Six Reasons Why Men Become Jealous, Even If They Are Not Your Husband/Partner

Love and Romance | | , Copywriter & Author
Updated On: June 27, 2024
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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re left to wonder, “Why is a married man jealous of me dating”? Well, being married has nothing to do with jealousy. In fact, jealous men aren’t always romantically involved with you, they may just be your friends. Jealousy is a tricky emotion, and it can cast its shadow on any relationship. It’s tricky, I say, because most of the time, men may not even know why they’re feeling this way. Nonetheless, men become jealous even if they are not your husband or partner.

From a casual hug to a harmless smile, a friendly touch to an innocent exchange of pleasantries, to more serious issues like a brighter career and a coveted social status — any of these can turn men into green-eyed monsters. Part of this trait arises out of the fact that men are considered to be more competitive, territorial, and protective by nature.

If you’ve ever had on your hands a classic case of “he gets jealous but he is not my boyfriend”, the reactions of the man in question can be truly baffling. He could be harboring feelings for you but doesn’t know himself. You could be his childhood pal but you are getting a fatter paycheck. He could just hate the way you make heads turn when you walk into a party. So, why do men get jealous? Let’s find out.

Six Reasons Why Men Get Jealous

Erica Lang, a communications professional, says, “A friend of mine is extremely territorial about me. He gets jealous when other guys are looking at me. We are college friends and we date different people, but he is so possessive when I am out with him. He hates it if other guys look at me.” Why do guys get jealous when you are not dating them, you may wonder in such situations. This happens for several reasons.

Why are guys possessive of their crush? If a guy gets jealous, does he have feelings? Does it happen that he gets jealous but doesn’t want a relationship? Or do you have a male colleague or acquaintance who is jealous of you dating other men? It could be because he has a crush on you, is insecure, or is irked by your success (the typical patriarchal ideology at play). There could be multiple reasons why he is jealous.

Jealous men are susceptible to such behavior because most of them do not know how to handle jealousy in a relationship or even in general. It can be difficult to understand what’s going on in their head, which is why it’s quite a difficult and creepy position to be in for a woman. To deal with the situation better, understand the signs of jealousy. If you’re consumed by thoughts like “He gets jealous but he is not my boyfriend” or “Why is a married man jealous of me dating?”, allow us to help you. Here is our list of six of the most common reasons a man is jealous about a woman:

1. When men fall in love they become jealous

Ironically, love is the most common cause of jealousy for men. Most men have a hard time accepting their potential partner’s interest in others and their interactions with them. This jealousy comes from love and it can be kind of sweet and healthy. The envy here springs out of two reasons: the fear of losing the woman they love to someone else, and the owner’s instinct.

Men are usually protective and possessive of the women they love or have feelings for. Even if you are not committed to a man, he could get jealous on account of all the stares you get when you walk into a room. If you’re still wondering, “Do guys get jealous when other guys look at you?”, the answer is an astounding yes. So, the next time you’re thinking, “Why is he jealous?”, it’s probably because he’s into you and the possibility of another man winning you over is driving him insane.

jealous in love
Men become jealous in love

2. Why do men get jealous? Because of insecurity!

Jealous men often want their women to be available only to them. They don’t want to share their partners with anyone, including family and friends. Such a man believes that his woman’s association with others may lead her to turn against him. Therefore, he keeps tabs on her, especially on her interactions with other men.

This way, he maintains the power to place restrictions on her as well as control who she socializes with and when. Once he achieves such control, he does not have to worry about the woman leaving him or being taken by another man. Besides being one of those typical examples of patriarchy in everyday life, it is his way of dealing with his insecurity.

And if you’ve got a classic case of, “He gets jealous but he’s not my boyfriend”, the reason could be that he’s insecure about you getting closer to another man than you are with him. Or, he might just have feelings for you and you don’t know it yet. The bottom line is, if you notice the signs of a jealous man, you’ll also notice signs of insecurity in him.

Having said that, insecurity works another way too, where the man feels like he is not good enough. He may feel that the reason you are dating other men is that you don’t think he’s worthy of you. If that’s the case, make sure you have a conversation with him about it and clear the air.

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3. Self-doubt is a common trigger for jealousy

Anxiety and fear create self-doubt. If a man feels vulnerable within the relationship, he may begin to act in an accusatory manner in order to insulate himself from any possibility of being hurt. When a man senses that he might become powerless in a relationship, he accuses the woman of a myriad of things. He may get jealous even when he doesn’t want an exclusive relationship.

The unhealthy jealousy that he exhibits can often be a projection of his own apprehension in trusting the relationship. Men who get jealous usually charge women with baseless allegations of attracting and giving attention to other men. Such behavior generally stems from self-doubt.

The self-doubt that he projects onto you can end up harming any kind of relationship you may have with him. For example, if he’s always worried about how loyal you are or how much he can trust you, he’s probably going to always find reasons to stay upset with you. And, if you’ve ever found yourself saying, “He gets jealous but doesn’t want a relationship”, for someone, you’ve got a man on your hands who is extremely confused about what he wants.


4. Jealous men have low self-esteem

Why do guys get jealous even when you are not dating them? Why are guys possessive of their crush? Well, if you are looking for signs a man is jealous of a woman, self-esteem issues are definitely one of them. If a man cannot accept himself for who he is, it becomes difficult to understand why anybody else would.

Hence, men with low self-esteem often cannot understand why their women would choose to be with them because they don’t think of themselves as deserving of love. Eventually, this creates a conspiracy in the mind of the jealous man, who starts to believe that his woman is plotting to leave him because she considers him undeserving of her love.

In such a scenario, no matter what the woman says or does, it is seen as an act of betrayal by the man. In his head, it reinforces the belief that she wants to leave him for someone, who is seemingly better than him. Something somewhat similar happened with Marie, a 19-year-old college student, who had issues with her male friend always being jealous of the company she keeps.

“He gets jealous but he’s not my boyfriend, so I was always very confused about why he acts in this manner. I noticed that every time I was laughing with another guy, he’d literally say something like, “Why don’t you just go talk to him?”, when I tried to initiate a conversation with him.

“Eventually, his friends told me that that was because he was always worried that I’d forget about him just because I found another man funny. So, do men get jealous? Turns out, they don’t need much to get jealous. It’s like they’re always ready to pick a fight over nothing!” she said.

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5. Jealous men need validation from others

If questions like “Why is he jealous?” or “He gets jealous but doesn’t want a relationship, why is he doing that?” have left you confused, his need for validation could be the answer. This need for validation from others becomes pressing in a person with a low sense of self-worth because they struggle with acceptance of the self. When left unchecked, it makes way for jealousy.

If you’re in a relationship with a man with low self-worth, he’d definitely crave constant reassurance from you. He wants you to accept him, love him, and be there for him. This quest for validation makes him jealous and forces him to think that the woman he loves will, sooner or later, leave him. Over time, this proves to be quite emotionally draining for the woman. The constant jealousy can drive her away from him, which is why he needs to figure out ways to keep his jealous behavior under control.

Counseling for toxic Relationship

6. Her successful career irks him

By now, you probably know the answer to, “Do guys get jealous when other guys look at you?”, but you might still be wondering why your platonic friend is envious of you. The answer could lie in your professional success. This is one of those classic examples of patriarchy in everyday life. It is one of the most common and obvious signs a man is jealous of a woman. A woman’s promotion can irk a man more than anything else in the world. 

The patriarchal stereotype that a woman achieving success at work must be sleeping with the boss comes into play. This suspicion isn’t just limited to the man in that woman’s life but also extends to her jealous male and female coworkers. Building a successful career often entails working till late at night and traveling quite often with the boss, among other things. All of this makes some men believe that the woman is sleeping around with her boss, hence the high increment and an even higher designation.

Key Pointers

  • Things like insecurity, self-doubt, and having feelings for you can make a man jealous even if he’s not your husband or partner
  • A jealous man doesn’t necessarily have to be romantically interested in you, he may just be jealous of your career 
  • Jealous men often need validation, and they’ll try to get all your time and attention. They may feel upset when you choose to spend time with someone else 

So, do men get jealous? Apparently, it doesn’t take much for them to get jealous. Though it’s a natural emotion, it can prove to be a risk or have a negative effect on your life if it goes out of control. It can be difficult to deal with or cope with a jealous man’s actions. One of the best ways to deal with it is to have an open and honest conversation about how his jealous behavior is making you feel. If it’s negatively impacting you and those around you, make sure he knows that.

It is normal to feel jealous and many are capable of handling it as well. But, a lot of times, jealousy arises out of a patriarchal mindset or some deep-rooted mental and emotional issues. Dealing with such a man can be quite an unpleasant experience, which is why you must make it clear that you will not tolerate his jealousy if it’s making you uncomfortable.


1. If a guy gets jealous, does he have feelings?

If he gets jealous because you’re flirting with other men or because they’re trying to pull you away from him, he probably has feelings for you. However, if your colleague is jealous because you got the promotion and he didn’t, he’s probably not into you but is just jealous of your career.

2. What are guys jealous of?

Guys can get jealous of other men giving you attention, or you not giving them enough attention. Particularly jealous men can get envious when you have more fun with anyone else but him, and others can get this way when you achieve the goals he had set out for themselves.

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Readers Comments On “Six Reasons Why Men Become Jealous, Even If They Are Not Your Husband/Partner”

  1. That’s funny, literally the only reason I attracted someone is due to him being jealous of my husband and daughter. I earned degrees, went to nursing school, earned further degrees and only made everyone jealous. I had to marry to divorce someone he was so jealous. Him and his mother couldn’t handle me living. They actually tried to kill me. Of course they are friendly and sweet on the outside. A lot of people also can’t handle a woman being successful on her own. They want to give a man credit for her accomplishments or opinions out of fear.

  2. Ashutosh Singh

    Creepy people everywhere!! Just pissed at the last one where I got to know that the only reason a woman is unsuccessful is because she has slept with a man… Please die if you think so!!

  3. Aah the last pointer is what that caught me in the neck! That is such prevalent cliched thought….women can never work hard on their own and achieve something big in their career is the existent thought of the century! Sad but true…

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