My name is Candice Jalili, and I am absolutely terrified of being the “crazy" girl. So much so that I actually think the fear itself makes me pretty crazy.
That's right, you read that correctly. I firmly believe my deeply-rooted fear of being insane when it comes to dating has actually managed to drive me insane when it comes to dating.
I honestly don't even know where it started, but for as long as I can remember, I have gone out of my way to make sure I always remain “sane.” Which, when you think about it, is a pretty weird thing for a mentally stable person to really feel the need to do.
Have you ever thought about that? Why are so many girls — who are undiagnosed with any sort of mental illness — so horrified of appearing crazy? I know I'm not the only person who struggles with this problem. At least once a day, I get a screenshot from a friend in total panic mode asking, “Does this make me look crazy?!” or a horrified call the morning after a big night out proclaiming she was a “total psycho last night.”
What, exactly, constitutes being a total crazy psycho? I've narrowed it down to a few things:
1. Saying “I love you” too soon.
2. Saying, “I like you” too soon.
3. Saying you're starting to develop feelings for the person you have been having sex with in any capacity.
4. Saying you want to be exclusive.
5. Crying. (OMG, crying is so crazy.)
6. Showing up to his apartment unannounced for any reason is absolutely out of the question.
7. Getting angry when you feel like the person you've been having sex with screwed you over in some way.
8. Letting the person who has made you this level of angry know they made you this level of angry.
9. Cyber stalking of any sort.
10. Opening a Snapchat way too soon.
11. Calling the person you've been seeing for any reason other than your house being on fire. (Even then, why are you calling him? He doesn't owe you anything, you psycho!)
12. FaceTiming the person unless it's for something kinky. (Which I'm going to go ahead and also deem as crazy, TBH.)
13. Texting back too soon.
14. Sending more than two texts in a row.
The list goes on and on. My working definition of “crazy” is essentially just “any real display of emotion at all ever."
So where does this leave me? Seriously, I'm asking because I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and I'm genuinely starting to wonder where strictly following all of these rules has gotten me.
I look back on the past 22 (admittedly, very short) years of life, and I have no real relationship to speak of. I look back on any boys I cared about with regret; I wonder if my fear of being “psycho” and telling them I cared about them kept them from ever really knowing how much they actually meant to me.
And you know what the funniest part of it all is? All of this effort I put into not coming off as crazy has, at the end of the day, made me look crazy. I guarantee I've got more than a few ex-flings circulating about thinking I'm an absolute psychopath. I'm not your classic slam-on-your-door-in-the-middle-of-the-night kind of psychopath, but I am my own distinct breed who chooses to not display her emotions.
But playing it ice cool is easy when you don't actually have feelings for the person because, well, it's natural. Going out of your way to play it ice cool when you love someone so much you feel like your heart could burst at any given moment? Not so natural. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is totally and completely unnatural. And weird. And, from personal experience, I can tell you it's very, very awkward.
So, lately I have been trying to do this thing where I don't stress too much about coming off as “crazy.” And let me tell you guys, I feel LOADS better. Of course, it's not easy. I slip up every once in a while and go back to being an icy, awkward freak of nature. But the fact of the matter is, feelings don't make you crazy. Trying to avoid them does.