For the longest time, I was the quintessential cool girl in relationships. Chill, low maintenance, oh-so-cool with everything. I pretended that I was cool with anything my partners did and said, although half the time I was dying inside.
I would date guys I didn’t even like and do things they wanted to do, but that I didn’t even want to, just to keep the “peace” and not look crazy. I never made any demands, never expressed my unhappiness and just went along with everything until I would blow up one fine day from resentment and behave like the exact “crazy” type of girl that I was trying so hard not to be.
Being the cool girl in love is so painful and is such an unloving thing to do for yourself… but despite the strides that women have made in the last couple of decades to advocate for themselves..we still have a long way to go when it comes to advocating for our rights and needs in a close, romantic relationship.
Let’s unpack this whole cool girl thing shall we?
What is the cool girl personality?
Cool girls are well… cool. They are so chill, so nice, so laid-back, so go with-the-flow. They aren’t difficult or needy. They are low maintenance, never kicking up a fuss, never expressing any disagreement, never having any conflicts.
In short, a cool girl will be whoever her partner wants her to be. She will have a casual relationship because the guy told her he wants one, although she really only wants something serious. She puts up with the inconsistent texting, hot-and-cold behaviour that her man dishes out to her – she doesn’t like it but she doesn’t say anything.
The cool girl is actually not-so-cool if you actually got to know what she is really feeling and thinking. Because, most of the time, she feels insecure, she doesn’t feel important, she’s anxious in relationships, she’s fearful, she feels she can’t be loved if she doesn’t say yes to all these things the guy demands then she won’t be able to be in a relationship.
The cool girl’s main aim is to be in a relationship or “get a man” and the only way there is to be as low maintenance as possible and make herself as small as possible to win over said men.
Cool girl is usually sad, upset, resentful, anxious and not confident. Cool girl is you, me and so many other ladies out there at least once in our lives.
Are you behaving too cool on dates that you are unable to sniff out red flag behaviour? Find out more in the quiz below!
How did she even come about?
Growing up, many girls and young women were never really taught to advocate for themselves and their needs. Emotions are always seen as annoying, irritating and out-of-place. Caregivers may not know how to soothe an emotionally distressed child, so many of us grew up not knowing how to speak up for ourselves.
To add on to that, as we enter our teens and young adult years, we are taught that men wants someone who is chill and not “desperate”, men want someone who isn’t emotional or unstable, because that just looks crazy and men hate crazy, they want someone who just goes with whatever. So we behave accordingly.
To our detriment.
We put the needs of men above our own and we damage our sense of self in the process. We give away our power, we allow ourselves to be walked all over like a doormat. We mold ourselves to fit whatever our partner demands of us.
And it’s a sad, exhausting way to live. Worse, it doesn’t guarantee you will receive any love from the man you are trying to be cool for.
Why being a cool girl is ruining your relationships
#1 Set up the wrong expectations and precedence for future behaviour
When you are so cool, especially at the beginning, and especially throughout most of the relationship, you are laying down the foundations and trajectory for your behaviour throughout that relationship. When you do not voice out how you truly feel or behave in ways that truly reflect the kind of person you are and want to be, you set up expectations for how things will go with you in the relationship.
Not only that, but by having no demands or needs at the beginning, and suddenly dialling up the intensity and having all these requirements you need your partner to have at the end of the relationship, can turn you into the crazy, intense person you’ve been avoiding.
#2 Send the wrong message – that you are okay with disrespectful behaviour
Whenever you express a need or lay down a boundary, you are letting your partner – and you – know what you are okay and not okay with. If your partner does something that sets off your alarm bells, yet you just plough ahead, plaster on a small and act like everything is fine – you are sending the message that you are alright with any sort of shitty behaviour.
That then sets up the expectation for future behaviour from your partner – they will keep doing things you don’t like because they think you are alright with it!
#3 Attract certain types of people who take advantage of people’s boundaries
Who loves people without boundaries and needs? Those who love disrespecting/dissing them, that’s who! When you treat yourself like a doormat, you invite other people to do the same. And when you act like anything under the sun is good, you attract douchebags and jerks who have no respect for women or for your relationship.
Those who will flirt, cheat, holiday with other women, sleep with an ex behind your back, skip your birthday for a boys’ trip, ignore your calls etc. For men who dislike boundaries, the cool girl is a dream girl because she will never call him out on his nasty behaviour or break up with him over the red flags he’s showing.
Looking to recreate that deep sense of love and connection with yourself in order to have healthier romance? Grab my guidebook below!
How do you overcome cool girl syndrome? How do you stop being a cool girl?
#1 Recognise that you have needs, feelings and wants
Relationships don’t exist just for one partner to get all their needs met, and the other to feel used and unwanted. That is a selfish relationship and it certainly is not a loving one. We all have needs, feelings, values and wants that we bring into each relationship and the right partner for you would be open to meeting those needs, not dissing / dismissing or playing down its importance.
Also, start to really pay attention to your feelings when something is going on in the relationship. If something doesn’t sit right, take note of it. Instead of trying to pretend like they don’t exist, address it. Feelings that are not addressed will keep rearing its head until you acknowledge and accept it. Pretending to be happy when you are not isn’t a great way to live your life.
If something your partner did or said made you feel uncomfortable, disrespected or just bad, it’s absolutely critical that you let them know and you guys talk it out. Communicate frequently and clearly especially at the beginning. Do not shy away or feel embarrassed or scared of how they’d react. Remember, the right person will listen and make space for your needs, not run from it. If they aren’t reacting well to it and dismissing your needs frequently, it may be time to rethink your partner and relationship.
Keeping things to yourself is a form of dishonesty in a relationship, at least to me. And you will find that as you allow these feelings to simmer, alot of resentment and pent up frustration builds up over time that when you finally do talk about it, you “explode” and aren’t able to handle things in a calm manner. You may find yourself communicating with alot of emotional intensity and feeling out of control.
It’s important to communicate your needs at the beginning when you guys are figuring things out. Because when a lid is kept on something as important to you as your feelings and needs, they are like this volcano and it’s bound to explode and spill over in time. And when it does spill over, you will come at your partner with a flood of requirements, ultimatums and boundaries that can leave them feeling very confused.
#3 Recognise boundaries and when they are crossed
This requires you to actually know yourself well and you’d usually be clued into boundary-crossing behaviour by your emotions. Sometimes you’d seem to “feel” something but not be sure what it means or what you’re actually feeling – that is your intuition speaking to you. Listen to it. The answer for your feelings will reveal itself in time.
#4 Build up self-worth
Much of our hesitation and reluctance to talk about what we want and our feelings have alot to do with your lack of self-worth. When you recognise that your feelings are valid and that you deserve to express yourself in a healthy, safe way in relationships and that you deserve a partner and a relationship that allows you to give airtime to your feelings and needs…it’s when your self-worth is at a healthy level. When we are struggling to recognise our worth, it can make us deem our emotions, needs etc as unimportant and thus not worthy to be addressed or of airtime.
Need help regaining your self-worth and taking back your power? Grab my guidebook below and take back your power today!
#5 Stop making excuses for others
If you find yourself constantly justifying, rationalising and making excuses for his behaviour which is making you feel uncomfortable, disrespected and unloved…just stop. When you find yourself over-explaining anything, it’s a sign that something is not right. Instead of seeing the situation for what it is and admitting that you may need to address something – the situation or your feeling – you try to bring logic into it. That is a sign of being in denial and not wanting to deal with the elephant in the room.
#6 Know when to discontinue the relationship
At times, if communication is not working out and your needs are still being trampled on or you don’t feel safe in the relationship, it may actually be time to exit. Some of us are afraid of voicing out our feelings because we want to maintain status quo and not have the relationship end. But why stay in a relationship that makes you a lesser, smaller person? Relationships that are the right one for you are the one where you don’t just feel comfortable, respected and safe to be yourself and express yourself, you feel elevated and thriving as well. True love uplifts you, it allows you to grow and thrive, not make you a smaller, lesser person.
Being the cool girl honestly blows. It doesn’t bring you any happiness but perpetuates feelings of low self-worth and is a very unloving thing to do to yourself. Being cool is not about denying your needs and boundaries, it’s about having needs and boundaries and expressing them. It’s about being okay to let go of someone who disrespects them and disrespects you.
Let’s all start redefining cool girl.