You know that guy who talks about his “cool” girlfriend all the time? The guy who insists his girlfriend doesn’t care if he goes to strip clubs, or if he doesn’t text her back all night, or if he stays friends with his ex, or if he makes a sexist joke or two – no, he swears that nothing really bothers his girlfriend, because she’s just that cool.
Gillian Flynn’s bestselling psychological thriller Gone Girl perfectly illustrates this idea of the ultra “cool” girlfriend: “Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping … 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 … Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl.”
It’s hardly a secret as to why so many women fall into the trap of promising their boyfriend that they’re not like other girlfriends – they’re a cool girlfriend. They don’t want him to feel controlled, or to come across as hypersensitive or naggy. They want his friends to like them. They want to be the woman he’d never complain about. And so, they contort and force themselves into the Cool Girl box.
These desires are understandable, but being a Cool Girl really isn’t as cool as it sounds. Instead, it tricks women into accepting the unacceptable, and enables men to behave immaturely and selfishly. Here are seven things that the Cool Girl does, and why doing them won’t pay off.
She’s Okay with No Labels
He just wants to keep things casual? No problem. He’s not ready for a relationship? Totally makes sense. He just wants to see where things go? That’s fair. The Cool Girl doesn’t ask her guy for labels – she promises that she’s not even into that kind of thing. All the while, though, she’s holding out for the day he’ll realize she’d be a great girlfriend.
Waiting around and hoping he’ll one day see the light isn’t worth your time or emotional investment. His mind is already made up, no matter how perfectly you perform the role of “potential girlfriend.” He’s willing to enter a situationship with you, but he’s made his ultimate intentions with you clear, and they don’t include any kind of commitment. You’re better off finding a man who has no doubt in his mind that he wants you to be his girlfriend, who’d never take the chance of losing you.
She Makes Excuses for Him
Gone Girl said it first – the Cool Girl is always understanding. She has an excuse for why her boyfriend hasn’t had a job for two years (and isn’t actively trying to get one either), or why it’s really not that big of a deal that he screams at her sometimes, or why he hasn’t addressed his issues with addiction yet. There’s always an excuse.
While long-term relationships do require that we extend grace and understanding toward one another, this shouldn’t ever include enabling bad behavior, immaturity, or toxicity. And eventually, there comes a point where there are no excuses to be made – this line is different for everyone, but it’s imperative that you have a line.
Playing wife without being given any kind of promises from him will only frustrate you and confuse him.
She Does “Wifey” Things
The Cool Girl does all the “wifey” things for her boyfriend, like moving in with him, making his meals, sharing finances, and cleaning up after him…without any kind of promise of lifelong commitment. Marriage isn’t on his mind at all, and she promises that she’s totally fine with that. Until she’s not, of course: the day she wonders if she’ll ever be promoted to “wife.”
It’s not true that every single relationship that included moving in before getting married will fall apart, but it’s absolutely true that being a wife to your boyfriend often doesn’t pay off the way you think it will. Playing wife without being given any kind of promises from him will only frustrate you and confuse him because your levels of commitment don’t match.
She Puts Her Needs Last
The Cool Girl never needs anything – at least, not to her boyfriend’s knowledge. She’s there to care about his needs, though. She wants to satisfy his every desire, fulfill his every whim. She’s happy to make things all about him and never bother him with what she wants. Their relationship revolves around what he wants, feels, and needs from her.
It’s not unhealthy to care about your boyfriend’s desires, but it shouldn’t come at the price of putting your needs last, to the point where they’re completely disregarded. A healthy relationship is made up of two people doing their best to care for the other’s needs.
She Lets Him Take Advantage of Her
The Cool Girl is willing to pay all the bills, work two jobs to afford their life together while he pursues his “passion,” drive her boyfriend around everywhere, and let him mooch off her hard work. She’s always supportive, doesn’t ever complain, and is willing to be the sole provider.
But does that really sound like the ideal life? Of course not. It’s not “cool” to let a guy take advantage of your desire to be a generous, supportive, or servant-hearted girlfriend. What is cool is a man who takes ownership of his life, has a strong work ethic, and seeks to support you.
That things “could be worse” is hardly a reason to stay in a relationship that leaves you feeling unseen, uncared for, and devalued.
She Doesn’t Have Any Boundaries
The Cool Girl is always “cool” with whatever her boyfriend does or wants to do. Whether he wants to hang out with a girl he used to “have a thing” for, won’t tell her what he and his buddies did in Vegas, or invites his guys over without even asking, she’ll never say a peep. She has zero boundaries with him.
But this isn’t any way for a relationship to survive. Relationships need boundaries in order to mature, thrive, and deepen. Rather than attempting to hide your boundaries or convince yourself you don’t really care all that much, find a man who cares enough to respect your boundaries.
She Tells Herself That Things Could Be Worse
Sure, he kind of forgot her birthday, but things could be worse. Sure, he laughed when she asked if he’d ever thought about getting married, but things could be worse. Sure, he got heated and called her a few choice names, but things could be worse. At least, that’s what she tells herself.
Whether or not a situation could technically be “worse” than it presently is, this is hardly a reason to stay in a relationship that leaves you feeling unseen, uncared for, and devalued. As soon as you begin convincing yourself that you could be unhappier with this man than you are, this is a sign that says the relationship is only headed in a downward spiral.
Striving to be the Cool Girl isn’t all fun and games, and it’s definitely not cool. It’s a recipe for disaster and ultimately dishonest. Trying to be the “cool” girlfriend will only lead to unhealthy relationship patterns, toxic dynamics, and dissatisfaction.
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