Fuck Playing It Cool – It’s Cooler To Care

Ari Eastman

Like most people in 2018, I listen to a handful of podcasts almost every day. I grew up with my dad playing talk radio, so in some ways, it feels nostalgic. I turn one on as soon as the alarm goes off and get ready for the day. I like hearing another voice in the morning. It’s familiar, a very comforting part of my routine.

One of my fave podcasts (that shall remain nameless) is one I often disagree with. They’re kickass, hysterical ladies who often dispense dating advice. Things like, “Never be the one to say I love you first in a relationship” or, “Thou shalt never double text.” They’re hilarious, so I usually laugh along and enjoy their unfiltered approach. But I am constantly at odds with what they’re actually suggesting.

It’s trendy to be apathetic. We’re tossing feeble “lols” at the end of our sentences. We’re “whatever” and “if you want to, sure”. We can’t be too invested. Because we’re not supposed to care too much. If we did? If we actually showed our cards and let our vulnerability shine through? Well, that’s how you lose the game. Right?

Nahhhh. That’s how you connect to another person. That’s how you reach true intimacy.

I’ve always cared a lot. I care about the people I love. I care about the passions I throw myself into. And yes, it’s been both the aching sore in my side and greatest strength. But what fun is life if I’m not actually committing to it?

I’ve never understood what I’m supposed to get out of playing it cool. If I like a guy, I’ll ask him out. I’ll text him. The worst thing that happens is he doesn’t text me back and been there, honey!!!

If you’re so consumed with protecting your heart and your ego, you spend your time sitting on the sidelines. Looking cool? Perhaps. But what does that really get you at the end of the day? A trophy? A superlative? Least Attached Person in Town. The Breeziest.

It is impressive when someone can just go all in. It requires this bizarre mix of confidence and humility. I will always believe some rejection is good for the soul. Trying to avoid it by always letting someone else take the lead really robs you of some character development. My sense of self, my humor, my ability to love and be loved have all improved by allowing myself to give a shit.

When I care, I’m gonna care SO hard. I’m gonna send that double text. I’m gonna squeal and be excited and tell someone I love them if I do.

If you’re the same, don’t let people or experiences change that about you. It’s a good thing. It’s a skill. Don’t forget it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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