14 Signs You’re Dating a Karen


Karen is no longer just the name of your third-grade best friend. Dating back to 2020, “Karen” has become a negative term used to describe a woman, usually white, who is perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is reasonable and standard.

Let’s set the scene: You’ve been dating your girlfriend since 2018, and things are going well. But, of course, you have ups and downs, like any other relationship.

Even before the derogatory term, you noticed that your girlfriend was very picky about certain things and constantly called for a manager if she didn’t get an extra ketchup packet for her fries.

But that’s normal, right? Your friends avoid her at all costs, but that’s because they’re jealous. They aren’t dating an intelligent woman with enough common sense to know when to escalate a situation to the authorities. Usually, it involves a minority, but that’s just a coincidence.

Or is it?

Is your girlfriend’s behavior common, or are you dating a “Karen?”

Is Your Girlfriend a Karen?

You were dating her before the term “Karen” began making the rounds. Sure, she drives you nuts with her little quirks, like always thinking she’s right and that everyone is beneath her.

However, if you’re having second thoughts and considering she may be part of the K-club, relax. First, check out the signs and decide if she is a Karen.

 1.    She’s Always the Butt of Your Friends’ Jokes

Do your friends always make fun of your girlfriend when you go out in groups? They may not call her Karen to her face, but your friends laugh and roll their eyes whenever she comments. Of course, they only tolerate her because she’s with you, but even you know they secretly hate her F-in guts.

Even when she’s not around, they still find a way of talking about her by saying something like,

“Wow, that sounds like something {your girlfriend} would say.”

2.    You Don’t Like Going Out With Your Friends

You would prefer to stay in and watch a movie with your girlfriend because when you do go out, your friends are relentless with the jokes about her (see above). You’re always the last couple invited to the party, and when you are, it’s at the last minute, probably because they had to take a vote.

You see it, but your girlfriend doesn’t. She’s utterly oblivious to the fact that no one likes her because, according to her, there’s no possible way people don’t enjoy her company. After all, she’s perfect.

3.    You’re Always Apologizing Ahead of Time

When dating a Karen, you always make excuses for their behavior. For example, if you know she’s coming to your job, you warn your co-workers by telling them, “She can be a little judgemental sometimes, so just ignore her.”

When you go out to a restaurant and find yourself apologizing to the waitstaff for her behavior, you are probably dating a Karen.

4.    You Have to Speak Over Her All the Time

Karens love to hear themselves talk. But, unfortunately, the only way you can get a word in edgewise is if you speak LOUDLY over her.

You are always cutting her off, making her angrier, but if you don’t, she’ll complain all day. It’s not only what she says to servers, sales assistants, neighbors, etc.; it’s how she says it. She speaks to people condescendingly as if she’s talking to three-year-olds.

5.    She Overreacts to Every Little Thing

Whenever something doesn’t go her way, she will quickly become irritated, and you– guessed it–ask to speak to a manager.

If the manager doesn’t tell her what she wants to hear, she’ll ask for the phone number of the home office.

And don’t think that’s just a threat. Karens will call that number while still in the establishment to ensure they give the correct phone number.

If it is an incorrect number, say a little prayer because all hell is about to break loose.

At this point, you would probably be wise to leave the store until she’s finished with her tirade.

woman yelling with her hands in the air

6.    She Sends Out Gift Lists

Need help figuring out what to get your Karen this Christmas? Don’t worry. She’ll let you know because she has already typed up her expected gift list. She thinks she’s being practical by saying, “I’m just trying to save everybody time and money.” But, of course, what she’s really doing is saving herself from having to return a shitty gift.

7.    She’s Deceitful to Get What She Wants

Most people have a conscience and feel guilty even when they purposely deceive someone. Not Karen. Karen goes out of her way to swindle and doesn’t care who she embarrasses. Why? Because she feels like the world owes her everything.

For example, she gets her correct pizza order delivered, eats half the pizza, and then calls the store to complain the pizza was delivered cold and wants a whole new pie.

If there is any resistance, she’ll get louder and–say it with me–ask to speak to the manager. Finally, she will be so intolerable she’ll get a free pie, soda, and an order of wings. The worst part is; she’s proud of her behavior.

8.    You Are No Longer Allowed in Certain Places

You can no longer go to your favorite gym because you brought your girlfriend as a guest once, and she made such an issue with the towels you both were kicked out.

Your friends hang out, and you ask to join them. If the first question they ask is, “Is she coming?” then you may be dating a Karen.

The same goes for your staff gathering. Your co-workers invite you, but because of a previous incident, they suggest you keep your girlfriend home. 

9.    She Shops at Four Separate Grocery Stores

Your girlfriend goes to one store and argues with the manager because of their low stock of an item she wants.

Then, she goes to the next store and the next store with the same result. Finally, at the last store, she realizes it’s a lost cause, so she relents, finishes shopping, and then comes home to complain to you. Then, she demands you go to all four stores to back up her complaints.

If anything remotely similar to this scenario happened to you, you are dating a female d-bag, and good luck.

10. You’re the Problem, Not Her

Does she blame you for everything? Does she not take any culpability even for her actions?

For instance, she breaks a drinking glass. You clearly see her pick up the glass and drop it onto the floor. It’s her fault. No big deal because it was an accident.

Not according to a Karen. She’ll find a way to turn it on you by saying, “I told you not to buy those cheap glasses.”

See what happened there? Something that was her fault has now become your fault.

11. You (or the kids) Are Always Begging to ‘Just Go’

Embarrassment is always a factor when you’re dating a Karen. You’ll find yourself in certain situations where you wish you could just disappear or be anywhere but there.

For instance, if one of your favorite questions to ask your girlfriend is, “Can we please just go?” Then, it’s time to admit you’re dating a Karen.

12. Yelling is the Only Way She Can Be Heard

At least, this is what a Karen always claims. Believing this is the only method for others to listen gives her a reason to yell and talk over everyone else. It doesn’t matter where you are. She will shout just as loud in a hospital as in Times Square.

13. She Always Plays the Victim

Whenever accused of acting out, she suddenly becomes the victim, claiming no one will take her seriously or that no one cares, so she has to act like this.

It’s common for her to cry when she realizes people aren’t reacting to her how she wants (RE: get her way). It’s like you’re talking to a toddler.

14. She Gives You Hell When Not Siding With Her

This is tricky because you’re embarrassed and want to resolve the situation with as little confrontation as possible. However, you still have to live with her.

So, you find yourself asking her the “Can we just go?” question (see above) and hope that she doesn’t see that as you taking “their” side.

What to do if You Believe You’re Dating A Karen

We all have toxic people in our lives, and yes, a Karen is considered toxic. But what do you do if you’re dating one? Well, the easy answer is to dump her.

However, you two have a history together, and she has some redeeming qualities, so you’re not ready to show her the door. Read on for ways to deal with a Karen.

1. Stop Attempting to Please Her

Karen’s have it all figured out. Decent people go to extraordinary lengths to keep them happy, if only to shut them up. Your constant attempts may work for a little while, but soon that won’t be enough. It’s not fair to you, and it’s not fair to the others who she feels should keep her happy, too.

The thing is, you can’t be responsible for making her happy. She needs to do that for herself. But you can help her along. What does she like to do? If she has activities she enjoys, do those more often. Try new things together. Often unhappy people feel stuck in their everyday routine, so mix it up a little. It’ll do wonders for the relationship, not to mention it will also give the public a break.

2. Hold Her Accountable

She may attempt to blame you for something, but don’t fall for it. In the glass example above, when she tries to turn the fault on you by saying you were the one who bought the glasses, calmly remind her that you bought them together.

3. Be Honest and Tell Her How You Feel

Being in a relationship with a Karen is exhausting. You may be able to deal with it for a little while (or longer in some cases), but eventually, it will wear you down.

The best thing to do is to address it and do it soon. For example, in a non-confrontational manner, tell her how it makes you feel when she blames you for everything.

4. Try Relaxing Activities

Karens tend to be high-strung. Anxiety is one reason they project their stress onto others. So help her deal with her tension in other ways. For example, join a meditation class or try some breathing techniques to help her calm down when she gets upset in public.

5. Show Empathy

When people tend to be angry, it’s rarely at the person or situation. Instead, there’s something else going on in their life.

We all deal with stress in different ways. This statement isn’t excusing their behavior, but don’t judge them. Of course, being called a Karen is a joke on social media, and I’m sure you’ve seen the numerous memes. But the bottom line is they are hurting and have issues.

Showing a little empathy can go a long way. Tell her things like, “I understand why you’re upset. I would be too, but I may be able to handle it better this way.”

When she flies off the handle again, try to calm her down by suggesting you handle the situation. For example, if you’re in a store and she asks to see the manager (and she will), calmly ask her to go to the car while you speak to the manager.

6. Ignore, Ignore, Ignore

Sometimes, it isn’t your battle, so it’s best to stay out of it. When your girlfriend goes on another rant, walk out the door and let her deal with it. Or, if she wants to blame you for something yet again, don’t even argue.

To keep your sanity, sometimes you need to take a deep breath and keep it moving. You will never be able to control her, so why try?

Is it time to move on? Dealing with a Karen takes plenty of patience, and sometimes you run out of it. You may have given it your all, and the relationship still didn’t work out. It happens.

If you deem the relationship salvageable, try these methods. After all, no relationship is perfect. 

However, know when to cut your losses. Relationships are hard enough, but it is even more challenging when you are dating someone who seems to work against you.

confused woman looking at phone with question mark background and a heart-shaped speech bubble with a surprised face emoji inside of it

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