Jealousy is not a foreign emotion to any of us. As kids, there was always a kid who had something we wish we had or some other kid who clearly wished they had something we had. Back then, it all ended with a few hours of pouting and perhaps some nagging to persuade mom to buy you a shiny new dress like so-and-so had.
When this green-eyed monster rears its head in adult relationships, it is much bigger and a whole lot more evil.
How to Tell if a Guy is Jealous
Conscious and Subconscious Jealousy
The interesting thing about this ‘green’ emotion is that there is an innate sense of shame around it. We would rather not admit to others or to ourselves that we are jealous. It seems easier to ignore it or mask it under some other negative emotion. Some people who are not in touch with their feelings do not even realize that the upsetting feeling they are experiencing is jealousy. Others admit it to themselves but would rather die than admit it to someone else.
It is true that both guys and girls get jealous in relationships. Some personalities are more likely to get jealous of their spouse and it can sometimes get out of hand. If you are a girl wondering if your boyfriend’s strange behavior could be caused by jealousy, this article is for you.
Here are some tell-tale signs you have a jealous boyfriend in your life.
1. He is being abnormally sweet
Don’t get me wrong. If you are dating him and the two of you have been together for some time, he is probably a nice guy. However, some guys are just not the romantic type. They rarely display emotion even if they genuinely do care about you.
If your boyfriend has never been the type to call you sweet pet names in public or hold your hand when you are out together and he suddenly starts doing these things, he is probably jealous about something.
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If you are out with a bunch of your friends and he is uncomfortable about one of your male friends, he may subconsciously switch sitting positions to sit next to you. At the end of the evening, he may consciously slip his hand around your waist just to make it clear to everyone that you are his and his alone.
2. He finds reasons to pass by
A jealous boyfriend constantly finds excuses to pass by your house or by your place of work. This is typically preceded by a phone call where he randomly asks where you are. If you tell him you are at work, he suddenly shows up there and says he just happened to be in the area.
It is possible that he was genuinely passing by your workplace and wanted to say hello that evening. But it is more likely he wanted to confirm that you are actually where you say you are because he is afraid you might be with someone else.
3. He shows off
If your boyfriend is well-endowed financially and is usually quite generous at the bar, this may not be out of the ordinary. But if you are out with friends and he is suddenly buying everyone drinks at the bar and insisting on picking up the tab for the night, he may be doing it out of jealousy. Perhaps one of your male friends offered to buy your drink and it upsets him. He may then insist on paying for your drink and everyone else’s to make a point to that male friend.
4. He doubts everything you say
Lately, when you have to put in a few extra hours at the office he calls you on the general office line rather than on your cellphone to confirm that you are really there. He doubts you need to be somewhere for as long as you are. When you tell him you will be at the salon most of the afternoon on Saturday, he asks if it really takes that long just to get your hair done. This is a classic sign of a jealous boyfriend. He is constantly suspicious that you are spending time with some other guy and lying to him about where you are.
5. He suddenly starts ignoring you
You and your boyfriend call each other all the time. On a typical day, he calls you and you call him a few times in the course of the day or perhaps you text each other all the time. All of a sudden, he is not picking your calls and not responding to your text messages. This could be because you did something which made him feel jealous but he does not want to admit it to you. So, it may seem like he is just angry at you for no apparent reason.
6. He stalks you on social media
He keeps tabs of what you post on your social media accounts. He even keeps track of who you are with in the pictures you post and may ask questions about male friends he doesn’t know. Even if he knows them, an argument may arise because one of them seems to be featured in your Instagram posts a bit too often.
7. He calls you too often
Once again, it takes knowing a person to recognize a change in behavior. If you and your boyfriend typically go through the day without any communication, and he suddenly starts calling you about ten times a day, he could be doing it out of jealousy. If you are away from your cellphone for ten minutes only to find 12 missed calls from him, the green-eyed monster has possessed him.
8. He sulks when you talk about someone else
It is the end of the day and you are doing what you do all the time – telling your boyfriend something interesting about your day. Today you are animatedly narrating a story which happens to involve a male colleague but he doesn’t seem to be as interested as he usually is.
In fact, he suddenly seems sulky and grumpy after that. Chances are that he will not come out with it and tell you he didn’t like the fact that you find one of your male colleagues very interesting. He may pick on a totally unrelated action and claim to be angry at you about that.
9. He is uncharacteristically moody
As mentioned earlier, few people will openly admit that they feel jealous about something. If your boyfriend is acting grumpy and distant about something but quickly responds with a bland ‘nothing’ when you ask him what is wrong, it could be that he is jealous about something. Even if he knows you can see that there is definitely something bothering him, he would rather stick with it than admit he is jealous.
10. He is out with the guys every night
Your boyfriend usually goes out with the guys once or twice a month and the rest of the time, he is home or out with you. Recently though, he is out with the guys every other night and is acting cold towards you. He could be subconsciously dealing with jealousy. Perhaps you did or said something which awakened the terrible emotion in him and he is now pushing you away to make himself feel better. Being out with the guys all the time helps him convince himself that he would be absolutely fine even if you left him.
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11. He complains when you go out without him
It may be sweet that your partner feels sad when you go out without him because he genuinely wants to spend time with you – it shows that he truly cares about you and enjoys your company. However, sometimes he may be upset when you go out without him because he is uncomfortable with the thought of you being out there alone. He is not there to ward off any guys who may take a second look at you and that upsets him.
This excessive possessiveness is another classic sign of a jealous and insecure boyfriend. If you have just begun to notice this kind of behavior in your significant other, it can be difficult to tell if he genuinely misses you and wants to be around you or he is jealous.
To find out, go out with him a couple of times and make a point to watch his reaction when you talk to male friends. Better still, watch how he reacts when a random guy hits on you. If he is confident in your commitment to him, it won’t bother him much. If he is jealous he will instantly turn red with fury.
12. He openly flirts with other girls
Jealousy could make your boyfriend suddenly start flirting with other girls – he may do it openly to make sure that you see it! If you often go out to the bar together, he may deliberately spend some time talking to other girls when he goes and gets drinks. He could also get flirty on social media. You may notice a few flirtatious comments to some other girl on Facebook which he is sure you will see. This is usually a conscious effort to make you jealous when he feels jealous about something you did.
13. He wants to break up with you
This one may not happen often but it does happen to some girls. If your boyfriend is already insecure and has some self-esteem issues to deal with, feelings of jealousy can be extremely difficult for him. He feels that he doesn’t deserve you anyway and he should end the relationship now before you realize it. If there happens to be another guy showing interest in you, he opts to break up with you quickly because he believes that he does not stand a chance against the other guy. Ending the relationship will save him the shame of you leaving him.
- Discover more: Ways to Tell If Your Special Someone is Secretly Jealous
Social Places and Events
Whether you and your boyfriend live together or not, you might find that you spend a lot of time together at home or at restaurants – never noticing any jealous or insecure behavior. However, social settings seem to awaken the green-eyed monster in him. For some reason, he becomes a different person when you are around other people. Here are some strange tendencies you may notice when you are both in social settings.
1. He suddenly gets sulky and aloof
You are both out at a bar having a great time with a bunch of friends. Your boyfriend is in high spirits as usual and the evening is going great. Suddenly, he goes completely quiet. He says nothing and doesn’t want to be spoken to. All he wants is to be left alone in the corner with his beer. When you ask him why he says its nothing. When he eventually opens up he admits that it is because you spent more than a few minutes talking to one specific guy and you generally seemed to be having a really good time.
The conscious or subconscious aim of this behavior is to put whatever fun you were having to a stop. More often than not, it works because it instantly ruins your evening.
2. You came together but he leaves without you
You are both at a friend’s party which you arrived at together as a lovely-looking happy couple. The host introduced you to everyone else as a couple and the evening is going well as you both socialize with old and new friends.
Suddenly, you notice you haven’t seen your boyfriend in the last twenty minutes or so. You ask a few of the other guests and they are surprised that you didn’t know that he had already left. First, you are a little embarrassed. Secondly, you are really upset that he could just leave you like that without a word. When you eventually talk about it you discover that he got jealous and angry when you were socializing with other people – among them other men.
3. He wants to leave now, like right now!
Your favorite artist is in town and you were both ecstatic to get your hands on a pair of tickets to the concert. You get to the venue and are looking forward to a fabulous performance, only for your boyfriend to insist that it is time to go home.
“But we just got here?” You don’t understand why anyone would head home at this time. He wants to leave and he wants to leave now. He was looking forward to the performance too. What suddenly changed? What suddenly changed his mind was that old friend from high school you bumped into and chatted with for five minutes.
Red Flags You Should Never Ignore
A little jealousy here and there is normal in any relationship. It could feel nice to know that your man can be a little jealous because it proves that he really values you.
However, like every good thing, too much of it is poisonous. Too much jealousy is unhealthy for a relationship and when it gets out of hand, it can be the monster that turns a loving union into an abusive relationship.
Here are a few red flags to warn you of an abusive relationship up ahead. Don’t forget that physical abuse is not the only form of abuse. Emotional abuse is real and is just as damaging if not more damaging than physical abuse.
1. He gets into fights with your male friends
You are out with your boyfriend and a group of your friends. You convinced him to join you so he could get to know your friends and they could get to know him. But things don’t quite turn out as you hoped. He loses his temper and gets into a physical fight with one of your male friends.
Why should this be alarming?
It is clear that he has challenges with anger management. If it can be turned on your friend, it can be turned on you. If he doesn’t see the need to respect your friends, he won’t see the need to respect you. This is not only a clear sign of a jealous boyfriend but also a potentially abusive spouse.
2. He forbids you from spending time with certain people
We have all heard of men who forbid their girlfriends or wives from spending time with certain friends. It may be because these friends are thought to be a bad influence or because he is afraid that one or some of these people may steal his girlfriend away from him.
Whatever the reasons that were given, it is simply unacceptable for a man to dictate to his girlfriend who her friends should be. It is time to re-evaluate your relationship because he is likely to become an emotionally abusive husband.
Why should this be alarming?
If he wants to control your social circles, he will want to control many other aspects of your life later.
3. He puts a GPS on you or rigs your phone
It sounds like something from a movie, right? But some women have found themselves in this kind of situation. If your boyfriend could go as far as to secretly put a tracker on you to monitor your every movement or rig your phone to monitor your conversations, you are not safe with him. Run!
Why should this be alarming?
I am no legal expert but I am pretty sure it is illegal to rig someone’s phone or put a GPS on them if you are not a detective. If this is not considered psychopathic controlling behavior, it definitely comes pretty close.
It is quite normal for your boyfriend to get a little jealous about something or other every now and then. The point is to recognize when it starts to get out of hand.
Yes, certain settings seem to bring out the worst of some people who are otherwise quite comfortable and confident in their relationships. Social places and events force people to socialize and interact and this may not go down well with a jealous boyfriend. Social events aside, there are some extremes which should never be ignored. Any man displaying this kind of jealousy is potentially abusive.