Why Do Men Call Every Woman “Crazy?”

December 23rd, 2014

Dating The Crazy, First Impressions, NEW!

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Beaniecrazyw

Comment: Hi Moxie,

About a year ago my first love and I ended our engagement amiably. Since then, I have dated largely to see what is out there and “have fun.” I’m over that though, and I am looking for another serious relationship.

This might be an age or maturity thing, but what is it with guys and “crazy” (I hate this term, but that’s what they use). Every guy I’ve dated since my ex has mentioned past crazy women they’ve dated, but it is also very obvious they like it. The last guy I dated said he could see I was crazy but “in a good way, like I’d be spontaneous.” WTF? I recognize that as a red flag, but it pops up a lot in dating.

Should I just date older guys or is this a problem with me being boring? I am interested in what you have to say, as well as the commenters.

Age: 24
City: Syracuse
State: NY


Like you, I find the term offensive, mainly because it’s only in rare instances where a woman is actually unstable. If she acted in a “crazy” manner, something was done to make her act that way. So if a man tells me about his “crazy” Ex, I immediately assume he did something to tick her off enough that she went off. And I think that because I know that, in the times when I’ve acted “crazy,  it was because a guy did something truly hurtful. What I really don’t like is when women start trash talking their guy’s Ex and calling her crazy, too, just because she has chosen to believe her man. Darlin’, let me tell you….. If he’s telling you his Ex is crazy in the bad way, he’s hiding something. So I’d be really careful about jumping to his defense like that.

I wrote a few weeks ago about Ben, the guy who sent me a text and said he blew off our plans because he had had a date the night before with someone he really hit it off with. That hurt me. Not because we had had sex on the second date but because it was so completely oblivious and thoughtless.  It’s being treated like my feelings don’t matter that hurts me, and telling me that to my face said, “I’m really not thinking about your feelings.” Boom. Done. Nasty text rant followed. Of course, a few weeks later, he came back around to apologize and expressed interest in wanting to have a drink to be sure there were no hard feelings. So, like you said, I think some guys like “crazy.” At the very least, I don’t think they’re as threatened by it as they claim.  These guys are usually “crazy” as well.

What’s annoying is when men try to define us by said “crazy” or pretend like they just hate it when we get crazy, when really many men take it as a compliment of sorts. They’re  proud of how they got a woman so upset and take it to mean she’s really, really into them.  To a guy, being emotional means being “crazy.” To them, anything that isn’t 100% rational is “crazy.”

Now, does “crazy” mean unstable and dangerous? In most cases, no. It usually means emotional and unpredictable. They lump all of that under “crazy” thinking it’s a term of endearment. “Aww..look at you and all your feels. It’s so cute.” Calling a woman “crazy” is dismissive. It’s also a nice way to deflect and avoid taking any responsibility for what they did to make her “crazy.”

It’s that unpredictability that unsettles men. They don’t typically deal with that with their guy friends, so when they are faced with it, they often times don’t know what to do or say that won’t make the situation worse. They get uncomfortable and usually say the wrong thing. Something like, “You’re acting crazy.”

The Crazy Girl is a story that gets passed around from the time that a guy is very young and sticks with him throughout adulthood. I think, to men,  “crazy” is a catch-all for many things. I also think that most men assume that all women are “crazy” to some degree simply because they don’t think women think or act anything like them. They are of the belief that we are wired so differently that they can not wrap their brains around how we process things. They equate “female” with “emotional” and then it’s an express train to “crazy.”

Dating an older guy, say over 35, might have its advantages. I think by then most guys have had enough experience with women that they know it’s not as simple as “bitches be crazy.” They’ve also interacted with more women on various interpersonal levels, say work or socially, and been exposed to us in different capacities and therefore have a more well-rounded view of how women behave. They might still think of us as “crazy” but, as they age, they realize they should no longer say that out loud or to our faces.

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38 Responses to “Why Do Men Call Every Woman “Crazy?””

  1. Fred Says:

    being called “Creepy” by women = being called “Crazy” by men

    • J Says:

      I’ve never referred to an ex as “creepy”. I usually reserve that for guys who demand I date them because they are oh so [aggressively] nice.

  2. Chianti-Z Says:

    Some women are crazy. I’ve seen women sleep with a guy who disrespected them and who made it very clear that all they wanted was sex. This same woman then goes crazy when he ignores her or tells her he’s met someone he really likes. Going crazy can be done in a lot of ways. This woman chose the excessive calling and texting route. Where is her self respect. I don’t understand woman who can’t let go and never talk to the guy again. Call me sensitive, but I’ll cut a guy off, have done it before, will do it again. I prefer my sanity over sex, call me crazy

    That being said, no one can drive you crazy if you don’t let them.

    The OP has to learn that lesson. Never ever let anyone push you to that brink. If you act crazy, the you are crazy and you give the jerk something to talk about.

    And I agree with Moxie. Date older men. The odds of him being mature are higher meaning he knows how to treat a woman.

    • Beanie Says:

      Oh, I know. Generally I’ve stopped dating any guy who mentions the ex. No one has driven me to that brink yet, but I feel like if I stop dating men who think women are crazy, there aren’t any men left!

  3. BTownGirl Says:

    Cosign on men over 35! I’m 33 (so my range is mid-30’s to late-40’s) and this isn’t something I’ve heard from men in quite some time. In my 20’s, Lord, every single dude had a story about his “crazy” ex. I’m sure in 30-65% of these cases, they were neglecting to mention the time they slept with her cousin. I digress.

    Speaking of going off, a few years ago one of my girlfriends dated a guy that dumped her and then begged her to take him back. He then vanished from the face of the earth. Did I mention this all went down around the holidays? Yes. Yes it did. Did I also mention that he was on Facebook sweet-talking another woman while ignoring her texts? Yes. Yes he was. When she mentioned that she planned on stopping by a bar he frequented to tear him a new one, my head said “No, girl, don’t embarrass yourself”, but my heart said “I WOULD SHOW UP ON HIS DOORSTEP AND THROW A YULE LOG AT HIM.” In the end, I had to give the rational advice, but…yeah, she still showed up at his preferred watering hole. He’s probably out there still telling the story about his “crazy ex”.

  4. Eliza Says:

    A large percentage of men will claim that most women are “crazy” or state that they, the men themselves do not want “drama” in their lives…yet when a stable woman presents herself, someone that is not all over the place, and very logical…that woman supposedly does NOT offer the level of “excitement” these men yearn for. So–yes, they DO want drama, from these so-called “crazy bitches” in their lives. Drama, a vanila-type woman that has a good head on her shoulders can’t provide, nor has the time to provide, given her focus on what’s important, her goals, work, family ties, and being focused on happiness sans the drama-infested interaction as a means to get attention. And yes, some women AND men are craxy–they enjoy and create unecessary drama…they thrive in that type of environment. I could care less if I am considered “boring”–don’t need the agitation. Again–some men may deem that to be “indifferent”….rather than just view that as a mature woman wanting to deal with a mature relationship.

    • AnnieNonymous Says:

      I really don’t think that a lot of men know what a stable relationship is supposed to feel like. They start seeing a low-drama woman and they feel like some kind of tension or heightened emotion is missing from the situation, so they ditch her and fall back into old patterns.

    • The D-man Says:

      This sounds like the “chicks dig assholes” argument often made by Nice Guys.

  5. Yvonne Says:

    I date guys mainly over 45, and you’d be surprised how many still call their exes crazy. I’ll never forget the guy in his late fifties who referred to his last two girlfriends as “psycho bitches” during our first (and last) coffee date. Lovely. Besides wondering what he might have done to make his ex act so nuts, I also think that only crazies are generally attracted to other crazies, so maybe he is “crazy” too, or at least enjoys the drama on some level. And the hot make-up sex.

    OTOH, I once met a guy who told me his ex developed a mental illness during the course of their marriage. He described it as if it were a medical condition (which it is), and that sounded reasonable. But unfortunately, age doesn’t necessarily imply maturity.

  6. Joey Giraud Says:

    Things you don’t understand can seem crazy.

    Women are hard for men to understand.


    I’m more complicated then the average man, and some unimaginative people consider me a bit crazy, if in a nice way.

    In sexual relations, baby-making and all, women have the more complicated challenge. Women are more complicated because they have to be.

  7. D. Says:

    Guys have stories about their “Crazy” exes, because guys who are younger tend to be more prone to experiencing “crazy.”

    Younger guys with crazy exes tend to like women who are passionate/intense. What they don’t recognize is that those qualities often come packaged with volatility and unpredictability (a.k.a. “crazy”). So, younger guys wind up dating volatile, unpredictable women, because those same women are passionate and intense. Eventually, you learn that either you need less passion, or you need to find someone who is passionate in a different way.

    Likewise, I think a ton of “crazy” instances come as a result of ineffective communication between men and women. As you get older, both parties become a lot better at communicating with each other. Guys get better at “reading signals.” Women get better at vocalizing what they want instead of hoping the guy picks up on the hint. Communication becomes all-around better.

    Lastly, people are less likely to try to “force” themselves to behave a way they just aren’t, or to hang on in unsatisfying, doomed relationships trying to “make” them work…because they’ve learned to spot a lost cause when they see one and they know what their own thresholds are for what they can and can’t put up with.

    From my perspective, at least, it seems like my relationships and dating experiences when I was younger were way more…hmm…immediately intense, and usually in a way that led to problems. Over time, I learned that a relationship can have just as much intensity, but the intensity works better (for me, at least) when it develops gradually rather than right out of the gate. As Moxie’s pointed out before, those kinds of “flash-in-the-pan” early intense relationships usually aren’t about two people connecting, so much as they’re about two people looking to have someone fill a void or play a role. I think that stuff is a lot more common when you’re younger, and a lot more likely to lead to friction and thus “crazy” incidents.

  8. maria Says:

    yup. my ex wouldn’t shut up about his “crazy ex” he truly vilified her and even told me that he went so far as to send her a picture of us together when apparently she wouldn’t stop emailing him. I remember thinking that was a really cruel and fucked up thing to do. lesson learned is that anybody who trashes their ex that much is an automatic no go for me from now on. who knows what he says about me!

  9. HammersAndNails Says:

    There is good crazy, bad crazy, and both.

    Good crazy: A 100% focused maniac in bed with little regard to…. well anything not 100% in the moment and knows that shame, guilt, and propriety are for wusses. Down for adventures. Will buy plane tickets without knowing anything about what happens when you land or go out for milk and just keep driving till you are a few states away. Most importantly, completely cool with “wing it” as a plan even when a plan might actually be useful.

    Bad crazy: screams, throws things, yells, lies, mood swings, delusional/paranoid/catastrophic thinking. This is the kind of girl that would have a dream about you cheating and then key your car. you never even know what will set her off, or when she will just go ahead and set herself off.

    Both: it’s pretty hard to find a lot of the good crazy without at least a bit of the bad crazy.

    • BostonRobin Says:

      Stick around with the “good crazy” long enough and you’ll get to the
      “bad crazy” quick enough. Any sign of what you call “good crazy” (what I call symptoms of a manic episode) and I go on high alert. No more riding the crazy train for me. Its destination is always a bridge that’s out!

    • Nicole Says:

      Someone made a comment on another thread that they wished people would explain their down votes… That’s how I feel reading this. H and N’s comment is the best description of crazy I’ve ever heard, and it’s exactly how the men I know use the term. What is everyone disagreeing with here?

      To the OP…most of us have a little crazy in us in our early 20s. And at that age, we tend to find the good crazy super exciting and the bad crazy tolerable. In college I was totally the girl who would go out for milk and come home a week later with unbelievable stories… Now I get frustrated that stopping for milk makes me five minutes late getting home. Which is fine, because the same guys who found my crazy behavior exciting in college would find it annoying now that they have jobs and mortgages and just want the damn milk for their morning coffee. The women I know who still act crazy in their 30s and 40s – even “good crazy” – have trouble finding and keeping decent guys.

      So take “crazy in a good way” as a compliment, don’t key anybody’s car, and know that in five years you and these guys will remember your crazy days and crazy exes and be glad you’ve moved on.

  10. cg Says:

    Moxie hit the nail on the head here. I think that calling a woman crazy is just an extremely easy way to dismiss her feelings/actions and absolve themselves of responsibility (e.g., it’s her issue, not mine).

    Granted, women definitely do this in their own way – such as claiming a guy is a player when he fades, rather than accepting responsibility for how their own actions, etc, may have played into the situation.

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      To say that some women are not crazy is the same saying there are not some guys that are just assholes. Be realistic. If you think “crazy woman” is just a label guys apply to dismiss women you lead a fortunate life. Some people are just unstable and erratic and prone to acting without thought. While this is common between men and women, it typically manifests itself in different ways based on gender.

      • CG Says:

        Obviously there are legitimately crazy women and men. I don’t think that’s really what this post is about though.

  11. J Says:

    My ex told his coworkers about me throwing my drink in his face and locking him out of my house. He left out what he did to me, what racial slurs he hurled at me, and that I had to call the police. He was truly crazy. Maybe borderline personality disorder. He also displays classic symptoms or narcissism. It’s hard to tell what the problem really is. I’m soooo glad I moved on.

  12. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I don’t generally talk about my exes with women I’m dating but there are some women I’ve dated/am dating that I would call “crazy.” I never mean it as a compliment – I don’t think there is “good crazy,” but I it’s also not the worst OMG insult. It just means the person (man or woman) reacts disproportionately to stimuli, whatever that may be, or is frequently irrational or delusional.

    Of course, in most of these cases I, in fact “DID SOMETHING” to cause a reaction, but no shit. The point is that the reaction was still an overreaction, disproportionate to whatever imaginary wrong I committed. Believe it or not, there is a rational, sensible response even to bad stuff that guys may do/say to you. If you react sensibly, you aren’t crazy. Congratulations.

    To use another commenters example, I can think of no occasion where it is a reasonable and proportionate reaction to pour a drink on someone. If they said offensive words to you, that is not a reasonable justification for your physical assault. And, if they physically assaulted you, throwing a drink on them is too weak and ineffective a response. So, yeah, if you’re throwing a drink on someone ever, you’re crazy. But, like I said, it’s not the worst insult.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      To clarify. If someone pours a drink on you, then it would be, by definition, a proportionate response to pour a drink on them. In that case, it’s okay, but you’re still probably crazy for being involved in such a ridiculous scenario.

    • Snowflake Says:

      If someone acts poorly towards you, the best response is to ignore and just walk away without reacting. Isn’t being reactionary on such levels just a vicious cycle? Not just in relationships of the romantic nature but in life. Someone is mean to you for no reason why engage to begin with?

      It’s easier said than done but the end result will be to stop the poor behavior. Someone wrongs me no matter how small the only thing I can control of the outcome is how I act. Take a step back access rather than to react constantly.

      Just an idea ..

    • Mark Says:

      I like this answer.

      A response that goes way outside what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation call into question the overall fundamental mindset of someone. Ditto for proportionality aspect.

      Quirks are one thing, unbalanced is something else.

      Yeah, it applies to both genders.

  13. HammersAndNails Says:

    and btw, women who love to use the words “every, always, never” when they clearly don’t apply are usually somewhat crazy. As sane women/people understand things are more often “sometimes, many, some”


  14. mgm531 Says:

    I wouldn’t call my ex crazy. Selfish, petty, immature and naive yes, but crazy, no.

  15. bbdawg Says:

    If a man’s profile says he is looking for a “drama-free” woman that is huge no-no, that to me means he is unstable and seeks women who loud and histrionic. I can definitely see how some women can be “crazy” but only see that coming out if the man is into in some way. Women are not “crazy” in a vacuum. Some men seem to equate emotional instability with passion and actually enjoy having a moody woman for a girlfriend. Other types of men are in fact “crazy”, i.e. jealous and sometimes abusive. Aren’t men who are violent towards women “crazy”?

    I am a very even-keeled person and I hate public outbursts, displays of anger and/or loud arguments so anyone who has that in them is automatically dropped.

    The thing though is that on the flip side, volatile men who are “crazy” are way way worse than women. “Crazy” men seek out women who will accept their behavior and withstand the volatility. That is a MUCH worse deal for women to deal with a “crazy” man than it is for a man to deal with a “crazy” woman.

  16. Beanie Says:

    Wow, that was quick! Thank you for your response, I have a lot to learn and I feel better about this.

  17. Donnie K Says:

    Crazy is for men is what douche bag is for women. When someone throws those terms around loosely it’s a sign that they refused to take responsibility for their own situation. Obviously there are exceptions to this but I would take it as a red flag most of the time.

  18. AG Says:

    Another post of mine that doesn’t get published. What’s up with that?

  19. LostSailor Says:

    I can’t speak to the caliber of men Beanie is meeting, but personally, I don’t call all women crazy, just the actual crazy ones. Fortunately, I’ve had very few of those in my dating life, and nearly all of them were when I was in my 20s.

    Yeah, it’s a catch-all term and I suspect that young men in their early 20s probably use it more than older men. But I disagree that it’s inevitably a man’s fault that a woman acts “unpredictably.” I can be a man’s “fault” but it also seems a rather convenient excuse that he must have done something that set her off, which allows a woman to avoid any responsibility for her behavior.

    That doesn’t make anyone “crazy,” but I’ve seen and been with women who seem to be on exceptionally short fuses. It’s true that younger men (and some older men) don’t understand why she’s acting like she is, which doesn’t help. It’s also true that most men don’t like the unpredictability, and I find that understandable.

    But then, unpredictable behavior is often the basis of real “crazy.” Unless it moves into just “bitch” territory.

    In Beanie’s case, though, the real red flag isn’t that these guys are talking about their exes being “crazy” (since they aren’t seeing it as the pejorative women do), but that they’re talking that much about their exes that much at all. Older men might be a better option…

  20. Michelle Says:

    How many women have ever went on a shooting spree because they weren’t getting the validation from the opposite sex they felt entitled to? How many female serial killers are there? How many women rape children? It boggles my mind the conginitve dissonance men have when accusing one gender over the other of being crazy. What blows my mind even more is the idiot women dupe by it who nod and agree that we’re the crazy ones. Brainwashed much?

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