We were the best when we were drunk.
He would hold my hand, request that we kiss in public, ask if his smoking was an issue. We’d talk about the things we couldn’t talk about when we were sober. We could pretend the end wasn’t coming, so heinously careening towards us. We didn’t have an expiration date, we just were.
But I knew, we both knew, we were only temporary. In a couple of short weeks we would be done, would go back to reality, to America, to being apart. God, I wish I’d never done it. I wish I had never gotten involved with him. Because even though I had convinced him, and all my friends, that I was fine with the inevitable end, I wasn’t. There was that part of me, that annoying, sensitive side of me, that wanted so much, to change his mind. To show him we belonged together, that we could make long distance work, that it would be worth it.
So I put on a show. I became the “cool girl” who was fine with being casual, who didn’t care if he smoked or canceled plans. I was fine with rearranging my life to fit into his schedule, I laughed it off when he told me I had a resting bitch face. I never let myself slip. And then when I couldn’t convince him that we should stay together, that oh-so cool girl disappeared and turned into the “crazy girl,” the one who actually has emotions and shows them, the one who was fed up with his narcissism, his immaturity. He called me manipulative, told me I wasn’t being fair. And he was right. But the person I was being unfair to wasn’t him, it was me.
The “cool girl” ruined me. She tricked me into thinking things I never would have thought on my own. She compromised my morals, she turned me into her puppet, pulled the strings to make me be what he wanted me to be. I was Amy Dunne, minus (most of) the crazy. Why, though? Why did I lose it, why did I get so upset?
Looking back, I realize it was because if he didn’t want to be with the cool girl version of me, then how could anyone ever want to be with the real me? If cool Korey couldn’t land the guy, then how could plain old Korey even come close? Because doesn’t every guy want the cool girl? Doesn’t he want the girl who eats like a football player but looks like Kate Upton? Doesn’t he want the girl who is totally fine with just a casual hookup? Isn’t that the dream?
Well, not always. “This type of girl isn’t attractive to me because she lacks maturity (generally) and an understanding of her own self,” my friend Tanner told me one night. As the only “good guy” I know, Tanner’s opinion has always meant a lot to me. The “cool girl” facade, in a sense, disgusts Tanner. “I don’t think a successful marriage, or relationship for that matter, could ever result for these people,” he says.
And I agree, because by putting on a false “cool girl” persona you’re creating “this false sense of reality about women,” and basically duping the guy. The “cool girl” hurts everyone involved. She—however subconsciously—lies and twists and pulls you in, whoever you are, making you think she’s real, and you’re lucky to be with her, or even more, to be her.
For some guys, the “cool girl” really is the dream. Some guys honestly believe that she is real, that she sincerely loves giving blow jobs and watching them play Call of Duty for three hours. And to the girls who really do love those things, good for you—own it. But to the girls just pretending to, who are just trying to get the guy, please stop.
Please stop losing your identity for a guy. Please stop making the rest of us look crazy. Please stop damaging your sense of self and your heart. Because, I promise, not every guy wants the “cool girl.” I promise you, all of you, that there are more guys out there like Tanner. Ones who will love you for your emotions, for your 2:00 AM chocolate cravings. Guys who love that you love who you are. He’s out there, and he’s waiting for you, the real you, not the “cool” you. Because, as Tanner so beautifully put it, “emotion is real, it’s raw, it’s life.”