In every relationship, you are going to have good… and bad times. Sometimes your girlfriend will be mad at you. And you will know exactly why because she will make that quite clear.
But there are also times when it’s harder to know for certain. Sure, you may have an inkling that your girlfriend is mad. Knowing why she is giving you the cold shoulder, though, would be harder. Especially if she won’t talk to you.
No matter what her reasons are, it is important that you figure out what is wrong. Or even if anything is wrong in the first place.
Understanding why your girlfriend is angry at you will be key to addressing the issue and, potentially, improve your relationship and create better, happier memories with her.
To do just that, we’ve compiled a list of ten reasons why your girlfriend could be mad at you. Use them as a starting point to try to understand why she feels that way, but keep in mind she could have her own, other reasons to be mad at you.
If you saw a toddler being irritable and having a rough time controlling their emotions, you wouldn’t be looking for an elaborate explanation. Instead, you would probably be running a very short checklist through your mind:
Well, it turns out that no matter how much we grow up, we don’t change much on that regard. The same things that bothered us when we were young can still affect our mood as adults.
So, if your girlfriend seems suddenly annoyed with you, seemingly out of the blue, the same logic might apply. She might not even be really angry at all!
Perhaps you’ve been traveling for a while and haven’t really taken any break. Or your last meal was a while ago. In any case, you should extend your girlfriend – or wife – the same courtesy and patience you would a child and start by checking if anything is bothering her.
If that does not seem to be the issue, however, you will have to dig a bit deeper.
Did you say you would do the dishes after dinner and decided to watch Netflix instead? Or did you promise to hang out after work but opted out at the last minute?
Here’s the thing: if you tell your girlfriend you will do something, no matter how big or small, she will expect you to follow through.
And it doesn’t even have to always involve her. For instance, some guys talk a big game about going to the gym and getting in shape, but get caught slacking off all the time.
The problem is not necessarily with the inconvenience you cause her – although your girlfriend might get annoyed on that basis alone – but with the lack of commitment you show by going back on your word. If you do it too often, it starts to erode the trust she puts in you and your relationship. And her frustrations will start to mount.
On the one hand, there are physical changes: she got a new haircut, lost some weight, perfected her make up for a date, or even simply started wearing a new perfume that she thought you might like.
Then there is the more intangible stuff. Like a change of habit. Or if she starts going to the gym or gets really into a certain type of comic books.
Okay, that is quite a few things to keep track of. In all likelihood, your girlfriend probably doesn’t expect you to remember everything about her life.
But she won’t let everything slide.
When she gets annoyed, you will hear things like: “I can’t believe you haven’t even commented on my new hair color,” or “You saw I stopped drinking a week ago, why are we even having this date at a bar?”
Getting mad for things like that may sound petty. In a way, they are. But they underline another issue with your relationship: it could potentially point to the fact that you don’t seem to care about her. Or even worse, that you stopped caring as much as you used to.
Striking the right balance in life can prove challenging.
If you are like everybody else, there are times where your attention is hard to get. Like when you get obsessed with a new video game. Or stressed out about a presentation for school or a big deadline at work.
Because your focus is completely on what you are doing, you might be surprised to suddenly find your girlfriend is mad at you. How come she did not give you any warning signs?
The truth is, she probably did try to grab your attention. Maybe she asked you to spend time with her nicely. Or she dressed to impress you and hopefully convince you to go out with her and do something.
When all that failed, she resorted to a sure-fire way to grab your attention: By getting mad at you, she is forcing you to react and confront the situation head on.
Picture this: while your girlfriend is at work you take the day off. But you don’t intend to sleep in and watch TV. Instead, you take it upon yourself to clean the apartment. Top to bottom. You even take out the trash so that everything is spotless. Once done, you even go get some groceries to prepare a delicious dinner.
And when your girlfriend comes back from her job, she kisses you on the cheek and plops down on the couch to read a book. All your hard work, seemingly, unnoticed.
How do you feel?
Sure, she didn’t ask you to do all these things. Heck, maybe it’s not even that big of a deal for her. But at least saying “thank you” would have been nice, right?
Now, if your girlfriend gets mad at you, the situation could be playing in reverse.
Maybe she did something for you. Something small, even. And you didn’t acknowledge it. It can be as insignificant as letting you pick the movie or bringing you a snack from the kitchen. It doesn’t matter.
Scale it back as much as you want, it is still the same principle: saying “thanks” is easy, and if your girlfriend constantly feels unappreciated, she will grow tired of it sooner or later.
Deep down, your girlfriend probably knows that jealousy is bad for your relationship.
So, she won’t tell you directly how she feels. But she will be watching uncomfortably as you chat with a female bartender during a night out. Or when you text a girl from class at 11 p.m.
She might even investigate your social media and find old pictures of your crush on there.
This won’t be pleasant for her.
Try as she may, she might not be able to fully repress her feelings of jealousy. When that happens, they can boil over as anger or resentment towards you. And the worse part is that during all this, you could have no idea why your girlfriend is getting mad at you!
But if she is not mature enough to deal with her feelings, what else can she do? She can’t tell you what to do. It would be too controlling. And no one wants to be labelled “the jealous girlfriend” or “the Facebook stalker.”
At the beginning of a relationship, when you don’t fully know the other person, this is an easy mistake.
Of course, there are things that would be offensive in any setting. No matter what the circumstances, using someone’s ethnicity, disability, or gender against them is a big no-no.
But those are easy to figure out, as they generally create an instant reaction and backlash. If you say something outrageous, your girlfriend will quickly ask you to explain yourself. In a lot of cases, she might not even give your relationship a second chance.
What is harder to pay attention to are the small offences.
Everyone’s background is rich and diverse. Your girlfriend has her own perspectives, experiences, and sensitivities. Take for example political affinities or her parents’ social status. Those are not always evident on the first few dates.
If you offend her on one of these aspects, she might not get mad immediately. Instead, she will take some time to reflect on what you said and then get offended.
When you want to move forward with a healthy and meaningful relationship, you need to address this quickly. This is a conversation you can’t avoid, or your relationship might not recover.
You can read your girlfriend’s emotions correctly and still be wrong in your verdict. Like when your girlfriend is angry and it has nothing to do with you:
Life – and emotions – are not always neatly compartmentalized. Our interactions with one person or situation tend to “spill over” and affect people around us who were not involved at all.
You might have experienced this yourself: have you ever had a bad experience with someone, like an argument or a stressful conversation? Immediately after that, were you able to just “forget about it” and act jovial and cheery?
Your girlfriend could be going through something similar. Someone else made her mad, and she takes it out on you.
Expressing yourself and clearly stating what you want is a skill. And not everyone is great at it.
Whether because she is naturally reserved or because you are still in the early stages of your relationship, your girlfriend might not tell you what is on her mind.
Holding back on what she wants is all fine and well… until it inevitably becomes too much.
It is a frustrating situation for both of you.
Frustrating for her because she might feel powerless or disappointed that you don’t seem aware of what she needs.
And frustrating for you because you have no idea what is even happening. For one, you are not expected to intuitively know what your girlfriend wants (in spite of what movies will have you believe). But also, you might even be under the impression that everything is going just fine.
Life has a tendency to create expectations.
Through her own experience, the examples of people around her, and her environment, your girlfriend has probably developed some ideas about what romance should look like.
Maybe she expected you to bring her flowers on your second date. To hug her when she had a bad day. Or to pay more attention to her in general.
Those are just some examples, but it could also be that you went out with your friends or forgot to text her when you got home after a night out.
Whatever it is that you did wrong is irrelevant, because she never told you what she wanted.
She may have expected you to know. Perhaps her ex-boyfriend did those things naturally and she thought you would too. But in reality, you had no way to simply read her mind.
Having an angry or disappointed girlfriend can be a stressful experience.
Hopefully, seeing these possible reasons why she is mad at you can help you rationalize the situation. Simply knowing what is happening is usually helpful in gaining control over the situation.
So, the first thing you should do is clarify what is really going on with her.
It is time to have a good conversation about the things that are bothering her.
Indeed, you won’t be able to improve your relationship if you solve the wrong problem – which might happen if you simply try to “guess” what is making your girlfriend angry.
Her reasons for being mad at you can vary greatly. Sometimes you messed up and hurt your girlfriend, but other times you did nothing wrong. That makes a huge difference in how you should respond and react.
When you have this conversation, always keep in mind two things.
The first one is that your girlfriend might be upset, and not in the mood to just sit down and chat with you. Maybe she will even refuse to talk. Don’t take it personally and just leave her some space to calm down.
And the second thing is that you should counteract her mood by remaining calm, confident, and affectionate. Give her a hug or put your arm around her, then ask her what is happening. Your goal is to keep the conversation positive.
Now that you have established a connection, it’s time to actually solve the issue.
While doing so, there are a few ways you should act, and some things you should absolutely avoid doing.
Like getting accusatory, aggressive, or defensive, for example. If you feel that her reasons for getting upset are petty, you might be tempted to use a more confrontational approach with your girlfriend. That would be a mistake. Tempers are high on her side already, so this would only lead to an ugly fight or an argument.
Likewise, don’t beg, negotiate, or try to bribe her with lavish gifts and restaurant meals. Doing this might trap you into an unhealthy approach to conflict-resolution. It would also serve to show your girlfriend that she can get her way by complaining and picking a fight with you, and she might also see this as an attempt to distract her and avoid your responsibilities.
In a way, think of it like dealing with a toddler who is throwing a fit. You wouldn’t want to lose your temper or let them push you around.
No, what you would do is keep your cool, address the thing that is bothering them but without letting them push you around. If you felt their request was unreasonable, you would set clear and firm boundaries. Without indulging their caprice.
So that’s what you should do with your girlfriend too!
If you did, indeed, mess up, just admit it and promise to do better. No need to make a big deal out of it. No need for groveling apologies that would make her lose respect for you.
On the other hand, if you feel that she is overreacting, don’t blame her. Reframe the situation in a light, positive way and use this as an opportunity to demonstrate how you react under pressure. If you can remain in control, strong, and confident, that in itself is attractive to women.
By managing to bring back the interaction to having fun, laughing, and spending quality time with your girlfriend, everybody will win.
And your feelings for each other will get deeper as time goes on.
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