refusing to take her to another party? This is classic overreaction. Now this kind of asshole game will work on a girl you’ve just started dating who is playing hard to get with you, but not with a girlfriend.

Grade: D (Barely passing, because your heart is in the right place)

jom wrote:

Say something along the lines of, “Sometimes you have to let people make the stupid mistakes they are determined to make.” You frame him as a fool who needs to learn in order to reach your level.

Generally speaking, subtle psychological ploys like this one trump spazzy overreaction. In the post, I wrote that the girl was “fake complaining” about something the other man did. You know how girls fake complain about men they find sexually alluring? It gives them a reason to keep his name front and center in her mind. Jom’s psychological acrobatics can be an effective counter tactic, although it is not the best option available because his reframe continues with the theme of keeping the other man’s presence alive in the conversation.

Grade: B-

Dan wrote:

Kill her.

Well, at least it’s not beta.

Grade: F+

Thras wrote:

Wait for the next time that she doesn’t account for her movements, accuse her of seeing him. Storm out. Then get into a fight with the guy at the next available opportunity.

I’m pretty sure this reply was meant as a joke.

Grade if joke: B+

Grade if not joke: F

The Book of Dooderonomy wrote:

I’d defend the guy’s actions, so long as they were short of murder.

Her: I can’t believe John did *so and so objectionable action*.
Me: Ha, really? Well, from a guys perspective, it seems he did the right thing. Had I been put in that situation, I’d definitely have done something similar.

And I’d keep defending it, but defend it intelligently, yet with a hint of me just doing it to get under her skin. Also, I would note to her that he seems like a “really cool guy” and some of his other good qualities, but do it backhandedly.

This is psyche-out 101, similar to Jom’s reply, except better because it doesn’t risk making you sound resentful as you would if you were to criticize your competition, however adroitly you massage your criticisms. Backhanded compliments of intruder males, like negs to target women, is a sly — some would say slimy — ploy to keep the upper hand. It is usually effective.

Grade: A

Skryblah wrote:

Easy, just smile to yourself when she brings him up, each and every time, and each time she asks why you are smiling, just say that you remembered something funny…be sure to make it look legit, and then sit back as her brain goes hyper confused, she can connect the dots to figure out that you smile every time she mentions him but she will go crazy trying to figure out why on earth you are smiling, basically successfully shifting her focus from the other guy to why the fuck you are smiling. Never underestimate the crazy things women think of when trying to rationalize their guys actions that seem irrational.

I include responses like this one under the category of “What I pretend not to notice won’t affect me”. A generally safe bet as a strategy, but sometimes it *will* affect you. Then what? Nevertheless, if you can’t find an effective way to respond, a good default mode is the shit eating grin followed up by the utterly random conversational thread breaker.

Grade: B+

anony (a woman) wrote:

address it directly, with respectful teasing, that she has a crush on him. the particular words don’t matter.

Teasing a girlfriend about having a crush on another man works well if the other man in question is some faraway totally unobtainable dude like a Hollywood celebrity. Or if the other guy is obviously lower in status than you. But it’s a risky tactic if the other man is someone she’s known for years and could represent serious competition to you.

Grade: C

ASDF wrote:

My first reaction (if I could no longer ignore it) would be to call her out a bit. Saying something like “I’m not interested in talking about your buddy. That’s what your girlfriends are for. I don’t care about his problems.”

The “calling her out” strategy was very popular among the commenters. I say it risks sounding like overreaction. Sometimes a woman’s shit test is so bold it deserves a strong, alpha male “calling out” response, possibly appended with an ultimatum. This was not one of those times.

Grade: C-

The G Manifesto wrote:

You lost me here:

“You’ve been dating a girl for a few months. ”

But to play along, I like MeMyselfI’s moves.

I would get the waitress or girl bartenders number when the girl goes to the bathroom.

Then get a blower in the Lac before dropping her off.

Then roll to the Gentleman’s Club to swoop more girls.

All done suited down of course.

I was about to fail this entry, but then I noticed he would do all this suited down. I revised my grading.

Grade: A+

hcl wrote:

Hmmm, were this a real life scenario I’d believe she fails to meet his high, non-player (stoic = not a player) standards.

If he didn’t bang her then (and they obviously haven’t), he simply isn’t sufficiently interested. She’s an orbiter of his.

The likelihood they’ll ever bang is low, but non-zero.

hcl has done a good job of correctly assessing the dynamics of the shadow relationship. She’s known this other guy for years and yet, according to her, they’ve never dated or (presumably) hooked up? She’s an orbiter of him, not the other way around. Does this fact mean it is more or less dangerous for you? Tough to say. Assuming his interest in her is low and her interest in him is high, all it would take is a small move on his part, if he were so inclined, to tempt her into a tryst. But it’s also important to remind yourself that she’s fucking you, not the other guy. That is the fact that matters most above all other facts.

Grade: A for proper assessment

John wrote:

“Call him up…we can both bang you at the same time. I call mouth.”

If you are dating a superfreaky girl, this might just work. But then you’d have to watch another guy banging her from behind while you’re up front. Would you high five him during the Chinese finger cuffs?

Grade: E for effort


What I did:

While she was taking about the dude, I reached over and grabbed a piece of lint off her shoulder. Neg, abrupt conversation thread break, and protector of loved ones, all in one simple gesture.

Nonetheless, because of her not-so-infrequent mentions of his name, she was put on mental notice, and bumped down to tier 2 on the CH Fidelity Guarantee Purchase Policy. This means I kept my eye open for other prospects and put up token resistance when tempted.


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