Today we’re going to stray a bit from the regular programming to talk about a lesson I learned the hard way. I’m linking up with Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday.
Maybe you can relate to this one, or maybe I’ll catch you at the perfect time and you’ll avoid the same fate. Either way it was an important lesson to learn and I just hope I don’t make the same mistake. My mistake? I tried to be cool. And it totally backfired. Here’s why I did it and why I hope I never do it again.
It starts with a dude (but the same mistake can happen with any friendship/relationship). I’ll call him Mr. F for the story’s sake (do I have any Arrested Development fans out there?). He was a couple years older, because I’m a sucker for that. They make you feel cooler and more sophisticated, which was fitting because I was in a new city for the first time and finding new friends was easier said than done.
Spending time with him was effortless. Funny, smart, cool job, cool apartment, cool city. Long walks, long conversations set to skylines and sunsets. He knew how to maintain the perfect balance of making me happy and miserable. The perfect recipe to keep me coming back everytime.
He was pretty clear that it was “just casual.” Of course. That’s what I wanted to. I didn’t have time for a relationship. I was that cool chick who could have a fun fling in a new city and get back to her busy life. Who even has time for a relationship? Not me. My logical brain knew that a relationship was so impractical, but he was someone I’d happily throw away practical for. I’d never say that out loud. I’d never admit that I was the one who fell harder.
Instead I took a step back and made a two fold plan: don’t fall harder, and make him change his mind.
Yes, I know. I can look back now and laugh at myself because I can see how silly it was and hopefully you can, too. These two parts to my “plan” directly contradicted each other.
Here’s how part 1 worked, (you know, the part where I don’t fall for this guy harder, while still trying to get him to change his mind, without saying anything about it, because you know, I’m cool) I didn’t open up. I acted like I didn’t care. I didn’t ask for what I wanted. I was playing it “cool”. I wanted to call the shots. If I was watching a replay of what happened I’d be screaming at the TV, at myself “WHY ARE YOU BEING SO BORING AND LAME.” I was a watered down version of myself. A person that didn’t act like she wanted a relationship and barely a friendship.
I can’t entirely blame “lame Georgie.” Opening up to someone, really opening up to the point where they actually get to know you. The good parts AND the bad parts. The parts that are nervous, dorky, clumsy, the parts that don’t know what they’re doing even when everyone else seems like they do. That’s not easy. And who knows, maybe Mr. F would never have wanted anything more, whoever he was with.
In the end after over a year of random hookups and hangouts I finally let us both of the hook. I needed to let him go if I ever wanted something more.
I’m still friendly with Mr. F. He’s really a great guy. I hope the lucky lady who he ends up is smart, funny, dorky, flawed, quirky, weird and wonderful. That’s what everyone deserves. The whole experience taught me that I deserve to let someone meet the whole me. A relationship need both parties to care for things to work. That doesn’t mean it needs to be a perfect balance, but a war of “who cares less” is futile and does anyone really want that?
Trying to make new friends or turn that thing into a “thing”? My advice: don’t be cool. You can be crazy, goofy, funny, smart, annoying, cute, embarrassing or dorky but please forget about being cool.