The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "My Crazy Love Was Just Crazy"
My Crazy Love Was Just Crazy
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Has Your Relationship Gone Bad?

Discussion: 15 minutes
Ask the group to name some good things about being in a romantic relationship. Write their responses up on the board.

Then have the group freewrite about a relationship that they have either been in or been close to (a friend’s or a family member’s relationship) that seemed like it wasn’t going to last or was a bad relationship. Ask how they knew it was bad.

Write “Reasons” at the top of the board or flip paper. Ask them to share the reasons the relationships were bad and write down their responses. (The list may include partner hits them or pressures them for sex; they are always fighting with each other; they never listen to each other; they are not interested in each other anymore; they cheat and lie.)
Have everyone look at the list of reasons and decide which behaviors are violent. Circle these with a red marker. Next, have them decide which behaviors are disrespectful and might lead to violence. Circle these in green. There may be disagreement about what gets circled in green. For example, one teen may find jealousy flattering, and another may feel it’s controlling. Explain that people have different standards of how they want to be treated in a relationship and that it’s important to know what your own standards are.

Reading: 10 minutes
Have everyone read, aloud, “My Crazy Love Was Just Crazy,” by Anonymous on.

Discussion: 30 minutes
Looking back at the beginning of the story, ask everyone to find and share examples of positive things about the author’s relationship with her boyfriend (he was publicly affectionate; focused on her; sensitive; gorgeous; loyal; equal; comforted her and let her comfort him). Add these to the list of good points to being in a romantic relationship and remind the group that we all seek, and deserve, these nice things from our partners.

Next, find the turning point in the relationship. Discuss where it “went bad” and what happened. Now, ask everyone to find examples of things happening in the relationship that show it is not a good one (her boyfriend pushed her for sex; yelled; hit; screamed at her in front of people; told her who she could hang out with; accused her of cheating; cheated). Add these to the “Reasons” list. Like before, circle in red those behaviors that are violent and circle in green those that aren’t yet violent but are still bad. Discuss.

Ask the group why the writer made the decision to leave the relationship. What was the final thing that made her break up? Have everyone look again at the “Reasons” list and write down for themselves which behaviors would make them leave a relationship. This will give teens the time to think about how they want to be treated in a romantic relationship. The group can share, or keep this list personal.
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