Mean Boyfriends

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year and we are so in love. We do everything together, and he always brings me flowers and other small presents. The problem is that sometimes he acts a little mean in front of other people and it really embarrasses me. He’ll jokingly tell me to shut up, or he’ll throw my food away before I’m finished and joke that I don’t need the extra calories. I don’t understand why he does that because he’s normally the perfect guy. Is there something I can change about myself to make him be nicer around his friends, or do I just need to be tougher and not let it bother me?

– Embarrassed in Alabama

The love discussed in 1 Corinthians 4-7 is very different from the love you just described to me. Check this out:

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Real love acts like the love described in the above passage. Being mean to you in front of other people and telling you to shut up is not acting patient or unprovoked, and is not at all becoming.

Your boyfriend might just be immature, or he may not even be aware that it hurts you when he acts that way. Guys joke with each other a lot, and he might think it’s okay to do that with you. Talk with him about this. Tell him how it makes you feel and give him specific examples of when he has acted mean. If he refuses to listen to you, don’t expect him to change in the future.

Something you said that really stands out is the comments he makes about calories. This is definitely a red flag. He might argue that he has good intentions to help you be healthier, but throwing away your food before you’re finished eating is a very poor way to go about trying to help. Talk to him about this, and if he doesn’t understand why it’s a problem, I can only suggest moving on.

I also suggest talking to your mom or another older trusted woman who cares about you. Make sure the person you choose to talk to knows both you and your boyfriend, because they’ll probably be able to give you more direct advice of what to do.

Above all, pray about your decision. Ask God for wisdom to know what to do. Ask Him to open your eyes to the truth of who your boyfriend really is. Then accept the answer. If your eyes are opened to see a person with huge character flaws, break up with him (see July’s Dating article for more information about this).

Be careful not to let the longevity of your relationship affect your decision. Even though a year can seem like a long time now, when you’re young, keep in mind that a year is very little when compared to an entire lifetime. Dave Ramsey says that the only thing worse than being in an unhealthy relationship for year is being in an unhealthy relationship for a year and a day!

Remember that the way your boyfriend acts isn’t your fault, so there’s nothing you can change about yourself to make your boyfriend treat you better. You deserve the best, which is what God wants for you, so please don’t put up with anyone mistreating you. If you break up with your boyfriend, don’t worry about who you’ll date next. Learn to be happy being single, and trust that God will lead you to the right person at the right time, someone who will treat you the way that’s described in Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

– Nathan


  1. When someone truly loves another person, they treat them with love and respect. A person who is cruel like this guy is needs to get some serious counseling to find out why he lashes out at her and what is sad is, as time goes on, he will get worse.

    When I was a teenager, I set goals of what I wanted in a husband. I only dated Christians who fell within my guidelines. I waited a while before I married but when I did, I married a man that makes life the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced here on earth. We live in a paradise on earth together and he is the kindest, most caring and compassionate man I have ever met and I love sharing each day with him. I never thought it was possible to find someone like him and am so glad I waited to find Mr Right and didn’t settle for less.

    Take your time and really get to know someone and don’t make excuses when they treat you with disrespect. You deserve better.

    I found the below article a couple of years ago and hope it will help to open this girls eyes and to know she needs to quit blaming herself for what he is doing because he chooses his actions. What is sad is she enables him by allowing it rather than putting a stop to it. She has low self-esteem and needs to work on drawing closer to God and what God expects of her before getting into a relationship with someone else.

    Read Proverbs 31:10-31 and study it deeply and fashion yourself after the godly woman. Then read Ephesians 5: 25-33 to learn how a man who loves his wife and family will treat them. He has to learn to love God and himself before he can learn to love someone else.

    * * * * * article “I’m Worth A Lot”

    In a brief conversation, a man asked a woman he was pursuing the question “What kind of man are you looking for?” She sat quietly for a moment before looking him in the eye and asking. “Do you really want to know?” Reluctantly, he said, “Yes.” She began to expound…

    As a woman in this day and age, I am in a position to ask a man
    what he can do for me that I can’t do for myself. I pay my own bills. I
    take care of my household without the help of any man…or woman for that matter. I am in the position to ask, “What can you bring to the table?”

    The man looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring
    to money. She quickly corrected his thought and stated, “I am not
    referring to money. I need something more.”

    I need a man who is striving for perfection in every aspect of
    life.” He sat back in his chair, folded his arms, and asked her to

    She said, “I am looking for someone who is striving for perfection
    mentally because I need conversation and mental stimulation. I don’t need a simple-minded man.”

    I am looking for someone who is striving for perfection
    spiritually because I don’t need to be unequally yoked… believers
    mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster.

    I need a man who is striving for perfection financially because I
    don’t need a financial burden.

    I am looking for someone who is sensitive enough to understand
    what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded.

    I am looking for someone who I can respect. In order to be
    submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn’t taking care of his business. I have no problem being
    submissive…he just has to be worthy. God made woman to be a helpmate for man. I can’t help a man if he can’t help himself.

    When she finished her spill, she looked at him. He sat there with
    a puzzled look on his face. He said, “You’re asking a lot.”

    She replied, “I’m worth a lot.”

  2. well i’ve been with my man FOR A YEAR BUT LATELY HE ACTS LIKE HE DOESN’T CARE ANY MORE!!! i hate it but on the other hand he is the sweatest guy he helps me in everything he is a gentlemen but sometimes he has his bipolor ways….there is also a 2 years age diffrence and he’s going to collage this year & i’ll still be in high school. what should i do?

  3. Dory, you will find Adam’s answer to your question here:

  4. DUMP HIM! 🙂 You deserve better…

  5. I have an issue with my boyfriend and he claims he loves me I have caught him trying to meet up with a girl in his past and take her out… behinde my back he claims it was nothing i caught it thought and wonder if i hadnt what wouldve happened.. My boyfriend also likes to call me a bitch and im a “Bitch for crying” i realize i do over react over some things but i do aplogize… i am crazy about him but recently all he does is point out my flaws and how annoying i apparently am NEVER will say ONE THING that he loves about me. Recently he wants to bring his sister from his home country and to do so with another guy he would have to marry his sister in turn he would marry my boyfriends sister to bring them over… i refused the idea i understand what it comes from being family but i find that very unfair to me aslo thats so bad to do i wont have anything to do with it… he continued to call mea hot headed piece of shit and a selfish bitch his family back home can hate? I want to leave him over these comments yet i love him and very confused when he insults me like that my first response is crying ive been in very abusive relationships before and its always been and he will put me down for crying saying it digusts him … i myself dont know how to handle any relationship and cant seem to get him to talk about it without a flaw of mine being pointed out with no change in his attitude

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