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Jealous Boyfriend: Understanding and Dealing with Toxic Possession

Movies show jealous boyfriends as romantic heroes who fight every guy who even looks at their lady love. However, real life is very different from what we see on the screen. Even if you used to enjoy his possessiveness at the beginning of the relationship, in no time, this possessiveness would suffocate and ruin your bond.

However, jealousy at a moderate level isn’t necessarily destructive as it shows that the other person is afraid to lose you. We will look at jealous boyfriend signs and how jealousy can affect your relationship. We will also learn how to deal with a jealous partner and have a loving, happy relationship.

Is It About Me or It's Actually His Issue?

Jealousy is a natural human emotion that one experiences when they are threatened. If your partner is jealous, it can be because of his insecurities or bad experiences in past relationships; there are also chances that you could be contributing to your partner’s resentment.1

To find out the reason behind your partner’s “bitterness,” you must sit with them and try to see things from their perspective. If you feel their behavior is because of their self-image issues, you can try to boost their confidence by appreciating and complimenting them more.

If your actions are the reason behind your partner’s jealousy, you can consider adjusting your actions a little if you agree, and if it is not a big compromise.

How Does Jealousy Affect Relationships?

Jealousy is a destructive emotion that can break down happy relationships. The bitterness shows there is no trust or empathy in the relationship, which can make it challenging to continue the bond. 

It can make the person on the receiving end of the jealousy feel suffocated and alone, eventually leading to a breakup. If there is a fit of jealousy in a relationship, there would be frequent fights over seemingly trivial things, which can slowly damage the bond.

19 Signs of a Jealous Boyfriend You Should Worry About

Why do boyfriends get jealous? A little jealousy can spice up your relationship. However, it becomes a problem if the jealous behavior becomes suffocating. Below are some signs you should worry about in a jealous boyfriend.

1. He does not like you complimenting others

A jealous boyfriend makes a big deal whenever you praise anybody else, especially a person of the opposite sex. They will try pointing out the flaws of this person and might tease you with their name. 

2. He checks on you 24/7

It’s nice to receive a cute text from your boyfriend asking how your day is going when you are out with your friends. However, it is a cause for worry if your man keeps calling you continuously and wants to know when you are heading back home.

3. He constantly checks your phone

he constantly checks on your phone

A jealous boyfriend cannot resist touching your phone and does not find anything wrong in going through all your texts. He wants to know all your passwords because he likely does not trust you and thinks you are hiding things from him.

4. He does not like it if you do your own thing

You have got yourself a jealous boyfriend if he does not like it when you do your own things and have fun without them. He wants all your attention and gets jealous even if you do a single activity without them. 

5. He hates your friends

If your boyfriend hates your friends without any solid reason, it shows he is jealous. He will constantly find flaws in them and will always look for ways to make you end your friendships, especially with your male friends.

6. He stalks you on social media

Nowadays, having a social media account and posting pictures on it is normal. However, if your boyfriend checks your every move on social media and falsely accuses you of flirting with other men, then it shows that they are jealous and are trying to control your life.2

7. He gets angry even if you mention someone else

Even if you mention another man's name in passing, jealous boyfriends make it an issue. They do not trust you and see even innocent banters with your male friends as flirting. It will start as snarking comments and slowly turn into a full-blown fight.

8. He is emotionally manipulative

he is emotionally manipulative

Jealous boyfriends emotionally manipulate their girlfriends to make them believe their possessiveness is love. They use the love card to make their partner do things they want.

9. He ‘jokingly’ accuses you of cheating

A jealous boyfriend continuously jokes about you cheating and flirting with other guys, and when you retaliate, they ignore it by saying it was a joke. There are chances he is doing this to bait you as in his messed up mind, he believes you are having an affair, and teasing you about it will make you admit it.

10. Jealous boyfriends are inquisitive

A controlling, jealous boyfriend would want to know about and control every aspect of your life; that is why he wants to know everything about your life, no matter how trivial.

11. He expects you to never miss their call

No matter how busy you are, a jealous boyfriend can never tolerate you missing their call even once. They will keep calling you until you answer, and as soon as you pick up, a series of baseless accusations will be ready for you.

12. He discourages you from prioritizing self-care

A jealous boyfriend wants to control the way you look and present yourself. Therefore, he discourages you from wearing sexy outfits or wearing makeup. He can also get mad if you express a desire to go to the gym, believing you will leave him when you get attention from other boys.3

13. He asks your friends about you

An extremely jealous boyfriend wants to know everything about you; therefore, he would not mind approaching your friends to find out what you are up to.

14. His mood changes every time you plan to go out

If your boyfriend picks up a fight every time you are about to leave to meet your friends, it is one of the warning signs that you have a jealous boyfriend. He might do this so your mood gets ruined, and you cancel your plans.

15. He wants you to flaunt your relationship

You know you have a jealous boyfriend when, even when he is not a big fan of intimacy, he wants to show a lot of PDA when you guys are out.

16. He does not believe you

If your boyfriend does not believe what you say and asks further related questions, it shows he is jealous and does not trust you.

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17. He accompanies you everywhere

he accompanies you everywhere

A jealous boyfriend can never trust their partner; that is why he wants to accompany you whenever you meet your friends.

18. He has a quick anger

If your partner is getting angry about minor things, it might be because they are suppressing their emotions or trying to manipulate you.

19. He would not let you make your own decisions

From the clothes you wear to the food you order, a jealous boyfriend wants you to ask his permission before you do anything, no matter how trivial. He wants to control every aspect of your life and make you dependent on him, so you are afraid to make any decision without him.

19 Tips to Deal with a Jealous Boyfriend

If your boyfriend gets jealous, but you love him and are willing to work on the issue, read on to learn how to deal with a jealous boyfriend.

Determine whether you’re contributing to his jealousy

While dating a jealous man can mean they would get jealous by the slightest thing, at times, you could also be guilty of enabling resentment in them. Ask yourself whether you talk about your male friends often. If you feel you have done something that has made your boyfriend jealous, you should immediately apologize to them and take steps to change your behavior.

Talk to your partner about it

If you feel that your relationship is getting affected by your partner’s jealous behavior, it is time to sit down with them and have an honest conversation about it. With a cool mind, ask your boyfriend what makes them jealous, and, without getting angry, listen to what they have to share.

Also, it would be best to share how upset their jealous behavior makes you feel.4

Do not hide things from your boyfriend

do not hide things from your boyfriend

There is nothing wrong if someone wants an open, transparent relationship. Being an open book is the best way to deal with a jealous boyfriend. Although his suspicions may be based on imagination, his fears get unleashed when he smells a secret. Therefore, consider being open about your feelings with him and never lie to them.

Try to avoid his jealousy triggers if they are reasonable

After you have found the trigger points of your jealous boyfriend, the best approach can be to avoid doing things that make them angry or jealous, within reason, obviously. It sounds like a big compromise, but if there are reasons for your partner’s bitterness, it is only a tiny adjustment. 

Try not to get defensive when he gets jealous

If your boyfriend twists an innocent situation and accuses you of something you have not done, try not to get defensive, as it will only worsen the situation. Your partner will see your defensiveness as an attempt to hide something, which can make him even angrier and more upset. 

It will help if you have a calm conversation with them, explaining your point and assuring them you will deal with all the problems together.

Contribute to building his confidence

You can build his confidence by complimenting and making him feel special. Tell him you can work on things as long as you respect each other. The confidence will slowly make his resentment disappear, and your male friend will no longer threaten him.

Set some boundaries

Appropriate boundaries are essential for healthy relationships; when in a relationship, you must know each other’s boundaries. To ensure you both are on the same page, consider having an open conversation with each other and let one another understand what is important for you and be ready to adjust things that are important for your boyfriend. 

Encourage him to go out with his friends

A jealous boyfriend is not always someone who wants to control you, but he can also be someone who has made you their world. Being with someone who wants to spend all their time with you can be suffocating, but it is not something you cannot work on. 

Nudge your boyfriend a little to spend more time with his own friends.

Involve your boyfriend in your life

It is normal for your partner to feel jealous and left out if you have drawn walls around you, as it might make them think you are hiding something. So tell your boyfriend about even the smallest aspects of your life so they feel they know you and can trust you.

Talk about their past

Our childhood and past relationships shape us into the adults we are today. The insecure or jealous nature of your boyfriend could be because someone in their past relationship deceived them. 

It could help if you make your boyfriend open up about their past, and once they have shared their story, assure them you understand them and they can trust you.

Show extra affection

show extra affection

Some extra affection for your jealous boyfriend can do magic in your relationship. If your boyfriend is insecure, use your words and actions to remind them how important they are to you. The love and affection will put your man’s head at peace, and slowly they will become much more confident about your feelings for them.5

Take him out to meet your friends

If your boyfriend is jealous of your friends, especially male friends, it could be because he has not met them and has made an image in his mind, and you trying to keep him away from your friends can only make things difficult. 

So consider inviting your jealous boyfriend to meet your friends and introduce him to others as your ‘boyfriend’, which will surely boost his confidence.

Encourage him to prioritize his health

A jealous boyfriend is usually so invested in the relationship that he forgets to focus on his mental and physical health. If you feel your man is always stressed, encourage him to focus on self-care. 

Show up

There are chances that your boyfriend is aware of all the jealousy in their head but finds it difficult to shake it off. In such a situation, it would help if you were with them to help them calmly overcome these issues. Encourage them to share their feelings and try your best to understand their triggers and point of view.

Be patient

The jealousy issue in your bond cannot be fixed in a day; it will take dedication and effort from both of you. 

Often, things will spring out of your control, and it will feel like you are starting from zero. But keep your patience and keep trying new ways of communication. Make an effort to trust each other and make a pact to deal with the issue together.

Be available

It does not always need to be jealousy; it can also be a concern. It can worry anyone if their partner does not pick up their calls or reply to texts for hours at a stretch. Therefore, you can make it much easier on yourself and the poor guy by staying in touch whenever you go out. 

You do not need to check in every five minutes, but informing them about your whereabouts every few hours can put their mind at ease.

Do not play games

Do you purposefully tell your boyfriend that a guy is flirting with you in the office? If yes, you are contributing to his resentment by making him insecure. If you love your partner, you should respect your relationship enough to avoid letting another man come in between you two.

Take a stand for yourself

If the resentment gets out of hand or you are in an abusive relationship, it is time to walk away, as nothing should be above your self-respect. Ultimately, the decision to stay or leave is yours, but I recommend you make it sooner before things get out of control.6

Try couples therapy

try couples therapy

If everything else fails, you can try couples therapy with your jealous boyfriend. A professional counselor can help you both address the jealousy and the underlying issues in your bond. A professional counselor will give you an outside perspective, and then you can look into patterns and coping strategies. 

FAQs 

Is jealousy a red flag?

Yes, jealousy is a red flag as it shows your partner does not trust you, and the relationship is unhealthy. However, if the jealousy is mild, with proper communication, you can work on the issue by discussing each other’s insecurities, needs, and desires.

Does jealousy mean insecurity?

In some cases, jealousy can result from insecurity as the jealous person might feel threatened that you will leave him for others even when you are in a committed relationship with them. 

What causes jealousy in a man?

A man can be jealous because of his low self-esteem; he might find it hard to believe that someone can truly love them for who they are. Sometimes, a man can be jealous because he might have been deceived in his past relationships.

How to handle a jealous boyfriend?

To deal with a jealous boyfriend, listen to his concerns and anxieties and try to find a solution together. Show extra affection to them and remind them how happy you are to have them in your life.

Conclusion

Jealousy is one of the most destructive qualities, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be managed in a relationship. Seeing things from your man’s perspective and focusing on boundaries can help control and manage jealousy. 

However, if you are in an abusive relationship or your partner is controlling, I would say that the only way out is to leave without giving it another thought.

What are your experiences? Have you ever been in a relationship with a jealous boyfriend? Did you leave your controlling partner? How did you deal with the situation? Let us know in the comments.

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6 Sources:
  1. Ramachandran VS, Jalal B. The Evolutionary Psychology of Envy and Jealousy. Front Psychol. 2017 Sep 19;8:1619.
  2. Frampton, J. R., & Fox, J. (2018). Social Media’s Role in Romantic Partners’ Retroactive Jealousy: Social Comparison, Uncertainty, and Information Seeking. Social Media + Society, 4(3).
  3. Pollet, Thomas & Saxton, Tamsin. (2020). Jealousy as a Function of Rival Characteristics: Two Large Replication Studies and Meta-Analyses Support Gender Differences in Reactions to Rival Attractiveness But Not Dominance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
  4. Kar, H.L.; O’Leary, K.D. Patterns of psychological aggression, dominance, and jealousy within marriage. J. Fam. Violence 2013, 28, 109–119.
  5. Gottman J, Silver N (1999) Chapter 2 What does make marriage work. The seven principles for making marriage work (2ndedn). (p. 26). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  6. World Health Organization (WHO). Global and Regional Estimates of Violence Against Women: Prevalence and Health Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and Non-Partner Sexual Violence; WHO: Geneva, Switzerland, 2013.
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