Thought Catalog
June 6, 2017

Stop Trying To Be ‘Less’ For Him

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What is the issue?
Alex Iby

You act withdrawn around him, holding back your emotions, trying not to overwhelm him or appear too invested, or God forbid, be ‘too much.’ You let him speak louder, text you first. You don’t send too many responses; don’t want to seem too eager, too desperate. You skirt around issues, trying to be the ‘cool girl,’ calm and collected like nothing bothers you. You laugh off your feelings, don’t tell him you’re hurting or what’s really on your mind.

When he says you talk too much, you close your mouth. When he tells you he doesn’t want to do something, you shrug your shoulders and say, ‘me either.’ When he rolls his eyes at you pouring your heart out to him, you bite your tongue and mask your emotion behind a casual smirk.

You convince yourself that he loves you, that he’s good for you, that you’re just the one who’s being a little too much. You lie to yourself, pretending that being indifferent is sexy and having feelings makes you overemotional. And you don’t want to be that kind of girl, right?

Unconsciously or consciously, piece by piece, you slowly start to change who you are for him. You try to be a little less loud, a little less emotional, a little less bright as to not outshine him.

But with every moment you don’t speak the truths on your heart, with every fight where you don’t raise your voice, with every emotion you withdraw, with every kiss that tastes sour on your lips, you lose a little bit of yourself. And darling, that’s not love. That’s self-sabotage.

You think he loves you, so you let the way he treats you slide. You think he knows what’s best for you, that he’s just ‘fixing’ the parts of you that are a little too loud. You think that he’s helping you, that he’s keeping you from blurting out words you might regret, that he’s saving you from being the emotional girl, the one no man wants to love.

And for some crazy reason, you believe him. So you quiet yourself. So you become the meek, submissive woman he can now control. So you let yourself get walked upon in the name of love. But in your heart you know that’s not love.

Because someone who loves you will never try to make you less.

So please stop lying to yourself. Stop telling yourself that he cares, that he’s making you better, and less ‘crazy.’ Because the only thing he’s making you is less of yourself.

Stop letting your feelings be hidden behind a fake smile, or your true thoughts masked by a ‘cool girl’ persona, one that’s simply constructed by him rather than real.

You don’t need to be any less than who you are for the people who love you.

The emotions, the thoughts, the feelings you have—you are allowed to have those, and should be encouraged to have those by the people who want to be in a relationship with you. Listen, life’s too short to be convinced of your imperfection. We’re all imperfect people, but surround yourself with people who see the good in you, not the faults. Surround yourself with people who love you, not want to change all the pieces that make you, you.

Stop trying to be less. Stop trying to be indifferent. Stop trying to be the girl with no feelings, who is ‘cool,’ and ‘casual,’ and completely bendable to any whim and desire of her man.

Who you are is worthy, simply in the skin you’re in.

Don’t let any man make you feel any less, or push you to be any less than who you are. Because that’s not love, and never will be. TC mark


Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

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