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Jealous Boyfriend: 48 Possessive Guy Signs & Ways to Help Him Fix His Ways

If your boyfriend is the jealous type, the relationship can go south quickly. Here’s the truth about jealous boyfriends and how to stop their possessiveness.

Jealous Boyfriend - Possessive Guy Signs

You might think that a jealous boyfriend is cute, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While it might sound like a silly thing you can laugh off, it’s actually a glaring red flag that you shouldn’t ignore.

But your boyfriend’s jealousy reaffirms his love for you and makes you feel like you’re the only girl that matters in his whole life, so how can it be so bad?

Well, what if his jealousy goes too far and stops you from living your own life?

How can you tell if he’s being loving or controlling when you just can’t see the difference? You may believe that your boyfriend is really jealous because he loves you so much. But the truth is, love has very little to do with most people’s possessive nature.

More often than not, it’s a guy’s insecurity that makes him jealous and possessive. So, if your boyfriend is the jealous type, what can you do? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. [Read: 45 big relationship red flags most couples completely ignore early on in love]

Why is having a jealous boyfriend a bad thing?

Having a jealous boyfriend isn’t something you should romanticize. There are several reasons why having a jealous boyfriend will harm the relationship and your attitude toward yourself. But the two biggest reasons are trust issues and possessiveness. Here’s why:

1. A jealous boyfriend has trust issues

When he’s jealous, it means he doesn’t trust you. He doesn’t trust your love for him and he may even believe that you’re going to cheat on him, even if there’s no logic or evidence to prove otherwise. [Read: My boyfriend doesn’t trust me – reasons he has trust issues]

No matter how many times you do your best to reassure him, he’ll never believe it. There’s always a seed of doubt in his mind which enables his behavior of jealousy. He won’t trust you around people who aren’t him because he fears you’ll leave him—this is where possessiveness comes into play.

2. A jealous boyfriend is possessive

When your boyfriend gets jealous, he feels insecure. And when he feels insecure, he becomes more possessive.

If you give in to his possessive habits, you’re giving your boyfriend the power to control. This behavior feeds a jealous boyfriend, making him assume that he’s the final authority in the relationship. [Read: How to say no – 15 ways to reason politely, stop pleasing & feel kickass]

Each time you break free or do something he doesn’t approve of, it makes him feel more jealous and insecure because he believes he’s losing his grip and power over you.

Jealousy and possessiveness is a vicious cycle that takes turns to rear their head all the time. And no matter how hard you try to help your boyfriend feel better, he may only choose to see the ways that you’ve let him down. [Read: Jealousy in a relationship – how to accept, deal, and overcome it in love]

The signs of a jealous boyfriend you need to know

If you see a handful of these signs in your boyfriend, he may just be slightly possessive because he feels insecure now and then, or he may be bordering on controlling behavior.

Jealous boyfriends are like a noose around your neck. Every time you give in, their grip only gets tighter. That’s why it’s important to identify the signs of a jealous boyfriend and learn how to combat them. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend you need to leave ASAP]

1. You need his approval before you do anything

He constantly wants to play a part in any decision you take. And he just can’t seem to accept it if you choose to do something he doesn’t approve of.

Whether it’s how you dress for dinner, who you text, what you post, or where you go when he’s not around, you must get his approval or your boyfriend will let it be known that he’s upset.

2. His possessiveness is love

Every time you point out just how possessive he is, he defends himself by claiming that he’s possessive only because he loves and cares about you so much. Don’t feed into this lie. [Read: What is true love? 58 signs and ways to tell if what you’re feeling is real]

3. He stalks you

If your boyfriend is following you around without your knowledge or calling you or a friend out of the blue to find your location, he isn’t doing it because he cares. He is stalking you.

Whatever you may be up to, your jealous boyfriend doesn’t trust you and his insecurity is making him stalk you around.

4. You can’t do anything without him

He’s extremely protective of you and doesn’t want you to do anything new without him.

He behaves like your life is in danger when he isn’t around to take care of you, and sulks when you try something new for the first time without him.

5. He’s short-tempered

If your boyfriend is jealous, he most likely also has a short temper. No matter the issue, he is quick to explode into a ball of fire. This kind of behavior makes you feel guilty for having experiences outside of him.

He gets really mad over simple issues, especially if it involves another guy. He just doesn’t want you to create any memories or do anything fun with anyone but him. [Read: Insecure boyfriend – 33 big signs of insecurity in a man and how to date him]

6. He has to know everything

He’s extremely inquisitive about everything that goes on in your life. And if you don’t talk about something you consider too trivial to talk about, he gets angry or sulks until you tell him all the details, all the time.

7. He has to have your passwords

A jealous boyfriend has to know all your passwords.

Even if you don’t want to share them with him yet, he coerces you and threatens you for them. Your social media passwords, your laptop and phone passwords, and—most dangerously—your bank account passwords.

8. You have to answer his calls

It doesn’t matter who you’re talking to or where you are, he expects you to answer his call as soon as he rings. And if you’re already on a call with someone else, then tough luck because he still wants you to pick up immediately.

If you ignore him because you’re busy, he accuses you of ignoring him or being a bad girlfriend. He might even go as far as accusing you of being with someone else. [Read: 18 serious warning signs of a clingy guy & how you can avoid them]

9. He’s emotionally intense

Whether your jealous boyfriend is happy, sad, or angry, his emotions are intense. He can quickly go from 0% to 100%.

If you try to calm him down, he will likely react worse and accuse you of trying to silence him.

10. He hates *all* of your friends

He ridicules all your friends *especially your guy friends* and constantly picks their flaws. And each time they let you down, he takes it upon himself to emphasize how unreliable your friends are, and how he’s the only one you can completely trust.

This is a common red flag in any relationship. When your partner tries to pin you against your friends, they’re isolating you from support outside of them. Be wary of this possessive behavior and do not let him win.

11. He hates space

The idea of giving each other space shocks him. He wants to be a part of everything you do.

And yet, he will whine and nag about something you enjoy until you give it up and do what he wants just to keep him happy. [Read: 15 ways to give space in a relationship and feel closer than ever before]

12. His world revolves around you

He behaves like his entire life revolves around you. And he expects you to behave the same way around him, even if you don’t feel that way just yet.

He wants to be the center of your world, and forces you to give him preferential attention over everyone else in your life. He feels left out and wronged if you have a hobby or interest that he also doesn’t enjoy.

13. He tags along

A jealous boyfriend is extremely insecure regardless of how much you try to make him feel loved. His insecurity makes him feel excluded, and as a result, he involves himself in every aspect of your life.

He doesn’t like it when you go out to meet your friends by yourself and always insists on tagging himself along, especially if there are a few guys in your group of friends. [Read: 46 tips, rules, and relationship advice for women to have a great love life]

14. You shouldn’t have fun alone

If your boyfriend is jealous and possessive, he hates it when you have fun without him.

If you watch a movie with your friends and meet him at the end of the day, you will find him really quiet or sulking. This is because he wants you to feel bad for having fun without him there!

15. You can’t compliment someone else

When you’re dating a jealous guy, he doesn’t like it when you speak highly of someone else. Every time you say something nice about someone, be it a friend, family member, or celebrity, he immediately shuts it down.

He has no problem pointing out the flaws of the people you compliment. This is because he’s extremely competitive and wants you to believe that he’s the only one you should ever look up to or seek help from. [Read: Controlling relationship – 42 signs and ways to love without bullying]

16. He tries too hard to win you over

This may seem sweet, but in reality, it is manipulative. A jealous boyfriend will go above and beyond to try to win you over.

He will change his look and his interests to seem more appealing to you. Even if you like him the way he is, he won’t believe you.

Your boyfriend will fake his entire personality to get your approval. And if you tell him you like him for who he truly is, he will find a way to turn it into a problem. You’ll be blamed for changing him or accused of not liking the new version of him.

17. He’s happy when you’re down

He seems particularly happy when your friends let you down, even though he doesn’t say it out loud. And he uses the occasion to prove why you should trust no one but him because everyone else is unreliable. [Read: Selfish people – 20 ways to spot and stop them from hurting you]

18. He acts like he doesn’t care

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, your jealous boyfriend may act like he doesn’t care about what you do or who you talk to.

If he goes out of his way to shut you down or let you know he couldn’t care less, the truth is that he couldn’t care more.

How to handle a jealous boyfriend

Remember, not all the previous signs or traits in a guy are bad or dangerous for a relationship. But there’s a thin threshold between tolerable behavior and extreme possessiveness. And that threshold is different for all of us.

But then again, you should never lose yourself in your pursuit of turning your jealous boyfriend into a not-so-jealous one. [Read: Compromise in a relationship – 17 ways to give & not feel like you lost]

Whether your boyfriend shows a few signs of jealousy or all of the signs, it’s important to learn the red flags to look out for before they become unmanageable. Once you have identified that he’s jealous, here’s how to handle it:

1. Share your feelings

Communication in a relationship is key to overcoming any issue. It may be nerve-wracking to share your feelings because of his unpredictable attitude, but you need to let your voice be heard.

As smoothly and calmly as you can, talk to your boyfriend about how his jealous behavior makes you feel.

He might respond with defensiveness, but don’t let him convince you that your feelings aren’t valid. Opening a discussion about his jealousy affects you is the first step in the right direction.

If his defensiveness becomes verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive, leave the conversation quickly and speak to a support group *friends, family, or counselor* about the issue.

2. Don’t get defensive

This is one of the general rules in dealing with a jealous partner. If you’re defensive, then you’re only proving his worst fears and insecurities further.

Don’t try to get defensive or act insulted when he says he’s jealous about this guy you’re talking to.

Instead, be open and explain everything on your end. Tell him he’s just a friend and that he has nothing to worry about. Reassurance really is the key. [Read: Why do people get defensive? The most common reasons & ways to handle them]

3. Identify boundaries in the relationship

Setting boundaries with your partner is a MUST for any relationship. Boundaries allow you to create guidelines for your relationship and understand what is important to each other.

So by establishing boundaries, you communicate with your partner your likes, dislikes, what makes you feel loved, and what makes you feel scared.

If your jealous boyfriend shows up to your time out with friends unexpectedly or if he is threatening you for your social media password, you need to clearly set boundaries with him so he knows he can’t do that.

When boundaries are set, communication becomes more direct and clear. [Read: 23 secrets to set personal boundaries & guide others to respect them]

4. Remind him that you’re on his side

Jealousy typically stems from insecurity and low self-esteem. If your jealous boyfriend doesn’t view himself highly, he won’t assume that you do either. This is where it’s important to reassure him that you do view him highly and enjoy being with him.

5. Ask him directly about what’s bothering him

If you haven’t already, ask your boyfriend exactly how he is feeling and what seems to be at the root of his issues. However, do not get defensive about your own behavior. Instead, give him the space to talk freely. [Read: 18 secrets to get a man to open up, communicate, and understand you]

If you respond to his issues in a defensive manner, your jealous boyfriend may misinterpret your feelings and your problems will only get worse.

So practice stepping back from the situation and giving your boyfriend the floor to speak his mind. Once he has finished, then you should practice clear and gentle communication skills with one another.

6. Discuss things from his past

Our pasts can explain a lot of who we are today. Have a talk with your boyfriend about his past and you may be able to find an explanation for his jealous behavior.

Be an empathetic shoulder for him to cry on. Reassure him but let him know his past anxieties and fears do not have to define who he is today or your relationship.

Allow him to face his issues so that he can become a better partner for you. Don’t attack his insecurities, but make him feel that you’re in this with him in facing his issues. Reassure him that you won’t leave his side.

7. Come up with solutions together

If you want to stop having a jealous boyfriend, you’re both going to have to put in work. Once you’ve set boundaries, you will need to come up with solutions together to make sure those boundaries are met.

Compromise is important for any type of relationship. He can’t expect you to devote your entire life to him, and you can’t expect him to be okay without reassurance. Talk things through and find solutions that benefit both of you.

8. Encourage him to have a social life

When boyfriends become jealous, they will sometimes deprive themselves of a social life or even attempt to attach to yours.

So try to encourage your boyfriend to have a life outside of yours. Maintaining friendships outside of your relationship is very healthy. [Read: Insecurity in a relationship – 34 signs and secrets to feel more secure & love better]

9. Be open about what you’re up to

If your boyfriend’s jealousy flares up when you aren’t around him, try to be open with him about what you’re doing. Let him know where you’re at and who you’re with so he can know you’re safe and thinking of him.

Of course, he doesn’t have to know every detail about your plans, but let him know before you go out where you’ll be, or update him when plans change. A simple text letting him know you’re thinking of him while you’re out may help as well.

10. Talk about his fears and anxieties

If you really want to encourage your jealous boyfriend to be a secure one, then you need to be empathetic to what he’s feeling.

This isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when his jealousy can come off as annoying and frustrating most times.

However, sitting down and talking about his fears can encourage him to reflect on his actions and become a better boyfriend for you. It can also feel cathartic on his part to talk about his jealousy. [Read: Jealous type – how to reassure and win over a super jealous lover]

If you want to remain subtle and not make it obvious you have an issue with his jealousy, you can just tell him you want to be there for him, no matter what insecurities and fears he’s battling with.

11. Call him when you’re out with friends

Your boyfriend may feel rather insecure and jealous when you go out with your friends and have a nice time.

The only thing that goes on in his head would be, “Does she have more fun with her friends than she does with me?” Again, all of this is because he’s very insecure and doubtful about himself.

So calling him over the phone, as simple as it might seem to you, is actually a huge deal for him. Call him now and then and have a quiet conversation without getting disturbed by your friends.

It’ll make him realize that you’re thinking of him even when you are away. [Read: 87 secrets to be a really good girlfriend and leave him happily addicted to you]

12. Involve him in your social activities

Jealous boyfriends can create epic fantasies and illusions in their minds when they’re feeling threatened. Every time you go out with your guy friends, he may end up brooding about what you’re doing, whom you’re flirting with, or who’s pawing you.

When dealing with a jealous boyfriend, the last thing you should do is make him feel left out of social activities or when you’re going out.

Don’t forget to include him in the same way you probably want your boyfriend to include you in his social activities! Let him realize by himself that you’re not on a flirting spree every time you go out with your friends.

13. Indulge in a bit of PDA with him

Indulging in a public display of affection with your boyfriend here and there may make him uncomfortable, but he would still love it.

By getting cuddly in public, either by holding his hands or kissing his cheek, you’re letting the world know that both of you are a couple.

This is precisely the kind of reassurance he needs, to believe that you love him to the point that you’re willing to show him off to everyone else.

14. Surprise him with gifts

If you don’t already, try surprising him with a gift you know he will like. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or expensive—even the smallest and cheapest gifts can mean the most. Gifts are a way to let someone know you were thinking of them, which is something an insecure boyfriend values.

Plus, having a physical reminder that you were thinking of him can help reassure your boyfriend when you aren’t there to do it yourself. [Read: 34 best gift ideas for your boyfriend he’ll love more than you know!]

15. Don’t be distant

This is another one of the fears that a jealous partner is likely to have with you.

If you’re anywhere near distant, cold, emotionally unattached, or indifferent, then his insecurities automatically kick in. You need to understand where he’s coming from and being distant isn’t the key. [Read: How to recognize an emotionally distant partner & deal with them]

16. Talk about what confidence means to you

Share with your boyfriend what self-confidence means to you. Talk about your own experience with confidence and how you manage it as a source of inspiration for him. And don’t be shy to let him know times when you’ve perceived him as confident!

You can also sit down with him and review information online about self-esteem and how it correlates to confidence. Learning about self-esteem together assures your boyfriend that it will be a team effort to help him overcome his insecurities and hold each other accountable.

[Read: 55 secrets and self-love habits to build confidence and realize your worth]

17. Assess your actions

This isn’t obvious, but maybe you’re doing something to trigger his jealousy and insecurities. Maybe you keep going out of your way to text guys or going to parties to flirt with guys, which will really make your boyfriend insecure.

Jealousy can also be a two-way street—if you want your partner to become better, you should also do your part in this.

18. Ask him to prioritize his health

Let him know that his jealous behavior is negatively affecting his health. He should be his number one priority, just as you are yours. It isn’t healthy for him to prioritize you above himself. [Read: Dependent personality disorder – what it is and how to read the signs]

A sense of identity is so important when in a relationship.

Without it, his emotional health will fall and it will enable his insecure and jealous behavior. Having separate hobbies, social life, work, and family are all healthy necessities in a relationship.

19. Decide if the relationship is healthy for you

Remember that a jealous boyfriend needs an abundance of reassurance and love from you. But regardless of how much you give to him, he will have to take the steps to fix his jealousy himself.

You know your relationship better than anyone. If there are serious red flags you can’t seem to work through, then it’s time to really decide if the relationship is healthy for you.

Yes, a jealous boyfriend needs help working through his insecurities. But you’re his girlfriend, not his mom. You can’t hold his hand and tell him how to behave. He will have to choose to make those steps himself. If he can’t, this might not be the relationship for you. [Read: 59 signs it’s time to break up & give up instead of trying to fix a relationship]

How to stop being a jealous boyfriend

If you’re the jealous boyfriend reading this feature then don’t fret, things can get better. It will take a lot of self-reflection, open communication, and changed behavior.

Now, jealousy is completely normal to an extent, so don’t think you’re weird for having those feelings. Most of the time, we’re scared about our partner finding someone else. That’s why we feel jealousy—we want them only for us. It’s an insecurity we all share.

But jealousy can easily ruin your relationship if your insecurity takes it too far. If you’re prohibiting your girlfriend from having a social life or wearing certain clothes, that’s a problem, and it only becomes worse with time. [Read: 60 perfect traits to be a good boyfriend that’ll make you better than the best!]

If you’re reading this, you realize you don’t want to be that guy. At the end of the day, he won’t win. If you don’t change, you’ll only hurt your girlfriend worse and end up single. So here are ways to stop being a jealous boyfriend.

1. Acknowledge your jealousy

You need to come clean and accept that you’re jealous. There’s no point in being in denial. In fact, if you are in denial, then you’re not ready to change. You need to accept your emotions and behavior as that really is the first step forward.

Look at how you react when you’re jealous and the behavior you impose on your girlfriend. How do you react when you’re jealous? Do you start fights? Are you passive-aggressive?

2. Why are you jealous?

Okay, let’s step back and look at the entire picture. What makes you jealous? Is it when your girlfriend wears revealing clothing? Is it when she talks to other people? What is it that drives you insane? Now that you know what it is, look at why it makes you feel jealous.

Naturally, the answer will be that you’re feeling insecure. Now, look deeper as to why you feel insecure. Do you have previous abandonment issues? Cheating parents? [Read: Love yourself first – where people go wrong and how to do it right]

3. Change your point of view

So, you’ve figured out why you’re jealous, but now it’s time to look at the situation from a different perspective.

You see your girlfriend as someone desirable to other people. So, you’re scared that other people will try to take her from you and that she’ll leave you.

But how does she feel? In her eyes, she sees you as someone who’s suffocating her and making her walk on a tightrope to not upset you. This is why she’s pushing away from you. Practice viewing situations from a perspective other than your tunnel vision and things might become clearer.

4. Jealousy doesn’t mean they’re doing anything

When we’re jealous, we feel threatened, but this doesn’t mean that anything is actually happening. Just because someone approached your girlfriend doesn’t mean she’s going to act on it.

Assuming that things “might” happen is what’s causing you to freak out and punish your girlfriend. She hasn’t done anything wrong and you’re making her feel guilty.

5. This relationship isn’t like the others

Sometimes when we experience a traumatic relationship, we tend to bring those traumas into our new relationships. This is a huge problem because we all know that no two relationships are alike.

Your girlfriend may be loyal and faithful, however, your last relationship has you on pins and needles about cheating. Naturally, because of this, you’re extremely paranoid and monitor her behavior like a hawk. You need to let go of the past and focus on the present.

6. Avoid social media stalking

Listen, the more you hunt for something, the more likely you are to find it. Does it mean what you find is true? No, but you’ll connect it so that you make it true. You need to avoid social media stalking.

In reality, if someone is putting something on social media, the odds are they aren’t doing anything you need to worry about. Leave social media alone, it’ll only drive you nuts. [Read: The toxic dangers of social media and 19 ways it makes you feel insecure]

7. Focus on your self-esteem

Here’s the truth—you’re acting jealous because you’re insecure and have low self-esteem. But the good news is that you can change this behavior. You need to focus on working to build your self-esteem. At the end of the day, your jealous behavior is your problem.

Plus, this won’t change unless you change yourself. Confidence is key and you need to build that up in yourself. Your low self-esteem is hurting your relationship and it won’t change until you get better. [Read: Why am I so insecure? 41 signs and 51 ways to deal with insecurity and fix it]

8. Minimize your reactions

This doesn’t mean you should keep them inside of you, but instead of immediately reacting, take some time to process your emotions and think about the situation.

You don’t need to react right away. What’s important is that you first internally process it and then talk to your girlfriend when you’re in a calmer state.

9. Talk about it with your girlfriend

If you want to truly work on your jealousy, you need to talk about it with your girlfriend. Don’t let it build up inside of you and don’t argue with her about this.

When you’re feeling jealous, stop and think about it. Then, sit down and talk to her about it. Tell her what you were feeling jealous about and why. By using this approach, she will be able to help you overcome your jealousy. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re fighting too often]

10. How does your girlfriend feel?

In all of this, you probably haven’t thought about how your girlfriend is feeling. Why don’t you ask?

You should know how your behavior impacts the people around you. She’s probably feeling stressed, pressured, and suffocated. It’s time to look beyond yourself and accept how your behavior is destroying the relationship.

11. Seek therapy

This isn’t an easy thing to overcome and if you can do this on your own, we applaud you. But sometimes we need a helping hand. As a jealous boyfriend, you may not be able to see the root cause of your jealousy.

However, by talking to a professional, they’ll be able to help you pinpoint the cause. Then you can truly start your journey in self-recovery. If not, you may end up in circles and give up on helping yourself.

[Read: Long-term relationship – what it means and 30 secrets to have a love that lasts]

Everyone can be jealous from time to time, but if your boyfriend’s jealousy is doing more harm than good, consider these steps to help him become more secure. But know that at the end of the day, he is the only one who can truly change his jealous ways.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...