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I’ve been a mean girlfriend before. Several times. Don’t judge me; I had my reasons. 

Not that there’s ever a good reason to be mean, but, this guy I was dating, I found myself irritated at him often. There were times I got angry over little things or nothing at all. 

Eventually, I realized I had fallen out of love with him, so all the things I used to find cute about him now annoyed me. Poor guy! 

If you find yourself wondering, “why is my girlfriend mean to me?” don’t start panicking over my confession. There are lots of possible reasons why your girlfriend is mean to you. 

Before you start accusing her of not loving you, read these 10 possible reasons. Some issues you can work through, others might be a dealbreaker for you.

1. You did something

There’s no smoke without fire. Your girlfriend may be mean to you because you did something that annoyed her. If she’s keeping the scorecard as most people do, she’s probably being mean to you just to return the favor.

You hurt her; now she’s hurting you back. It’s a draw. Keeping scores in a relationship is harmful behavior. An eye for an eye will get the whole world blind. There is no reason to hurt the person you love just because they intentionally or unintentionally hurt you.

Even if she’s not intentionally trying to hurt you for something you did, her resentment about the issue will show up. 

It’s time for you to do a little self-evaluation. Did you forget an anniversary or birthday? Did you say something hurtful? Think about it.

2. That’s her personality

It can also be that your girlfriend has a personality that makes her come across as mean. She enjoys sarcasm and teasing. She likes to play rough and turns your jokes on you. That might be just how she is. 

I’d like to believe that nobody is inherently mean, but it could also be that you have a mean girlfriend. She may be working on changing, or she may just not be bothered to try.

As Maya Angelou said, when people show you who they are, believe them the first time. If your girlfriend is simply mean, you have seen the traits before. You have to believe that this is who she is.

Read: 6 Signs Of A Toxic Friendship You Shouldn’t Ignore

3. Hormonal changes

It is a real thing. Hormonal change is not all in our heads. If your girlfriend is PMSing, she might not be pleasant because she doesn’t feel pleasant. Clearly, this is not about you.

Don’t expect her to be nice to you if she’s experiencing cramps, feeling bloated, and unable to enjoy her day because it is that time of the month. She will not be in the mood for your regular fun activities and your jokes won’t be as funny.

If she’s nice to you despite what she is feeling, you’ve got an angel. Give her a treat while she goes through those days.

4. Unmet expectation

We all have expectations when we go into a relationship. Like this one time, I was in a relationship with a guy, and I wanted him to plan all his fun activities around me. I hated it when he spent time with other people without me. 

My happiness was tied to him. What do you think will happen? No one is responsible for another person’s happiness.

Anyway, if your girlfriend has some expectations of you that are not being met, she will resent you. She’s probably thinking you do not love or appreciate her. 

Some expectations in a relationship are unreasonable. You need to communicate to be on the same page. Other times, these expectations are within reach, but she expects you to figure it out instead of telling you. Of course, you’re not a mind reader, so you won’t know. 

Ignorance is no defense in the girlfriend court. She will hold it against you. You should discuss your expectations in the relationship and save yourself from more “mean girl” days.

Related: Leave A Girl If She Does These 4 Things

5. She’s hurting

Hurt people hurt people. Your girlfriend might be going through mental agony over issues you have no idea about. She could be depressed, have anxiety, or be self-loathing. Don’t expect someone to like you if they barely like themselves.

Observe your girlfriend. You know her best. Are there some things different about her?  Has she hinted at some challenges at work, pain in her body, or mental health issues? She may need some support but may not be brave enough to ask for it.  Her mean behavior could be a cry for help.

Don’t ignore it.

6. She no longer loves you

You can’t ignore this possibility. Your girlfriend may not want to be with you anymore, and she’s probably bidding her time. She doesn’t hate you; hopefully not. You’re just not her favorite person right now.

We all handle things differently. Your partner may be mean to you to get you to react, and then she can break up with you without feeling guilty. Perhaps she’s already feeling bad about the thought of hurting you, and she’s taking out the guilt on you.

I know, you don’t deserve that. If this is why your girlfriend is mean to you, a breakup is just a little while away.

7. She’s insecure

Some toxic traits in a relationship make partners put up behaviors because they want attention. If you and your girlfriend are in this unhealthy cycle of acting up until you get your way, it’s a sign of insecurity. 

You enable that behavior by succumbing to her demands or trying to please her by doing what she wants. You can’t keep that up. Anytime she wants something, she will manipulate you by being mean, and you’ll succumb.

She’s insecure, and that also says something about you. Your self-esteem and boundaries might be weak.

Also read: 9 Signs She’s Pretending to Love You

8. She does not respect you

We all like to be respected by our partners. In fact, some men will choose respect over love. 

If your partner is mean to you, the respect might be gone – if it was ever there at all.

You’re asking, “how do I know if she does not respect me?”

If a girl doesn’t respect you, her words will cut you like a knife. Your opinions won’t matter to her, and she will not value things that are important to you, like spending time with you or appreciating your support for her.

If you did something to lose the respect of your partner, for example, cheating, you would need to work on building it again. If she chooses to stay with you.

9. Your relationship is built on passive-aggressive behaviors

It may sound like I’m blaming you for your girlfriend’s meanness, but it takes two to tango. 

Do you and your girlfriend have a habit of avoiding each other when you’re angry about something?

Do you put off engaging in activities to punish each other? Do you use sarcasm to avoid meaningful conversations? Research shows that these are passive-aggressive behaviors.

If your relationship is built on these behaviors, it’s no surprise you’re here wondering why your girlfriend is mean to you. 

Emotional connection, honesty, and vulnerability about your feelings will create a healthy atmosphere for your relationship to thrive. It is real emotional work but it pays off.

10. Communication barriers

It’s easier to Google “why is my girlfriend mean to me?” than to confront your girlfriend about it. Confrontation can lead to arguments and bring up issues you would rather not discuss.

There is an obvious communication barrier in your relationship if this is your position. The importance of communication in a relationship cannot be over-emphasized. If you do not talk, issues will get swept under the carpet while resentment brews.

A simple conversation may get you and your partner on the same page and save you heartbreak.

What to Do About a Mean Girlfriend 

“So, what do I do about my mean girlfriend?” I’m glad you asked. 

Set a healthy tone for your relationship by discussing the behaviors that are a dealbreaker for you. 

Disrespect and passive-aggressive behaviors will wear down any relationship, so you should agree to respect each other. Establish healthy boundaries.

Man, know thyself, and know thy partner. This will save you. If you know your girlfriend well enough, then you’ll know when something is going on with her or when she’s just simply mean. If her meanness stems from external factors, you will be able to support her. She’ll love you more for it. 

She doesn’t have to always tell you whenever it’s that time of the month. Read the calendar, and observe for signs you’ve seen in previous months. Soon you’ll be a pro.

Warning, don’t ask her, “Are you on your period?” every time she’s upset about something. You might get an extra cut of the mean pie.

Indeed, your girlfriend is the last person you expect to be mean to you; but like everyone else, she gets a bad day too. The next time you catch yourself wondering “why is my girlfriend mean to me?”, remember it could just be a bad day. Tomorrow will be brighter.

Related: How To Be A Good Boyfriend: 10 Ways To Do It Right

Yvonne Peters-Adzimah

Yvonne is passionate about ensuring that people live purposeful lives. She writes on topics of love, spirituality, healing from trauma, and personal growth. Yvonne holds a BA in Linguistics and an MA in Gender and Development. She loves to travel and spend time with her family.

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