I Am Not a Cool Girl

I’m crying over a boy. Others have written better than I could about the “cool girl” expectation/persona (see Gone Girl). But sum it up to say, on the cool girl continuum, crying over a boy is about as far away as you can get.

Sometimes I’m mistaken for a cool girl. I’m poly. I’m sex-positive. But I am not a cool girl.

I’m poly because I’m really jealous, so much that it was messing up my life and I wanted to do something about it. I was jealous because I had problems staying mono and I projected that on my lovers.

So, yes, I am poly. But I’m fragile. I’m intense. I care, deeply. Cool girls don’t notice you didn’t text back. I live for it. I’m not poly because I’m apathetic. I’m poly because my attention is too much to put on one person.

I want my lovers to go out and have a wonderful time with a women one million times better than I could be for them. But I’m also clingy and desperate for information and attention. I want to know they still care about me.

I’ve learned a few things over my few years in non-monogamy. Like that the truth is always less scary than what I imagine. The sex hotter, the women cooler, the trips more fun, the banter wittier. I should turn my insecurity-fueled nightmares into erotica.

So, for me, I need to know everything. It helps me be less scared. It helps me feel cared about. It helps me be genuinely happy for my lovers, to share in their joy instead of worrying alone.

But my ability to rejoice about the hot sex you’re having does not make me cool. I still don’t do detached.

There’s this thing I do. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. This is me trying to grok myself. I’ll meet a boy. We’ll jive. He’s not perfect for me, and I know it. But I like him a lot.

He’ll like me enough to keep hanging out, but he’s not in love. You guys, this is like crack to me. Relative indifference takes a guy who’s a 8 and makes him an 11. I was about to marry and have lots of kids with this religious, monogamous guy because he didn’t want me.

Like, what the fuck? If I could just feel about them like they feel about me, it would all work perfectly. And for some men, that’s how it works.

There are men who I really am chill about when or whether they text back. Like, I still love them. I’m still in love with them. But I’m at peace, ultimately. The butterflies are there, but they’re calm.

And then there are those other men.

Maybe they’re symptomatic of my general uneasiness with not having a life partner. When I got obsessed with religious boy, it was definitely a reaction to my being completely unmoored by not having that for the first time really in my life. It was an overcorrection to my fear of being single. I felt unwanted, and I was addicted to his rejection of me. I needed to prove to myself that I was worth having by making him want to have me forever.

There was another one. He finally told me he was in love with someone else (same with religious boy). I could see what was happening and I cut it off. I’m still friends with both of them. But I can’t sleep with them on the regular.

So now there’s this boy. I don’t think he’s in love with someone else. Not in the way the other two were/are. But I do think he’s not ready. He’s something. He’s just doing the things they did. Not texting me back. Being cryptic. He’s dismissive. He’s detached.

I guess it’s my uneasiness with having no one who is the one for me. It’s not that they need to be the only one for me. I don’t want that. I want there to be many lovers on both sides. Or a few. Whatever. But I miss, desperately, having a one. A primary. Not even a life partner. Just someone for whom I’m the first call. The last text goodnight. The default?

I say uneasiness because it’s not even that I necessarily want that. I have many ones. They are awesome and I love them and I’m grateful. And fuck, having a default requires a lot of work. Being default is a responsibility and a privilege. I am intense and few are ready for that.

But I don’t know. I miss it too. I’m still not sure what it is about being kept at arm’s length, especially in the beginning, that makes me so insane. I guess it’s that hope of having a default dashed with rejection. It’s a loud and clear sign that he won’t be my person. I guess I want it more than I care to admit.

The only solution is to walk away until I can approach their level of indifference I think. And then to be friends. Because the alternative is to keep wanting them to ratchet up their feelings for me. I otherwise will keep trying to prove that I’m worthy of their attention. Because I think I want to prove that I’m worthy of being someone’s default. And I can’t pretend. Their indifference results in me being the least cool version of myself. Them not wanting me makes me even less worthy, but even more desirous. Not the best combo.

It makes me sad to have to walk away. Butterflies and infatuation are fun, if you can handle them. I cannot, so much.

The solution, long-term, is to stop being so damn needy. At least for me. I want to feel butterflies and infatuation, and yet to be genuinely okay with the fact that he didn’t text back. I want to give because giving is fun, to love because loving is fun, to obsess because obsessing is fun. Not because I need to prove to myself that I’m good enough to be given to, loved, and obsessed over by the same person. It can be asynchronous, because it generally is, if we’re real with ourselves. It’s push and pull. One will always want more. Then it will switch, maybe. Often. That’s erotic. Ideally, this will happen without me turning into a desperate, needy fool.

I don’t know how to do this yet. But at one point I didn’t know how to listen to my lover tell me about his lovers without becoming an emotional wreck. So I’ll get there. And it’ll be awesome. Or, I won’t. And my life will still be pretty awesome. But that’s where I am right now.


  1. yellowcalx

    Who wants to make you a priority when they are only an option to you? Don’t sell yourself short by trying to diversify your emotional well-being.

  2. Gero

    Ain’t no one cool. And ain’t nothing like it when you do find your one, your playmate, the one whom you can laugh about all your own bullshit, that they can see you freak and still love you for it, yeah, that’s where the money’s at. The indifference, the games…. eh, eventually you’ll see to the other side of it, probably around the time you realize you’re worth every bit of those attentions. The real rapture is when all those games fall away, honestly. Good luck.

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