The Cool Girlfriend bakes cookies for her boyfriend and also wraps up a couple of batches for his closest buddies. The Cool Girlfriend is completely laissez-faire when her boyfriend goes out with friends, yet still texts him goodnight. And, above all, the Cool Girlfriend doesn’t flip out everytime a girl friend calls her boyfriend’s phone. Let’s face it, people: The Cool Girlfriend does not exist—at least not entirely.
The Cool Girlfriend is what we would like to aspire to, but it’s hard-pressed to believe that anyone can be a 100% cool girlfriend. It’s like the human error problem: you can’t avoid that momentary lapse into absent-minded behavior that results in accidents or mistakes. Somewhere along the lines, we’re bound to blow a fuse when we’re hungry, make a joke in bad form, or freak out over seeing an old picture of our boyfriends with an ex. Cool Girlfriend moments, though, are definitely attainable.
When it comes to certain situations, we generally have an idea of how The Cool Girlfriend would handle it. This is what a friend once told me is referred to as “The Cool Girlfriend Method.” Apparently, when you find yourself in a scenario with a male (could be a boyfriend, husband, or simply someone you’re interested in) where your nerves have been rattled, or where you have to make some kind of decision, just take a deep breath and mentally chant to yourself: Cool Girlfriend. Like the mantras in a Zen practice, this will force you to focus and tap into your inner Cool Girlfriend. Go with it. This doesn’t mean to overlook everything—some things are worth the battle.
If you don’t have the foundations of The Cool Girlfriend Method yet, try thinking of the basic components of a good relationship: trust, self-esteem, affection, understanding, honesty, tact, thoughtfulness, laughter, etc. Here are just a few of the bigger things that I need to remember myself:
- Learn to let things go. Don’t get me wrong—if something bothers you, speak up, but try to be cognizant of not making him feel judged, criticized, or blamed. It’s also a good opportunity to gauge the dynamic between the both of you in how he responds. If he genuinely listens to your concerns/comments, and you both come to a good place in the conversation, let it go and move forward. You only need to think about it if it happens again.
- Give him space to breathe. The thing about finding a great guy is that you may want to spend all of your time with him. Don’t forget that one of the things that drew you to him in the first place are his individual interests and experiences, and vice-versa. Everyone is juggling a lot on their plate these days—the time that you give him to breathe also allows you to breathe, whether it be to catch up with friends and side projects, or just relax.
- Be flexible. In newer relationships, it takes time to understand each other’s expectations when it comes to getting a good sense of each other’s weekly agenda. Try to be understanding to a reasonable extent if there’s a change in plans.
- Everybody has a past, so leave it there. There may be things that bother you about his past, but focus on the present so that you don’t end up harping on his past OR your own. Smile—he’s with you now.
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