ONCE I pretended I was scared of the wind to be cute. Oh man. Even typing the words makes me shiver.
I was chatting to a guy I was seeing and there was a fierce, ghastly wind whispering outside my window. I said to him on the phone that the wind was freaking me out. I think the actual words were, “Oh my god, I am really scared”. I was painting my toe nails at the time, and had just cooked the most delicious pasta after a nap and an episode of Orange is the New Black. The truth was I didn’t have a worry in the world.
The second I said it to him, I screwed up my face. I had no idea why I had a moment where I was trying to act differently to how I felt.
Until the next day, the penny dropped. I wanted him to like me.
Now allow me to introduce myself. I’m Stace. I am passionate, opinionated, outspoken and proud of who I am. I’m not an easily scared kind of girl, and certainly not submissive. I would call myself thoroughly independent (sometimes to my own detriment) and, overall, I am happy.
I was not afraid of the wind. But in the moment, I eagerly wanted him to feel like he could look after me. And he did. He was sweet, he was attentive and even sent me cute messages later that night and in the morning. I could hear it in his voice he enjoyed it and (I’m not going to lie) to some degree, so did I. But I also knew something was fundamentally wrong with lying about how I felt to get to this place.
But I’m not the only one.
My girlfriend once had her housemate, who she had a crush on at the time, meet her on the side of the road to change her tyre. Yes. The sentence made me LOL too, because it sounds like the opening scene to Suburbia Porn: A Love Story. She grew up in the country and basically knows how to service a motorbike. She knows how to change a tyre.
I also knew a workmate who pretended that she needed her work “proofed” after hours, to help her land a promotion she was going for. One night a week, she pretended she wasn’t sure of the details of a report she was writing and, over a beer, this dude and her nutted out how she could do things differently, and how he could help her shift a few ideas. She never changed a single letter and got the promotion like the slam dunk player she is.
So, ladies, why have we dumbed ourselves down?
Do we think we need to do to be cared for? Protected? Do I think this is the only way I can be loved?
Hell to the freakin’ no. In fact, it goes against everything I believe in and never, ever would I let a friend get away with this sort of behaviour. Yet, there I was, wanting a boy to not feel threatened and to feel comfortable with who he was and, furthermore, who I was.
What I did learn from this little experience was that no matter who you are, what kind of characteristics you have and what kind of men you are attracted to, lying about being scared, or lying at all about how you are feeling is not the way to go. He is not the guy for you.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to think that I can be independent and loud and opinionated as well as be taken care of at times and not always be the one in control. I like the idea of being vulnerable, cared for and fussed over. But I don’t think this should be done by being anyone apart from the very person you are.
Girls, do not dumb yourselves down. Hell, not just girls, people. Don’t be someone you aren’t to impress them. It may take a little longer to find your right someone, you may have to kiss a few extra frogs, but from watching my happiest, loved-up friends — it looks bloody worth it.

Author Stacey June

Stacey June is one half of The Thinkergirls — who love to chat on their podcast about all the thoughts you’re thinking but not saying. Find the girls on Facebook or Youtube.

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