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"I'm Fine": Two Words And What Your Girlfriend Really Means

by Rebecca Pearson
9 August 2013 15 Comments

Word of the wise to boyfriends and husbands - if your partner says she is fine, it means she probably isn't. Here's what to do when she utters those two day destroying words.

Your girlfriend’s inner dialogue when she claims to be fine

“Something’s the matter. What’s up?”

“I’m fine.”

“Why won’t you tell me what’s wrong?”

“Because I’M FINE OK?”

“Are you on your period?”*

*Just never, ever say this

Does this sound familiar?

Today I’m going to share with you some valuable advice in relation to dealing with your sexy, wonderful yet at times frankly MADDENING girlfriend (also relevant to mothers, sisters, friends colleagues, etc).

If she’s said these words:

“I’m fine.”

She’s not.

Here is a pie chart to aid comprehension. I have chosen this method of presentation because I like pies.

Probability of Fineness

You know, I hate that whole cliche of ‘women are fickle and hormonal, while men are amusingly predictable creatures, ruled by their penises’.


If my boyfriend’s in a grump, I have a mental tick-box. Has he:

1) Eaten

2) Had sex

3) Been to the toilet?

He, however, has to think about any action of his spanning from the time I met him to the present day, poor sod. It’s possible that I’ve dredged up a forgotten grudge – like that time he forgot to bring my goggles to the beach, three months ago (man, that was SO annoying).


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“I’m fine,” is indicative of a petty, though not inconsequential, strop. Not caused by the biggies, like, for example, cheating, and sometimes difficult to detect. However, if you leave an “I’m fine,” unchecked, it could potentially snowball into an all-out argument, which will seem to come out of nowhere and flummox you, so we’re talking early detection and cure here.

This pie chart suggests some possible ways you may have evoked “I’m fine,” from her:

* Polite reminder: PMT is not featured on this pie chart, because you will never, EVER blame her period.

Detection: Key signs

- Stony face

- Glance directed at unmoving spot straight ahead/pointed absorption in phone

- Mouth in firm, straight line

- Crossed arms

- Flared nostrils

- Impassive voice


- Don’t over-fuss. She knows deep down she’s being out of order. Pandering too much to this strop may justify it.

- Apologise once, with feeling. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sorry. Just say it.

- Make a small gesture as well as the apology – perhaps make her dinner for just you two.

- Big gestures have too much potential to go wrong, perpetuating the strop cycle once again (see: potentials for disaster: skywriting).

If you like it, Pass it on

image descriptionCOMMENTS

Juan 9:59 am, 18-Jan-2013

Remedies - apologise or make a small gesture? What for? Act like a grown up to be treated like one - this is the 21st century, its way past time to get over pandering to childish female (or male) behaviour or the notion that men must bend to the will of their gfs or wives just because theyre women. there are plenty of people out there who dont still act like sitcom cariacatures, if you have to entertain childishness like "i'm fine" too often i'd move on

Dave lee 10:23 am, 18-Jan-2013

You seem to have taken this amusing, light-hearted article rather seriously, Juan. Things alright at home, son?

Helena 11:11 am, 18-Jan-2013

Dave Lee is my new hero.

Juan 11:55 am, 18-Jan-2013

haha, you got me Dave, sitting in my Y's crying into last night's takeaway. I just hadnt had my morning coffee and Danish

Jen 10:35 am, 19-Jan-2013

"You know, I hate that whole cliche of ‘women are fickle and hormonal, while men are amusingly predictable creatures, ruled by their penises’." So why provide that ticklist of 'men are content with everything as long as basic biological needs are met' bullshit? If my boyfriend's grumpy (and he's not especially often) it's more likely because he's had a shit day at work, or plans have gone awry, or someone's been a dick to him - kinda the same reasons lots of other people, regardless of gender, get grumpy. I know this article's meant to be lighthearted, but it's also somewhat pointless - all it does is uphold the same dull stereotypes about men and women's pre-packed, hivemind personalities.

Tc 1:32 pm, 19-Jan-2013

Well said Jen. As soon as I saw the header I knew this was going to be another "women are so complicated and hard for man to understand *cryy*" it's all rubbish and is one small thing that needs to change. If a man has upset his girlfriend or wife then he should know why. Being male does not excuse responsibility for having a knowledge of your actions or a basic understanding of empathy- pay attention and you'll probably find out whats wrong soon enough. And if a woman wants to say "I'm fine" instead of explaining her predicament to her partner to that's fine too. Women do not assume men are mind readers. We are not being difficult or cryptic when we say "I'm fine".

happytobealive 1:38 pm, 19-Jan-2013

i laughed the whole way through this! so if my girlfriend is acting like a petulant child, and she KNOWS she is, i should reward her? seriously? saying 'stop being such a grump' definitely works just as well, is more honest and doesn't reinforce attention seeking behaviour. just some of my own thoughts... if only women were more like men eh. just give us a sandwich, let us poo, wank us off and scratch our belly. that's all we need in life. obviously.

James 8:01 pm, 23-Jan-2013 ... and women least they kind of have an idea when their hormonal fluctuations take place which is why when men get grumpy we blame everything possible except ourselves! ;-)

Stan Dalglish 7:38 pm, 20-Feb-2013

When I hear the word 'fine' I run for the hills. It's one of those keep you awake at 4am responses. Frank Skinner once said that he has a friend who always visits him backstage after a gig and says 'Darling! You have done it again!'. What the fuck does that mean??????

Russ 10:39 am, 4-Apr-2013

bit disturbed that ur boyfriends checklist is basically the same as for a dog/baby if ur girlfriend pulls this passive aggresive shit on u call her out on it. i just ignore her until she stops bein immature and wants to talk like a proper adult.

Sbat 8:11 pm, 26-Apr-2013

Is it me, or is that grizzly missing a tooth? An allegory of the subject matter, perhaps?

t 11:41 am, 14-Jun-2013

I thought the pie chart was the best bit, I had a dawning realisation as I read your legend that at one time or another I have reacted to all these things. And the 'argued in a dream' more than once...

Kieran Williams 4:17 pm, 9-Aug-2013

Haaaaaaaaa! Dave Lee = hilarious hero

Madison 3:32 am, 5-Feb-2014

When a girl says she's fine... She obviously is not. You need to not force u to tell her anything but say sweatly: Boy: u okay? Girl: I'm fine Boy: okay. I just want u to know tht u can tell me anything and tht I'm always on your side!

Eden 3:44 pm, 26-Sep-2014

Honestly if a girl says I'm fine, most of the time she is hurt. Apologizing is letting her know you understand and you didn't mean to make her feel upset. I agree men can have similar reasons but honestly telling her to get over it is a bit harsh and can end up in an argument. Why not apologize if you care about her. If you don't, she probably doesn't need you around anyways. On the other hand guys can have bad days and family issues and things like that I totally agree, just men are not so sensitive to the things females do... If a female says something slightly offensive, the male isn't going to pout and get all bent out of shape. That's the only difference. It doesn't happen as often with men. This isn't exactly a rule of thumb. Just my opinion from experience.

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