One of my favorite things about my current relationship is that I don't have to pretend to be someone I'm not. I don't have to play it cool, and if I'm thinking something, I can just say it.
I know that may seem like standard relationship stuff to any logical human being, but for me, this is all HUGE.
You see, this is my first real relationship. Of course, I had plenty of those almost-relationships (I think the kids are calling them "situationships" these days) that lasted for weeks or months, without us really talking about what it was and what we were doing.
But none of those "thing" really amounted to anything more, which partially had to do with the fact that I didn't really want anything with most of those guys.
But another (much bigger) part of it had to do with my incessant need to be the "chill girl."
Basically, I was so obsessed with coming off like nothing fazed me or avoiding being vulnerable at all costs, I ended up pushing plenty of decent dudes away.
It's funny because, historically, being the "chill girl" is supposed to be the most surefire way to get you the guy but, in reality, it usually ends up being what makes you lose him.
When you told him you didn't want to talk about it
Honestly, there were lots of times I really didn't want to talk about what was bothering me.
Talking about what was on my mind brought about real, human FEELINGS. Not to mention, I would have to say actual words out of my mouth in real-time, rather than simply sending perfectly curated text messages, drafted with the help of a million of my friends.
What if I ended up saying something psycho?! What if I told him I liked him, and he didn't feel the same way? What if I CRIED?
But from personal experience, I can tell you, the only thing worse than talking about your feelings is not talking about them.
I'd endure these ambiguous, undefined "situationships" for weeks — sometimes months — with no real conclusion as to what we were doing, all because I was too scared to sit there and have a real conversation.
Sure, I probably came off as super "chill" on the surface, but what it did to me mentally was anything but chill.
Eventually I'd lose the guy because (shocker!) he also didn't want to sit around with someone in a situation that's going nowhere, without ever discussing what we were actually doing.
When you told him you "didn't care" about something you really cared about so much
One time, I did have to have "the talk" with a guy... and it didn't go as planned. He asked, "Really? This isn't working for you? I love things the way they are."
Instead of being honest and saying, "nope, this isn't working for me at all. I actually hate this with a burning passion," I decided to play it cool and go with a new, more ~chill~ response: "No, I just wanted to see where you were at. I don't really care."
So, because I technically "didn't care," we went ahead and continued to do the whole half-ass, almost relationship thing that gave me no grounds to get upset when he'd suddenly fall off the face of the Earth for a few days or hook up with another girl for a few more months.
Eventually, whatever was going on between us ended because I obviously did care. I cared about what he was doing a lot. And it just got to be too hurtful.
But instead of ending things before it got to that point, I waited and waited, continuing to pretend like I "didn't care" until I reached my eventual breaking point.
In retrospect, I think all I did by saying "I don't care" in that conversation was lose his respect. I suddenly became someone he wasn't going to lose, no matter how he treated me.
When you tried to make him jealous
This was a go-to move of mine in college.
In order to get the attention of the guy whom I did like, I'd make it abundantly clear that I was being pursued by plenty of guys whom I didn't like.
But I wouldn't do this in a blatantly obvious way. No, to keep up my "chill girl" attitude, I'd do it by nonchalantly mentioning that "so-and-so invited me to their frat formal" or that "I'm going to my ex's house for a party."
Essentially, I said things that made it clear I had other options — that all my eggs weren't in this one basket.
Let me tell you how this one panned out for me: In what was essentially the worst case scenario, they all believed me. They believed I had all these other options whom I enjoyed being with, so they never took me seriously — maybe rightfully so.
When you lied or exaggerated to make yourself seem cooler
This is just an embarrassing and cringeworthy one that we've all done at some point.
Pretending to watch a show you hate. Pretending to care about a sport you couldn't care less about. Pretending you LOVE music you hate. Pretending to understand jokes you wouldn't get without the help of Google.
To a certain extent, doing this is natural. You want the person you like to like you back, so you're going to do whatever it takes to appear "cool" to them. But it becomes a problem when you stop being true to yourself.
Best case scenario: This plan works. This guy buys that you really love the same horrible TV show as he does and loves you because you have such similar taste as him. But now, he loves you because of someone you're not.
The worst case scenario is obvious and more likely: He sees through your lies, and you look insecure and slightly pathetic (sorry, but it's true), when you could have just been honest from the get-go and gained his respect for being true to yourself.
When you rejected him one too many times
I was big on rejection back in my day.
You see, I was never one of those people who had a really hard time saying "no." "No" came naturally to me, especially when it came to boys I liked.
I would get afraid if someone were pursuing me, and as a weird, counterintuitive result, I would be mean to them, reject them or literally run (that was one time) from my feelings for them.
I'm not gonna lie: In the beginning, it's a great way to get a boy's attention. A little bit of playing hard to get and a little bit of a chase is fun and exciting. But eventually, it gets old and exhausting. And the person you're rejecting understandably gives up.
When you needed five shots to be vulnerable with him
This was another one of my go-to college moves.
If, for some godforsaken reason, I HAD to be honest with a boy about what was going on or about how I felt, my plan was to get drunk and have a talk with him while I saw him out at night.
Needless to say, this was a terrible plan. First and foremost, I could barely remember these super important, heartfelt conversations I was supposed to be having.
Second, nothing I was saying was coming off at all like I had planned because I was hammered.
Finally, I was proving to my partner (and as a result, to myself) that I wasn't capable of having these important conversations sober.
When you refused to tell him how you really felt
All of these pretty much boil down to one thing: I was afraid.
I was so afraid of telling anyone how I really felt or what I really wanted out of our relationship (whatever it was) that I would just avoid the whole "telling him how I feel" part of the relationship entirely.
Yes, technically, I did successfully manage to avoid putting myself out there to be rejected.
But I wouldn't count that as a win by any means.
You're obviously not going to stop all these habits at once, and hey, maybe some of them are working for you. But from my personal experience, these things are surefire relationship repellant.
This isn't to say I suddenly became this perfect human by the time I met my boyfriend and quit all my weird, "chill girl" stuff for good — he definitely did his part in helping break some of my walls down. But the fact of the matter is, relationships are all about being yourself and being vulnerable. And a healthy relationship will never happen for you if you can't accept that.