How To Pretend You’re Cool When You Really Have Zero Chill

You meet a guy, he seems really great, and you hit it off. Next thing you know, you’re texting him all the time, obsessively checking your phone and clearing your schedule to be with him. It always ends the same way, with his interest waning and you constantly refreshing his Facebook profile for clues as to why he vanished. Being thirsty AF never produces good results. It’s time to chill TF out.

  1. Pump the brakes and figure out your feelings. Before you start doodling his name in your journal, take the time to figure out if you’re genuinely into him. You can’t possibly know someone well enough to be sure about pursuing them in a couple of weeks, so slow down. Take a breath and just enjoy seeing how it develops at a normal pace. Besides, it would suck to race into something because you’re desperate to bring your wedding board on Pinterest to life, only to realize you’re not very compatible.
  2. Make yourself the priority. Rather than letting the new fling run your schedule, make sure you’re ticking all the boxes in your own life. Are you up to date with work? Nurturing your friendships? Enjoying your hobbies? Make sure you’re still doing all the things you would usually do. You might be all too willing to drop your life like a hot potato for this guy, but you don’t want him to know that! So don’t do it.
  3. Cool it with the texting. No one likes a text pest, and this goes for all kinds of contact. If you need it spelled out: try not to contact him any more then he contacts you. This might be really hard, especially if he’s bad at or doesn’t like texting. But if he is and you’re blowing up his phone, you’re just going to annoy him anyway. Even if you have to put your phone on silent or turn it off, try to have regular breaks. Girls with crushes are like addicts, unpredictable and impulsive.
  4. Let him make the plans. If you’re constantly arranging every get-together, not only will you come on too strong but you won’t have the chance to see if he’s really interested. After all, you don’t want to fall for a dude who could take you or leave you. Give him a chance to make the plans at least half the time. And in the meantime, make sure you’re still keeping a healthy schedule of your own things—as much as you want to be, not being available for him all the time is a must for appearing cool as a cucumber.
  5. Don’t focus on him. Let’s be honest, there’s a certain percentage of relationships that happen exclusively in our heads. As fun as these make-believe scenarios are to think about, when everything is still fresh, they can actually be kind of damaging. Not only do they make the whole situation seem more extraordinary than it might be in reality but they subtly raise your expectations. Try to consciously push him out of your mind if the thought serves no real purpose.
  6. Wrangle your drunken antics. You might think you’ve got your act together, but throw in a couple of vodka sodas and you’re Harley Quinn. My drunken alter-ego has an entirely different agenda to me—she straight up can’t be trusted. Drunk texting may seem funny and cute at the time, but the next morning when your makeup is down your face and you’re regretfully scrolling through your messages with one eye open, you may feel differently. Get a friend to guard your phone if you have to once you hit the juice.
  7. Don’t social media stalk him. Facebook and Instagram are like crack when you’re addicted to a guy. You never have to wonder for long what they’re doing because a few clicks and you can basically track their movements like the CIA. Calm down Harriet the Spy. Instead of trolling through his Instagram activity, ask yourself why he’s busy living his life and you’re creeping through his profile pictures for the seventh time.
  8. Don’t smother him. When you do get time with him, don’t be too touchy-feely. Yes, you’re super into him and you want to show him that. But being all over him, especially in social situations or around his friends will just make you look clingy and annoying. No one likes that girl. Give him some breathing space and let him come to you. Besides, having him volunteer affection is 100 times more satisfying than forcing it out of him.
  9. Keep busy. If your mind won’t chill the hell out and stop thinking about him, get busy. Throw yourself into work, your social life, take up a new class, do anything you have to. Anything to remind yourself you’ve got a big life outside of this guy. If you let your world get too small once you start dating someone, you’re not going to have the best situation to come back to if it goes nowhere.
  10. Be present. It’s easy to miss the easy, fun stages of dating by getting too caught up on what might be. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Rather than fantasizing about having him in your profile picture, let yourself just enjoy the time you’re spending together, and the freedom that comes with not yet being in a relationship. Getting to know someone is interesting and fun, don’t get over-enthusiastic by letting your imagination fill in the gaps prematurely. Just relax and enjoy the here and now.
Tabitha is a freelance writer and editor who is currently trying and failing to achieve a tan in Queensland, Australia. When she's not traveling the world in search of the country with the best food (and hottest dudes), she is living the perfect hermit life and fostering her unhealthy addiction of "The Bold and the Beautiful."