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Everyone, at some point in their lives, encounters a person who is a little harder to read, a bit more reserved, and certainly more cautious with their feelings. This is the guarded man. 

But why is he this way? Past heartbreaks, disappointments, or maybe just an innate sense of self-preservation could be some reasons. 

It’s not that he lacks emotions; in fact, he feels things deeply. But over time, he’s learned to shield his heart, allowing only the most deserving ones to see what lies beneath.

Now, if you find yourself drawn to such a man, navigating the relationship can be a unique experience. 

He might not wear his heart on his sleeve or rush into declarations of love. 

But that doesn’t mean he’s not invested. Instead, he has his ways of testing the waters, figuring out if you’re the right one to share his world with.

In this article, you’ll learn how a guarded man might test you before he commits.

1. The Wait-and-See Approach

A guarded man often takes his time in expressing his emotions. He may not be quick to reveal his feelings. Instead, he observes. 

He’ll watch how you react in different situations, whether it’s dealing with stress, joy, or disappointment. It’s his way of gauging your compatibility and whether he can truly open up to you.

You might notice this approach in little things, like how he watches your response to a movie or your opinion about a book. 

He’s trying to figure out the layers beneath your surface. For him, understanding and connecting deeply is vital. 

So, he wants to see if both of you share the same wavelength in thoughts and emotions.

Why does he do this? Guarded individuals often carry the weight of disappointments. 

The wait-and-see approach helps him ensure he doesn’t get hurt again. It’s not about doubting your sincerity but ensuring he can trust his own feelings.

[Related: 8 Signs A Broken Man Loves You]

2. Mystery Remains

How a guarded man tests you

Have you ever felt like you’re trying to solve a puzzle? That’s what it feels like with a guarded man. He often keeps parts of himself hidden. 

Not because he’s being deceitful, but because he’s testing to see how much you really want to know him.

Your conversations with him might touch various topics, but he’ll always have a boundary. There’s a certain depth he won’t immediately dive into. 

He’s waiting for the right time, the right moment when he feels safe enough to share his deeper secrets and stories.

But here’s the twist: as he maintains his mystery, he’s also keenly observing your curiosity. 

Do you ask questions to genuinely understand him? Or is it just out of courtesy? Your genuine interest can be the key that unlocks his guarded heart.

3. Avoiding Big Gestures Early On

He may steer clear of grand romantic gestures at the start. This isn’t a lack of interest, but rather a form of self-protection. He prefers meaningful gestures over grand, dramatic ones. 

To him, a simple, heartfelt note could be worth more than a bouquet of roses.

He is paying attention to how you respond to this. Does it bother you that he isn’t showering you with lavish gifts? Or do you appreciate the genuine, smaller acts of love and care he offers? 

Your reaction to his subdued way of showing affection is a significant sign for him.

Every little thing he does is deliberate. He wants to show you that he cares, in his own way, and on his own terms. He’s revealing his heart, but at a pace that feels safe and sustainable for him.

[Interesting: 10 Signs A Guarded Man Is Falling In Love]

4. Testing Boundaries Respectfully

A guarded man is often a master of setting and respecting boundaries, and he pays close attention to how well you set and respect boundaries too. 

He may purposely share a minor personal detail to see how you handle it – does it become gossip, or do you cherish his trust?

He’s checking to see if you’re someone who respects personal space and values emotional integrity as much as he does. 

To him, trust is everything, and he won’t give it freely until he knows it will be valued.

This behavior also shows his commitment to healthy relationship dynamics. He wants a partnership where both parties feel secure and respected, not just one where he feels safe.

5. Sharing His Vulnerable Side Slowly

You know a guarded man is testing you when he starts to let his vulnerable side show, but only in doses. One day, he might share a childhood memory. Weeks later, perhaps a story about his school days. 

This gradual unfolding isn’t about being secretive. It’s about his comfort level and pacing himself in revealing his true self. 

He wants to know that you are not only interested but also empathetic and non-judgmental.

[Also read: 10 Signs He Will Never Let You Go]

6. Observing Your Consistency

He’s not just listening to your words but observing the consistency in your actions. He wants to see if what you say aligns with what you do.

Over time, he’s probably learned that words can be deceiving. Maybe he’s been promised things in the past that were never delivered upon. Now, he’s looking for someone who stands true to their word.

Consistency builds trust. Each time you prove to be reliable, it chips away at the wall he’s built around himself. 

It might take time, but your steady and consistent behavior can slowly bring down his guards.

7. Evaluating Your Friends and Social Circle

Your friends and social circle often reflect a lot about who you are. A guarded man pays attention to the people you surround yourself with. 

He wants to see the dynamics, the relationships, and the values of your close ones.

Understanding your social circle gives him insights into your personality. Are your friends supportive and positive? 

Do they share values similar to yours? Or are they always embroiled in drama and negativity?

[Also read: How Guys Know When They’ve Met The One (12 Signs)

8. Taking His Time

Guarded man testing woman

Patience is a virtue, especially when dealing with someone who’s guarded. He’s not one to rush things. Instead, he wants to ensure that every step taken is thoughtful and deliberate.

He might take longer to commit, express his feelings, or even plan the future. It doesn’t mean he’s unsure about you. He just wants to be absolutely certain before taking the plunge.

Remember, his guarded nature stems from past experiences. Hasty decisions might have led to heartbreak before. 

Now, he values the journey just as much as the destination, taking things one step at a time.

9. Seeking Reassurance

Every now and then, a guarded man might seek reassurance. He could ask about your feelings, your commitment, or even your future plans. 

This isn’t a sign of insecurity but rather his way of ensuring that he’s on the right path.

Reassurance acts like a beacon for him. It guides him, reminding him that he’s valued and wanted. 

Your patience, understanding, and reassurance can make all the difference. With time and trust, the walls he’s built can come down, revealing the true depth of his feelings and commitment.

10. Difficult Conversations

Why would a guarded man test a woman

Difficult conversations are a part of every relationship. For a guarded man, initiating such dialogues is a deliberate choice. 

He wants to address issues head-on and see how you navigate these choppy waters.

He’s not looking for confrontations but seeking clarity, understanding, and mutual respect. 

How you handle disagreements, your ability to listen, and your willingness to compromise can shape his perception of the relationship.

It’s during these moments that the foundation of your relationship is tested. Your shared ability to tackle challenges and grow from them can solidify your bond and make it unbreakable.

[Related: 10 Signs an Emotionally Unavailable Man is in Love With You]

11. Introducing You to His Inner Circle

He wants to see how you mingle with the people who matter most to him. Why?

Seeing you interact with his loved ones provides him with a fresh perspective on the relationship. 

It also gives him a chance to observe the dynamics between you and his inner circle. The comfort level, the laughter, and the shared conversations can paint a vivid picture.

Being introduced to his inner circle isn’t just about meeting new people. It’s a rite of passage, signaling that he sees a future where you’re an integral part of his life.

12. Introducing Challenges

Guarded men often introduce challenges in the relationship. Not in a manipulative way, but to see how both of you deal with them. 

It might be about taking decisions, solving problems, or even handling conflicts.

These challenges are his way of assessing how strong the relationship is. Can it withstand storms? Or will it crumble at the first sign of adversity? 

He wants to know if the relationship has the strength to survive the ups and downs of life.

He’s looking for a partner who can stand by him through thick and thin. Someone who doesn’t back down when things get tough. 

If you face these challenges head-on, together, it assures him that you’re a keeper.

Why would a guarded man test you?

There are many reasons why a guarded man will test you, but primarily, it boils down to self-protection. 

A guarded man has likely faced situations in the past that made him cautious about whom he lets in. 

He might have experienced deep hurt, betrayal, or emotional upheaval, and these experiences shape how he approaches new relationships. 

Testing isn’t a game for him; it’s a way of assessing if he can truly trust you with his feelings and vulnerabilities. He wants to ensure he’s not setting himself up for another heartbreak. 

What do you do when you realize a guarded man is testing you?

It’s essential to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. Recognize that his guarded nature isn’t a reflection of his feelings for you but rather a coping mechanism from past experiences. 

Instead of pushing him to open up, allow things to progress naturally. If you feel that a particular test or situation is causing strain or confusion, bring it up in a gentle and non-confrontational manner. 

Is it worth pursuing a relationship with a guarded man?

Relationships with guarded people can be incredibly fulfilling, as they often have a deep well of emotion and care that they’re willing to share once they feel safe. 

However, it requires patience, understanding, and strong communication. 

If you’re someone who values a slow and steady approach to intimacy and can appreciate the depths of a guarded person’s emotions, then yes, it can be worth it. 

But if you find it challenging to navigate the complexities and are seeking a more straightforward emotional connection, it might be worth reconsidering.

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Destiny Femi

Destiny Femi is a dating coach whose work has helped transform the love lives of countless people. With a writing style that is both insightful and relatable, Destiny has amassed a following of hundreds of thousands of readers who turn to him for advice on everything from finding the perfect partner to maintaining a healthy relationship. Through his articles he has inspired people around the world to become more confident, authentic, and successful in their dating life.

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