Some may find it cute, endearing, or a sign of love, but jealousy is NOT a good thing in any relationship. You may be oblivious to it at the start, but it can manifest into controlling and manipulative behaviour. No matter how big or small, if you are concerned that your boyfriend is becoming too jealous, then see if you can identify with any of these issues.
1. He messages constantly
In today’s social media driven world, most young couples do message a lot, especially at the beginning. But if you feel that he is messaging a lot more than you are comfortable with, or always wants you to text him when your class is finished or when you are on your break at work, you may be dealing with a jealous boyfriend. In this case, he may simply be jealous of the fact that you don’t always have time to reply, rather than if you are with anyone in particular. If he wants you to be glued to your phone all the time and constantly be available to respond to his messages, then that is not normal, not even in today’s millennial standards. You have a life – so why should you be able to respond right away ALL the time?
2. He comments on guys
Whether it’s your closest male friends, or a random guy passing in the street, if your boyfriend makes comments or not very funny jokes about them, then this is an early sign of dangerous jealousy. It can begin with “Oh, you and Josh are always together, he must like you”, but comments like this are hurtful and unfair, especially as you or your friend have done nothing wrong. This can escalate into him accusing you of cheating, which is called gaslighting (we will come back to that). If he cannot handle you having male friends, then he is clearly too jealous and insecure to deal with a relationship.
3. He tags along
A healthy aspect of any relationship is being able to have your own friends, own interests and own lives apart. You should not be joined at the hip constantly, or you risk letting these other important parts of your lives slip away. If you are making plans with your friends and your boyfriend always seems to want to come along, then this could be a warning sign of jealousy. Of course, it’s nice to have him hang out with the gang sometimes, but if you are specifically trying to catch up with friends or have a ‘girls night’ and he is still trying to come, it shows that he maybe wants to be there all the time to keep an eye on you. This is possessive, controlling behaviour and definitely a sign of jealousy.
4. He trawls your social media
Another issue of today’s relationships is that your social media is often a great indicator of how you live your life, from the places you’ve been to the people you follow. It is also your own platform to make as private as you wish, so if your boyfriend asks to look at your private profiles and see who or what you are following or commenting on, it could be a sign of jealousy. It shows he does not trust you, it is rude and it is a total invasion of your privacy. You can guarantee if you asked to see his Facebook or Instagram, he would protest.
5. He gaslights you
As mentioned earlier, gaslighting is when somebody tries to manipulate you into feeling bad for something when you have done nothing wrong. Like, if you didn’t reply to your boyfriend’s text right away, and he said, “How dare you, I was worried sick”, that’s gaslighting. You have a life, and you probably didn’t have time to reply instantly, but he is making you think that you’ve been the bad guy. If you notice a lot of this behaviour, and it could be about anything, then you need to re-think your relationship. Gaslighting has the potential to become very toxic and create a lot of unhappiness.
6. He criticises you
Sometimes, insecure and jealous guys get even more worried when they see their girlfriend look or dress a certain way, as if other guys are going to literally snatch her away. Yep, it’s pathetic, but that’s the mindset of a jealous guy. If your boyfriend ever criticises how you look or what you’re wearing in a certain way, like saying you have too much make-up on or are wearing a dress that’s too revealing, then it could mean he is jealous of the attention you might get from guys. This is not endearing, this is controlling. He is not only worried that other guys will look at you; he assumes you’ll be drawn to them. A guy should never tell you what to do, and you should not have to dress a certain way to deflect attention just to reassure him.