Why is my girlfriend so mean to me? 14 possible reasons (2024)

Do you feel like your girlfriend is mean to you for no reason?

Maybe she insults you, is often grumpy around you, or generally takes things out on you when it’s not your fault.

If you’re desperate to find out ‘why is she so mean to me’, there are quite a few things that could be going on.

This article will help you get to the bottom of things so you can figure out what to do about it.

14 reasons why your girlfriend is mean to you

1) Hormone changes and mood swings

It might sound like a cliche, but the reality is “that time of the month” can significantly impact a woman’s mood.

Periods affect women differently. Whilst some may not notice any real change at all, others may suffer from more severe mood swings.

If you’re wondering ‘why is my girlfriend so mean to me on her period’, the answer could be down to hormonal fluctuations that happen during the second half of the menstrual cycle (typically days 14 to 28 of a woman’s monthly cycle).

Premenstrual symptoms, or PMS, can create sadness, sudden changes to your girlfriend’s mood, crying spells, irritability, poor sleep, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and low energy.

If you notice your girlfriend is only mean to you at certain times during the month, it could be these natural waves of hormonal shifts that are partly responsible.

For most women, any symptoms are relatively mild, but some women can suffer more intensely from a rollercoaster of emotions.

Although researchers don’t know exactly what causes PMS, it’s believed to be connected to the rise and fall of hormones, specifically estrogen.

Estrogen levels will have powerful peaks and troughs throughout the month, which can throw a woman’s sense of balance totally out of whack.

For around 3-8% of women, symptoms are drastic. With premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a woman may find herself seriously depressed a week or two before her periods.

2) It’s part of her personality

When getting to the bottom of a girlfriend’s mean, rude, or bad attitude it’s good to ask yourself if she has always been this way.

Whilst sudden changes in behavior might point to other reasons, if she’s always been kind of moody or nasty at times, then it suggests that it’s part of her overall character.

Perhaps she has some anger issues, she is a little bit selfish, she is still quite emotionally immature or spoiled and used to getting her own way, etc.

In every relationship, most of us are prepared to handle the occasional bout of snappy or grumpy behavior. Nobody is perfect, and whether we like it or not, we can all end up taking a bad mood out on the people closest to us.

Accepting your partner, warts and all usually means dealing with their flaws as well as their (hopefully) many positive qualities.

When you’ve been dating a long time, it can be a good idea to try to not take it personally and pick your battles, rather than confronting every little thing you think your girlfriend does wrong.

But if unreasonable behavior is a regular feature in your relationship, you’re going to want to consider whether she is the girl for you.

Frequent childish tantrums or cruel behavior could be warning signs of a toxic relationship, so ignore them at your peril.

We all deserve to be with someone who treats us with kindness and respect. If she can’t do this, someone else out there will.

3) Want advice specific to your situation?

While the reasons in this article will help you understand why your girlfriend is mean to you,it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice tailored to the issues you’re facing in your love life.

Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people navigate complex and difficult love situations, like having a mean girlfriend. They’re popular because their advice works.

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4) She wants to breakup

Unfortunately, not everyone is as straightforward in a relationship as they should be. Some people don’t really know how to break up with someone they no longer love.

If your girlfriend has been unhappy in the relationship for a while, she might start being mean and “acting out” as a way of pushing you away.

How do you know if your girlfriend doesn’t love you? Changes in her behavior are a big clue.

Rather than have an honest conversation about how she is feeling, she could be snappy, rude, or even try to start arguments.

Whether it’s a conscious decision or not, what she is doing is trying to create problems that will drive a wedge between you too.

She may even be trying to get you to break up with her instead so that she doesn’t have to. Or she may genuinely just feel more irritable towards you because her feelings have changed.

Towards the end of a relationship, plenty of unhappy couples will find they argue more, get annoyed by each other quickly, and have a much shorter temper.

If it seems cowardly to stay with someone who you don’t want to be with any longer, the truth is that a lot of people end up doing it because they are afraid of single life.

Relationship expert and editor of Mantelligence, Sam Whittaker says holding on when people should be letting go can create a lot of unhealthy dynamics:

“People convince themselves to stay in a relationship primarily because they think no one else would accept them. This is the number one reason why toxic and unhappy relationships drag on for too long. People aren’t secure enough to be single, so they choose to stay in a relationship even if it’s not doing them any good.”

5) Stress

Why is my girlfriend so mean to me? 14 possible reasons (1)

If you’ve noticed a recent change in your girlfriend’s behavior, it’s worth considering whether she’s been under any extra pressure recently.

Stress is common, with research suggesting it affects around 10% of people in the US.

Some of the emotional symptoms of stress include irritability.

When someone becomes stressed, it creates changes in a part of their brain called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal. When this happens, glucocorticoids release into the blood, including the hormone cortisol.

Cortisol is an important hormone for controlling your mood, motivation, and fear.

Ask yourself whether your girlfriend is going through any personal problems — for example, family troubles, extra pressure at work, or exams.

The stress she is feeling can bubble over so that she takes things out on you. If she is quick to snap at you, it might be other external factors that have been getting to her, rather than anything about you.

6) You are not compatible

Even though they say opposites attract, it’s not actually true. In reality, opposites probably don’t attract very often at all.

Research shows overwhelmingly that we go for people who we feel are similar to us.

One study, which recruited 1,523 couples and asked them to fill out surveys about their personalities, found that they had a similarity rate of 86%.

It makes sense too. It’s far easier to have a happy and stable life with someone who shares the same attitudes, beliefs, and character traits as you do.

If you’re on very different pages, you have different energies, and different personality types that don’t work well together — it can create the perfect conditions for increased conflict within the relationship.

When we are totally different from someone else, it can be way more challenging to understand them and relate to them.

Maybe you felt chemistry and attraction brought you and your girlfriend together in the first place, but beyond that, do you feel like you truly get one another?

Perhaps you’re super laid back and she is quite high-energy. Maybe you have a sensitive communication style whilst she is very upfront or blunt. Perhaps you feel like you are driven by logic whilst she is very emotional.

Fundamental differences could be getting in the way, which means that you’re just not a good fit and end up triggering one another.

7) You have communication problems

We might all have it drummed into us that good communication is the most important part of any relationship, but the overwhelming majority of us still struggle with it.

Many couples feel like they love each other, but problems arise when communication fails. Love alone is just not enough for a successful relationship.

You might find that you’re barely communicating about the important stuff at all. Psychotherapist Kate Deibler, says we can feel awkward about bringing things up with our other half.

“People ignore uncomfortable communication, thinking that it will pass without being addressed, but this sort of denial rarely works. This type of thinking and subsequent inaction can lead to years of avoiding issues that are ultimately hurting the relationship.”

If you’re not communicating well enough, you may need to start by having a chat about your own communication styles and the communication patterns in your relationship.

Rather than trying to resolve any particular issues (like you feel as though your girlfriend is mean to you), this is about trying to improve communication itself in the partnership.

Your girlfriend may not realize how her behavior is coming across. She may not even think that she is being mean, or that’s how you perceive her.

It could be that she isn’t doing it on purpose and you just need to agree on better ways of communicating.

8) Unspoken expectations that aren’t met

Pretty much all relationships involve a certain amount of projection, but even more so in our romantic connections.

It goes something like this —we silently create an idea of how something should be, which gives us expectations.

When those expectations are not met, we get angry, disappointed, angry, etc.

Rather than recognize that those expectations came from us, and were not necessarily agreed upon by the other person, we then tend to blame the other person for not meeting our unspoken desires.

If she has been hiding her needs or wants, your girlfriend may be mean and get annoyed at you whenever you do or say something she doesn’t like.

Related Stories from Ideapod

  • 7 personality traits in men that all women secretly admire
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  • 9 things a high-value woman does differently in relationships

If you’re dealing with a mean girlfriend, have you considered getting to the root of the issue?

How can we overcome expectations without understanding where they come from?

I learned this from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, in his incredible free video on Love and Intimacy. He taught me more about love than any film or book has – and it’s real stuff, not wishy-washy fairytale love.

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9) Lack of boundaries

Why is my girlfriend so mean to me? 14 possible reasons (2)

Our boundaries are the invisible lines that we draw around us. They dictate what is and what is not allowed in our lives.

We establish them so that everyone is clear on what we’ll tolerate and what is totally unacceptable.

But for a lot of people, drawing these invisible boundaries can be quite challenging. You may find that with even the best intentions, they end up shifting and you put up with things from someone that you would never have imagined.

But boundaries are so important in a relationship, because without them, it’s very difficult to have respect.

We may like to think that someone who cares would not overstep the line, but what is so often the case is that the more flexible your boundaries are, the more someone else will take advantage.

Ever heard the expression if you give an inch, they will take a mile? This is a lesson in creating healthy boundaries.

If your girlfriend is often mean to you, as soon as she discovers she can get away with it without consequences, then it gives her permission to continue.

If you think to yourself, why is my girlfriend so mean to me but nice to everyone else? it might be because she thinks she can be.

She knows that speaking badly or behaving poorly towards her friends or family might not be tolerated, but she feels like you will accept it from her.

Making it clear to the people in our life how we expect to be treated, and then staying firm, is vital to all successful relationships.

10) Past experiences

The way we act in the present is often shaped (often unconsciously) by things that have happened to us in the past.

Your girlfriend could be mean to you if she is holding on to old frustrations or indiscretions. In this way, she is keeping score in her head, rather than letting go of past arguments or mistakes.

She may also have had bad experiences with guys in her past which she is now unwittingly taking out on you.

Perhaps she finds it difficult to trust, she is more suspicious, and carries around anger or hurt from a previous relationship which causes her to lash out at you. Maybe she felt like she compromised herself too much in the past and comes across as almost aggressive now for fear of the same thing happening again.

Whether we like it or not, most of us carry around some type of emotional baggage.

Depending on how bad our past experiences have been, it can lead to unhealthy patterns and defense mechanisms forming. As William Gibson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Marriage Family Therapy points out:

“We seek to learn from our past experiences, which is a healthy behavioral pattern. This, however, includes carrying forward threatening and unhealthy ‘baggage.’ It is a component of human development to carry our personal perception of our past experience with us. The key to healthier functionality lies in learning to manage our perceptions and strengthen ourselves as we mature in order to respond to our daily experience in healthier ways.”.

11) She’s insecure

As a general rule, the more stable and secure you are the better you tend to treat others.

Unreasonable or unkind behavior usually comes from people who don’t feel good about themselves.

If your girlfriend is feeling insecure, she might find herself pushing you away when she feels you are getting too close. She might be cold and distant to “test you” and see if you really care enough to stick around.

Some insecure women may punish their boyfriends if they feel like they are not getting enough attention. If this is the case, being mean to you is a childish way of getting attention and sparking some kind of reaction in you.

Although it’s rooted in insecurity, it’s obviously ultimately an incredibly unhealthy way to handle your emotions.

Look out for other signs of insecurity within the relationship, like a lack of trust, jealousy and other and possessiveness.

12) She’s not taking responsibility for her own feelings

Usually, it’s easier to blame others and fall into victimhood than take responsibility for yourself.

If you notice that in your relationship everything always seems to be your fault and never your girlfriend’s, then she may be making you the scapegoat.

Your girlfriend may be unwittingly making you responsible for her feelings. When something seemingly goes wrong in her life, it’s your fault. When she is in a bad mood, it’s because of something you have done.

Rather than acknowledge that the way we feel starts and ends with us, we look to external factors to place the blame on.

This type of behavior can start to creep in when we want our partners to make us happy. We then expect too much from our boyfriend or girlfriend and from our relationship.

We think that they should make us feel good, rather than making ourselves feel good, and we get annoyed if it doesn’t happen.

Does your girlfriend really struggle to reflect on herself and her mistakes? Does she seem totally incapable of apologizing, even when she is clearly in the wrong? When you tell her she has hurt your feelings, does she twist things around to blame you?

If so, then she may be taking her emotions out on you.

Blaming our partner for our emotions is selfish, highlights bad boundaries in the relationship, and in its most extreme form can even be toxic.

Getting used to your partner being responsible for how you feel leads to codependent tendencies and resentment.

13) Depression or other mental health problems

In some cases, your girlfriend being mean to you could have far deeper causes that lie with her mental health.

Mental health issues are incredibly common. In fact, one in three Americans will struggle with it, and that rate is even higher in women. For example, research suggests that women are 40% more likely to develop depression than men are.

Women also produce less serotonin than men, and a lack of serotonin is linked to all kinds of problems (including depression and anxiety).

Sometimes referred to as the “happy hormone” it is serotonin which helps to stabilize our mood, create feelings of well-being and happiness.

Some signs your girlfriend could be suffering with her mental health are:

  • Getting angry very easily
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Being spaced out and forgetful
  • Drinking more
  • Going off sex
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Letting themselves go (being less concerned with their appearance etc.)
  • Acting more distant
  • Mood swings
  • Zoning out

A history of mental health problems (or if there’s someone in her family with a history) can also increase the risk factor.

So if your girlfriend suddenly becomes cold with you, or being mean to you is a recent change accompanied by a general shift in mood, there could be something deeper going on below the surface.

14) She annoyed at you or thinks you are being a bad boyfriend

Why is my girlfriend so mean to me? 14 possible reasons (3)

If your girlfriend isn’t normally mean to you but has turned moody lately, could it be something you have done?

It’s also possible you unknowingly did something that hurt her feelings or made her angry.

Instead of saying what’s actually upsetting her, she might now be finding all kinds of small or petty ways to snap at you and make you pay.

We all have different ways of dealing with conflict, and one of those ways for a lot of people is passive-aggressive behavior.

Some people scream and shout and will tell you exactly how you have annoyed them, but others prefer to sulk, give you the silent treatment, be rude or grumpy.

This repressed anger, resentment, and hostility about something in your relationship then manifests in other ways.

This unhealthy way of handling conflict stems back to communication problems between you.

If she feels like you’ve let her down or done something to make her mad, rather than talk about it she’ll just be horrible to you for a while instead.

How do you deal with a rude girlfriend?

1) Identify the behaviors that are bothering you and talk about them

Work out what exactly your girlfriend does that you think is mean. Is it the way she speaks to you? Is it certain behaviors that she has? Get clear on some examples so you know in your own mind and you can reflect this to her.

Have an honest conversation about how you’ve been feeling. Your girlfriend needs to know so that you can work on things together.

2) Let little things slide

Intimate relationships will involve a certain amount of conflict, it’s normal. The honeymoon phase might be all sweetness and light, but the longer you spend with someone getting on each other’s nerves at some point is unavoidable.

Make sure you’re not blowing little disagreements totally out of proportion. Let things slide sometimes, safe in the knowledge that your girlfriend is most probably doing the same for you too.

3) Establish clear boundaries

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get crystal clear about how you expect the people in your life to behave towards you. What are your non-negotiables?

These are like your club rules, and if your girlfriend does not accept them, then she cannot be a member. Having healthy boundaries involves standing up for yourself and letting her know exactly when she has crossed the line.

4) Refuse to tolerate blatant disrespect

It’s all very good having boundaries, but it’s important you uphold them.

Don’t allow for double standards in your relationship. If you treat your girlfriend with kindness and respect, then demand the same of her too.

If she doesn’t offer these things, make it clear that you value yourself and expect that same loving treatment from her. If she cannot give you it, then you need to walk away.

To conclude: Why does my girlfriend hate me so much?

From time to time, it is probably pretty normal to think to yourself “I love my girlfriend but I don’t like her.”

None of us are perfect, and we are all prone to mood swings, bad days, or difficult experiences which we can end up unfairly taking out on our partners.

If you feel a strong bond, your underlying love should be enough to help you through the odd rough patch.

But if you are wondering what are some of the red flags in a relationship, then feeling like your girlfriend gets mad at you for the smallest things is definitely a huge one.

We all want our S.O. to be happy, it’s only natural. But it’s important to remember that it is never your job to make an angry girlfriend happy. Ultimately only she can do that.

The good times should overwhelmingly outweigh the bad in any relationship. That means if your girlfriend is consistently mean to you for no reason, it’s never something you should ignore.

Why is my girlfriend so mean to me? 14 possible reasons (2024)
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