10 Behaviors That’ll Earn You The “Psycho Girlfriend” Title

You’ve probably heard the old adage that “love makes you do crazy things,” and it’s true. When emotions are running high, it’s easy to get carried away and start acting in uncharacteristic ways. However, if you’re going so far as to earn the “psycho girlfriend” label, you may want to take a step back and get a grip.

What makes someone a “psycho girlfriend”?

If you’re a female-identifying person who dates cisgender men, chances are you’ve heard one or two of them call a woman “crazy” for daring to speak her mind. You call him out on bad behavior or make your standards and expectations clear. Then, all of a sudden, you deserve to be locked up. Many times, the “psycho girlfriend” label is code men use. It means “you’re taking me to task and I don’t like it.”

On the other hand, it’s possible that you could be doing things that truly are inappropriate. Being in a relationship with someone doesn’t give you ownership over them. It doesn’t mean you get to invade their privacy or treat them badly. In this case, writing you off as “psycho” could be a guy’s way of communicating how out of order you’re being.

So, which camp do you fall into?

Signs you may be acting inappropriately

  1. You snoop through his phone. If you grab his phone to snoop through his texts whenever he goes to the bathroom, you may be a psycho girlfriend. If he catches you, he’ll automatically assume that you don’t trust him. He might even consider it an invasion of his privacy and put a lock on his phone for the future. Or, worse, he might just break up with you. He’d have every right to — who gave you the right to go through his stuff?
  2. You badmouth every other woman you see. Female competition needs to come to an end. If you trusted your boyfriend, you wouldn’t see every other woman as a threat. That means you wouldn’t feel the need to badmouth every woman you see, just because she has breasts. Not only is this ridiculous, it’s also extremely immature.
  3. You make scenes in public. You have a right to get angry at your partner, but when you do, try to keep your complaints between the two of you. You don’t want to be the disruptive woman yelling in the middle of a family restaurant. Save the fight for the car ride home. Otherwise, you risk coming off as a psycho girlfriend not just to your boyfriend but to everyone in town.
  4. You resort to physical violence when you’re angry. Men can be victims of domestic violence too. If you slap your boyfriend whenever you get angry or kick him in the crotch when you’re frustrated, don’t be surprised when he calls you crazy. Beating up your boyfriend is abuse and it’s not okay. Not only should you not be with him, you should probably be arrested. Just because he’s bigger than you or you’re a woman doesn’t make it okay. It never is.
  5. You stalk him online and in person. If you follow his car to work because you think he’s actually going to another woman’s house, then why are you even with him? When you think you’re dating a cheater, you’ll feel yourself go crazy, which is why you should just break up with him before things get out of control.
  6. You flirt with his friends. Feel free to joke around with his friends and have fun with them, but please don’t flirt with them. If you do, the word is going to get out and he’s not going to be happy. There’s no claiming that you “didn’t realize” you were flirting or that it’s “no big deal.” You know what boundaries are and you need to respect them.
  7. You won’t admit that you lied. If you tell him that you never talk to your ex and then he sees a picture of you two hanging out, apologize. If you keep throwing out excuses that are obviously lies, he’s going to wonder how he could ever trust you again. Maybe he shouldn’t.
  8. You text him 10 times in a row. He’s your boyfriend, so feel free to text him as many times as you’d like when you have interesting stories to tell. But, if you’re just sending him question marks because he hasn’t replied in the last five minutes, he’s going to wonder why you’re so desperate for his attention.
  9. You treat waitresses like crap. If you throw a fit when your waitress brings you the wrong meal, or when she looks at your boyfriend for a little too long, he’ll consider you crazy. You need to learn to control your temper if you want him to stick around. No one wants to be with a drama queen who always causes a scene.
  10. You stop taking your birth control pill. Unless you two have agreed that it’s time to have kids, you should keep taking your pill. If you stop, or if you poke holes in his condoms, then you should brace yourself for a break up. You should also seek professional help for this manipulative behavior.

Does being called “psycho” always mean you’re in the wrong?

While the behaviors above are completely unacceptable and very problematic, many women get called “psycho” for doing pretty normal things by guys who don’t want to take accountability for their actions. Here’s why it’s not always a negative thing.

  1. You’re not “psycho” for wanting the answers to basic questions. Wanting to know what he’s up to this weekend or who he’s hanging out with isn’t really a problem. Unless you’re grilling him about his every move on a given day, it’s a totally normal thing to ask. If he calls you crazy for wanting to know, maybe he has something to hide.
  2. You shouldn’t have to hide your feelings. If you’re labeled a “psycho girlfriend” for expressing anger or upset at something he said or did, that’s not your fault. Unless you completely blow up and start hitting him or breaking things, there’s not a problem. He just doesn’t want to deal with the fact that he upset you. Maybe he’s the crazy one.
  3. Men are just as “psychotic.” Let’s be clear here: clinical psychosis is a dangerous and serious mental health condition that requires professional diagnosis and help. Most people use this term colloquially. It’s more of a catch-all for outlandish or intense behavior that’s outside the norm. That being said, women aren’t the only ones guilty of this. Men have meltdowns and act out too.  They just do it in different ways. And women are the ones that get all the flak for it.
Holly Riordan is a writer from Long Island, New York who has authored several science fiction and horror books. A graduate of Stony Brook University, she has spent nearly a decade writing for publications including Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and more. You can find her on Instagram @hollyrio and Twitter @hollyyrio.