What Does It Mean When Your Girlfriend Breaks Her Promises?

There could be many reasons why your girlfriend keeps breaking her promises.
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It can be disappointing when your girlfriend does not come through on her promises. She may only do it occasionally, but if she is constantly making promises she does not end up keeping, it can affect your trust in her and hurt your relationship. It is a good idea to look into why she may be breaking her promises, so you can better understand whether her intentions are genuine or if she is just being careless.

1 Impossible Promises

Your girlfriend may make promises with the intention of keeping them, but she may promise you things she cannot guarantee. For example, she might have said, "I promise to never let you down." In the moment she made that promise, she committed to not disappointing you. However, making promises about the future can set you up for failure because you cannot predict or control what will happen or how things might change, according to the Psychology Today blog post "Promise me you'll try" by Aaron Ben-Zeehv, a professor of philosophy. Some promises, no matter how pure the intention, may be too big to keep.

2 Unclear Promises

Sometimes broken promises can be a result of unclear communication. You may have misinterpreted a promise that your girlfriend made to be bigger than it really was. This can happen when if she did not clarify the full intention of her promise. She may have said, "I promise to be helpful during exam time." You might interpret "help" as having her tutor you or help you study, but to her "help" may just mean providing emotional encouragement and giving you time alone to work on it.

3 Underestimates the Weight of the Promise

Some people throw around the word "promise," without taking what they said seriously. In the book, "Recreating Marriage With the Same Old Spouse: A Couple's Guide," Sandra Gray Bender, a marriage counselor and psychologist, lists not knowing the importance of keeping promises as the top reason why people break promises. If your girlfriend constantly "promises" to do things that she never follows through on, she may not realize how much weight the word "promise" actually has. This may have to do with how she was raised or her experience with the word. Try explaining to her that you depend on her to keep her commitments, especially if she uses the word "promise."

4 No Intention of Keeping Promises

For some, making a promise is done with the intention of letting someone hear what they want to hear, without meaning to follow through later. Your girlfriend could promise she will attend your soccer game, but really have no intention of going once the time comes. She may just be making the promise to get you to stop nagging in the moment or to make you feel better so she won’t have to deal with hurting your feelings, according to “Why Does Your Partner Always Break Promises?” by Jeanette Raymond, a psychologist, on YourTango. She is only thinking about calming you down in the present and not worrying about how broken promises could affect your feelings in the future.

Sarah Casimong is a Vancouver-based writer with a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She writes articles on relationships, entertainment and health. Her work can be found in the "Vancouver Observer", "Her Campus" and "Cave Magazine".