Jealousy is an unhealthy emotion that can prove detrimental to even the strongest, most passionate relationships. It obliterates the good and replaces it with an awful, all-consuming sense of negativity. The impact of being with a jealous partner may not become apparent right at the onset, but slowly and surely, it will reduce your bond into a hollow shell of a relationship.
Besides, it also adversely impacts your psyche and self-esteem. So, stop passing off apparent jealous partner signs as expressions of love. If you want your relationship to work, your partner has to change at a fundamental level. The process begins with recognizing the red flags of unhealthy jealousy.
11 Jealous Partner Signs You Must Not Ignore
There is no denying that being overly jealous is toxic. Such jealousy can ruin a relationship. The good news is that it is not a situation you’re doomed to put up with, with walking out being the only alternative. It is possible to find a solution to this tendency, as long as both the partners are willing to do the work of identifying and weeding out the reasons for jealousy in relationships.
More often than not, you have to look for the behavioral signs to ascertain what causes jealousy. Here are 11 signs of a jealous partner that can be unhealthy for your relationship:
1. Seeds of doubt
When a partner starts to doubt their relationship all the time you know there’s trouble in paradise. A fleeting sense of jealousy is only human and we all experience it at some point. However, that’s not quite the same as a partner constantly questioning the other’s faithfulness.
If you constantly have to reassure your partner that they’re the only one for you, you know what does it mean when your partner is jealous. This is a surefire sign that your partner’s jealousy has reached an unhealthy level.
2. Clingy behavior
Is jealousy a sign of insecurity? Many psychologists agree that it is. When your partner wants to spend all their time with you, this typical clingy behavior is a sign that they grapple with an unhealthy amount of jealousy owing to their inherent insecurities. Them wanting to spend every waking moment around you can seem cute at first. After a while, it becomes suffocating.
3. Constant surveillance
If being with your partner transports you to those childhood days when you had to report your whereabouts to your parents at all times, you’re dealing with one of the most obvious jealous partner signs. The trust that two people will be faithful to each other takes a hit when one of the partners is constantly checking on the other.
When a partner keeps tabs on your every move, checks your phone, and confirms your whereabouts from others, it is a sign of trust issues and can stifle the bond between you two. In such times, it doesn’t matter what causes jealousy in your partner.
4. Your independence is hampered
Even if your partner doesn’t proactively stop you from doing your own thing, they certainly don’t appreciate it. When your partner is jealous of you and your independent ways, they are bound to get upset whenever you make plans with friends or family. Or do anything that does not involve them.
A partner preventing the other from pursuing a hobby, a passion or even prioritizing their career is a sign of unhealthy jealousy. This is an indication that they are too dependent on the idea of the two of you as a team and can’t accept you venturing out of those bounds. This is a very primitive way of looking at human connections and can make you feel ashamed for just wanting to do things on your own.
5. Exhibiting stalker tendencies
This is when jealousy can ruin a relationship. If your partner starts following you discreetly, then the trust in your relationship has definitely gone down the drain. Showing up at your workplace unannounced, repeatedly. Or insisting on driving you to wherever it is that you’re going. Stopping by to say hello if you’re out with your friends.
These are all manifestations of stalker tendencies in a jealous partner. Don’t mistake them for signs of their love for you. If you still want your relationship with this person to work out, you have to take corrective measures now.
Related Reading: 10 Tips To Turn Jealousy Into Motivation
6. They start acting like a control freak
It has been well established that putting up with a controlling partner is not a pleasant experience. Your partner tries to control every aspect of your existence, from whom you talk to what time you get back home and when you can go out to what you can and cannot wear, and so on. Such behavior patterns turn your relationship into a cage.
If you get no breathing space, it means your relationship is in dire need of help. Yes, it is possible that your partner is a victim of circumstances, which can become the underlying reason for jealousy in relationships. However, acknowledging this does not make dealing with a control freak any easier.
7. The incessant mistrust
Jealousy is a bitter pill to swallow. The emotion stems from an inherent lack of trust. You know you’re dealing with a jealous partner when trusting you becomes a struggle for them. If you’re out on a work trip, they’re consumed by the fear that you’re sleeping around.
If you tell them you have plans with friends, they immediately think you’re cheating on them. These jealous partner signs are usually a manifestation of a person’s own insecurities and self-doubt. It can drive a wedge between a couple instead of helping them come closer.
8. They disapprove of your choices
Isolating you from others is a key focus for a jealous partner. After all, they want you all to themselves and would go to any length to eliminate potential romantic or sexual threats to their relationship. To do so, they start disapproving of all the little things you enjoy doing.
Be it a hobby you pursue, a sport you follow or a social cause you’re associated with, all your interests and choices are met with derision. It is their way of, slowly but surely, shrinking up your world until you have no one left to turn to but them.
9. You don’t feel respected
What does it mean when your partner is jealous? Well, for one, you don’t feel respected in the relationship. When your partner wants to control every aspect of your life, judges your choices, and doubts your every move, it is hard to believe that they respect who you are as an individual. That realization can be immensely stifling. Over time, it can damage your self-esteem and sense of self.
If the tendencies of your jealous partner have started impacting you on this level, it is time to have an honest conversation with them. Reclaim your autonomy and let them know that they must get their act together if they want the relationship to work out. Of course, if your partner wants to make an earnest effort to change, reassure them of your support.
10. You can see it in their body language
Does your partner’s face tighten up when you talk about someone else appreciatively or fondly? Have you noticed the smile disappear from their face if you casually mention that a coworker complimented you or your boss praised your work? These are unmistakable jealous partner signs that you must not ignore because they’re unhealthy for you, for them, and your relationship.
11. They scrutinise your social media
A jealous partner will always keep tabs on your social media activity. No, we’re not talking about liking your posts and photos or staying up to speed with what you’re posting. We’re talking stalker-level surveillance where they know who you befriended on social media, whose posts or pictures you liked or commented on, what memes you shared, you left a comment or like on your posts. These are dangerously unhealthy behavior patterns screaming out to you that unhealthy jealousy can ruin a relationship.
Jealousy should have no place in a healthy relationship. If you find yourself dealing with a jealous partner, it is important to acknowledge the problem instead of passing it off as a sign of how much they love you. From here, you can either help your partner get over their jealous streak or walk out. There is no third alternative.
Healthy Jealousy VS Unhealthy Jealousy
Much like happiness, anger, and fear, jealousy is an inherently human emotion. So, technically, it is quite normal for people to feel jealous. If you really care for your partner, chances are that you will go a little green with envy if they are getting or paying attention to a lot of people. You adore your partner and don’t want to share them or the attention sometimes, childish though it may seem. And that’s understandable.
Jealousy is normal
We all get a little jealous sometimes. For example, if your friend gets a really great job when you are still on the lookout for one, you may feel a little envy stirring in your heart. That does not mean you’re not happy for them. That also does not mean that you are a bad person. Jealousy is normal; it makes us human. It makes us want to possess our favorite things and people and never share them.
Where there is love, there will almost always be envy and a desire to keep the loved one all to oneself. What makes that normal emotion turn toxic and problematic is when you decide to actually act on it. So, while wanting to not share your partner’s attention is understandable, it is unhealthy to actually try to keep them from meeting with and interacting with other people.
Related Reading: How I Turned Into A Jealous Monster
So, when is jealousy unhealthy?
The difference between healthy jealousy vs unhealthy jealousy is that the unhealthy and toxic kind usually stems from insecurity and possessiveness. It can lead people to try to control what their partner wears, where they go, who they meet with, etc. And that is never okay. No matter how much you love your partner, they are allowed to have their own, separate lives.
While shared activities are great, you don’t have to do everything together. The occasional boys’ night in and girls’ night out without does not mean that they do not love you anymore. In fact, it is actually healthy for partners to spend time alone and with other friends.
But some partners will still try to go everywhere, do everything with you. They will throw tantrums when someone that makes them jealous likes your latest Insta post. They will ask you why the girl in your class texted you to ask for help with the assignment and not anyone else. They will try to get you to stop wearing clothes they think are too revealing. And so on and so forth.
So, while jealousy – when in moderation – is normal, even healthy, the kind of jealousy that makes you want to control your partner is not. Such kinds of jealousy can cause you to lose trust in your partner, suspect them of cheating on you, and, in the end, destroy the relationship completely.
What to do when your partner shows signs of unhealthy jealousy?
This makes it important to communicate our feelings with our partners before the emotions get too out of hand. Tell them how you’ve been feeling when they try to control who you meet and where you go. At the same time, try to understand why your partner might just be feeling jealous. Try to get to the root of the emotions together.
Why are they feeling this way? Did they have a bad experience with a partner in a previous relationship? Do they have attachment or abandonment issues due to some childhood trauma? Or is there a genuine reason, for example, a person who seems to be trying to break you up? Once you understand the cause of such emotions better, try and solve it together. Or, if it seems really serious, try and get some professional help before the situation gets too out of hand.
Related Reading: How Jealousy Killed The Love Which No Conspiracy Or Distance Could
How To Deal With A Jealous Partner?
The bottom line is not all jealousy is toxic or unhealthy. In fact, almost everyone in a relationship may just feel the green-eyed monster stirring in their hearts now and then. If your overly jealous boyfriend is letting these feelings get out of hand, though, it may mean it is time to reconsider staying in the relationship instead of letting them control every aspect of your life.
Sometimes, when partners let their jealousy get the better of them, they may even start to stalk you or turn violent. But, if that is not the case and your partner has just been showing a few but rather tameable signs of jealousy, you may begin to deal with it by following the steps listed below:
1. Give them extra attention
While it may seem like giving them extra attention and showering them with more affection will just enable such behavior, remember that jealousy may stem from insecurity and extreme vulnerability. So, even if you do not quite understand why they are being so anxious and insecure, try and support them through it.
Spend extra time with them. Touch them more. Remind them how much you love them, etc. But, while showing affection can help each their fears, remember not to coddle them or enable them either. Be affectionate but don’t spoil them. Unhealthy jealousy is not okay and they should not be made to feel otherwise or it will only lead them to try to control you more.
Their jealousy is not your responsibility and they need to deal with it themselves. But providing them with empathy and support while they battle the pangs of jealousy can help them deal with it.
2. Talk about their anxieties
If you think your partner has been especially anxious and insecure about you and your relationship of late and is showing some signs of unhealthy jealousy, it is time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart. Ask them what’s up. What is making them feel this way? Have any of your actions or behaviors been triggering these insecurities? Does it stem from a past relationship? Does their jealousy get triggered by a particular person or is it a more general sort? Ask them what they are feeling and why they think that is.
Don’t try to counter them. Don’t argue or try to fix whatever it is. Listen instead. And tell them about how their behavior is making you feel. Be empathetic and supportive. By the end of this session, both of you should leave feeling more grounded, secure, and understood.
3. Try to understand without getting defensive
Try to understand what they are saying and what’s making them feel this way. It may be hard not to get angry, especially if they point out something that really wasn’t your fault. But, instead of getting defensive and yelling and turning it all into a big argument, listen to what they have to say, and then, try to explain your side to them.
Do not lose your cool while doing this. If your partner is a reasonable person, they should see your side too soon enough and realize that the fears are, in fact, baseless. On the other hand, if they keep trying to accuse you and refuse to believe whatever you say, it may just be time to reevaluate the entire relationship.
4. Be patient
Talking it out one day will not resolve the issue immediately, unless you are very, very fortunate. So, chances are that you need to keep communicating and working with each other to help resolve the issue and deal with the signs of jealousy in relationships. It may take a lot of time and revisiting the problems and constantly working on them may get very mentally draining but, as long as you both are willing to keep at it, you should soon find yourself in a stronger, healthier, and more fulfilling relationship.
5. Set some boundaries
While it is important to be supportive of your partner throughout this journey, it is also important to set some boundaries for them and yourself. Tell them what is not okay. Calmy call them out when they are showing signs of unhealthy jealousy. Neither of you can tell the other person what they can wear, where they can, and who they can hang out with.
Communication and affection are important. But learning to be okay with doing things without each other and with other people is just as essential, especially if you are dealing with someone who is prone to being jealous and insecure frequently.
Jealousy in a partner is not always easy to deal with. But, as long as your partner hasn’t completely veered into dangerously toxic and even violent territories, proper communication and effort can help you both emerge from the ordeal as more grounded and secure people. In fact, since you chose to empathize and support them in times of their vulnerability, you may find that they are trusting you more, bringing you closer than ever before.
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When jealous of other guys, an overly jealous boyfriend may try to keep you from talking to other guys and try to restrict where you go and what you wear. In extreme cases, they may even make you stop talking to your guy friends completely, making you delete them from your social media and blocking them on your phone. These are some unhealthy signs of jealousy in relationships
Toxic or unhealthy jealousy is when you try to control your partner’s life and what they do and where they go because you are constantly insecure about them. If you keep trying to force your partner to constantly be by your side, at the cost of losing friends and causing career damage, you are showing the classic signs of unhealthy jealousy.
Jealousy is okay as long as it is in moderation. As we keep saying, it is normal and human to feel jealous. But what is not okay is to let jealousy dictate your actions, turning you into a constantly suspicious, over-possessive, controlling, and overly jealous boyfriend.