I’m Not a Cool Girlfriend

No one I have ever dated will ever call me cool.

The words, “loyal,” “honest,” and “intense,” may come up, but “cool,” despite my very best efforts, has never been a descriptor that fit me very well.

And believe me, I have tried so hard to be cool.

I have shrugged off missed dates, gotten over lies, moved past drunk indiscretions that “meant nothing.”  I’ve laughed off inappropriate requests,  given guys second chances without second guessing them, after seconds turned into hours, and then days without hearing from them.

I have dealt with cell phones smashed in fits of anger, holes punched into walls, and a million, “I’ll do better next times.”

I tried really hard to be cool.

You can ask my therapist how hard I have tried:

During one of our sessions, it was with desperate sincerity that I asked her if it was possible to take medication that could “dumb me down” just a little bit.   Make me feel like less of me.  Make me let things go.  Expect less of people.  Because I was sick of feeling like too much for  the people around me.

I’ve tried really really hard to be cool.

I’ve had people that insist on treating relationships like a game of “would you rather.”  I’d hear things like:

Well, would you rather he tell you about something he did that would upset you or have him lie to you?

Would you rather he get moody and disappear from time to time or have him be super clingy?

I’d play along and choose the lesser of two evils and pretend that it was enough.

I’d let lies slide by, I’d let communication lapse, I’d pretend I didn’t see things that I saw.  I’d let myself feel miserable. I’d bite my tongue when people told me to never settle.  Because all I ever heard about was how I needed to settle, because…well…guys just don’t ever really “get it.”

I really really wanted to be a cool girl.

But I couldn’t.

I have tried to be a cool girlfriend.  I have faked being cool.  I have literally paid in blood, sweat, and tears to be cool.  I’m not.

I cannot be a cool girlfriend for this one reason: I could never find that boundary between making a compromise and being a door mat.

And I finally got sick of being walked all over.  I couldn’t deal with having my faith in men and relationships destroyed all in the name of “keeping my cool.”

I’m not a cool girlfriend.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because I refuse to believe that all men are as basic, and needy, and insensitive as the world at large portrays them to be.    I refuse to believe that in order to be in a partnership with a man, I have to accept a certain amount of “boys will be boys” behavior.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because at the end of the day, I believe that a boyfriend can treat me with the same respect, honesty, and integrity that I treat him with.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because I expect my partner to treat every woman like he treats me.  I expect him to sit out strip clubs, I expect him to stand up for drunk women being creeped on in bars. I expect his adoration for me to reflect in his treatment and respect for every single woman he meets.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because I believe that men can learn to honor, cherish, and fiercely protect the commitments  they make to the people they love.  They can realize that every decision they make either takes them towards their commitments, or away from them.  Without compromise.  Without question. Without ridicule.

I’m not a cool girlfriend because I know I don’t want a boyfriend who is “cool.”  I want a boyfriend who is brutally honest.  Who shows me his edges in moments of panic and says: how do I fix myself without hurting you?

I want a boyfriend who realizes that both of us, in the face of something real, like a relationship that matters, are so drastically uncool, and uncollected, that it’s beautiful.

I want a boyfriend who treats me like my friends do: who returns calls, checks in, invites me out, laughs at my incredibly not funny jokes, and recognizes how horribly overwhelmingly unfair it is for women to always have to be the cool one.  The one who understands. And forgives.  And pretends to forget.

So yeah, I know.  A lot of you out there are thinking: girl, you’re living in a dream world.  That there’s certain realities I have to face.  That “guys will always be guys.”

And all I have to say to you is…yes…most guys will always choose to be guys.

But some will choose to become men for the people they love.

And if you doubt that, if you really think some men’s cluelessness in relationships, and the endless one night stands is what all guys want because it is in their nature…show me your role models.  Show me your men who live their lives lying and deceiving and failing at relationships, who, on their death bed say…man…that was one heck of a life.

Show me those men.

And I’ll show you the slew of men who are happy to step up their game.  Who are relieved to not be reduced to a #notallmen stereotype.  Who want to talk about what they’re feeling.  And how broken they felt when they were crying as kids, and told to hide their emotions and “act cool.”

Cool gets you no where. There are better things to be than a cool girlfriend.

Cool gets you settling for a cool love, a cool relationship, and cool communication that inevitably turns cold, brittle, and breaks. And I’ve had enough of things breaking on me.

I can’t shake off the pain anymore.  Pretend giving more than I got didn’t matter.  I’m just not that cool of a girlfriend.

Why Your Relationships Fail, and Why You Shouldn’t Take it Personally

This post is not about the romantic relationships that matter.  Those few great romantic relationships we get in a lifetime (yes…you will get more than one, I promise).  Those relationships deserve to be cherished when they’re around, and missed when they’re gone.

This post is about “filler” relationships.  The relationships that have the emotional equivalence of bubble wrap.  We have many of those in our lives, and many of us spend far too much time worrying about them.  

This post is about the relationships that shouldn’t matter:  

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I can’t count the number of times one of my girlfriends has come up to me, crying and upset, because some douche-bro went MH370 on her and vanished without a trace.

This happens to all of us at some point. Someone we like, or thought we could like, decides to cut ties with our existence.

Poof. They’re gone.

Sometimes we get a conversation.  Sometimes we get a text message or email.  But most of the times, the person simply, just one day…is gone. Just gone.  Like magic.

When someone we like disappears, it sucks.  It’s hard to understand “why.”   (In fact, a friend of a friend has a great coping mechanism for times when this happens: he just pretends that that person died)

This stuff happens to all of us.   And when it does, we ALL have questions.

We want to know why they decided to stop calling.  In fact, we NEED to know…so we start to evaluate the entire relationship.  We scour over each detail and conversation and text message, and we just can’t figure out why they stopped calling or stopped wanting to hang out.

We do this after every failed relationship…ask ourselves why, why, why.  And eventually most of us come to the only possible conclusion: there has to be something wrong with us.

There HAS to be something wrong with us, right?

Are we are too clingy, too distant, too blunt, too secretive? Too skinny, too fat?  Am I not funny, too funny, funny but not in the right way? Too insecure? Too secure?  Too stand off-ish.  Maybe we didn’t laugh at his Batman impersonation when he did it for the millionth time?

I mean, there has to be something wrong with us…that’s the only way to explain how this just keeps happening to us over and over and over again.  We think there has to be something wrong with us because ALL of our relationships in the past month/year/decade have failed…

Well there’s not.  There’s nothing wrong with you.  If you want to know why relationship after relationship has gone no-where…I can go ahead and tell you the reason:

Most of your relationships will fail because that’s just how dating works.  

Very few romantic relationships will ever go past a certain level.  Those are the ones that matter.  It’s dumb luck and timing. It has nothing to do with you.

You date until you find someone who you can get to “that” level with.

 So if you date a lot…it may seem that people are always walking away from you.  It’s not you…they just know it won’t get to “that” level with you.  If you’re tired of being rejected, take a break from dating.   It gets exhausting. Three dates in a month?  None of them worked out? Sounds completely normal… but it still sucks. Take a knee for a moment.  Get back out there when you’re ready.

 If you don’t date a lot, and you go out on one date…unless you are very very lucky,  it won’t work out.  Do not make that one date a personal statement about your value.  And stop saying stupid dramatic things like, “this is why I never put myself out there.”  Just shut up about it.  You DID put yourself out there, and you got hurt. Take a knee for a moment.  And get back out there.

Side note: If you know anyone who always seems to “luck out” and find a boyfriend or girlfriend, please just know they’re probably majorly settling.

You may now be saying, “Hey…you don’t get it…they said such nice things to me.  They really seemed to like me.  Why would they lie?  Why would they lead me on?”

Why did they say nice things about you?  Probably because they meant them. I hate to bust your personal tragedy bubble by telling you this, but they really probably meant those things.

And if someone tells you you’re funny and amazing to be around, and then they stop hanging out with you…it doesn’t mean you’re NOT funny or amazing. It means they’re super weird.  Or it means they just didn’t see things going to the next level.  Or it means they got busy with life and realized they want to focus on other things… A relationship not being one of them.

So please…

Accept this fact: 99% of your relationships will not work out.  They will fail.  Because…math.

No one can ever have more than one successful romantic relationship in a life time. So even if someone has been married for ten years, the second they get divorced, 100% of their romantic relationships didn’t work out.

 As single people…we’re all in the same boat.

In the interest of full disclosure, 100% of my romantic relationships have never worked out.  And I’m awesome.  It has NOTHING to do with me.  And it has nothing to do with you.

It’s luck. Dumb luck.

So if you’re still not convinced, and you still think that YOU are the reason things don’t work out. Let’s think about this logically:

 Let’s imagine there’s something “wrong” with you. Maybe you think you’re not pretty or attractive enough, and that’s why nothing has worked out.  Ok.

So what you’re saying is that the only people who have successful relationships are attractive.  Fine.

Now think of all the people you know who are currently in relationships.  Think about them.  Are ALL of those people pretty and attractive?  NO FUCKING WAY.

That’s because finding a lasting romantic relationship has nothing to do with what you look like. It’s luck.

So maybe people don’t want to date you because you’re boring and insecure?

Think of all the people you know who are currently in relationships.  Are all of those people interesting and confident?  NO.

In fact, I think we all know some awful people who have managed to find someone to put up with them.  Being in a romantic relationship is not validation that you’re a good person.  It’s just…not.

Because being in a successful romantic relationship has nothing to do with you or what you’re like.  It’s luck and timing.

Real Talk: Why do you want to even be in a romantic relationship?  Why is this a goal? 

I always ask my friends this.

 I mean…how much more fun do single people really think committed people are having ?  Relationships are hard fucking work…that’s why most of them fail.  If you think being in a relationship means you won’t feel lonely at times…  Im sorry…but you will.  In a relationship, you’re also going to feel let down at times.  And bored as hell at times.

Single or not, life is hard for all of us. So stop making it harder on yourself by thinking you’re the one with an issue.

And for all of those people who don’t call you back, or who vanish into thin air…here’s how you deal with them.  Get out your phone and scroll to their number.  Delete it.

Poof…they’re gone.

Looks like they’re not the only one who can make shit disappear.