We’ve all been there before… all dressed up with nowhere to go because our boyfriend ditched dinner and drinks to hang out with his bros…
Or maybe we did end up going out for dinner and drinks after all but our boyfriend was glued to his phone all night, texting a girl ‘from work’, ‘about work’ (yeah, right)…
Or maybe when we got home after dinner and drinks he called us Becky while we were having sex… wait, what? Better not be Becky with the good hair we thought to ourselves…
…so we said something, and were called a psycho.
Sound familiar? Yeah, me too. But here’s the deal: we are not psychos (and nor were any of our boyfriends’ previous girlfriends). Calling a girl a psycho is just a guy’s way of shutting down a conversation, of putting the blame on their partner instead of owning their shit.
How dare them for treating you like crap? No how dare you for calling them out on it!
Once the crazy card’s been pulled the tables are turned. The argument becomes less about the guy apologising for doing wrong, and more about you trying to prove you don’t need strait-jacketed and sectioned.
You see, psycho is a word that shames women into submission. Like “slutty” and “bitchy,” it’s one of the worst ways a girl can be…
…or so I used to think.
When I was younger, I was so scared of seeming hot-headed that I pretended I was cooler than cool… or at least I did until I couldn’t keep it up anymore. I navigated most of the relationships in my late teens and early twenties as a self professed ‘ice queen’ in the early stages, only to reach boiling point and have the bitch fit of all bitch fits about 6 months (and 6 glasses of wine) in over ‘nothing’. My boyfriends would do one thing wrong and I’d fly off the handle going from zero to a hundred, because what was ‘one thing’ to them wasn’t ‘one thing’ to me, just the last on the list of several other things I’d kept to myself, bottled up and brewing away.
I’d storm out of wherever we were (which was probably in public, let’s be real) glass of wine in hand and dignity at the door wondering why they couldn’t see what they’d done wrong… failing to see that I’d done wrong myself by pretending to be someone I wasn’t who was okay with things I wasn’t okay with.
Still on Tinder because you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket? Don’t worry about me babe it’s cool, I’d say. Been dating me for the best part of a year but you’re not ready to define the relationship? No seriously don’t worry – that’s even cooler.
As much as it pains me to say it, when I was younger I was the ultimate Cool Girl when it came to relationships, which Gillian Flynn helpfully summarizes as follows:
“Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.”— Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
…shall I let you in on a little secret though? Being the Cool Girl was a far cry from cool. Because Cool Girls aren’t “even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be” (Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl.)
Unlike playing it cool which is something we all do (and probably should do actually), like keeping it to ourselves that we’re a stage five clinger that checks when they were last active on social media when we’ve been waiting a while for a reply, a Cool Girl keeps everything to herself that might make men not like her.
In other words: she makes a mug of herself. Instead of standing up for herself she chooses to lay down on the floor instead and be walked all over like a doormat.
In the words of Beyoncé:
“What’s worse, looking jealous or crazy? Jealous or crazy? More like being walked all over lately, walked all over lately, I’d rather be crazy.”