I Tried To Be Less Emotional To Keep A Guy Interested But It Backfired

After a guy said I was “too much to deal with” because I was quite emotional, I tried to be the carefree cool girl who didn’t act “crazy” so that I would keep him happy. Needless to say, that was a terrible idea.

  1. I’ve always been emotional but he couldn’t handle it. I’m passionate about things, speak loudly, and laugh from my belly; I tell people what I think and I cry if I feel like it. I’m an emotional person and I don’t see what’s wrong with that. Unfortunately, this guy wasn’t on board. We’d been dating for a few weeks when he told me he thought I was too much to deal with. Um, what? I’d been such a nice and accommodating person to him since we’d met.
  2. He used the term “emotionally high-maintenance.” He said that he felt like I needed the man in my life to be really strong and supportive. I asked him what that meant exactly, to which he replied that it’s “not easy to deal with someone who’s so emotional all the time.” It was a serious blow—I felt like he thought I was crazy or something. Since when was it a crime to feel things and express yourself?
  3. Sadly, I actually believed him. I was really into him and I guess I wasn’t as sure of myself as I should’ve been. I was battling with low levels of self-confidence at that point in my life. Because of that, I seriously believed he was telling me the truth and that I should follow his advice and be a bit more “chill.” I somehow thought that would make me a better person and a much better girlfriend. Sad but true.
  4. I clipped my wings. Instead of being who I was and allowing myself to be comfortable in our relationship, I started to censor myself. When I had the urge to get excited about things, I’d try to appear more rational and calm. If I was anxious, I’d hide it so that my BF wouldn’t know and think I was really crazy or something. When I had a bad day or a fight with my friend, I’d pretend I was totally fine when all I really wanted was to be able to be myself. Sad, huh?
  5. I hid all my pain. When my BF did something to piss me off, like the time he made a nasty “joke” about me, I’d seethe but I wouldn’t tell him to go to hell because I didn’t want to seem like an emotionally unstable or uptight person. I bottled up all my emotions and slapped a smile on my face. I’d even force myself to laugh so he’d think I was super cool and unaffected by negativity.
  6. I wanted to be the cool girl but my body rebelled. I wanted to be someone relaxed and fun to be around, but I was totally neglecting my needs and feelings. It wasn’t healthy and I started to feel it. As time went on, the more I tried to hide and strangle my feelings, the more powerfully they tried to fight back. What was even worse was that my anxiety was through the roof. I was trying so hard to pretend I wasn’t anxious in this relationship that I ended up feeling anxious every day. I can’t believe I allowed myself to hurt myself so much just because of some guy who wanted me to change.
  7. I became depressed and my boyfriend noticed. I wanted to be the life of the party but also the mellow woman who everyone loved being around. Trying to force these qualities onto myself had the opposite effect: I became depressed AF and even more tightly wound up. One night, we were out at dinner with his friends and I hardly spoke all evening. I was just feeling so down and out. I wasn’t myself and I hated who I’d become. He asked me what was wrong and I realized I had to come clean.
  8. I couldn’t take it anymore. After his friends left, I told him that I’d been trying to be the woman he wanted (cringe) and it just wasn’t working. I wasn’t being my real self. I wanted to be who I was—loud, passionate, emotional, and even crazy, damnit! It would be so much better to do that than to continue trying to be liked for all the qualities I really didn’t possess and never would.
  9. I had a light-bulb moment. While I was talking to him about this, I realized something huge: I wasn’t just depressed because I was fighting my true feelings, I was depressed because I didn’t want to be with this guy anymore. Now it was time to listen to my feelings and GTFO. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I allowed myself to express every single bit of my newfound freedom and excitement. It was fantastic!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.