Margarita Confessionals: It’s time for the ‘cool girl’ phenomenon to die

Welcome back to Margarita Monday! Each week, we’ll be publishing a story about dating by Lauren Levine and/or Ali Washburn to go along with the latest episode of “The Margarita Confessionals,” a podcast for the jaded dater. You can find it on Soundcloud or iTunes.

Playing it cool has been a dating concept since approximately the beginning of time. Endless amounts of romcoms, shows and novels instruct audiences on how to properly play hard to get:

– Wait x amount of time to return a call or text.

– Don’t make it seem like you’re too available when someone asks you out.

But somewhere along the line this concept of “playing it cool” morphed from a flirty game of cat and mouse to a creepy parallel universe where we’re all trying to pretend like we’re emotionless robots. Nothing bothers us! We’re the “cool girl/guy.” No matter what happens, we’re going to be totally chill about everything. As a result, we’re not saying what we want to say, and no one has any idea about what’s actually happening in their dating life.

Ali and I read this article in Man Repeller recently, which covers this new “cool girl” phenomenon and we yelled “YES EXACTLY” out loud so many times because it speaks volumes of truth.

Why have we forgotten that showing that you care is normal? Why are we so afraid of getting invested in our relationships? Why do we get squeamish about depicting actual human emotions?

The reality is you shouldn’t be “chill” if someone bails on you hours before a date. You shouldn’t be blasé if you really care about someone. And yet we don’t want to seem crazy or clingy so we continuously stifle our thoughts. No wonder why dating in 2016 sometimes makes us want to stick sharp, hot needles directly into our eyeballs.

[Related: Everyone should try dating in 2016 for one week.]

Enough is enough. We’re so ready for the death of the “cool girl” and all of the nonsensical rules that accompany her. It’s time to welcome in a new paradigm: the honest girl. She recognizes that feelings are a normal part of dating. She wants you to know what’s going on in her head, because it makes dating less confusing for everyone involved. She’s okay with expressing what she wants and doesn’t want out of a relationship.

As we shift away from trying so hard to play it cool, let’s take a moment of silence to honor all of the times when we felt like we couldn’t say what we wanted to say, when we cheerfully chirped “No worries!” when we actually were bothered by someone’s behavior.

If you’ve been playing the cool game for a long time (trust us, we’ve been there) and need some tips on easing back into emotionally expressive life, here’s what you should remember:

– Telling someone you’re excited to see them again doesn’t make you a stage 5 clinger.

– Expressing your needs doesn’t make you high-maintenance.

– These are parts of being a mature, emotional, caring human, as opposed to this dating robot we’ve tried to become.

RIP “cool girl.” You won’t be missed. It’s time to say what’s on your mind and take the unnecessary mystery and stress out of dating.

Photo: Rémy Thurston