How To Stop Pretending To Be 'The Cool Girl' And Become Girlfriend Material

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how to be girlfriend material
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Because being the cool girl never gets anyone anywhere.

For the majority of my teen years and young adult years, guys perceived me to be “the cool girl.” In fact, I’d say most still do, and that’s fine because I’m not dating anymore.

Being the “cool girl” has its perks. You have good moments with guy friends. You can have sex in an instant. You get a better look into the male mind, for better or worse.

The problem? Guys don’t date “cool girls.” Like, ever. 

Trust me, I’ve tried to make male friends date me, and while they were happy to sleep with me, they were not willing to commit to a relationship. Being the “cool girl” when you want a husband sucks. Badly.

What’s weird is that a lot of guys don’t really know why they can’t get into the idea of dating the “cool chick” of the group. Or, more frequently, they don’t respect the cool girl, even though they absolutely should.

There’s some good news to this, though. You can, at any point in time, stop being the “cool girl” once you learn how to be girlfriend material. Here are some of the easiest ways to quash the behavior that’s keeping you from being a girlfriend rather than a female friend.

1. First off, stop talking or sleeping with guys who 'bone zone' you.

Unlike the “Friend Zone,” which isn’t real, the Bone Zone is very real. Bone Zoning is what I call guys who specifically keep you around because they want to have sex with you — and only have sex with you. Guys who do this are NOT your friends.

I know it hurts to realize that, but if he only wants to talk to you if you’re willing to flirt with him and sleep with him, it’s true. Straight up, just ghost them. By refusing to associate with Bone Zoners, you’re sending a message that you demand respect.


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2. Stand up for yourself if they start saying rude things.

I remember that there were so many times when guys would say some really gross things to me, or even flat-out insult me to my face. I’d say nothing, because I wanted to be “the nice girl” and “the cool girl” who could roll with the punches. Funny enough, guys ended up respecting me more when I’d tell them to shut up.

3. Make an active effort to find female friends.

This is often what defines the “cool girl.” Being a “cool girl” often means that all your friends are male, and in many cases, this is because we just connect better with guys. I swear, it is possible to find cool female friends out there. It’s not easy, but it’s doable.

Once you have female friends, you’ll find yourself a lot less likely to bend over backwards for guys. Don’t ask why, just know it happens.

4. Take up hobbies.

Hobbies are wonderful things that can help you learn more about yourself and the world around you. Now, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with ceasing your role as “the cool girl.” It’s actually rather simple.

Hobbies allow you to gain new interests, improve your personality, and also open up your social circles. Since you probably had to cut off a bunch of guys, this is what will most likely keep you from crawling back.

5. When you have a guy you like, tell them your needs and refuse to settle for anything less.

Yes, this will be hard at first. But trust me, it works. Guys may not be happy to find out that you want respect from them, or that you won’t sleep with them without being in a relationship, but this isn’t about what they want anymore.

It’s about what you want, and it’s about damned time you start seeing things that way, too, don’t you think?

6. If you hear a guy saying something misogynistic, call him out on it.

Just because it’s not necessarily directed at you doesn’t mean that it’s okay for you to sit there and smile. When you allow guys to say this kind of stuff near you, you’re basically allowing unhealthy men around you.

When you let unhealthy men around you, you’ll end up cultivating unhealthy relationships. So, don’t do that.

7. Get used to being called “crazy,” “selfish,” “slutty,” and “bitchy.”

I hate to say it, but it’s true. A lot of men out there typically will berate, discredit, and insult women who don’t kowtow to their demands. What you have to understand is that their behavior is not a reflection of you or your worth; it’s a reflection of them and how they see themselves.

Men who do this are not men who should be dating, so just block them and carry on. You are not crazy for wanting people to treat you well.


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8. Understand that you’re not wrong or stupid for having emotional needs that need to be met.

The “cool girl” is not a human being. She’s an archetype that men make up who tries to live up to standards that aren’t meant for people. She has no needs of her own, and living like that is not humanly possible.

Anyone who dismisses you as “the cool girl” is dehumanizing you, and it’s okay to stand up for yourself. It’s also okay to be hurt, angry, or cry. Doing these things does not make you “crazy.”

9. Stop doing things you don’t like so that guys will like you.

It took me a while to come to terms with this, because being born female means you’re automatically socialized to be a people pleaser. Doing this will change the way you live life, and will also force men to respect  you all the more.

The moment I dropped my high heels and skirts, and came out as agender was the moment I felt a million times better about myself. Sure, I still love to cook. But I’m so over pretending to like anime “just because.”

10. Have a “F*ck Off Fund” before you get into any relationship.

I’m a huge proponent of the F*ck Off Fund, which is a nice amount of savings that is specifically kept in order to ensure that you have enough money to comfortably support yourself in the event of a breakup. You can make a F*ck Off Fund effortlessly by just using an app like Qapital that automatically saves money to an account for you.

When you have enough money to support yourself, you end up feeling more confident and are way less likely to put up with bullsh*t.

11. Also, have a list of deal breakers — and actually stick to them.

Deal breakers are crucial in breaking out of the “cool girl” role and learning how to be girlfriend material. These are actions or attitudes that you refuse to put up with, regardless of how long you’ve been together with a guy.

Things like cheating, misogyny, pushing boundaries when it comes to sex, being overly demanding, or refusing to commit to you should be on that list. If you notice him acting on deal breaker-level behavior, walk. It’s within your right.

12. Switch up your entourage if necessary.

There are a lot of friend groups that tend to drag you down and have a tendency to encourage downplaying your feelings. If you’re in one of those scenes, you may want to just seek out something new to do. Otherwise, you’ll be way more likely to backslide.

13. Understand that it’s okay to seek out help.

I’ll be the first to admit that being the “cool girl” really messed me up emotionally. It took me a long time to refuse to tolerate it, and I’m still dealing with the emotional and mental scars it’s put on me.

It’s okay to get therapy or get help, if the way men treated you as “the cool girl” hurt you. It’s also alright just to ask for help to stand up for yourself. After all, no one said you ever have to stop being cool alone. 


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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a Jack-of-all-trades writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. When she's not writing, she's drinking red wine and chilling with some cool cats. You can follow her @bluntandwitty on Twitter.

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