Dear “Cool” Girlfriends: This Myth is Terrible for Everyone and I Don’t Know Why We Buy Into It

10 Jul

You know that cultural rumor that there are “cool” girlfriends and “uncool” girlfriends?

“Cool” girlfriends:

  • are cool with their boyfriends drinking a lot
  • and playing video-games
  • and sitting on the couch while the girlfriend cleans the house
  • they don’t ask too many questions
  • they’re down with their boyfriends spending money on “toys”: sports equipment, cars, power tools, guns, motorcycles
  • they’re okay with hard partying and they party hard, too. but if their bf wants to go party hard with his boys and maybe some other girls, that’s okay too.
  • “cool” girlfriends like watching sports, but also like making sandwiches for men. 
  • they also are athletic and can keep up and play hard and hang tough with the boys
  • but they also don’t mind being left out of sports when told it’s “just the boys today.”
  • “cool” girlfriends are into sex: copious amounts, and maybe some weird stuff, but definitely not more than their

    “Cool” girlfriends have definitely had a whip cream bikini on their body at some point.

    boyfriends and not weirder than their boyfriends, and there’s some magic balance of previous sex partners that they’ve had where they know “how to do stuff” but the boyfriends are never confronted with too much evidence of previous sex partners.

  • they like jet skis.
  • they’re okay with their boyfriend having girls that are friends, even if those girls-that-are-friends are super hot and very flirtatious and are known for having stolen other people’s boyfriends in the past
  • they dress well and look good all the time but don’t spend a lot of time shopping, or at least don’t require their boyfriends to ever participate in said shopping. unless it’s for lingerie. then it’s sexy lingerie. 
  • “cool” girlfriends don’t wear pajamas. and they don’t get cold.
  • they don’t like to “talk.” they especially don’t like to have “The Talk.” ever. 
  • but their devotion is unwavering. except there’s a little unavailability mixed in. never clingy, never distant. they’re basically like a feral cat who shows up at regular feeding times. and by food I mean sex. and food, but they’re the ones providing it, not expecting to be fed.

She can definitely play an impromptu game of flag football in that thing.

“Cool” girlfriends are permissive, easy to be with, undemanding, and not controlling. Basically, “cool” girlfriends are aliens, blow-up dolls, or Stacy Kiebler. Except I hate to break it to you, but you, hopeful boyfriend of the “cool” girlfriend: you are not George Clooney. 

Katie Holmes was a “cool” wife right up until she wasn’t. 

It seemed like Angelina would be a “cool” wife once she stopped making out with her brother– she fits the partying and sexytimes requirements– but these days? Doesn’t seem like it so much. 

Katy Perry seems like a fairly “cool” wife. But, again, not a wife any longer. Maybe not so cool? Or Russell Brand not so cool with the turn-about-fair-play requirements of coolness?

Who else? Drew Barrymore? She’d down to hang out. But if you think that woman doesn’t have a lot of emotions, you’re off your rocker.

Beyonce? You’ve got to be kidding me. 

Cameron Diaz? Despite her Something About Mary character, I think she’s known for being pretty clingy and boy-crazy, too relationship-focused to make a relationship work. 

Jessica Biel? Now there’s an interesting case. She’s forgiven Justin Timberlake’s infidelities. She’s taken him back time and again. She’s waited him out. But you’ll notice she wouldn’t budge on the marriage thing. Not quite “cool” enough to just drift along indefinitely. We’ll see how that goes.

Mila Kunis? Maybe. But by all accounts, that girl’s got backbone and I bet she’s pretty clear about what she expects. I bet she has a “cool” and “uncool” list of her own that’s pretty unforgiving.

Stu and Melissa from The Hangover. Not cool, Melissa. Not cool at all. I mean, this is a guy who preferred pulling his own tooth out with a wrench to spending another minute around this woman.

“Uncool” girlfriends are controlling, strict, mean, and unforgiving. “Boys will be boys” is not in their vocabulary. In fact, they don’t want the boys to have any fun at all. They operate on a system of reward and punishment. It’s possible they hate their boyfriends. There’s a lot of evidence for it. And it’s undisputed that their boyfriends’ friends hate them. 

I really wish I was a “cool” girlfriend sometimes. They sound so…well…cool.

But I tend to puke when I drink. So there goes that dream. Sigh.

In case you’ve forgotten, Ali Larter’s character was cheating on her boyfriend in that whip cream bikini scene in Varsity Blues. And she ends up crying. RAWR.

Like most women I know, I’m not a “cool” girlfriend. Like most women I know, I’m not an “uncool” girlfriend. Most men I know don’t want either “cool” or “uncool” girlfriends. We all just want someone we like and like to be around.

Interesting, though, that I don’t think I could flip this post and write a “cool” boyfriend post, or if I did, it wouldn’t say that “cool” boyfriends like shopping; spending money on clothes, hair, and wine; they like painting their toes; they’ll watch the Bachelorette with their girlfriends; they like high heels; they only wear tuxes. I mean, I’m sure that’s someone’s dream man, but it’s not a culturally widespread list. Instead, the cultural list looks more like, “cool” boyfriends are smart, kind, funny, nice to my family and friends. Maybe athletic? Maybe good at grilling? 


Does your list have “sexy personality” on it? One of the men on the Bachelorette had “sexy personality” on his list. He didn’t make it to the final three. Do I have a sexy personality? Is there a pee test? 

What do you take for that– penicillin? 



2 Responses to “Dear “Cool” Girlfriends: This Myth is Terrible for Everyone and I Don’t Know Why We Buy Into It”

  1. Anonymous 14 July 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    I think that just the fact that you are offering to pee to figure it out pushes you into the sexy column.
    Not that peeing is, but eager/willing to in order to find out carries a lot of weight.
    Especially with boys.
    Who are stupid.

  2. DJB 20 July 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I spent adolescence-23 trying to be the “cool” girlfriend. The last significant relationship before my current one, I spent 2 years listening to promises never fulfilled and wondering where I stood… I was literally “Superwoman”. There hasn’t been a better girlfriend in the history of the world, but it was for naught. When I finally got fed up and left, I spent the next two years happy, single, doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. A part of me thought, expected, that I would become “cool” girlfriend, “Superwoman”, again after I found “the one”… but unfortunately for my fiance, it never came back!
    No, I will not work 40-hours a day (and get up earlier than you do) AND cook dinner AND do the dishes.
    No, I do not enjoy your company when you’re a drunken mess.
    No, I don’t want to iron your clothes while you watch TV, why don’t you take your stuff to the dry cleaners like I do?
    Is it because I used to do that stuff to “ensure” I’d be loved and “earn” love, but now I’m jaded and know that no matter how hard I try it doesn’t matter, so he better love me for me?
    Or is it because I have self respect now? And know what I like and don’t like, and I’m only doing what makes me happy?
    I’m not sure if any one is more dysfunctional than the other… but a part of me misses that crazy girl, whose heart was bursting full of faith – faith that if she did what she thought was “right” that things would work out. I can’t help but think that she would be a better girlfriend than me. And that makes me a little sad.

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