Why You Shouldn't Date Someone Who Claims All Their Exes are 'Crazy’

It’s happened to all of us – you’re talking to a love interest or going on a first date or even just chatting with your partner when they start calling their ex ‘crazy’ for things that took place while they were together. It might seem normal at first; we all have some wild stories from our past relationships or exes who maybe weren’t the best for us. But maybe the word ‘crazy’ is coming up a bit too often when they bring her up or maybe the things that made her ‘crazy’ seem… pretty normal? Maybe the situations your partner describe seem like they were actually more their fault than hers? What does all of this mean, and is it a red flag for you? If you’re dating someone who calls their exes ‘crazy,’ put yourself in her shoes before you jump to conclusions.

Word choice is key

‘Crazy,’ ‘psycho,’ ‘trash,’ ‘slutty,’ ‘childish,’ ‘annoying,’ ‘shrill,’ ‘bitchy…’ Look closely at the words your partner is using to describe their ex-girlfriend. Are these words you like to be called? Is this how you’d want them to describe you if you broke up? We’re all flawed, and people break up for a reason, but impulsively calling your ex every derogatory or sexist word in the book instead of talking honestly about your relationship? That’s not a good look.

“Once I was talking to this guy and he kept telling me about how his ex is ‘trash,’” says an anonymous junior. “Now he has a new girlfriend, and when I found that out, the FIRST thing I thought about is how he probably told her that I'm ‘trash.’” If your partner is quick to use sexist words, generalizing slurs, or empty attacks to describe someone they spent meaningful time dating, take a few steps back and think about who’s more unhinged here.

Don’t think of the ex as competition

Calling an ex ‘crazy’ in front of a new partner may be deeper than average new relationship chit-chat. If your date starts immediately calling their exes every name under the sun, it may feel as if they’re trying to flatter you.Our anonymous HC collegiette recalls, “At first I (stupidly) was like 'Wow, he's implying that I'm not trash, that's so sweet!' However, this may actually be a subtle way to manipulate your loyalty and trust. If your date is eager to trash talk their exes with you, consider that they may be baiting you to trash talk a girl you’ve never met, or vow to be better for them than she ever was. “It's tempting to want to talk crap about his ex with him (it's only natural to see her as ‘the competition’) but we girls have to stick together!” Their ex is not your competition and you should not have to prove to anyone that you’re better than another woman. If your partner thinks that bad-mouthing other women is a way to compliment you or expects you to bad-mouth other women to prove yourself, run for the hills.

Question their honesty

All couples fight, and you can totally talk about your past relationship roadblocks with new partners, but this kind of discussion is not healthy when entire fights, arguments, and disagreements are chocked up to an ex being “crazy.” This kind of rationalization does not take into account one’s own responsibility in the disagreement and instead places all blame on the other partner’s personhood, and not even their opinion. Consider the stories that they’re telling you — is the ex “crazy” for speaking her mind, asking for respect, or disagreeing with your partner? Is your partner avoiding telling the full story at all, simply calling her a “bitch” as an end-all? Do you find yourself taking her side in the stories being told? Our anonymous collegiate knows these feelings all too well. “As time went on and I realized that he wasn't the greatest guy, I really started to feel for his ex. I wanted to reach out to her and say ‘Dang, this guy is really a jerk — I'm starting to take your side in all those stories he told me about the fights you had.’" These are all definitely red flags which show that they never really respected her opinion in the first place, and they might not be ready to respect yours in the long run.

Remember — ladies first

Exes should never, ever feel like your competition. No partner should ever make you feel like you have to be better than another woman. You should never feel like you have to put down another woman for a partner’s interest. In a world where women are called “crazy,” “shrill,” “crabby,” “naggy,” “bitchy,” and “bossy” just for speaking up for themselves, you should definitely air on the side of caution when you hear these words used to describe other ladies. Think of how often women are expected to perform extraneous emotional labor for their partners in fear of being called “needy,” “clingy,” or “desperate.” Think of how often women are expected to thanklessly take care of their fully-grown partners in fear of being called “cold,” “selfish,” or “vain.” Think of how often you’ve been called this things for just being a woman in the world.

Ladies — be careful out there, hold each others’ hands, and put yourself in her shoes before you take your partner’s side.