My Boyfriend Makes Fun Of Me In Front Of Other People, But It’s Not Funny Anymore

At first, it was totally fun and flirtatious, but the teasing and jokes my boyfriend is making at my expense are starting to get annoying, especially when it’s in front of other people. He’ll gladly throw me under the bus for a laugh and I’m so tired of it.

  1. I wish I could be cool about it but I just can’t. If only I was one of those totally “chill” girlfriends who could roll with the punches and brush every insult off her shoulders! In reality, I’m as sensitive as they come and find it really hard to take low-key insults on the chin. I feel like he’s knocking me down a peg a bit too much these days and it’s starting to make me mad.
  2. Jokes are only funny for so long. It’s gone from flirty and fun to inappropriate, mean-spirited teasing. Even when I met his family, he still “playfully” made fun of the way I talked, ate, and laughed. I’d expect that kinda teasing from a brother or a sister, not from a boyfriend. I brushed it off at first and didn’t let it affect my confidence, but now it’s getting to be too much.
  3. It makes me feel like he’s not on my side. It’s almost like he’d rather win the affection of everyone else in the room before he wins mine. When we’re with a group of people, he seems to be laser-focused on them and he’d gladly use me as his punching bag if it meant he’s in with the cool kids. I’m tired of him and his low self-esteem. A good boyfriend would stick by my side no matter what.
  4. It’s straight up embarrassing. I can usually handle my friends and co-workers making fun of me, but for some reason it feels different when he does it. I get way more embarrassed when he’s the one who calls me out on my mistakes or makes fun of the way I’m acting. Maybe that’s a sign that he shouldn’t be doing it…
  5. I don’t want to feel like I’m being bullied by my own BF. OK, he’s not actually bullying me and we’re technically both laughing about it. I guess it just feels like he singles me out sometimes. I know I’m an easy target (which is why people poke fun at me all the time) and I seem like the type of person who can take those kinds of jokes with a smile, but it can feel really awful when the one person who’s supposed to be by your side actually isn’t.
  6. I don’t see other guys doing it to their girlfriends. My boyfriend must be super immature or something because I rarely ever see other couples have this issue. Why is it that I attract guys who think it’s OK to make fun of me? Why do they even want to?
  7. Other people have brought it up, which makes it even more uncomfortable. My friends have asked if I’m OK with how much my boyfriend makes fun of me. Obviously I’m not and if you could see my face when he’s going off with his jokes, they’d know that and probably be very concerned. If other people are noticing it then obviously there’s something very wrong here. What he’s doing isn’t normal and it needs to stop!
  8. He’s actually a really nice guy, so it’s hard to call him out on it. He doesn’t ever make fun of me in a malicious way, that much I know for sure. He’s honestly just having fun, the same way that a comedian heckles his audience members to get a laugh. It’s technically funny, but unfortunately at the cost of my self-esteem and confidence.
  9. I know he doesn’t realize he’s doing it. I can’t really blame him because I know that he doesn’t realize he’s doing it. When he’s in a social situation (or even when we’re alone), it just kinda… happens. It’s like he can’t really help it. The only thing I can do is keep reminding him of it so that he learns to catch himself before he speaks. It’s not like I don’t have a sense of humor, I just don’t want the joke to always be at my expense.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.