Dating someone who is extremely jealous can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and at times dangerous. While a little bit of jealousy can be healthy for most relationships and show signs of strong love and affection, too much can make you feel overwhelmed and trapped – while constantly having to prove your commitment and feeling like you’re never truly trusted.
So, what can you do? Read on for 10 positive ways to handle an overly jealous boyfriend that can help save your relationship.
1. Tell him how he makes you feel.
Maybe he thinks he’s being protective of you and that his commitment to your relationship is romantic. He won’t know he’s making you uneasy unless you spell it out for him. Make it perfectly clear that his jealousy is an issue for you.
Start by being completely honest about what he does, when he does it and how it makes you feel. Avoid blame language, try to be honest and logical, and refrain from getting too emotional.
He might get offended, and if he feels criticized, reassure him that you’re telling him because you love him and want to make the relationship work – not because you want to attack him. If it’s not okay for you, he can’t continue doing it if he wants your relationship to work.
Now that he knows how you feel about it, set boundaries to help him get over his obsession with control. For example, if he usually texts you 10 times a night when you’re out without him, agree that he can only text you once. If he texts more than once, don’t reply.
2. Remind him how important he is to you.
His jealousy might stem from a feeling of inferiority or low self-esteem. If that’s the case, reassure him that he’s good enough for you and that you aren’t trying to find someone better. Remind him that you love him just the way he is.
There’s no reason for him to ask you if you love him every five minutes. You don’t need 5 phone calls if you don’t reply to his text right away. He needs to understand that he can trust you, because he is important to you.
Make a conscious effort to compliment him more often and use praise language when he shows that he’s trusting you and controlling his jealousy. Help him open up to you about his insecurities. He might be quite reluctant at first, but you need to show him how essential that conversation is.
3. Update him often on your whereabouts.
Jealousy often stems from a place of insecurity, lack of information or simply the unknown. The more updated you keep him, the less he will need to wonder – where you are, who you are with, who that handsome guy who spoke to you was.
If you are out without him and you know he’s stressing about it, sending him a text or two to tell him that you miss him and what time you’ll be back home. Remember to make plans for later even if it’s not really your thing. He just wants to know you’ll be there!
Be clear when you’re out or away for a while and won’t be able to check your phone. Don’t let his obsessions take over, it’s all about creating some balance.
4. Show some PDA.
Public displays of affection aren’t to everyone’s taste, but it’s one way to reassure him of your strong feelings towards him.
A few things you can do that’ll make him totally gush over you and relax include:
- Holding his hand when you’re out and about
- Standing close to him or touching him casually when you’re out with friends
- Kissing him spontaneously
Public displays of affection are quick ways to show him he has nothing to worry about and to show others that you’re together and proud of it.
5. Let him get involved more often.
Jealousy can be a natural reaction to feeling left out, so make sure you’re involving him when appropriate and when you can.
Ask for his help, even if it’s something that you’re perfectly capable of doing on your own. Give him the chance to shine in your eyes; he wants to impress you and feel confident.
6. Be patient with him.
Sometimes, his jealous outbursts will seem totally irrational and silly – especially if they happen in public. Don’t shut him out completely – show humility and patience instead.
Jealousy can be a real issue for someone, and you don’t need to remind him that it’s wrong or that he’s embarrassed you in front of everyone. He probably knows it already – but just needs patience and help through his episodes.
7. Don’t lie to him.
The worst thing you can do is to lie to a jealous boyfriend. It’ll just add to his insecurities big time. Even if it feels easier to lie or ignore him when he calls, especially when you don’t want to deal with his jealousy, it’s almost always a bad idea.
He needs to know that he can trust you, and lying to him might just end your relationship.
8. Show your love.
If you want to defeat his green-eyed monster, show him your love through your words and actions – and do it every day. If you give him no reason to be jealous, why would he be?
How often do you tell him that you love him? Do you put the relationship first? Do you appreciate him enough?
When he gets jealous and paranoid, being extra sweet to him – instead of getting angry – will defeat his jealousy with love and care, and make him more confident and a lot calmer.
9. Get to the root of his jealousy.
If you don’t give him reasons to be jealous but he continues to be gripped by it, find out why. A lot of guys are scarred for life after an ex they loved cheated on them.
Chances are your boyfriend still isn’t over past heartache, and vividly remembers how it feels to be left for somebody else. His jealousy is his way of trying to protect his relationship and make sure it doesn’t happen to him again.
Reassure him that you’re nothing like his ex -you love him and only want to be with him – but the jealousy needs to be toned down or he will lose you anyway.
10. Decide if it’s all worth it.
At the end of the day, no matter how much you love somebody, if their jealousy is taking its toll on the relationship you might not be able to help them.
Decide for yourself whether you want to save the relationship by trying counselling – or whether its time to walk away.
An overly jealous boyfriend can certainly create more work in the relationship. At times it’ll feel like nothing is easy or relaxed, and you might feel like he’s testing you or questioning your fidelity.
Don’t give in to feeling controlled or possessed by him. You still need to feel like an independent person. The relationship is a part of your life, not your entire life. If you can’t see you being compatible in the long run, then you need to find someone who’s got more self-confidence and less obsession with controlling you.