Selfish Boyfriend: 23 Signs He’s Totally Self-Centered & How to Deal with It

If you’re wondering if you have a selfish boyfriend, then you probably do. Here are the signs and what to do in order to deal with him and make it better.

selfish boyfriend

When you have a selfish boyfriend, you start feeling like you’re a slave to their needs. Everything you do is to make them happy and to cater to their needs. What about your needs?

Just because they’re selfish doesn’t mean you need to break up with them or start an argument. Instead of blowing up, there are a couple of different ways to handle your selfish boyfriend and bring them back to planet earth. [Read: How to spot selfish people and keep them from hurting you]

The psychology of selfish lovers

No one really likes selfish people, especially when they are their partners and lovers. But people like this actually feel quite inadequate. This feeling can run so deep that they might become ashamed of themselves.

So, in an attempt to cover up the shame inside, they become sort of numb. This causes the unselfish partner to want to keep on giving to the selfish one. They think this will help “wake up” the selfish partner and they will change. And they might temporarily, but it doesn’t last.

When a selfish person gives to someone else in an unselfish way, they feel out of control or threatened. The reason they feel this way is because they fear that the cause of their shame will be discovered.

Selfish people feel like love is conditional and limited. They think that if they give up some love, then they start to feel disconnected from their partner. This is what causes them to hold on to their love tightly so they don’t feel like they are spiraling out of control. [Read: Selfless love – 18 traits that sets it apart from selfish love]

Sure, this sounds counterintuitive. But it’s so hard for selfish people to genuinely give to other people because they can’t even give to themselves.

Signs of an inconsiderate selfish boyfriend

If you are wondering whether or not your boyfriend is really selfish, here are the signs to look for.

1. Doesn’t care about your needs

When you try to tell him what you need and want in the relationship, he dismisses it and doesn’t pay attention. He might even pretend to care, but then nothing changes.

2. Doesn’t please you in bed

A lot of guys just have the mentality of “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.” In other words, sex is just a vehicle for them to feel good and orgasm.

And that’s what a selfish boyfriend does. He doesn’t care about your sexual pleasure. [Read: Head pusher – why some selfish guys do this and how to handle them]

3. Controlling

He will be bossy and tell you what you can and can’t do. He might prevent you from hanging out with his friends or tell you to cook him a meal to his liking. 

4. Critical

A selfish boyfriend will criticize you. He might call you fat or lazy. And he might even call you names. If he never compliments you and only has bad things to say, then he doesn’t care about you.

5. Abusive

There are many forms of abuse. Most people think it’s only physical, but it’s not. There is emotional, mental, and verbal abuse too. So, if he’s not treating you right and abusing you, then your boyfriend is definitely selfish. [Read: Am I in an abusive relationship? 17 sure signs]

6. Emotionally withdrawn

Another form of selfishness is being emotionally withdrawn. Maybe he never says he loves you and appreciates you. Or maybe he never holds your hand or cuddles with you. If he is a selfish boyfriend, he cannot connect to you emotionally or he deliberately decides not to.

7. Ignores you

When you try to talk to him and have a conversation, he probably hardly even responds. He might be watching TV or just simply not answering you when you talk. You feel ignored and not heard by him.

8. Does what he wants

He might play video games 24/7 or go out with his friends all of the time. You might beg him to go to your cousin’s wedding, but he chooses not to. If he is only doing what he wants and not what you want, then he is selfish. [Read: Selfish people – 20 ways to spot and stop them from hurting you]

9. Won’t compromise

Relationships are all about compromise. Maybe you are tired of cooking and cleaning all the time and ask him to do his share. He won’t do it. He refuses to compromise on anything. [Read: Why millennials suck – how the selfish “me” generation was created]

10. Can’t count on him

If your boyfriend is the last person you would call if your car broke down, then you have a problem. He is unreliable and unpredictable because he doesn’t care about your needs, he only cares about his own.

11. Unaware of his selfish actions

Sadly, a lot of selfish boyfriends are unaware of their behaviors. That might sound ridiculous, but it’s true. He either doesn’t know how negatively you are affected by his selfishness, or he just doesn’t care if he does know. [Read: Selfishness in relationships – 15 tips to do the right thing]

Can selfish people ever love someone?

Love isn’t always wine and roses. Sometimes it’s messy and you have a lot of ups and downs. But you should have a lot more ups than downs.

Love is also about compromise and sometimes even putting another person’s needs before your own. True love isn’t one-sided, it’s a two-way street. But when you’re dating a selfish lover, love will hurt.

Some people may argue with this, but generally speaking, it’s difficult for a selfish person to feel true love. That’s because love is more about giving than taking.

Sure, they can love to a certain degree. But they aren’t as capable of deep love as someone who is more selfless. [Read: Why narcissists ignore you, your texts, and do the selfish things they do]

For love to be successful, both people have to love themselves first. Then, they can give their love away to their partners. It is natural and reciprocal. So, when there is a lack of self-love and selfishness, love isn’t as strong as it could be.

How to deal with a selfish boyfriend

We all look for love when we get into a relationship. We all want that one person that’s going to be with us through thick and thin, not to mention to cuddle with at night. But love isn’t enough. Yes, that’s a depressing thing to hear but it’s true. Love simply isn’t enough, it’s a good base though.

Dealing with a selfish boyfriend takes more than just love, it takes action and understanding. Here are the steps you can take to better deal with your selfish boyfriend.

1. Hold accountability

Yes, he’s selfish but here’s the thing, you’re allowing the behavior. You knew they were selfish pretty early on in the relationship, you had to have seen the signs. And you probably thought that it wasn’t a big deal or that you just want to make them happy, so you let it slide.

But now you’re here and tired of their behavior. See, you didn’t create a boundary nor did you express your feelings. [Read: How to set boundaries and have more control over your life]

2. Give yourself attention

Okay, so he’s selfish, but you’re feeding it. It’s time that you spent some much-needed attention on yourself. You need to break the vicious cycle you’re in.

So, instead of putting his needs first, put yourself first. Spend time doing things that you like, making time for yourself and only yourself. His needs shouldn’t be a priority over yours. [Read: How to not be run over in your relationship]

3. Talk about it

You thought that this was just going to go away? Not likely unless you change. It’s time for you to start speaking up, expressing how his behavior makes you feel.

No need to yell or cry, you don’t want to argue about this, you want to improve the situation. Sit down together and talk about what’s going on. Talk about your feelings and make sure to use “I” statements.

4. No ultimatums

You telling him to shape up or leave isn’t going to do anything. You cannot give an ultimatum to someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on. [Read: Ultimatums in a relationship and how to use them right]

Firstly, express the things he does that are selfish. Then, emphasize the positive things that will come if he changes, showing how the relationship will become better.

5. Figure out why he’s selfish

Outside of your relationship he might be very giving and selfless, which is why you’re so confused as to why he’s like this.

But he’s had a life before you and one that probably had some previous trauma in it. This doesn’t mean he gets a free pass, this simply means you’ll be able to identify the cause and then use that as a way to change their behavior.

6. Reconnect to yourself

When we’re with a selfish partner, we tend to forget ourselves and our own values. You know you don’t deserve to be treated this way, but it’s shoved way inside of you. So, it’s time to reconnect with your own values.

You need to see that you don’t need to be with a selfish person in an intimate relationship and that you’re better than this. Bring the power back into your hands. [Read: 34 life-changing steps to fall in love with yourself all over again]

7. Create boundaries

Listen, he may not be able to completely get rid of his selfish behavior, especially if his behavior is unintentional. It will take him time to become aware. So, become aware of what behavior you can tolerate and what you cannot. 

There are some things that you should compromise with, so figure out what they are. Naturally, there are some things that aren’t a deal-breaker, whereas other things are simply too hurtful.

8. Take a time-out

If you’re hitting the peak of his selfish behavior then take a time-out. Yup, you read right. Just take a break from there.

This doesn’t mean you need to call it a break or break up with him, this just means you’re taking a couple of days for yourself.

During this time, think about yourself and what you need in a partner and your future. Though, do make sure he understands what you’re doing and why, or else it could upset him. [Read: What to do when you’re feeling unsure about your relationship]

9. What do you need? 

You’ve had some time to think about your needs, so, what are they? This means you need to know the components of a relationship that matter to you.

So, ensure you’re clear when you need something from your boyfriend. You don’t have to be rude, simply ask him if he’s able to listen to you. He’ll most likely be able to focus and dedicate that time to you.

10. Remind him

Selfishness isn’t easy to recognize in yourself nor is it easy to change. So, even though he says he wants to change, you’re going to have to constantly remind him of his behavior. Think of it like training a puppy. 

This takes numerous and numerous times of showing them where to pee until they finally start to get it. Sorry for the animal comparison *not sorry*.

11. He has to want to change

At the end of the day, if you want to see your selfish boyfriend become someone more considerate, this means he has to want to change.

If you’re pushing him to do it and he’s restraining or half-assing it, he’ll never change. This is when you break up with him. Maybe then he’ll wake up. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

12. Do you want to be with him? 

Selfishness isn’t something that someone is going to get over in a day. Of course, if he wants to change, he’ll work on it and try to reduce his selfish tendencies. However, don’t expect his behavior to completely flip 180. 

So, now you have a new question to ask yourself, do you want this person as a partner?

[Read: These unassuming signs point to the fact that you are dating a jerk]

So, you know how to handle a selfish boyfriend now, right? But just because you know what to do doesn’t mean that’s enough. It’s time you put words into action!

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...