Dating in the modern world is a complex battleground full of emotions, words (whether harsh or loving), and even a little bit of sex – sometimes more than others. Whether you’re new to the game or you’ve been dating for twenty years, “it’s complicated” doesn’t even begin to cover it. (But thanks anyway, Facebook.)
Chances are, if you’ve had at least one previous partner, you’ve dealt with the struggles of your ex saying that you’re crazy. Maybe you’ve even said that your ex was crazy (I know I have!)
But that’s not really fair. Most people aren’t actually “crazy” – we just find something we don’t like about how they behaved, and the easiest way to write it off is by pretending it was something mentally wrong with them.
The lines become even more complicated when it comes to actual mental illnesses. For a long time, any mental illness was categorized as “insanity” – and for some reason, when it comes to our exes, we tend to do the same thing. But for the person dealing with the mental illness, being called crazy is not going to solve anything, it’s only going to make them feel worse about their situation.
(Unless, of course, their self-acceptance is high enough to laugh it off – but they really shouldn’t have to.)
If you’ve been called crazy for any of the following things, I want to tell you – personally – you are not crazy. And if you’ve ever called someone crazy because of the following things – you are definitely an ass.
Having a mental illness does not make you crazy.
The brain is an important organ that literally controls everything you do, and it can get sick just like any other organ. Whether you choose to receive treatment or you choose to manage it on your own, you are not crazy.
Getting mad about being mistreated does not make you crazy.
If your girlfriend doesn’t treat you right, you deserve to be mad about it. This is true whether she’s a liar, a cheater, a thief, or just a jerk. No matter how she treats you badly, it is not your fault, and you are not crazy. (There’s a bit of a grey area if you’re the one doing the mistreating – which you should never do anyway!)
Worrying about the state of your relationship does not make you crazy.
Sometimes women like to play mind games. I really wish it wasn’t the case, but it would be ignorant to pretend it never happens. If your girlfriend leaves you wondering and you actually wonder, you are not crazy.
Worrying about anything does not make you crazy.
Conspiracy theories aside (which still leaves room for interpretation, as I’m sure some conspiracy theories are probably true), worry is a natural function of the human brain. Sometimes, that function works in overdrive – as it does for many of us suffering from mental illness. If you are worried about anything and you bring it to your partner’s attention, you are not crazy.
A self-harming past does not make you crazy.
It’s a sad fact, but many women struggle with self-harm at some point in their lives. This can be really difficult if you’ve already moved on from this part of your life, but you literally wear the scars of your past. Just because you have harmed yourself in the past, you are not crazy.
A self-harming present does not make you crazy.
There are still a number of stigmas surrounding self-harm, and while it is definitely a mental illness (see item #1, above), you are not crazy.
Expecting your partner to be faithful does not make you crazy.
Unless you and your partner have specifically discussed that you will have an open relationship, you have every right to expect that the two of you are exclusive (even though many relationships don’t actually start off as exclusive – more on that later). If you and your partner say that you are committed to one another and she cheats (and you call her on it), you are not crazy.
Being unhappy in a monogamous relationship does not make you crazy.
I know I said that you’re allowed to expect monogamy – but it’s not the only answer. People who are trying to force themselves into monogamy when they’re really not cut out for it isn’t a bad thing, exactly, but if you find that it simply doesn’t work for you, you are not crazy.
Having a bad day every now and then does not make you crazy.
As women, it’s pretty much implied that we’re going to completely flip out sometimes. (Especially if it’s right around that time of the month). While no one has the right to treat others badly, an occasional freak-out is understandable, and you are not crazy.
Handling your problems in an unconventional way does not make you crazy.
Since people handle their problems differently, there are bound to be some times when you and your partner don’t exactly have the same approach. A good woman will realize that conflict resolution is a little different for everyone. Even if you do things in a way that is completely unique, you are not crazy.
Having an addiction does not make you crazy.
For those who have never struggled with an addiction, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense that your partner might be caught up in one. Even when we recover from our addictions, we will never not be addicted – once an addict, always an addict. But that doesn’t mean that we will always act like an addict. If you have ever had an addiction, whether you’ve “beat it” or not, you are not crazy.
Over-explaining does not make you crazy.
I have my suspicions that over-explaining might be tied to over-thinking (which is definitely a symptom of anxiety). Some of us just feel the need to clarify and answer questions that have yet to be asked. This is in effort to avoid miscommunication, and you are not crazy.
Being quirky does not make you crazy.
Some of us just do things differently, and that’s OK. The idea of “personal quirks” varies widely from person to person, but the person who would say that you’re crazy for these things is actually the one with the problem – you are not crazy.
Loving yourself does not make you crazy.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I didn’t learn to love myself until I was well into my 20s. There are actually a lot of us like that. Once you learn to love yourself, it’s really difficult to hear that you shouldn’t – because you already know how important it is that you do. If you love and value yourself, you are not crazy.
Disliking yourself does not make you crazy.
Just because those who love themselves know how important it is, that doesn’t mean that it comes naturally to everyone. This is particularly true for people who were raised in a less-than-supportive environment. If you haven’t yet learned how to love yourself, you are not crazy.
Liking sex does not make you crazy.
Sex is like pizza. When it’s good, it’s great, and even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. Some people thrive off of sexual energy, and there’s nothing wrong with that – most humans are, by nature, sexual creatures. If you enjoy having sex regularly, you are not crazy.
Not liking sex does not make you crazy.
As great as sex is, there are still going to be some people who don’t like it. We’re all programmed differently, and for some of us, sex just isn’t important. There’s nothing wrong with that – at its core, sex is for reproduction, and not everyone wants to reproduce – you are not crazy if you’re not into sex.
Your identity does not make you crazy.
People are different, and there’s no right or wrong answers when it comes to what’s right for you. If you come out to your partner (as any label), whether they support your situation or not, you are not crazy.
Having “unreasonable” dreams does not make you crazy.
As humans, it’s our job to dream big. This is one of the ways that we’re different from the other animals on the planet – we strive for bigger and better things. We want to find our purpose in life. We want to be the best at something. If you have a dream that someone else thinks is never going to happen, you are not crazy.
Not having a dream does not make you crazy.
While many humans benefit from the idea of hopes and dreams, not everyone is set up that way – and that’s OK. Those who are content to go with the flow might just not have found their dream yet – some people don’t find it until much later in life. Or maybe your dream is just to simply not have a dream – that’s OK too! If you don’t have a “greater plan”, you are not crazy.
Basically, no one is crazy – we’re just all different.
I don’t know why any of us wants to tell anyone else that they’re crazy. Even worse is when we tell a completely unrelated third party that someone is crazy – even if it was true, it’s not this other person’s business, so why would you spread it around like it was? Let people live their own lives, and let them be unique.
You are not crazy – you are a beautiful snowflake. Own it!