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Why Do Guys Get Jealous When You're Not Dating Them (27 Interesting Reasons)

by Sonya Schwartz

Is there a male friend or acquaintance in your life who gets jealous when he learns that you’re dating other men?

Is it confusing that this guy would get jealous, when you’ve never been romantically involved with him?  

There are a few reasons why this might happen - and I have listed the main ones in the guide below. 

This is an uncomfortable position for a woman to be in. It’s common to get creeped out and wonder what these guys are getting up to when you’re not around. 

That’s why I want to tell you about this incredible online communications tracker tool.

Once you input a few of your friend’s contact details into this tool, it is able to produce a detailed database of information regarding their recent communications.

You’ll learn what smartphone apps they’re using, what online services they’ve signed up to, who they’re calling and texting. 

That’s just the tip of the mountain too. You’ll learn a lot about what these people are doing behind your back with this powerful and 100% discreet tracker tool

In the meantime, I can give you a solid idea of why these guys are behaving with such jealousy. 

The most common reasons are listed below.

27 Reasons Guys Get Jealous When You're Not Dating Them

Most women have encountered a jealous guy at least once in their lifetime; that friend or acquaintance who gets jealous because he secretly has a crush on them or likes to keep them around without committing to them. What makes these situations even more strange is that most of these men make it clear that they don't want to be with you. 

It can get very confusing when a guy gets a bit jealous that you have an active love life even when you aren't officially dating him. It makes you question a lot of things. Don't feel bad for getting confused or upset when it's happening; it's not necessarily normal behavior. 

Sometimes a man's behavior can change because they are territorial. He may not be your boyfriend, but sometimes guys claim you as their own in their heads without telling you. In this case, when they see other guys in your space, they feel the need to mark their territory. 

If your male friend or acquaintance has been acting jealous lately and you don't know why, here are some common reasons behind his behavior. 

1. He likes you

There's a chance that he has a massive crush on you. Guys hardly invest their energy in things that don't interest them, so he's probably interested in you. 

If you're just friends and his behavior changes when you relate with other people, he may have a crush on you and is having problems communicating that to you. Most times, when a guy likes you, he may not be able to mention it to you verbally, but he will show you some signs. He will go the extra mile to do nice things for you and meet whatever needs he can. Being jealous is also one of these signs. If he's displaying these signs, perhaps you need to sit and have a talk with him. 

2. He wants you for himself

If we're still considering the possibility that he may have feelings for you, we might as well assume that he wants to be with you exclusively. As mentioned above, he may not know how to explain to you that he has feelings for you, but if he's had a crush on you for a while, he has probably dreamt of being your boyfriend. If this is the case, seeing you with another man will irk him or rub him the wrong way

If we're being honest with ourselves, women usually know when a guy likes them. If you've kept him in the friend zone all this time without taking the next step with him, it means you don't like him in that way. Perhaps explain to him that you can't be with him romantically and let him go. 

3. He has insecurities

Most jealous men aren't secure. Whether they're officially your boyfriend or not, their jealousy is usually sponsored by insecurity. This is understandable since self-doubting people often feel less important or valued than other people. Speaking to another man can make him feel insignificant to you. 

If they aren't dating, seeing other guys make passes at you or watching you put yourself out there could make them feel sad. They believe no one considers them sexually attractive. This kind of insecurity can change their behavior when they see you bonding with another guy; your successful love life could trigger their low self-esteem and make them feel insecure about their non-existent one. 

4. He may have commitment or trust issues

This situation may seem a bit ironic, but guys with commitment issues tend to get jealous when a girl they like finds someone else. They don't want to be tied down as your boyfriend, but they also cannot get past their feelings for you. 

These are some of the worst kinds of jealous guys because they're considering only their needs and don't care how you feel or if they're stringing you along. You've got to remind yourself that you're single, and you have the freedom to see whomever you want to see. 

5. You were probably his plan B

If he suddenly gets jealous seeing you with other guys, even if he doesn't seem interested in dating you, he probably saw you as his fallback girl. Most men enjoy their prime by relating with multiple girls and running from anything that seems serious. 

However, most of these men have a fallback plan. They keep the most uncomplicated, easy-going girl around in case they decide it's time to settle down. Yet jealousy is one of their most frequent emotions. You need to cut off this kind of guy as soon as possible. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

6. He's immature

It's more common for teens and adolescents to get jealous in their relationships since they're still developing and growing emotionally. However, when a grown man gets jealous and acts irrationally when he feels this way, he's plain immature. 

A mature man may feel jealous, but he has developed the skill of not letting his feelings dictate his actions. Over time, he has built up his self-confidence and self-esteem, understanding that his value isn't dependent on a relationship. If you've spotted these signs of immaturity in this guy, it's time to step aside. 

7. Men are territorial

Men are naturally territorial. Indeed, women are not objects or possessions, but in reality, men can be weird sometimes. When they discover that they're interested in a girl, they suddenly want her to be with them and no one else. For them, this is natural. 

The moment a guy likes you, he automatically hates any guy that seems like they're making advances. Even if they've taken you on just one date with no follow-ups, any guy you may decide to date after that is automatically the enemy. 

8. They're protective

theyre protective

It all depends on your relationship with this guy. If you have a male friend who genuinely cares about you, they may get a bit protective if they notice you're falling for someone who may end up hurting you. 

Although most guy friends are crushes in disguise, their jealousy is somewhat justified if they truly care about your feelings. However, most times, protectiveness works hand in hand with being possessive. If he can't stay out of your love life, he's probably a little possessive too. 

9. Ego boost

Sometimes it's about their ego and not necessarily about you. Perhaps having you around to flirt with and gain some no-strings-attached attention gives him an ego boost while saving him from actually being in a committed relationship. 

For most egoistic men, watching you get attention from another man will hurt their ego. They think that you like another man more than you like them. They perceive it as a form of rejection, and jealousy kicks in. 

10. He's attracted to you

Once a man finds you attractive, you automatically become a potential mate. Even if he keeps giving you mixed signals or acts like he's not into you, if he finds you attractive, he could get jealous when he sees you with another man. 

Imagine setting your eyes on a lovely-looking handbag, one of its kind. You aren't necessarily committed to buying it yet, but you know you like how it looks. Then out of the blues, another equally stylish lady walks into the store, picks up that bag, and puts it in her cart. I bet you'd feel a pang of jealousy, no matter how small. 

11. They don't think they will have another opportunity to engage with someone else

Sometimes guys get jealous when they have low self-esteem may feel like you're their only chance at a romantic or sexual encounter. Suppose they are a bit socially awkward or introverted; they probably believe they have a lower chance of meeting someone new. 

In reality, you may not be their only chance at romance, but from their perspective, they believe this. You will know he has low self-esteem if he doesn't have friends, stays inside a lot, or does not know how to socialize. You may need to assure him that he will find someone else to be with.

12. They may care about you and not want you to get hurt

Perhaps this guy in question is just looking out for you. Men notice some red flags way before we do since they understand each other. Perhaps your guy friend senses that you're talking with a guy that could potentially hurt you; his reaction may seem like a jealous rage, but it's meant to shield you from hurt. 

If you're good friends with him, consider that it's not jealousy. Try seeing things from his perspective and listen to his suggestions. However, if he's so invested in 'protecting' you from emotional harm, perhaps there's more to his feelings than just concern. Remember, guys, get jealous only if they have some sense of ownership over you. 

13. They're entitled

Sometimes men can become entitled without even knowing it; they don't want to lose you. As mentioned above, when they meet a girl they're attracted to, they can get a bit territorial and possessive. That owner's instinct kicks in, and starts to build this protective wall of jealousy around you. 

If you have a good friendship with this guy, there's a chance he gets this owner's instinct when he's around you. He will act as a bodyguard when you're out together, never letting another man approach you. 

Also, consider that he may like you and is waiting for the right time to tell you how he feels or trying to summon up the courage. Being vulnerable is tough; it's even harder when he discovers that he's got competition. 

14. They feel like they aren't good enough

Men who feel like they are not enough have a tougher time feeling secure in their relationships. Perhaps a past experience made him feel this way. If a guy you're close to starts to change his behavior when you flirt with another man or get approached by another man, there's a chance that he feels this jealousy because he thinks he isn't good enough and you're not in his league

When you like someone and can't tell them because you feel they aren't in your league, watching someone else approach them will be painful; you can't blame him for being jealous. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

15. They're afraid of losing you

Still, based on the probability that he has a secret crush on you, he may be jealous because he has a fear of losing you. Perhaps he has lost people in the past.

You may wonder why he doesn't just come out and tell you how he feels, but that's a risk many people are afraid to take. He has this fear that you may reject him, and that would damage his already fragile self-esteem. So he'd rather be around you as a friend. Watching you flirt with other men could scare him into thinking that he will lose his chance with you forever, hence the jealousy.

16. He doesn't want to be with someone else

he doesnt want to be with someone else

This guy may be in your life because he's hoping that one-day things will work out between you two. Unlike egoistic or unnecessarily territorial men, a man who hopes to make you his girlfriend is jealous for less ridiculous reasons. 

Like the above hypothetical scenario, a man can have a secret crush on you but can't tell you out of fear. He sees you in his future and hopes that his fantasies will become a reality one day. Some men don't want to go out with someone else because of this. That's why the first emotion he feels when you start talking to someone else is jealousy.

17. He's an obsessive thinker

Perhaps your secret admirer is an obsessive thinker or just plain obsessive. Watching you talk and flirt with other men may trigger his overthinking and cause him to get jealous. 

Jealousy is a strong emotion, and people deal with it differently. Obsessive thinkers will take that emotion and make a big deal out of everything. So when they see you with someone else, they feel worse. Jealousy is probably just one of the many ways your guy friend processes his exaggerated feelings. 

18. He's paranoid

If your relationship status with this person is complicated, this is one of the main reasons. Some people are still in the talking stage of things; they're still considering if they should make it official or not. 

If you're in this stage with the guy in question, he may get a bit paranoid when he spots you with other men. The fear of not having you as his girlfriend could trigger jealousy, and dealing with it is hard. So, in this case, his jealousy may be triggered by his paranoia. Perhaps try putting some more definitions to your relationship; in this case, it will give him more assurance

19. He's a narcissist

Jealousy is very common with narcissists. If he's a narcissist, he'll get jealous when other men approach you, even though he has no rights of ownership. Narcissists believe the world revolves around them; they don't understand why other people have to make decisions that do not benefit them. 

If the man in question is a narcissist, he'll keep you around for his convenience. He knows you aren't his girlfriend but will expect loyalty from you. The moment they suspect that someone else may replace them in your life, they will get jealous and start acting up. 

20. He's selfish

He may also be selfish, only emphasizing his needs and not yours, considering only how he feels about starting a monogamous and committed relationship with you. He only considers his happiness and fear and not how you feel about him. Then, when he sees that someone else is interested in you, jealousy kicks in. 

If the guy in question is like this, there's no need to waste a thought on him. Create some distance between you and him and exercise your freedom to love someone who truly cares about you. 

21. He wants the advantages of a relationship without giving the commitment that comes with a monogamous relationship

He wants to have the benefits of a boyfriend but refuses to be exclusive with you. He keeps you at arm's length when he doesn't need you and only communicates with you when it's convenient for him. 

If you have feelings for him and want to start dating him, he will avoid discussions like these and tell you that it's just not the best time. Yet, he won't be open to you seeing other people. He will throw tantrums in the form of jealousy if a guy gives you attention. 

22. He wants to use you

If a guy won't commit to you yet gets jealous when you talk to other guys, he was probably trying to use and dump you. 

Any guy who truly cares about you will want the best for you; he won't use jealousy as a tool to get his way. However, if he's nonchalant about your emotions, he will string you along without a second thought. Then, when other men show any interest towards you, they will protest in jealousy.

23. He doesn't want someone else to do the same thing he's doing to you

Sometimes jealousy appears in the form of entitlement towards a person. Whether he likes you or wants to use you, the bottom line is that he feels entitled to exclusivity with you

At this point, he feels like he is the only one who has some kind of right to your space and time, then he uses jealousy as a tool to maintain that. He does not like to imagine or see other men do the same to you. He may seem like a hopeless romantic because he goes out of his way to stop you from giving other men some attention, but that's just an act. This kind of jealousy is toxic; you should cut him off as soon as possible.

24. He's using you to fulfill some of his very 'human' needs

hes using you to fulfill some of his very human needs

Perhaps he loves the attention he gets from you and the ego boost he gets when he's seen with you (especially if you're considered classically beautiful). It's human to enjoy these benefits from another human being, but that's why relationships exist. If he wants special attention from you, he needs to be willing to make things official. 

If he's not ready for this, then he's got to realize that he has no right to have negative emotions when someone else shows an interest in you. He should either choose to be with you or let someone else have you. 

25. He wants friends with benefits

He may be interested in the favors he gets from you and not in you. Sometimes, a friends-with-benefits arrangement can feel like a commitment; there are so many emotions involved. It's normal to feel jealous when your casual sex partner starts to get some attention from a new guy, especially if it means he doesn't have access to you whenever he wants. 

Perhaps this guy is jealous because he feels like getting attention from someone else will disturb his arrangement with you. Most guys get territorial even when they aren't in an exclusive relationship with you. 

26. He's needy and a control freak

Some guys get jealous because they're needy. They don't know how to create their happiness; they're dependent on other people for a good time and emotional support. If he's used to having all of your attention, watching you give some of that attention to the next guy could make him jealous. If you care about this guy, talk to him about seeing a therapist. Perhaps he needs to deal with some childhood traumas that brought him to this point. 

If he's a control freak, the same applies. Not being able to dictate things like when he can see you or who you're with can also drive him to jealousy. This case is very likely since most jealous people are control freaks; they lose it when they discover they aren't at the center of a situation anymore. 

27. It doesn't matter what he wants; he doesn't own you

It would help if you remembered to put your feelings first and not his. It doesn't matter how caring his jealousy makes him feel; if he isn't in a monogamous and committed relationship with you, he has no say in how you live your life and the people you see. 

Guys get jealous over the silliest things; if you get too emotionally invested in their drama, you may miss some great opportunities with men who would truly love and value you. You don't want to be an accessory in someone's life, so; you need to call him out on his jealousy or ignore his childish games and move on with your life. 

FAQs

Why does he get jealous if he doesn't want a relationship?

If he gets jealous when other guys make advances at you, yet he doesn't want a relationship with you, he may have commitment issues or is a narcissist. Men are complicated sometimes; they fear commitment, yet they want to enjoy the benefits of being in relationships. Jealousy makes them even more irrational.

How do guys act when they are jealous?

Jealousy makes guys act irrational. A jealous guy will noticeably seek your attention and go the extra mile to do things he never did for you in the past. Other guys will act out in anger, throwing tantrums unexpectedly. While some other jealous guys will suddenly turn into toddlers, they'll want you to attend to them more than usual. 

Do guys try to make you jealous if they like you?

Yes, a jealous man likes to play mind games like these. He may flirt with other girls in front of you to make you jealous or make loud phone calls with other girls so you can hear the conversation and get jealous. It will feel like he's sending you mixed signals. 

What are guys insecure about?

One major thing that makes a man insecure is the idea of being lousy at sex. Jealous men are terrified their girl may think they aren't good in bed, and she may spread the word to her girl friends. Also, they aren't secure about their inability to cater to you financially; they feel like you will follow the next rich guy that looks your way. 

What to do when he gets jealous?

It all depends on your relationship with him; if he isn't your boyfriend, his jealousy is not your problem. Let him sort himself out. However, if this jealous man is your partner, talk to him about it. Assure him that you don't care about those insecurities, and they won't affect how you see him. 

In Conclusion

I hope you found this article helpful. Remember, if he's not your boyfriend, he's not your problem. Jealousy is an ugly emotion to be around, so free yourself from him/ Please let me know what you think about this topic in the comment section below and be sure to share the article with friends. 

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Want him to chase, love and worship you?
Well, you’ll need to have a much deeper understanding of his astrological love profile. My friend and relationship astrologer Anna Kovach prepared this Free Compatibility Quiz to help you discover the secrets of his zodiac sign.

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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