I am currently in the throes of the longest lasting relationship I have ever been in. In the grand scheme of the world existing, it hasn’t been that long, only about 9 months, but for me this is pretty significant. When we hang out it’s fluid and easy and I don’t need to try and I can be ugly without fearing he’s going to get scared and disappear. That being said, I am over trying to be the ‘cool girlfriend’ because that’s not a thing. It does not exist.
The cool girlfriend is a concept that must have been invented by a bunch of neanderthalish dudes who wanted to forge another way to make women feel crazy. A cool girlfriend gives the boyfriend in question enough space and does not ask for too much. You can’t text too much or else you’re crazy. You can’t ask to hang out too much or else you’re needy. The one that KILLS me is this idea that in order to embody this feminine ideal, the cool girlfriend, you must be “totally chill” with your boyfriend’s ex-partners and if you’re not, then you’re crazy.
Recently, my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend who he dated for several years moved to the town we live in. When he told me at first I thought to myself, ‘Okay, I can be chill. I don’t want to be THAT girl who gets crazy jealous and weird.’ So I began to embrace hanging out with her. People would ask me if it was weird and, I suppose to be the cool girlfriend, I would say, “Ya, totally, I mean she’s nice…” I could not shake my discomfort even though I really wanted to. Every time we would be put in social situations together, or even her name would be mentioned, my metaphorical talons would come out. I tried to fight my sense of possessiveness and jealousy but I could not shake it.
Then I realize, maybe it’s okay that I did not feel that comfortable being friends with her. Sex is a powerful, intimate, weird thing. I don’t know if anyone can honestly be entirely comfortable with the existence of their current partners’ past loves. It demonstrates that at one point, they did not love you, and they have the potential to love others. Their existence also demonstrates that a relationship with this person that once was so real and strong could easily disintegrate. So as much as I try to be the cool girlfriend, I have to acknowledge my own instincts and recognize that I’m not crazy if it makes me feel weird. It just is.