By most stereotypical definitions I am a ‘cool girl.’ I drink beer. I watch football. Chicken wings are my favorite food. I can burp the alphabet. I am a size two (if I am not on my period that week). And, granted I like the guy I’m seeing, I actually enjoy giving blowjobs.
So by these statements alone I should go on a lot of dates, have a good amount of relationships, or at the very least be having some really great sex. And it’s not that I don’t go on a lot of dates or like any women living in an active city of singles, couldn’t have sex tonight if I wanted, but being the ‘cool girl,’ falling under the pretense of a ‘cool girl,’ has single handedly ruined every relationship I have ever had.
And worse, it’s my fault.
To start with, I’m not putting on an act with my interests. I truly do enjoy watching football while eating greasy bar food. I’m as politically correct as they come but I love a good dirty joke. And even as a feminist I like viewing some porn (granted the girl gets off too in the video!) Being the ‘cool girl’ is not about my likes or interests, whether or not I can wear a cocktail dress when I go out with the guys.
Being the ‘cool girl’ is more about how I act when I enter a relationship with a man, once I start letting almost everything slide.
See because being a ‘cool girl,’ I’ve come to realize, is not what I thought it was. I used to believe that being given the title of ‘cool girl’ was the biggest compliment a guy, or even I, could give myself. It meant that I was interesting, chill, and not one of those uptight girls who got mad over every little mistake their boyfriend made. Granted I didn’t think these women who did throw a fit over something were terrible, but I always felt just a tad superior as I thought to myself ‘you’re getting mad over that. That’s stupid and you’re being stupid.’
The truth was I was being stupid. And the joke was/is on me.
By labeling myself into the group of ‘cool girls,’ whether I wanted to admit it or not, I was setting myself up for failure. Because while being a ‘cool girl’ is about being one of the guys, it also has become synonymous with someone who doesn’t rock the boat, who never gets angry, who doesn’t cry over something their partner does or does not do right.
Being a ‘cool girl’ when I was dating someone meant that I didn’t take anything too seriously. It meant that my boyfriends didn’t have to ‘check in’ with me. It meant that I, and I alone, was responsible for my happiness in a relationship.
But the problem with being the ‘cool girl,’ at least for me, is that it never sustains itself. In every relationship I have had, even guys I have dated for only a couple of months, I recognized that as crazy as it sounds… I as a woman have needs. Correction.
I have emotional needs that cannot be met by just going with the flow.
The defining moment of this revelation came to me over lunch with my friend, when she made a comment about how she has her boyfriend’s password to his phone. I was surprised and put off by the comment, until I decided to think about it longer. Her boyfriend knew that she had his password. He did not care. She did not care either. They both trust each other and are honestly the most stable fun relationship that I know of.
What her statement did was make me contemplate if I would ever be the type of girl to have my boyfriend’s password to any of his accounts. Short answer? I wouldn’t. And this is not because I think it is unnecessary, although it is. It is because I would be too worried about what this says about me. Wouldn’t asking a guy, even a guy I am dating, very intimate details like a password (regardless if he is with me or not) make me the crazy girl I fear becoming? The ‘not cool girl.’ The confrontational girl? The type of girl a guy bitches to his friends about at the bar?
It wasn’t, or isn’t, that I’m passive. There’s a lot of less than desirable qualities that I possess but passivity wouldn’t be one of them.
From the amount of men who have cheated on me or treated me like shit, I never fail to call them the biggest asshole in the world. I don’t give them a second chance. I break up with them and never talk to them again. But my flare up, my dismissal of them, sometimes the only time when they finally realize they are doing something that bothers me is always at the end of our relationship and never in the middle of it.
Which makes me think, is every single part of my relationship defined by what I did not do in my relationship because I was too busy worrying I was ‘crazy,’ yet again the exact opposite of ‘cool girl?’
After realizing that this is the case, I’ve made a promise to myself. Gone are the days when I never call out men as they go Fridays without texting me, even when they know they should. Gone are the days when the man I am seeing starts talking about how hot other girls are in front of me and I forego mentioning how inappropriate it is. But most importantly gone are the days that being ‘mad’ is my default when a man offends me.
Because the truth is I am not just mad, I am also hurt.
I choose to stop blocking out my feelings (something that the ‘cool girl’ doesn’t even possess) because I think it will make for a more lasting and less stressful relationship. Ironically what comes from that is the exact opposite. I choose to recognize that relationships are not just happiness they are also sometimes that confrontation and those arguments that make you want to pull your hair out. I choose to be happy with how I am and not think about how I should be.
Whether I ever realized it, I was subconsciously the ‘cool girl.’ I let men treat me like their guy friend and not their girlfriend. I never asked for flowers because that’s not what the ‘cool girl’ does. When I got emotionally damaged I pretended it was okay. Sarcastic comments and self-deprecating statements are what I lived in. Because the ‘cool girl’ doesn’t cry or make a scene with her man.
So I give it all up, all the façade I didn’t realize was a façade, for myself.
But I think I will keep the chicken wings.