Why Trying To Make Him Jealous Will Ultimately Backfire

Why Trying To Make Him Jealous Will Ultimately Backfire ©iStock/AmmentorpDK

In my younger (read: stupid) days, I was guilty of trying to make my boyfriends jealous. For me, it was a test to see how much they cared about me and to what lengths they would go to keep me forever and ever. While at the time it seemed like a brilliant way to provide the little extra something I needed for my own ego, it never worked out very well. In one case, it led to my college boyfriend driving three hours in the middle of the night from a ski trip to confront someone who had tried to kiss me. Was I impressed? Sure! But it was so unnecessary and, bizarrely, the two became friends that night  I mean, talk about backfiring.

Yes, jealousy can make you feel extra wanted, but in the long run it always backfires. It’s child’s play, and an adult relationship has no room for that BS. Here are nine reasons why trying to make him jealous will ultimately backfire.

  1. It can lead to violence. Depending on the temperament of your partner, trying to make him jealous can lead to some major violence. Whether that violence is against you or the person whom you’re using as a pawn in your jealous plan, it’s not OK. You never really know how someone is going to act when they’re pushed into a corner, which essentially is what you’re doing when you’re trying to make him jealous.
  2. You’re no longer trusted. In your attempts to stir up some jealousy in your partner, you’ll find that what trust they had in you is no longer there. Sure, you made up whatever you said to spark the jealousy, but having planted the seed, his trust for you will sour and you won’t be able to go anywhere freely without getting 30 questions when you return.
  3. Payback is a bitch. One word: Karma. You may find that all your attempts at making your partner jealous just lead to him playing the same nasty trick on you. Do you really want to lose to a juvenile mind game where you’re the one who’s jealous? I don’t think so.
  4. It will drive him away. Honestly, there’s only so much drama one human being can take before they run like hell in the opposite direction AWAY you. You may think that creating jealousy will lead to proof of undying love, but in some cases, it can just ends a relationship and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
  5. It leads to obsession. While being obsessed over by someone sounds like a great idea IF YOU LIVE IN A MOVIE, in the real world, it’s not so fun. You really don’t want your boyfriend following you around, calling you every 10 minutes, and basically smothering you into an oblivion. Before you know it, you’re no longer in a relationship, but a prison that, once again, you created.
  6. You’ll accidentally form a union (that doesn’t include you). As was the case with my ex and his attempt to “threaten” the guy who tried to kiss me, they ended up having a bonding moment over PBRs on the front stoop of they guy’s house. The guy apologized, blamed alcohol (isn’t it always that?), and my ex accepted his apology. I went from pitting to boys against each other to two boys having sided with each other against me. OK, they weren’t against me, but it was a union I orchestrated accidentally and it wasn’t awkward, to say the least. For all I know, they could still be buddies today.
  7. There will be an epic scene at some point. The problem with trying to make your partner jealous – well, one of the many problems – is that at some point, there will be a public scene. Whether it’s because you happen to run into the innocent pawn in your drama or because your partner just decides to freak the hell out over a dinner one night at TGI Fridays, it will happen and you’ll be mortified.
  8. You’ll create a monster. Between the violent outbursts, squashing of your free time, and the new obsession you’ve injected into your partner’s veins with your attempt at jealousy, you will find that you’ve created a total terror of a human being. It will get to the point where, if he doesn’t dump you, you’ll end up dumping him. But because of the monster you’ve created, you’ll have to deal with all the madness long after the breakup, as he creeps around the shrubs outside your apartment building for months. Nice job.
  9. You’ll end up being the jerk. Face it: You’re a jerk. If you need to make your boyfriend jealous as some means of feeling satisfied in your relationship, then you might need to examine your whole approach to relationships. Healthy relationships don’t require such BS, so if you stirring crap up, then it’s a big sign that your relationship is lacking and it’s time to fix it in an adult-like manner by, oh I don’t know … TALKING about it. But, hey, if you’re looking to sabotage your relationship as dramatically as possible, then by all means go for it.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.