I Don't Understand -- Why Does My Girlfriend Hate Me?

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant
Updated February 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

All relationships change over time, and it’s not uncommon to reach a place where you get the idea that your partner just can’t stand you. You may even be asking yourself, “Why does my girlfriend hate me?” Although this happens in many relationships, that doesn’t make it any easier when it’s happening to you, especially when you still feel in love but are hurt by your girlfriend’s behavior. 

If you and your girlfriend are still together, then figuring out the root of their behaviors, potentially through online therapy, may be able to help you fix things and turn the situation around.

Does my girlfriend hate me?

Hate is a strong word, so for starters, look at their behavior for a clue. Spend time asking yourself if arguments seem to appear out of thin air, or if she snaps at you without warning. It’s possible she’s upset about at something or experiencing stress from a difficult situation that has nothing to do with you or your relationship. Pay attention to see if there is anything giving them trouble or causing stress. In some cases, your girlfriend may be taking out frustrations on you without realizing it. You could be in a good position to help get them through stress and difficulties, which can strengthen their positive feelings for you after getting past this hurdle.

If her behavior towards you has gotten more hostile since you started dating, it’s also possible you unknowingly did something that hurt her feelings or made her angry. Whatever the reason is, try to talk to them about what they’re feeling and understand their concerns. If the problem has something to do with you, you deserve to know so that you can either resolve it by apologizing or discussing what it means for your relationship in the future.

What can I do about my girlfriend hating me?

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Is your girlfriend acting standoffish toward you?

Your partner can’t read your mind -- you need to express what you mean and what makes you upset to them because you may have different communication styles. It’s important to talk to your girlfriend and explain how you are feeling so she knows how her behavior is affecting you. You should also try to show your love for her with your actions, words, and body language.

Model how you hope to be treated; expressing this can ignite the empathy in your girlfriend.

If your girlfriend’s behavior continues to bother you, examine how long they’ve treated you this way and whether they act like this toward other people in their personal life too. If their behavior reflects a pattern of relationship issues, they may be struggling with a personal conflict. Either way, meeting together with a couple’s counselor may help you find out what is bothering them and how to help.

Identifying the behaviors that upset you in a relationship

We sometimes have a sense that someone hates us without being able to pinpoint why we feel that way. This is completely normal, though painful. Identifying the exact behaviors that are making you feel unloved can help to resolve these feelings.

You’ll likely need to pay attention to your girlfriend’s words, body language, and behaviors. Consider what you do or say, and what she says and does before these incidents happen. How do you know your girlfriend hates you or has negative feelings toward you? Is it by their words, tone of voice, actions, gestures, or facial expressions? After spending time observing your relationship and forming your opinion, you can move on to deciding what you’re going to do about it. Online therapy has been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression and other mental health issues.

Checking your expectations

When we meet a person who appeals to us, first encounters can seem magical. Everything they say or do may seem charming and interesting and they may treat us as if we’re the most attractive and fascinating person on earth. It can feel like no other person in the world matters to you and that no other person matters to them.

But this kind of euphoria, known as the “honeymoon phase,” doesn’t usually last. Eventually, we start to see the world – and our partners – more honestly. This is a good thing because at that point you have an opportunity to see each other for who you really are and visualize how a realistic future together would look. 

It can hurt when ordinary life settles in and you discover your differences and factors – those red flags that didn’t bother you in the past suddenly start to feel concerning, especially if we expect our partners to behave as they did when we first met throughout the entire relationship. 

This is one of the many reasons relationship fights can begin; it isn't necessarily anyone's fault. When you think your girlfriend hates you, consider that it might be that she’s just treating you more authentically than she did in the past. You probably want to know who your girlfriend really is, but you also may have liked the attention and admiration she gave you as her partner at first. 

Resolving that dilemma can help you feel more at peace with the relationship. Your counselor can help you come up with ways to show your love for your girlfriend. When you do, she may just follow, letting you learn to love each other's flaws.

Is your girlfriend depressed?

Getty/AnnaStills

Your girlfriend might not hate you at all. Instead, their behavior might be a sign that they’re depressed. 

Depression can arise from many different causes. Perhaps abuse, neglect or trauma from your girlfriend’s childhood is beginning to surface after years of dormancy. Maybe they’re having feelings that they’ve wasted their life in an unfulfilling job that isn't meeting their needs. Your girlfriend may have low self-esteem because no one ever taught them to love themselves. 

Whatever the reason, depression has several distinct symptoms you can watch for. Does your girlfriend:

  • Talk about being upset all the time or express feelings of sadness or hopelessness?
  • Sleep a lot or having insomnia?
  • Seem unusually anxious or irritable?
  • Spend less time with friends?
  • Engage in their favorite activities less frequently?
  • Appear unusually restless or distracted?
  • Seem lethargic?
  • Show signs of developing some bad habits such as not changing their clothes?

What to do if your girlfriend seems depressed

First, don’t jump to conclusions or feel bad for your girlfriend. The signs listed above can indicate depression, but that determination should be made by a professional as they conduct research on this topic and are trained to address it. After all, many of these symptoms can be caused by physical ailments. You can kindly suggest that a counselor might be able to help. Then leave the decision to your girlfriend.

If there’s a possibility your girlfriend is depressed, it’s also important to take care of your own mental health. Their depressed behaviors can put a significant strain on you. You may engage in self-blame. You might become angry, mad, or upset with them for not seeking help, wondering why the two of you lack the skills to work through it together. Your self-esteem may diminish as you ask yourself why you can’t help them.

Talking to a counselor can give you the opportunity to learn more about how to help both yourself and your girlfriend. You can find out how to manage your feelings in a way that doesn’t contribute negatively to her condition. Getting help for yourself won’t resolve every problem in your relationship or change your girlfriend’s feelings or behavior, but you can avoid making both your lives harder and it can give you an advantage in coping with problems as they arise.

What if I’m right?

Getty/AnnaStills
Is your girlfriend acting standoffish toward you?

So, what if you’re right? What if your girlfriend really does hate you? It is a distinct possibility, especially if you have had a toxic or abusive relationship. You may not even realize what you’re doing and saying qualify as abuse. People who grew up in abusive households often see those behaviors as normal, because that was their normal for so many years. 

If so, your life doesn’t have to be over, but there’s a good chance your relationship with this person will be, at least until you change the way you think, talk, and behave. As a part of therapy, you can examine your behaviors with your counselor to determine if you are indeed abusive. It takes a lot of work and commitment to overcome being abusive, but it can be done. A licensed counselor is a great person to help you do it.

At the same time, your girlfriend may have her own issues to resolve. If this is true, you may want to examine the viability of the relationship and even consider breaking up if it’s a healthy thing to do. Going into couples counseling is a good first step as you begin to figure out the root of the problems. You both may benefit from engaging in individual work as well.

Couples therapy

Couples therapy is a good way to get the help you need in order to address problems with your relationship, and BetterHelp is a great resource. Their counselors are available to help you understand the dynamics in your relationship so you can move forward. Through BetterHelp’s online platform, you can schedule appointments at times that are convenient for both you and your girlfriend – you can even attend sessions together if your relationship is long-distance. Even if you live in the same city, you can still determine whether it’s best to attend meetings together or separately, based on the potential for things to become reactive. All you need to attend is a safe internet connection, and you can meet from your home, office, or other preferred setting.

Online couples therapy shows just as much promise in assisting partners with relationship-based challenges as traditional in-person therapy approaches. In one study involving 30 couples between the ages of 21 and 69 years old, researchers implemented a couples behavioral education program designed to promote self-change through videoconferencing.

It is possible to fix a ruptured relationship on your own, but it can be a lot easier with a licensed therapist on your team. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor reviews

“Mark is an amazing therapist. He listens so well and has such valuable insight on male and female perspectives and issues while also not passing judgment. I have only just begun, but he has already given me so many great takeaways to improve my relationships and situations. I am filled with gratitude, and I would highly recommend him to anyone!!”

“Dr. Murphy has been very helpful in identifying issues and behaviors that led me to withdraw from my relationships and now she is helping me to repair them.”

Takeaway

Problematic relationships can take a heavy emotional toll on all partners involved. But you don’t have to accept things the way they are. You can enjoy a fulfilling relationship if you take the time to work on difficult issues, and you can trust that your online therapist at BetterHelp will not take sides; rather, they will be highly dedicated to helping each partner in the relationship be the best version of themselves. Take the first step today.

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