6 Ways To Handle A Jealous Boyfriend
Dating jealous men can be uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous. While jealousy is a completely normal emotion and not inherently problematic in small amounts, it can easily become a sensitive area in a relationship. In this article, you will learn how to address your boyfriend’s jealousy and how you can interact with him and create trust to keep jealousy from negatively affecting your relationship. It should be noted that the onus is primarily on him to try to figure out the root of these feelings and cope with them. The following, though, are some ways you can help him in overcoming jealousy.
1. Tell Him How You Feel
Communication is essential to resolving any issue in a relationship. Some things have a way of working themselves out, but it’s generally better to have things out in the open. Most of the time, if something needs to be fixed, it needs to be brought up (calmly and productively, ideally).
This can be the most nerve-wracking part of the process because there can be a lot of uncertainty, but it’s an essential part of solving the problem. You will need to accept that there is a possibility he will get offended, as he may feel criticized or put on the spot.
However, you can only do your best to try to make it as smooth as you possibly can. As sternly but calmly as you can, have an honest conversation about how his jealousy and his reactions make you feel. Simply acknowledging his jealousy is a good first step toward a productive dialogue and dealing with the issue.
Ideally, he will listen and understand, but it usually doesn’t end here. Fixing jealousy issues may take some effort to resolve, but you can move in the right direction and make progress. Some jealous men can be physically and emotionally abusive. If this is the response that you get when trying to be productive, remove yourself from the situation as safely and quickly as possible and seek help.
If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or Text “START” to 88788. You can also use the online chat.
2. Let Him Know How Important He Is To You
Jealousy can often stem from a sense of inferiority and a lack of self-esteem. Since he might not feel good about himself, he may believe that you think the same way and are trying to find someone better than him.
Anyone you talk to might be a threat to him, especially if they are charismatic and good-looking. To be clear, you are not responsible for his feelings. You do not need to avoid spending time or talking with other people to ensure he isn’t threatened. But it can help to assure him that he’s important to you.
You can start by complimenting him and making him feel like he is valuable. Over time, he may begin to feel less insecure with himself. However, the issues can sometimes be deep-seated and require assistance from a professional who can improve his sense of well-being and confidence in himself.
If he starts feeling more comfortable in his skin, he should find fewer reasons to be jealous, especially if he knows that you’re always by his side. He needs to learn how to trust you as well as himself.
3. Keep Him Updated
When you go out and do things on your own, it can be an excellent idea to periodically call him or send him a text, letting him know what you’re up to, when you’ll be back home, etc.
While this may seem like it’s giving up a piece of your independence, these gestures can help quell a much bigger problem. A quick message can offer him a sense of reassurance, and it can prevent unnecessary conflict. You can be as independent as you want without making him feel like he’s being left hanging.
Just think of it as a compromise. A little bit of effort will help give you both some peace of mind. It is still recommended that he learns how to cope with his jealousy issues and become more independent himself, but for now it’s a good habit to keep in touch with him while you’re out and about.
4. Show Him Affection
Displays of affection can be natural for some couples, but for others it can feel kind of strange, especially if you tend to be more reserved. That said, getting out of your comfort zone, even just a tiny bit, may prove helpful. This doesn’t mean that you need to go all out, but smaller gestures such as holding hands, sitting close to each other, or kissing can make all the difference.
Keep in mind that there is the possibility that he might be uncomfortable with it, especially if you are both on the reserved side and don’t do this often (or ever). Depending on how he reacts, you can either try to take things very slowly, or you may need to try another option. Showing affection may not be ideal for your particular partner, so gauge the situation appropriately.
5. Tell Him That You Love Him
In addition to affection, saying the words “I love you” can be very powerful in helping to boost his self-esteem. Of course, you’ll only want to do this if you really feel that way and are comfortable saying so. If so, this can help make it very clear that you have feelings for him and that he’s the one for you.
This can be as simple as saying it before you go to sleep, when you leave for work, or even during the middle of the day to let him know that you’re thinking about him. You can also show your love without actually saying it. He may have a specific love language that differs from how you prefer giving and receiving love. You can also consider leaving him small gifts or running some errands for him.
Consistently letting him know that you love him, either verbally or non-verbally, can help improve his confidence because he won’t be sitting around wondering how you feel about him.
6. Try Couples Therapy
Jealousy issues can be complex, but professional help is well suited to address those feelings. A therapist can also give you more personalized strategies based on your relationship. Online therapy is a popular way to get help. It has even been proven to be as effective as in-person therapy for working through many different types of challenging feelings and emotions.
At ReGain, licensed therapists are available to give you and your boyfriend the assistance you need, and since you can participate remotely, coordinating your schedules can be a lot easier. It’s convenient and affordable, and it provides you with the opportunity to learn and understand more about each other!
Even if all of those methods listed above work out for you, attending couples therapy can be a very valuable process for you and your boyfriend. While these other options can certainly help provide relief, therapy offers long-term solutions for your boyfriend by giving him the skills he needs to cope with his feelings, changing the way he thinks about his jealousy, and allowing him to react more appropriately.
“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”
“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”
Even if removing jealousy entirely sounds nice right now, as mentioned before, having a certain degree of it is healthy and normal. Therefore, most methods aim to keep jealousy under control and at a bare minimum. By following the above tips, you can continue to build a happy and healthy relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you handle a jealous boyfriend?
A good first step in dealing with jealous behavior is to talk with your partner about it. They may not be aware of how their actions are making you feel. Use empathy and address their fears and anxieties about the relationship, if they have any. Try to talk about it calmly and not get defensive if your partner expresses emotions or brings up upsetting topics.
You might also try showing your partner some extra affection. This can go a long way in showing your partner that you care about them and that they are important to you. Finally, be appropriately available and responsive. When you are dating jealous people, the more you ignore them, the worse things might become. Check in via text or a quick call if you’re running late, or just to let them know you are thinking about them when you are out and about.
Is jealousy a sign of love or insecurity?
Jealous behavior often gets confused with love. It’s not; it is, however, often a sign of insecurity. Unhealthy jealousy is usually rooted in fear and causes behaviors that could be detrimental to the relationship. Unhealthy jealousy usually comes with low self-esteem, dependency, and insecurities that need to be discussed with your jealous girlfriend or boyfriend and perhaps with a mental health professional.
What are the signs of a jealous boyfriend?
There are a few signs that can point to jealous behavior. If your boyfriend exhibits one or all of the following, they might be dealing with some level of jealousy:
They are constantly checking up on you throughout the day.
Every once in a while, a “How is your day going?” text might be nice, but if they constantly call and text you throughout the day when you aren’t with them, it may be a form of jealous behavior.
They don’t give you any space.
If going out with your friends or doing something without your boyfriend causes an argument and you feel like you never have time apart, it might be a sign of unhealthy jealousy.
They are jealous of your friends.
If your partner tries to limit your social circle, it may be a sign of insecurity and jealousy.
They constantly accuse you of cheating.
If your partner is consistently asking to go through your phone and social media accounts to “catch” you cheating, this is a sign of unhealthy jealousy.
Is a jealous boyfriend bad?
Having a jealous boyfriend can quickly become unhealthy if boundaries aren’t put in place. If your partner starts to become possessive and accusatory, it's probably time to sit down and have a conversation with them about their feelings and how their actions make you feel.
Encourage your partner to seek out therapy or offer to go with them for couples therapy if their jealous behavior has reached an unhealthy level.
Why am I so jealous in my relationship?
If you find yourself taking your jealousy to an unhealthy level in your relationship, it might be time to take a look inside of yourself. Perhaps you’re insecure about certain things, or you are scared your partner might leave you. Finding the root of your insecurities will likely be the first step toward uncovering what is really happening. Therapy can help you uncover some of the issues that may be at the root of your jealousy. The most important thing is honest communication between you and your partner.
Why is my boyfriend so jealous?
There could be few reasons your boyfriend is jealous. Perhaps they are insecure, or they learned jealousy from a young age. They could also be dealing with abandonment issues, especially if they have been cheated on in the past. It’s important to discuss these concerns with your partner so that you can build up your relationship.
How do I stop being jealous and insecure?
Ask yourself where the jealousy is coming from. Usually, you can trace it back to its source or uncover the root of the issue. Were you cheated on in the past? It might be fear that it could happen again. Are you insecure or dealing with low self-esteem? It can help to figure out where these emotions are coming from. Talk with friends and family about your jealousy. Sometimes an open ear and honest feedback can help you gain perspective. Of course, you’ll also likely want to talk with your partner about your jealousy.
- Previous Article
- Next Article