We have all been there. We have all been with that person who brings the “crazy” out in us. We don’t know why we’re acting the way we are, but our actions and decisions are not rational. We are not ourselves. The relationship is explosive. Exciting? Yes. But ultimately, Destructive.

Can this type of relationship still be defined as love? Obviously it is unhealthy…but the love feels real. In fact, because emotions are almost always running high, it can feel more real than “healthy” love.

I recently read this on

“I will never tell someone else that they are not in love or that another person doesn’t love them. I have come to understand that love comes in two forms: healthy and unhealthy. But it’s still love. Unhealthy love tells you that you are not enough, that you will never find anyone else who will love you, that you have put in too much time and energy to find anyone else, that because of something you did, you deserve what is being offered.

Healthy love does not demand what it is not willing to do. Healthy love does not keep tabs on you, berate you, and attempt to control you. Healthy love allows you to feel like you are looking at yourself in the mirror. It allows you to be who you are, to be enough, to be worthy, to be deserving of happiness, and to deserve love, despite what you have done in past relationships, who you have loved, and the choices you have made.” —Kristen Crockett

I never thought of love in terms of “healthy” and “unhealthy.” I suppose I just assumed that the “unhealthy” love wasn’t love. But this makes sense in a way. Unhealthy love is still a form of love. It’s just unhealthy.

So, really, it is a fairly simple decision. And an empowering one: Do you WANT unhealthy love in your life? Do you gain anything from having a person in your life who makes you feel less than?

Lynne and Paul, Married 26 years

“There are things that we all bring into a relationship. I won’t say “baggage,” but it’s your “stuff” that you’ve accumulated over the course of your life. And you have expectations for your life: For your career and for your love…whatever. You have an idea of what you think those things are or what those things should be. But then you realize that it’s not just about you. You have this other person to deal with now too. And this person comes with his or her own expectations about life and love. So how do you negotiate that? I’ll just say it: relationships are difficult! We are different animals. And not just male and female. There are fundamental differences in all people because we are all coming from somewhere else. So you have to be willing to work and listen and understand.” 

Hilary and JM, Married 7 years

“We just accept each other for who we are and focus on all the good in our relationship. As weird and uncomfortable as things sometimes get, the good stuff is so much bigger and better than the bad stuff could ever be. We focus on the good stuff so the bad stuff never becomes big. We move on.”

Eleanor and Gordon, Married 56 years

“You grow and develop separately…it’s inevitable. Maybe every five or ten years, people need to check in with one another. Assess where they are going and if they’re going along together because you make some vows you know? Sometimes it might be good to look them over once and a while.”