7 Signs He Is Jealous: How to Deal With a Jealous Boyfriend (Even If He's Hiding It)

Updated on July 3, 2017
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Jorge's relationship advice is based on experience and observation. He's seen many people—including himself—get seduced and hurt by love.

When Your Boyfriend is Jealous

Jealousy is so common in relationships, that people pretty much take it as a given. In fact, a lot of people are even flattered when their boyfriend is jealous and take it as a sign that he's in love.

The sad fact is that jealously has nothing to do with love. Jealousy is simply an emotion that someone feels when their own self-worth is threatened.

Think about it: Have you ever been jealous? When you saw your boyfriend flirting with another woman, did it bother you because you thought he was going to suddenly leave you for her, or did it bother you because he is "your man" and someone else encroached on your territory? How dare they!

Even so, jealousy is usually not something to worry about. It's a common feature of most monogamous (and even sometimes polyamorous) relationships. Nearly everyone has some degree of insecurity when to comes to their relationship.

Jealousy becomes a problem when it goes beyond these mild insecurities and escalates into paranoia and obsession. While your boyfriend might not be this bad, it's better to address jealousy issues when they're small before they blow up into drama.

The problem is that your boyfriend may be hiding his jealousy. A lot of people are too embarrassed to admit their insecurities and just let them fester in silence. If that's the case, take a look at these signs he is jealous:

Is he jealous? He might be good at hiding it.
Is he jealous? He might be good at hiding it.

Sign #1: He Shows Up Out of Nowhere

Are you hanging out with some friends at your favorite cafe, then suddenly your boyfriend randomly shows up to buy a coffee? Are you playing video games at your house with your best guy friend and before long your boyfriend is knocking at your door?

What a pleasant coincidence, right?

If your boyfriend goes out of his way to interrupt your buddy time, this could be a sign he's jealous of a specific friend of yours and isn't telling you. He might be carefully noting when you hang out and making sure that you're not alone with that person.

Sign #2: He Asks You About Your Friends

Does your boyfriend "casually" ask about your friends often? Note that this applies specifically to your friends, not his friends or mutual ones. If so, then this could be a sign he is jealous.

Speaking from a guy's perspective, normally we don't care. No offense, but we're just not interested in your friends or what they're doing.

Chances are, if your boyfriend is asking about your friends, he's trying to gather some kind of information. Maybe he's curious to see how you feel about a specific acquaintance of yours or if you've been spending a lot of time with them. Look for those kinds of leading questions that reveal information about your relationship with other people.

Sign #3: He Acts Weird When You Want to Go Somewhere Without Him

So you want to go on a trip with your friends and you didn't plan to take your boyfriend with you. As long as you're not headed for a wild, drunken weekend in Vegas, what does he really have to worry about?

It could be that your boyfriend is massively insecure about what you're up to when he's not around. It might grind his gears even more to know that you'll be gone for a few days and he can't constantly watch you.

This is a rather unhealthy situation, especially if he tends to insist that he should be around you all the time. It could be that he just loves to spend time with you, but it's also possible that he's nervous that you'll cheat if he's not there to "supervise."

Unless he has reason to distrust you due to past behavior on your part, this is a glaring sign he is jealous in an irrational way. Besides, it's not like he can watch you all the time. What is he going to do? Follow you into the bathroom, too?

Glaring sign he's jealous: he watches you with binoculars.
Glaring sign he's jealous: he watches you with binoculars.

Sign #4: He Openly Flirts With Other People and Watches Your Reaction

Another tactic that jealous people will use is to start flirting with others in really obvious ways in order to "give you a taste of your own medicine."

The thing is that you may not have consciously given any "medicine" to him in the first place. Maybe you're just naturally flirtatious person and don't mean anything by it, or maybe you weren't flirting at all and he only perceived it that way.

Either way, if he's going out of his way to show you how interested other people are in him, he might be trying to make up for his own jealous insecurities. This behavior can not only be a sign he is jealous, but also that he's petty and vindictive.

Sign #5: He "Hates" Another Guy for No Apparent Reason

Do you have a male friend that he just hates for no apparent reason? This guy may have never done anything to your boyfriend or even said two words to him. You may have never dated this guy and you might not even be interested in him at all. It doesn't matter; this is a sign that your friend might have triggered one of your boyfriend's latent insecurities and now he's jealous.

Maybe that friend of yours is really smart and he makes your boyfriend feel dumb in front of you. Maybe the guy is really muscular and your boyfriend feels like his scrawny arms are the size of pencils compared to him. Whatever the case, your boyfriend feels inadequate and somewhere in the back of his mind he's worried that you'll like this other guy better.

Extra affection when you're around others can be a sign that he's the jealous type.
Extra affection when you're around others can be a sign that he's the jealous type.

Sign #6: He Implies That Your Clothes Are Too Revealing

Have you ever been about to leave the house, and your boyfriend comments that you skirt is too short? Is he bothered that you have too much cleavage? Is your navel ring too alluring?

Normally, a guy would love to see you in attractive clothes--if he notices them at all in the first place. Disapproving of your fashion choices is kind of weird, and it's a sign that he's jealous of other people looking at you and being attracted to you.

Sign #7: He's Extra Touchy-Feely When You're Around Others

Does he come up behind you and hug you when you're talking to your friends? Does he hold your hand a lot more when you're around attractive guys? Is he normally not very affectionate, but suddenly becomes a doting boyfriend when you're outside the house?

He could be "marking his territory" and making sure other people know that you're taken. If you notice that this happens especially when your hot male friends approach you, then your boyfriend is jealous at least to some degree.

Showing Signs He's Jealous

Does your boyfriend show any of these signs he's jealous?

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How to Deal With a Jealous Boyfriend

More importantly, what do you do about all this?

If your boyfriend is showing these signs he is jealous, how can you change the situation and deal with the jealousy before it gets out of control?

Well, first of all, there's nothing you can really do about his insecurities. The root of the problem is out of your reach. The insecurities exist in his mind, so if he wanted to eliminate jealously from his life altogether, that would be up to him.

However, there are a few things that you can do on your end to help promote feelings of security in the relationship if he's showing signs he's jealous:

1) Take his feelings seriously and address them.

If he ever has the courage to openly confess the fact that he's jealous of someone, don't just brush it off. Address the insecurity. For example, if he's jealous of your buff friend because of the way he "always looks at you," then tell him that you're not interested in your friend and you are dating your boyfriend for a reason. Mention a few reasons why you chose your boyfriend if you can; it will ease his mind a bit.

2) Don't go out of your way to flirt with others and make your boyfriend jealous.

This is just a stupid game to play. Some people do it because they think it will increase their boyfriend's desire to be with them, but really this just means that you value someone else's need for you more than you value their feelings.

Not only that, but every relationship needs trust as part of the foundation. If you stoke the fire of your boyfriend's insecurity on purpose, then you will wear away at the trust between you.

3) Reassure him periodically.

People are usually too proud to ask for reassurance, so give it to him without his having to ask. Show him that you love him in ways that he will understand. For some guys, this means spending time with him or doing him favors, while for others this means being verbally expressive of how much you care.

At any rate, acknowledge him and let him know that he's an important part of your life. Do special things for him that you don't for anyone else.

Sometimes That's Never Enough, Though

It is true that sometimes all of your reasonable efforts aren't enough. This is often the case when someone is irrationally jealous. It's not that you're really ignoring him or being shady, it's that he feels like you are or is otherwise convinced that you could cheat at any moment.

In cases like these, there's really nothing you can do to reassure a person. This is baggage that they have to work out on their own. If it doesn't affect your relationship much and it's not a severe case of jealousy, then sometimes you can safely navigate around it. On the other hand, if he is so jealous that you can't even carry on a normal life, it might be time to consider a breakup.

Your Jealous Boyfriend

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Jorge Vamos


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