The accuracy and reliability of this article have been reviewed and fact-checked by Leonita Ariesti Putri, a mental health practitioner and graduate of MSc in Psychoanalytic Development Psychology, and enriched by Beste Güneysu Şeker, clinical psychologist and resident expert. Their expertise ensures our commitment to providing trustworthy and useful content
As much as we strive for a healthy and beautiful love life, there are times when things can get complicated, and our partners may become angry or upset with us.
It’s important to understand that everyone has issues and bad experiences that may affect their relationship behavior. Still, it’s also important to set healthy boundaries and not tolerate abusive or unwanted behavior.
This blog post will outline 23 possible reasons your girlfriend is mean to you and includes tips and tricks to get you on your way to seeing her true colors!
Table of Contents
On the topic of difficult love situations, it’s possible you and your romantic partner just aren’t compatible.
Various things, such as divergent personalities, interests, values, communication methods, and lifestyles, can cause relationship issues. In addition, compatibility problems can result from misaligned expectations, different goals, a lack of trust or intimacy, and other factors. Rather than argue, couples should discuss and address any potential compatibility concerns.
9. You Aren’t Communicating Properly
Communication can be difficult in relationships, and it takes practice to get to a point where you can use positive communication styles. For example, you want to cooperate using affirmative language and active listening rather than interrupting, blaming, or confronting your partner. The following is exemplified in a fictional story between partners:
Partner 1: Please take out the trash before leaving for work?
Partner 2: (sighs) I’m already late; how come you can’t do it?
Partner 1: I did it yesterday; now it’s your turn.
Partner 2: I don’t have time for this; I’ll do it later.
Partner 1: (Angry) You have to do it right now.
Partner 2: (yelling) Why are you always attempting to exert control over everything? I’ll do it when I have time!
Partner 1: (retorting) Because you never accept responsibility around here!
Partner 1: Please take out the trash before leaving for work?
Partner 2: I’m running late today; is it okay to do it tonight when I get home?
Partner 1: Sure thing, no problem. Is there anything else I can do for you before you leave?
Partner 2: I could use some assistance finishing a project before my meeting.
Partner 1: Of course, I’m delighted to assist. Let us collaborate on this.
Partner 2: Thank you for your patience; I appreciate it.
The partners in the first example use poor communication techniques such as interrupting, blaming, and speaking aggressively. As a result, communication breaks down, and the conflict escalates.
The partners in the second example use effective communication techniques such as active listening, expressing gratitude, and speaking cooperatively. This results in the issue being resolved and a stronger sense of mutual understanding and support.
Clinical Psychologist Beste Güneysu Şeker emphasizes that when we focus our attention on our own feelings and needs, we realize that the feeling of hurt we feel at that moment is actually due to the desire to gain the appreciation of the other party.
She advises that the important question to ask is, “What needs, desires, expectations, hopes, and values of my partner didn’t I meet?”
With such questions, it is possible to strengthen communication by self-assessment. Additionally, you can research communication patterns or contact a professional relationship coach to improve communication.
10. She Is Unhappy In The Relationship
Truthfully but painfully, she might be unhappy in the relationship, and some people find it difficult to talk about issues in a relationship. Here are ten possible reasons for her being disappointed in your relationship:
- Lack of emotional intimacy and connection
- Lack of communication or misunderstandings
- Differences in values, beliefs, and goals
- They feel unappreciated or unsupported
- They feel neglected or unimportant
- Infidelity or a lack of trust
- They’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed by outside factors
- A lack of physical intimacy or sexual dissatisfaction
- Their needs still need to be met
- You need to put more effort into the relationship
Once you establish that your partner is unhappy, you must work on it together. Because in a relationship, you should both give 100% in order to make things work.
Şeker states that most people dream of living a hassle-free life. She says that we become unhappy at the slightest negativity because we seek perfection in our lives, and it also applies to our romantic relationships.
However, Şeker highlights that we must accept the facts and have the courage to see and change what we can in our lives and in our romantic relationships.
11. You’re Keeping Score Between The Two Of You
Do you do things for your current partner from time to time because she wants to or because you want to?
Ah, the classic: I did this, so you have to do this. Double standards, or keeping a “relationship scorecard” allows you to keep track of your partner’s transgressions and hold them responsible for their future behavior. Unfortunately, the following are some reasons why this can be risky:
- Instead of fostering cooperation and understanding, it results in anger and blame.
- It encourages a culture of continual negativity and criticism rather than promoting growth and positivity.
- It erodes the mutual respect and trust required for a successful relationship.
- It makes people spend too much time reflecting on past wrongdoings instead of working together for a better future.
The “relationship scorecard” generally has a harmful and destructive perspective on partnerships. Instead, couples should place a high value on forgiving one another, having honest and open dialogues, and expanding as a unit.
A happy relationship is often referred to as 100/100 rather than 50/50 because a 50/50 relationship implies a transactional, zero-sum attitude toward the partnership, in which each person keeps a score of their efforts and attempts to ensure a balance of effort. This theory supports codependent tendencies in relationships, where individuals might feel compelled to constantly prove their worth or seek validation through a sense of reciprocity.
On the other hand, a 100/100 relationship is one in which both partners are fully invested and committed to the relationship and are willing to go above and beyond to make it work. In addition, both partners in a 100/100 relationship are ready to make sacrifices and compromises to ensure success.
12. She’s Got Mental Health Issues
Her bad behavior may stem from mental health issues like borderline personality disorder, deep depression, or bipolar disorder. For example, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by mood swings, in which someone can suddenly seem normal and become angry.
If you’re dealing with a girlfriend with mental health issues, everyday life can become much more difficult. In most cases, it’s best to consult a mental health professional.
How Do You Recognize a Girlfriend With Mental Health Issues?
Some mental health issues can be quite difficult to recognize. But, according to experts, here are some ways to identify your partner’s mental health problems.
1. Changes in mood or behavior: Dr. John Grohol, the founder of Psych Central, suggests paying attention to changes in a person’s mood, behavior, and energy levels. If your girlfriend suddenly withdraws from friends and activities she once enjoyed or her mood swings frequently and without explanation, this may indicate an issue with her mental health.
2. Difficulty with daily tasks: Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, the clinical psychologist, and author, notes that someone struggling with their mental health may find it hard to complete day-to-day chores, such as bathing or eating, or have trouble keeping their home and personal appearance neat.
3. Sleep disturbances: Changes in sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, can signify depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.
4. Substance abuse: Substance abuse is a common coping mechanism for individuals struggling with mental health.
It is essential to approach the situation with care and to encourage your girlfriend to seek help from a mental health professional.
13. Her Romantic Interest Might Have Changed
As much as we want to believe in the strength of our relationships, modern life can be unpredictable. One possible reason why your girlfriend might be mean to you is if her romantic interest has changed.
While it’s not an excuse for abusive behavior, some people may react with angry emotions and become abusive when faced with the prospect of ending their current relationship.
It’s important to remember that a loving person doesn’t deserve to be treated poorly and to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your concerns.
14. She’s A People Pleaser
Perhaps, she doesn’t like to open up about what she thinks about your bad behavior. You might have done something wrong, but she will never tell you. This ultimately results in difficult times as communication is one of the crucial factors in relationships.
You might have been dating for a long time, but she’s never been able to open up to you about the things that bother her. As a result, her emotional issues have accumulated over time, and her feelings are like a complete shock to you.
While these are not necessarily toxic people, they are more distant and prefer to go out of the way from confrontation. Unfortunately, communication usually suffers in these cases.
15. Premenstrual Syndrome
Let’s be honest; your rude girlfriend might have hormonal fluctuations, so her behavior might be justified.
According to Dr. Julie Holland, a psychiatrist and author, women may experience mood swings, irritability, and increased sadness or anxiety during hormonal fluctuations, particularly during the menstrual cycle or perimenopause.
So, your beautiful girlfriend, who is in a bad mood, might just be experiencing adult life, and she still loves you very much.
We’ll share a valuable secret: get her a good box of chocolates! It may just be the thing that gets her out of a bad mood, so it’s so worth it.
16. She Has a Different Love Language
If you have different love languages, it is easier for your partner to understand your affection. It’s like a language barrier, where you want to understand each other but simply can’t.
Here are five different types of love languages:
- Words of Affirmation: People who care about words of affirmation feel loved when their partner says kind and encouraging things to show love and appreciation.
- Acts of Service: When their partner takes care of practical tasks and does something for them to show love, people who value acts of service feel loved.
- Receiving Gifts: People who like getting gifts feel loved when a partner gives them a gift as a sign of their love.
- Quality Time: People who value quality time feel loved when their partner gives them their full attention and spends time with them doing things they both enjoy.
- Physical Touch: People who like to be touched feel loved when their partner holds their hand, hugs them, or cuddles with them.
Your toxic girlfriend is acting up, but perhaps she has a workload equal to Donald Trump during his presidency. She has time to make plans with friends, and when she’s done with work, she doesn’t have time for you.
Numerous research studies have discovered a connection between stress and negative relationship outcomes like arguments, lower relationship satisfaction, and decreased intimacy.
Additionally, according to psychologist and relationship expert Dr. John Gottman, stress can result in “emotional hijacking,” when someone acts differently from how they usually do. They could become angry or abusive against their partner as a result.
Beste Güneysu Şeker added that stress distracts us and directs us to the future. When we eliminate our future-oriented fears, we reduce the extent of stress.
She advises using senses to bring you back to the living moment; pay attention to what you see and hear. “Remember that you don’t need to push your stress aside, which isn’t going to work anyway. Just direct your awareness to the current experience and come back to your current experience as soon as you realize that your thoughts have turned into worry,” Şeker adds.
18. She’s just hungry
If you go long enough without some food, you’ll start to turn into a zombie. There is a good chance you’ve experienced this. Additionally, this phenomenon is researched and turns out to be true.
A study published by the American Psychological Association found that hunger can lead to anger, frustration, and irritability. The study also found that hunger can change our decision-making and impulse control, potentially contributing to conflict and misunderstandings in relationships and other social interactions.
We’re not making you take her to a restaurant, but a meal would definitely do some good!
19. It Is Her Personality
There are genuinely toxic people. Unfortunately, there is also a chance that your girlfriend is one of those. While it’s possible that your girlfriend is naturally mean or that she has developed some bad habits over time, it’s also important to consider that it’s likely that other factors are influencing her behavior, such as stress, anxiety, past traumas, or relationship issues.
Talk to her openly and honestly if you’re concerned about how your girlfriend’s actions affect your relationship. Do not start the conversation with a fight; express your concerns calmly and carefully. If things do not improve, it may be beneficial to seek the advice of a therapist or relationship expert.
20. She Doesn’t Trust You
Trust issues can cause agony over issues in any relationship. If your girlfriend is being mean to you, it might be because she doesn’t trust you.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done something wrong, but rather that she may have trust issues from past experiences or other people.
On the other hand, if she holds strong negative feelings or wants to be in charge of everything and make sure things happen their way, her behavior might be harder to handle. Whatever the reason, it’s important to communicate and work together as a couple.
Şeker expressed that everyone feels deep in their heart what it means to believe in someone. No relationship can work without trust. A lack of trust in a relationship can lead to harmful thoughts, behaviors, and feelings and, thus, a toxic relationship.
To regain the trust lost in this process, Şeker recommends reliving the memories you had when the trust between you was strong. Recall the experiences that made you happy because emotions and memories are very tightly intertwined. These, she says, will remind you of your relationship and encourage you to be the same as before.
Şeker also suggests recalling memories by making an album of your photos. Preparing the album together and examining it afterward, talking about the photographs’ traces will make the couples feel good and renew the warm relationship and sense of trust between them by remembering their good times.
Still, if you’ve done something fundamentally wrong in your relationship, you must work hard to regain your partner’s trust. Regaining trust isn’t something you do in one day or with one photo album.
21. She Has A Strong Need For Control
Another possible reason your girlfriend might be mad at you is that ‘she’s someone who wants to be in charge of everything and makes sure things happen her way’; it’s not uncommon for her to become upset or angry when things don’t go according to her plan. Her need for control may spill over into your personal life and cause negative emotions in the relationship.
It’s important to understand that having this type of tendency is a character trait that can be worked on, but it’s also essential not to enable or accept blame-mode behavior. Open communication and healthy boundaries help create a more balanced and fulfilling relationship.
22. She Doesn’t Believe The Relationship Will Work Out
“She doesn’t believe the relationship will work out” – this is a harsh realization. If your girlfriend is being mean to you, it might be because she doesn’t believe the relationship will work out.
Perhaps she’s had a bad personal experience making her doubt the current relationship. Instead of taking responsibility for her feelings, she might be playing the blame game and taking it out on you through unwanted behavior.
Another reason could be that she’s keeping a relationship scorecard, where she’s keeping track of everything you’ve done wrong and using them as ammunition against you. However, it’s important to remember that there may be real reasons behind her behavior that you need to address as a couple.
Communicating and working through these issues together is important to strengthen the relationship and build a healthier foundation.
23. She’s Jealous
Jealousy can be one of the biggest reasons your girlfriend is mean to you. It’s important to have a calm conversation about her behavior, as confronting her in an awkward situation may lead to negative emotions.
Her jealousy might stem from a lack of trust or bad boundaries, but addressing these toxic traits before they become too toxic is crucial. If you have a possessive girlfriend, it can lead to rough patches in the relationship if not dealt with appropriately. Her possessive behavior in relationships can be a sign of insecurity, but it’s not an excuse for her to treat you poorly.
Therefore, it’s important to set boundaries and expectations and work through these issues together as a couple to build a healthier and happier relationship.
Şeker proposes writing a journal as it can be a great source of support and guidance when struggling with feelings of jealousy. “Your diary is a safe place for you to describe how you are feeling, both emotionally and physically. Your diary will help you think more deeply as it won’t judge you on how you feel. This way, you can create an opportunity for you to explore insecurities and frustrations.” She adds.
“When you keep a diary, you can try to reflect on your relationship and ask yourself. You might ask if your partner is really the right person for you or if they did something special to trigger jealousy. Could your partner be self-sabotaging? It may be time to try something different to restore your relationship.”
What To Do When Your Girlfriend is Mean?
Start By Assessing Your Own Feelings
When faced with rude or unkind behavior in a relationship, it’s natural to seek answers externally, often focusing on the other person’s actions. However, you might consider taking a different approach by looking inward first.
Start by taking a moment to understand how the situation affects you emotionally. Assess your feelings about the situation – are you feeling hurt, frustrated, confused, or something else entirely? Reflect on whether specific words, actions, or circumstances evoke strong reactions from you.
By doing this, you are acknowledging that while your girlfriend’s behavior is important to consider, your actions play a vital role in shaping the relationship dynamics.
Initiate Open Communication Using ‘I’ Statements
Effective communication is key to resolving conflicts, understanding each other’s perspectives, and fostering a healthy connection.
Using ‘I’ statements helps you express your feelings, thoughts, and needs in a way that encourages understanding and empathy rather than escalating conflict. This approach shifts the emphasis from blaming or accusing the other person to sharing your own experiences and emotions.
For instance, when using the ‘I’ statement, instead of saying, “You’re always so mean to me,” you might say, “I felt hurt when I heard those words.” This approach helps you take ownership of your emotions while making it easier for your girlfriend to understand your perspective without feeling attacked.
Establishing boundaries and discussing what behaviors are acceptable and what crosses the line for both of you is critical to addressing the situation where your girlfriend’s behavior might seem hurtful or unkind.
Setting boundaries involves openly discussing what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behavior in the relationship. This shared understanding helps prevent misunderstandings and conflicts arising from differing expectations.
Establishing boundaries is a collaborative process that involves both partners actively participating in the conversation. It’s not about dictating rules but rather creating a mutual understanding of each other’s comfort zones.
Talk to Her
The silent treatment is a behavior of unkind and unempathetic partners. Talk to her about her negative feelings towards you rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a relationship coach to save your long-term relationship.
Our tailor-made advice is to honestly talk with your angry girlfriend about why she’s being mean to you. She can tell you her true feelings if she doesn’t have too many toxic behaviors. Of course, her rude behavior does not mean you are in a mentally abusive relationship. Still, any relationship counselor will tell you that you might as well be if you’re not communicating with each other.
Having a girlfriend who consistently treats her partner unkindly or hurtfully can be challenging and perplexing. Your girlfriend is most likely not a cruel person but acting strangely out of fear or anger. It’s possible that she’s unpleasant and doesn’t care about the activities you have scheduled with other people, or she’s rude and doesn’t want to hang out with you.
She could also be depressed, which could influence how she behaves. When depressed, people frequently behave in ways that they wouldn’t be in a mentally healthy state.
In adult life, the best method to handle the issue might be to openly and honestly discuss it with your partner and, if necessary, do so with a therapist.
When two adults become close, they should appreciate, care for, and support one another. It could be time to review the relationship and prioritize your personal needs if your girlfriend’s actions are making you miserable or harming your sex life.
Your girlfriend’s mean behavior may stem from personal issues, anger issues, bad experiences in the past, jealousy, possessiveness, or control freak tendencies.
First, communicate openly and honestly with your girlfriend about your concerns. Setting healthy boundaries can help create a balanced and fulfilling relationship. If the behavior becomes abusive, seek help from a professional.
If your girlfriend’s behavior makes you feel afraid, belittled, or controlled, seeking help is important. Abusive behavior can include physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse.
Yes, frequent mood swings could be a possible reason for your girlfriend’s mean behavior. Hormonal changes, stress, or personal issues can cause mood swings, and it’s important to communicate with your partner and offer support.
Your girlfriend’s behavior could be influenced by meeting someone else. However, it’s important to communicate with your partner and express your concerns rather than jumping to conclusions.
Birth control pills can affect your girlfriend’s behavior due to hormonal changes. Therefore, communicating with your partner and offering support is important.
Yes, different girlfriends could exhibit mean behavior, such as possessive girlfriends, control freaks, angry people, or abusive partners. Communication is key, and seeking help when needed is always important.