First and foremost, rid yourself of the idea that there is even such a thing as a “crazy girl.” There are emotionally unstable people, of course, and some of them are women. But the concept of “the crazy girl,” which has inarguably taken on a life of its own and been the basis for endless romcom tropes and dismissive rationalizations when you break a woman’s heart, (“I had to get out, she was crazy”) is one that has come to mean so much that it inevitably means so little. There is a difference between saying that someone has serious problems in communication or emoting, and writing them off as incurably crazy. If you have found yourself in love with what other, less nuanced observers might deem as “crazy,” it is best to remember how little that word really applies.
What is “crazy” — at least, the kind of crazy you find yourself head-over-heels in love with? Surely it’s not someone who talks to themselves or is convinced that a ghost is telling them to kill their family. We’re never talking about a more institutionalized crazy when we talk about crazy girls. We are talking about the girl whose highs and lows are more pronounced than with most, where conversation can take on a life of its own and last for way farther into the night than would be reasonable for your work schedule. We are talking about passionate, fulfilling sex that can be punctuated with moments of heated arguments, or even tears. It is a girl who is thirsty for love and affection in a way we generally aim to stifle by labeling it as “needy” and shaming her for being such an open wound of emotional want.
There is a certain amount of lust needed to be a crazy girl — a lust for skin, a lust for challenge, a lust for argument, a lust for laughter. There is a sense that there is always a level of more profound closeness to be reached, a new way to understand someone you love. Things are never enough, because they can’t be. There are certain girls whose need for emotion and need for affirmation can only be explained away by being labeled a highly pathological defect in their upbringing. There must have been something wrong with them, we think, something they didn’t get enough of in cihldhood. There can be no reason that someone would have this neediness, this craziness, unless there was a serious problem that was being resolved by misplaced affection.
But if you love a girl like this, if you love a girl who by all accounts would be labeled nasty, oversimplified names by people who do not have time for such unfiltered emotion, there are ways to go about it. There is no need to excuse when the lows become so low that they are cruel, there is no need to wrap aggressive or selfish behavior in a romantic bow of “that’s just who she is.” There is no reason that a crazy girl can’t be held accountable for her actions. But the trick is in recognizing the fundamental difference between someone who longs to love you with no restraint, someone who wants to melt into your body to get closer to everything you are, and someone who is unstable and unhappy.
We are drawn to people like this in life, the crazy ones whose love is often too much to handle at once, because they make us feel alive. They are easy to get drawn to, they burn so hot that it can turn even the most stoic among us into moths. And it is only because that need for love, that unhinged desire to feel and be felt in every way and not sacrifice an ounce of life for propriety or not being labeled crazy, that is something all of us want on some level. We want to be pinched and know that we feel, know that we hurt, know that our highs and lows can still be thrilling and new. And though we are often quick to reproach a woman who demonstrates the spontaneity and rebelliousness that might have been sexy on a beat poet or charming guitar player, we must remember that caring too much and wanting too much are only symptoms of being human. To label something you love as crazy is to take away its magic and its meaning. Not everything we don’t understand is crazy, but writing off a wonderful person for being too intoxicated with love most certainly is.