The basis of every person’s dream might secretly be to make the object of their affections jealous, but I’m going to stop you right there. That’s not a healthy or sustainable form of affection or even love. It feeds into the culture of possessiveness and ownership in relationships. It always seems to suggest that a person or their time is something owed to the partner. Here are some ways to put a stop to jealous feelings and how to recognize them.
He’s constantly asking where you are. There’s a fine line between flattery and obsession, and this walks the line. If you can’t spend time away from him without being hounded by questions or ‘Find My iPhone’ requests, it’s definitely the latter. His insecurities shouldn’t impact your lifestyle if he doesn’t know how to trust people. Don’t put your life on hold waiting for him to play emotional catch-up.
He imposes rules on the relationship. This is where things start to get particularly questionable, particularly if the rules are not the same for both parties. If he makes himself the exception to all these rules, he’s policing your body and trying to change you. You might not feel like you’re trapped in a cage, but you certainly aren’t free if your boyfriend becomes your jailor. That’s for roleplay in the bedroom, not in real life.
He doesn’t let you see other guy friends. This is silly, but I know so many friends who have been told this by their significant other. It relies on the same energy as when guys say you can kiss girls but it not be considered cheating. First of all, this invalidates a whole range of sexualities, as well as heavy misogynist leanings. He would rather you were friendless and reliant on him than be well-rounded and comfortable around other people. This is behavior that can start to get worrying.
Controlling behavior. If you start to feel like you’re surrounded on all fronts because of your connection to a jealous partner, it’s time to take a step back. You will start second-guessing yourself and he will gaslight you until you forget to listen to people around you. He’s a narcissist, pure and simple.
You start to feel guilty. No one has any reason to live their life plagued by guilt that isn’t their fault. Don’t take on his insecurities just because he was good to you at the start. Jealousy might make you feel wanted and desirable at the start, but when it impacts your mental health, it’s time to get out of there.
He checks in on you constantly. Maybe it’s turning up at your house, unannounced, to check that you are where you say you are. Or constantly texting you when you’re out with friends. Either way, you shouldn’t feel like you’re on the run every time you spend time with someone else. This is where it’s worth consulting a friend or specialist for advice.
He tells you what to wear. I think this is the stage of jealous and controlling behavior that gets most people’s attention. Particularly if you are the person themselves. It’s hard to explain away your boyfriend telling you to wear something shapeless and ugly so that he feels safe. He doesn’t trust you, and he has no interest in trusting you in the future. He will just expect to be able to control you. No one that loves you will try to dim your light, they will amplify it. Never accept a jealous lover because they won’t be there to support your wins.
He always brings up your exes. If you feel like your future is being determined by him, and at the same time, you can’t escape your past, drop him. If you chose to confide in your past vulnerabilities and relationships with him then he shouldn’t use that as ammunition against you. It’s a huge red flag.
He alienates you from your friends. He will want to be the only voice in your ear because such a big part of jealousy is possession. Talk to a guidance counselor, start reasserting your boundaries, and give him an ultimatum in return. He needs to tone things down and reassess the nature of his affection for you. Otherwise, the whole relationship is doomed.
If you find that your jealous boyfriend’s antics are wearing thin and you’re not quite sure when it went from flattering to freaky, this is for you. Take a breath, get some back up in who you trust, and start having difficult conversations. It’ll be worth it.
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