I’m done being the Cool Girl.

Last night Bones got lost in a book and forgot about me.

An hour plus after he was supposed to arrive he finally pulled his nose out of his pages and texted me back, “lol I’ve been studying.  Sorry.”

This was after he’d said he’d “try” to make 8:30, but had some reading to do for a job he was gunning for.  I’d said ok.  At 9:30 I hadn’t heard a peep from him and texted him.  I texted again at 9:45, “WTF??”

“Kind of caught up in this book,” was his reply after his little lol text.

“So you just wasted my time, basically” I replied.

And then, “I’ve been waiting around for over an hour and not a peep from you!  Not like you and totally not cool  Book or no book.”

He apologized, said it was a dick move, etc.  We went back and forth, me asserting myself and my anger.  “Tonight sucked,” I wrote.

“I was distracted and lost track of time…”

And then he said, “You’re absolutely right.  This new job is super important to me and my career.  I was heavily focused because of that.”

I told him again it was a dick move and then scoffed.  “Hey, don’t do that to me.  I had no way of knowing how important studying was to your career – but I’d have been more than understanding if you’d just rescheduled because you needed to focus.”

He admitted that was true.  He asked me how he could have made it better when I told him I was going to bed because it was obvious he wasn’t going to try.  “Well, the second you realized what you’d done you could have apologized and said you’d be right over with a bottle of wine.”  He agreed with that, too.  But nothing happened.  I’d wasted an entire kid-free night.

I’d spent my precious time on a man whose value of me (and my time) were nil.

Yes, he apologized, yes he admitted it was shitty, but I can’t get that time back.  Nor did he offer to reschedule or make it up to me in anyway.  An entire evening was lost.

I’ve been impotently raging against this devaluation for years by means of not being disrespectful.  I am always available when I say I am, I never forget a commitment, I’m not late or get lost in a project and lose track of time.  That has never happened to me in my entire fucking life and therefore I can’t extend any kind of understanding to others.  It’s simply unacceptable.

I set alarms on my phone if I’m worried I’ll lose myself in something because I value people’s time.  In fact, I don’t do things I’d rather be doing (such as writing) because I’ve made a commitment to someone, someone who hasn’t actually earned a goddamned thing from me — and that’s on me.  If there was ever anyone who gave the milk away for free… well, it’d have to be me.

I’m not bashing Bones — he fucked up, big deal, moving on — what this has demonstrated to me are two things: 1) I devalue my own time, and 2) being the “cool girl” only hurts me.  Gone Girl, anyone?

I am a single mother; I take Peyton any time my ex travels for work or leisure and I pick my baby up from school every day of the week even on my ex’s custody weeks and stay busy until he’s done with work around 6.  The divorce decree says we have 50/50 custody, but we don’t — it’s more 75/25 — therefore my free time is extremely rare and highly valuable and yet I treat it like I have a ton to give.

I have to stop saying yes to every heavy breather with a hardon who asks me out after 5 lines of text; they haven’t earned it.

The last time I was child-free I had 6 dates in 7 days and the accumulation of my efforts was one above-average date where I came under his slamming hand, a dud, road head and an awkward fingerbang, a mis-fire, a drunken chat, and date number two with Mr. Magic Hands.  In other words: nothingI could have been writing, is all I hear when I look back on it.

If I don’t value my time, then why will anyone else?  This is somehow connected to my eternal hope for a connection, to never say No because maybe the next guy will be a great connection, a great love.  But it’s gone sideways.

I find myself saying yes to complete strangers, men who’ve only met the standard of catching my eye and not offending me.  The bar can’t get much lower at this point.

Which brings me to my second realization: Being the Cool Girl doesn’t affect the outcome.

Have you ever tried to fill a bucket with holes with water??  Yeah, that’s the Cool Girl effect: useless.

It’s also the same effect as trying to make someone else happy or to control a situation.  The outcome will almost always be that the one who’s trying to make the things better will end up exhausted with no better outcome than had they done nothing.  The bucket will remain empty and leaking.

As Gillian Flynn writes, “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.”  I’ve always been afraid to be honest about a man’s bad behavior.  Telling Bones he was a shit was monumental.  I’m not the Cool Girl anymore; it only exhausts me.  I’m leaving the bucket dry.

I can’t make someone respect me or my time, I can only act in a reasonable fashion (don’t misinterpret this as “in a cool way”) to their treatment of me.  That doesn’t mean pretending I’m not pissed or disappointed.  That takes 10 times as much effort on my part as it does to behave authentically and say, “Hey, man. That was shitty.  Fuck that.”

The difficulty for me arises in the foreignness of this behavior.  I have never been able to be truthful about my upset with anyone, almost ever.  Not my family, not my friends, not my exhusband.  Certainly not my boyfriends and definitely not my lovers.

Being that honest and vulnerable equates to emotional death to me: I am wrong, I am unworthy, I am not good because the person I’m sharing this with will say it’s so.  I truly am an easy going person — I rarely take things personally —  but I’ve taken it too far.  I’ve set it up where no one has to work to earn my time and when they disrespect me I act as if I’m unbothered, neither of which are even remotely true.   My time is valuable and I am bothered.

So when I told Bones that my night sucked it wasn’t just me pointing out the obvious (that he was a dipshit) it was me saying I’m not going to work so hard to make bad behavior ok anymore; I demand and expect more.

I don’t expect to ever see him again, quite frankly — or 4 of the 5 men from the other week – and even though it bums me out, I can’t honestly feel real loss about it.  How can I??  He’s given me no reason to care other than feeling self-conscious about my battered ego.

I have told a couple of other men in my orbit that my time is valuable and I’m not interested in chasing them down and that’s a new approach.  Some have ignored my message and others have promised they understand.  I’m not holding my breath about any of it; their behavior is irrelevant.  It’s about what I do.

Truthfully, I don’t give a fuck anymore.  It feels as though the cross-ties have been unhooked and I may walk freely now, do as I please.  I am no longer interested in pretending and no dogs are in the fight.  Call me, don’t call me, but I’ll figure out some personal line in the sand and when we cross it I’ll do the next thing I need to do.

Haven’t heard from you about our date tonight despite texting to confirm a few hours in advance?  Well, I’m just going to find something else to do.  You don’t show up when you say you will?  I’m leaving.  You take 3 days to respond to a question?  I’m going to delete our thread and forget about you because that’s how you deal with bad behavior.

I would never put up with a friend doing to me what Bones did last night or what any 100 other men have done to me over the years.  No question, absolutely not.

There’s got to be some effort, some benefit to me sharing myself with them beyond just some raw hope that they’ll come around to my side and treat me like I’m valuable.  Like, real effort.

I’d like to meet someone who’s put some sweat into getting me there and keeping me there.  I don’t even want a fucking relationship, just someone who’s respectful.  I had no idea that was nearly as impossible as finding love.

I can’t quite reconcile the amount of positive attention and heartfelt letters I receive almost daily online from Internet men claiming they’d worship me if they only had the chance with the amount of real life men who ignore me in equal measure.  The dual reality is almost too much to bear.  Which am I?  Special or not special??

My only conclusion is that people everywhere – men and women alike – are being overlooked by those nearest them due to some strange proximity phenomenon: we never seem to want what we can have and can’t see what’s right under our noses.

Regardless, I am no longer interested in low standards or seeming cool. The bar is going to be raised up and I’m going to be as uncool as the situation warrants.  I expect this to feel at once terrifying and liberating.  At the age of 40 you’d think I’d be past this point of resistance, but you’d be wrong.  I’m just now breaking it down.

 

 

 

 

A 40-something single mother who writes honestly about sex, body image, D/s, relationships, her nervous tics, and how much she loves to fucking fuck. She also likes to show you her tits.

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14 thoughts on “I’m done being the Cool Girl.
  1. This makes me so happy *smile*! Not Bones being an inconsiderate arsehole (come on, dude! FFS!), but you getting all your uncoolness going.

    I think you’ill be surprised how men will step up when you set your expectations and don’t accept less. And yes, absolutely, many will fall by the wayside. That’s a good thing: They don’t deserve you.

    I’d add that men far away can promise the world because they never have to deliver ANYTHING. That makes them bold enough to be effusive and amazing: It’s easy and requires nothing but a few keyboard taps. Meh.

    Good for you! Go tell ’em what’s what!

    Ferns
    Ferns recently posted…Communication and distanceMy Profile

    1. I think you’ve mentioned the distance thing before and I totally agree with you; they nothing on the line so can talk a big game. I’m always thinking about the person in their real life who would die to hear the things they say to me.

      I’ve (of course) been reading your Cougarling posts and have found inspiration in your honesty with him. Don’t like his bad texting/communication behavior? Tell him, see if he fixes it, do the next thing that needs doing.

      I don’t think low hanging fruit tastes better. It’s just its convenience. It’s hard to resist sometimes. xx Hy

  2. I LOVE READING THIS FROM YOU.
    It’s funny, I always struggled with how you could be as cool as you were with guys and thought – perhaps that’s how I need to be. Definitely there’s a middle ground, but it resonates so big for me that it ultimately devalues you and your time. A little effort and respect is not too much to ask – even for something casual – and all too often we are so pleased to have some “interest” we forget how we should be treated.
    I tell Tony what I need in terms of communication and usually he steps up. I just met a new guy online and I told him I like to receive good morning texts…we’ll see what happens with that.
    And I completely agree with Ferns – people can promise anything because they aren’t there. And it’s a fantasy… Of course they want you and to promise the world. But I would put money on most of them being no different from what you experience in “real” life.

    Ann
    xoxo
    Ann St Vincent recently posted…Sit on my face, and tell me that you love me | A MFFM StoryMy Profile

    1. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still gonna be cool as fuck haha I’m just going to hold accountable those who need it (not the rando guy I’ve never met and on whom I won’t waste my time or energy).

      We’ll see how well it goes because the issue isn’t that I don’t know what’s happening, it’s that I feel like I’m not allowed to respond naturally. But don’t worry!! My shrink and I are definitely working on it! Lol xx Hy

  3. This post really struck a chord. I was involved with someone for a year and a half. We had an intense connection, but he had a boatload of issues that made him paranoid, emotionally unavailable most of the time, and if I’m honest, a real pain in the ass. Nevertheless, I made all sorts of excuses for him and made myself extra available to compensate. Guess I don’t have to tell you how that turned out. A few weeks ago I finally blew up, which was met with basically nothing. It was a long, hard, painful road to finally end it, but your post helps drive home the point that I was right to do it.

    Love your blog. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much and I’m glad this is a timely post for you! It certainly sounds like you did the right thing, though I’m sorry it ended that way. Breakups blow!

  4. Yes! Yes! And YES!
    Good for you!
    Most men fail to be men anymore. Online dating, while opening otherwise closed doors, has also made them lazy. Too many readily available options. Not all treat it that way, but most do. Women can fall into the same, I suppose, but we tend to value the relationship (& time as you said), so it’s less of a tendency for us.
    If we don’t value us..& our time & effort.. who will?
    So YES again… I’m happy for you 😊

  5. Hy, I loved this post. Particularly the realization that not only your time is valuable, but you are as well. You and I suffer from a fear of confrontation. I have always been a Pleaser and it got worse in my marriage when I would do anything to avoid having my Ex scream at me. This lead to a serious fear of confronting people both at home and at work.

    Once I moved out, I have slowly begun confronting people. Not in an overly aggressive way, but merely stating my needs and how whatever isn’t working for me. Lo and behold, people responded in calm rational ways with respect. I might not get what I wanted, but nobody has screamed at me like my Ex and I am getting more comfortable with expressing my needs/wants.

    I think at the end of the day, perhaps you should practice the art of speaking up. The best advice I read on this was in a business book of all things. The author said that when confronting difficult people and/or situations, think about the outcome YOU want and then act accordingly. Don’t be drawn in by the other person’s emotions. When I began doing that in my personal life, it was like a door opening. Plus work got a whole lot better.

    It’s uncomfortable to behave in a manner that you aren’t accustomed to. It’s scary, so we prefer to lapse back into the familiar. You deserve better, so demand better. I think you handled Bones fine. I actually would have called him out and cancelled in the first text exchange. He needs to understand your time is valuable.

    Kudos for being so self-aware.
    MaggieMayat50 recently posted…No Such Thing as CoincidenceMy Profile

  6. I always love your writing, and this is no exception as pain, annoyance and anger are part of the human experience. Men get it too, from women who take them up as though they were the most fascinating beings and drop them with no explanation. Adrianna is right that there is a certain amount of laziness here, of having fun but not so much fun that it intrudes on set lifestyles. If people can’t change, won’t change, then what is the point of their interacting with other people?

  7. I’m echoing similar sentiments to the comments here & your post Hy. I’m so glad to hear you’ve put your foot down on this. Very timely indeed. I too very recently needed to remind someone that yes, my time is valuable, I work full time & get just the two days off a week like the majority of us. I don’t like to waste any time waiting around for hours. Needless to say, I can’t stand confrontation, always the pleaser, but this straw broke the camel’s back! Let’s just say that someone has now stepped up. Big time.

  8. If there was a love option for this post, I would have chosen it! Thank you, Hy for voicing what goes through my own mind SO many times! I think we have all been in your shoes at some time or another, and hell yes you should not be afraid to call these guys out on their bad behaviors! I can so relate to having small windows of private time to have adult time. Granted my daughter is nearly 18, and can find something else to do when I ask for privacy, I hate to do that to her very often because this is her house too. And now that she has a baby on the way, she is less likely to want to go anywhere now, and I am less likely to want her to.
    Kudos for you standing up and refusing to take any more disrespect from these heavy breathers with hard-ons that are clearly not thinking with the right head.
    And as far as Mr. Bones and his self-absorbed behavior, fuck him!
    I’ve been dealing with a self-absorbed man lately, and I’m just going about my life and plans without him. However, I do hope to see him at least one more time before he embarks on his long motorcycle trip across the states. But am I holding my breath? NOPE!!
    I’m with you… I’m done being the doormat and cool girl too.
    Joyce C recently posted…Intoxicated…..My Profile

  9. Ohh this resonates so hard with me right now. I recently met a guy who I had amazing chemistry with. Stuff happened in his life and he shut himself off and made himself highly unavailable, even to me. He’d promise to visit, then not show up. I gave him so many chances. I gave up after my Aunt died…I reached out to him and he just couldn’t be there. I realised this was not what I wanted/needed and told him what I thought. He couldn’t seem to understand why I was upset about it :/

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