5 Reasons to Give Up Playing It Cool in a Relationship

Cuddle weather has fallen upon us, and there you are – shacking it up with your new potential SO. The beginning of a relationship is full of excitement, rushes of adrenaline and inevitably overthinking. Before getting ready for that date or sending a text, we think of that dreaded question – “Am I doing too much?”

As soon as you think you’re doing too much, you may find that you resort to “playing it cool,” otherwise known as downplaying your emotions to not come off as too strong.

There is a fine line between “playing it cool” and coming off uninterested. By playing it cool, you end up limiting yourself. As much as you are a queen that anyone would be lucky to have, any potential SOs won’t be able to recognize your worth behind the wall you’re putting up. Here are the six excuses you might find yourself making to justify playing it cool, and why you should avoid them.

1. “They’ll think I’m annoying.”

One of the most common patterns among women who prefer to not come off strong or show as much interest is the fear of being annoying.

Even the most kind-hearted people find themselves in a bind when it comes to a budding relationship. Being your authentic, affectionate self can be inhibited by the fear of being annoying. *Amber, a junior at Kennesaw State University, has trouble finding the balance.

“Naturally, I am a really loving person, but the last thing I want to feel like is a nuisance to someone,” Amber says. “So I try to dial back the lovingness sometimes because I’m not sure every guy I’m interested can handle it.”

In the eyes of a mature man or woman looking for a relationship, there is no correlation between showing interest and being annoying. If your almost-SO deems you as a pest for texting them first or taking initiative when it comes to hanging out, then chances are they are doing you a favor by showing you a red flag.

2. “I won’t talk to him/her for several days so they can miss me.”

Do you want them to miss you…or forget you?

Space can enhance a relationship if there are already deep, established feelings. You often hear couple’s taking a little break from each other in order to get back on track to a healthy, happy relationship after recovering from a rough patch. However, if the relationship is fresh, acting  like you aren't bothered can steer your new lover into another direction entirely.

Jorge Lupita, a junior at Georgia Gwinnett College, admits to losing interest if there doesn't’t seem to be an interest on the girl’s behalf. “The whole girls not reaching out first thing never made sense to me,” Jorge says. “If you want to talk to someone, just do it. If I don’t hear from you for a long time, I’m going to think she’s not interested.”  

Communication doesn’t have to be 24-hours a day, seven days a week. However, there should be a balance on both ends. 

3. “I don’t want to be labeled as ‘that crazy girl,’ especially if they talk to their friends about me.”

Let’s get one thing straight. Taking initiative, being open and being straight up are not the behaviors of someone crazy. If someone you’re talking to goes behind your back and refers to you as crazy for doing so, laugh in their face. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a relationship is playing it cool about things that bother you instead of openly speaking up.

*Marsha, a sophomore at Coastal Carolina University, found herself in a situation where she let a guy walk all over her, all in the name of “playing it cool.”

“My biggest regret is that I didn’t put him in his place,” she says. "I should’ve shown him that I can’t be bossed around. I should have told him how I felt instead of waiting for him to take the reigns. I should have demanded more respect.”

Wouldn't’t you rather you be open with someone and immediately know from their reaction if they are worthy of your time or not? Although you shouldn't’t profess your love to an unsuspecting someone a week after you meet them, if something is weighing on your heart in a relationship – speak it.

4. “The man should be the man.”

The idea that men should do everything in the relationship has been spoon-fed to us by society for years, and it’s assumed that women should just be on the receiving end. However, since we’re all for gender equality these days, should we really still be participating in this behavior?

Hannah Harshe, a sophomore at University of Michigan, believes it is up to us to confidently keep knocking down the gender role stereotypes that hold women to certain behaviors in a relationship.

“Boys will never know what to do with us ­– but the good ones will stand in awe of us, while the bad ones will try to squash us down with gender stereotypes and patriarchal constructs,” Hannah says.

Acting on feelings shouldn’t be limited exclusively to men. If you want to do something, do it. Make no excuses on behalf on your gender.

Related: How to Deal When Your Boyfriend's Not a Feminist 

5. “I don’t want to get hurt.”

In the end, a lot of repressing feelings boils down to not wanting to get hurt. You hide your feelings in the hopes that if the relationship ends up failing before it even begins, you won’t be disappointed.

However, no matter how much you mask your feelings to the world, you will still end up disappointed if the relationship ends. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to ask yourself, “What could I have done differently?” Be authentically you and know that better opportunities are on the way if you were 100 percent yourself and things still didn't work

It’s time to take back our power, ladies. No patriarchal social construct should restrict how you interact with a potential lover. Feel free to openly express yourself, make mistakes, meet the wrong people and date even wrong-er ones…all to meet the right person.