15 Top Signs Of A Selfish Boyfriend

Dating experience | | , Writer
Updated On: February 28, 2024
selfish boyfriend

When my friend, Beth, met Mark, I saw her soar on the high that only comes with new love. However, as rain played spoilsport to what was meant to be a romantic date to a concert, it also washed away her happy streak. Beth’s feet were drenched and begged for a break, but Mark, lost in the music, paid no heed to her plight. Huddled under a wet blanket, she felt more like a plus-one than his girlfriend. That’s when she realized that Mark was a selfish boyfriend. She understood that their so-called “adventure” was his solo show, and her comfort was just another cameo in his self-centered story.

While it’s no secret that humans are selfish to a certain extent, it becomes concerning when your partner consistently prioritizes themselves without considering your emotions. Dating someone excessively self-centered can be challenging, and red flags of this behavior often emerge early on in a relationship. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the signs of a selfish partner. There’s no denying that either partner can be selfish. However, in this article, we will talk about the characteristics of a selfish boyfriend.

Identifying the red flags of a selfish partner early on is essential for self-preservation. Let’s delve into the traits of a selfish man so that you can recognize the signs and figure out how to deal with a selfish man in a relationship.

15 Signs Of A Selfish Boyfriend

Dealing with a self-centered boyfriend can be incredibly frustrating, leaving you questioning the success of the relationship. While you continue to invest in the bond, it seems your boyfriend is indifferent to your needs. Selfish guys not only refrain from contributing to the relationship but also exhibit nonchalant behavior and a lack of gratitude for the daily efforts you put in to make it thrive. 

The perpetual lack of appreciation is one of the most obvious traits of a selfish man, often manifesting in meanness, a lack of consideration for your feelings, a consistent focus on his own agenda, and even stinginess. To gauge whether you want to remain in such a selfish relationship or consider walking away from a selfish man, watch out for these unmistakable signs of an ungrateful boyfriend. 

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1. He will always talk about and put himself first

Beth says, “I was never comfortable sharing my discomfort or troubles with Mark because the conversation would always circle back to how he also faced a similar or worse situation in life. While I cared about his feelings and circumstances, it was weird that he would share his side of the story right when I would be talking about my problems. It’s not a competition.”

If guys are being selfish in a relationship, it often means they are:

  • Egotistical
  • Have minimal regard for others
  • Always talk about themselves and their interests
  • Show zero concern for the lives of their partners or anyone else
  • Dismissive of your feelings and needs

No matter what the situation, your conversations will be one-sided or circle back to him all the time because your boyfriend makes everything about him. All he cares about is his feelings and his image even if he knows that you are going through tough times. He might make it seem like he is interested in or worried about you, but it’s all a façade. As a result, you can’t shake off the “my boyfriend is selfish” feeling.

Related Reading: How To Deal With The All-controlling Indian Partners

2. He controls your life so much that you feel you don’t have one anymore

Emily Krysinski had been dating Brian Hendricks for a year or so. She started noticing how he had become distant from her and barely took her opinion into account while making decisions. She wrote to Bonobology’s counselors for help, saying, “Why are men so selfish? I’m tired of it. My last boyfriend was the same way too. From which side of the bed we sleep on to which Gatorade we bring into our house to whether we need a new TV or not — Brian always has the final say.”

If you find this relatable and are looking for selfish partner signs, ask yourself these questions: 

  • When was the last time you went to a restaurant of your choice?
  • When was the last time you bought something for yourself, something that you like? 
  • When was the last time you hung out with your friends or spent time with your family? 
  • Does your boyfriend even know what your hobbies are or what cuisine you like? 

If you can’t quite recall, it’s probably because you’re in a selfish relationship where your partner tells you what to do and you give in because you do not feel it’s worth fighting with him over such ‘trivial’ things. He always has the last say, whether it’s about daily chores or how the relationship progresses. Eventually, your time, choices, and decisions begin to revolve around his whims and fancies. You realize that your life has changed drastically and doesn’t feel like yours anymore.

3. He is incredibly defensive

When you talk to your boyfriend about a problem, he might get defensive. Selfish people can be stubborn and they often defend themselves strongly, even if it means placing the entire blame for things big and small on you. Any suggestions to make the relationship better are met with the same dismissive resistance or ignored altogether. This kind of behavior can erode trust and make it hard for two people to connect emotionally.

For my friend, Beth, this defensiveness proved to be the final blow to her relationship with Mark. She loved Mark, but the last-minute cancellations, always for his friends, were frustrating. “This always happens, Mark,” she said, voice choking with frustration. “I make time for you, but I never seem to be your priority.” To which, Mark responded, “You’re being a clingy girlfriend, Beth. I need my space.” 

His words stung. Was she the problem, the needy one? Beth’s eyes welled, a suffocating mix of hurt and anger. In that moment, she saw the truth: Mark’s selfishness, not her “clinginess,” was the real issue. It was high time she reclaimed her breath, dignity, and maybe, a relationship that truly valued her.

Related Reading: Is Your Man With You Just For Sex? 20 Signs To Watch Out!

4. He is selfish in bed too

Consider the following scenario. He takes you out on a date and goes all out to spice up the romance. At the end of the date, he wants to have sex with you. You tell him that you would just like to cuddle instead or are not in the mood, but he keeps on insisting. He starts getting annoyed when you try to convince him that you are not in the mood. But, in the end, you give in to his ‘request’. This is one of the most common signs of a selfish boyfriend. A self-absorbed partner will only:

  • Focus on his own pleasure and satisfaction in bed
  • Ignore what you want
  • Think about his own sexual needs
  • Not care about his partner’s sexual satisfaction

Some guys see sex as a quick way to make themselves feel good. This can create an unsatisfying sexual relationship, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and distant. If he does as he pleases in bed, know that it’s one of the signs of a selfish person. 

5. He doesn’t know how to compromise

Tracy Hall, a nurse, had been going out with Norman Smith, a significantly older gentleman whom she met at the hospital. Because of the age gap in the relationship, the two had a lot of tussles. Norman saw things his own way and expected Tracy to simply comply with everything he wanted all the time. Tracy said, “My boyfriend is stingy and selfish and it’s starting to get on my nerves. He’s possessive, intrusive, and just never lets me do what I want!”

Well, that is because compromising makes him feel like he is losing control and he cannot tolerate it. One of the classic selfish partner signs is that he’d always want to be the decision-maker in the relationship and the burden of compromise will fall on you squarely. He won’t apologize, even if he is in the wrong. He won’t meet you halfway. If you suggest a middle ground, he’d likely get annoyed because he wants everything to be done according to his wishes. Heard of the term “my way or the highway”? Yes, exactly that.

signs of a selfish boyfriend
Your ‘my boyfriend is selfish’ hunch is right if he always chooses himself over you

6. He is insecure and jealous

One of the most typical signs of a selfish boyfriend is that he gets insecure and jealous easily and way too often. People feel insecure when:

  • They see something or someone as a threat
  • They are worried that someone else might take their place
  • They fear losing control of your life or in social settings
  • They are not the center of attention 
  • They are not the most important person in your life 

These fears could be haunting your partner and making him act irrationally, which is why you feel your boyfriend makes everything about him. Moreover, if he is insecure about your decisions or actions, then it could be because he fears they might not benefit him. This could make him even more insecure and turn him into a possessive control freak. If you can relate to this, know that it’s one of the signs he’s selfish.

Related Reading: 8 Signs Of A Manipulative Wife

7. He does not care about your needs and emotions and does nothing special for you

So, you are being a nice girlfriend, surprising him with gifts, planning wonderful dates, and trying everything he desires in bed. You never mind going the extra mile to make him happy. But does he do the same for you or at least make some effort to surprise you, say nice things to you, or make you feel special? No? Well, then, it’s one of the signs of a selfish man. Whether it’s small surprises or meaningful efforts, a self-centered partner fails to reciprocate the care and effort you invest in the relationship. He will never:

  • Go out of his way to please you
  • Plan any romantic gestures for you
  • Get you those roses or that perfume that you wished for
  • Say nice things about you or appreciate your efforts
  • Acknowledge or appreciate the things you do for him 
  • Spend a penny to surprise you with a gift
  • Take you out on a date

His total disregard for your needs becomes evident when he becomes inaccessible in times of distress. You can’t count on him, and as a result, you may find yourself thinking, “My boyfriend is stingy and selfish”. During conversations, he dominates discussions, displaying little curiosity or genuine concern for your life. Your attempts to share are ignored or met with indifference. These are typical traits of a selfish man.

8. He belittles or disrespects you

This is one of the most obvious signs of a selfish person. In a relationship, a selfish guy might seem happy when you succeed and also laud your achievements but things get tricky if you do better than him. The problem arises when your success becomes more important than his. If you’re looking for signs of a selfish boyfriend, notice if your man:

  • Mocks or dismisses your opinions and feelings
  • Displays a lack of respect
  • Interrupts you while you’re talking
  • Talks over you
  • Doesn’t value or listen to what you have to say

This disrespectful communication can damage trust and intimacy in the relationship, leaving you exhausted and emotionally drained.

Related Reading: Top 15 Signs Of A Selfish Husband

9. It’s always ‘Me’ over ‘We’

This is one of the telltale signs of a selfish boyfriend. In a healthy relationship, your partner should care about what makes you happy just as much as he cares about his own happiness. If your boyfriend doesn’t value your opinions and choices, it’s one of the signs he’s selfish.

What is the point of being in a relationship if both of you are not in it together? Being in a relationship means doing things together. A caring boyfriend sees the relationship as a partnership and uses “we” language to show that both of you matter. If your partner fails to do that, it’s one of the classic signs of a selfish man.

Kayla Goodman, a gymnast, wrote to Bonobology, asking for help, “Why are men so selfish to the point that they completely lose sight of another actual person also being in this relationship? My boyfriend would literally pick playing video games over meeting my mother for dinner. It’s always about him and what he wants. My boyfriend is selfish and I just don’t know how to get through to him.”

traits of a selfish man
Instead of spending quality time with you, he puts his own interests first

10. He does what he wants and is disconnected from your needs

This is a common sign of an ungrateful boyfriend. He often breaks plans or doesn’t keep promises. Instead of spending quality time with you, he puts his own interests first. While some amount of space in a relationship to pursue individual interests is healthy, if your boyfriend is always too busy doing his own thing to have any quality time for you, it indicates you’re trapped in a selfish relationship.

11. He never accepts his mistakes or takes responsibility for his actions

You may find yourself thinking, “My boyfriend is selfish”, if he refuses to take accountability in the relationship or make up for hurting or disappointing you. And you’re not wrong. That’s what an inconsiderate boyfriend does.

  • He doesn’t believe he’s ever in the wrong
  • He doesn’t apologize
  • He expects you to mend things after every fight and argument

The more you let such a lack of accountability slide, the more his behavior is likely to get reinforced. That’s why, if you spot such selfish partner signs, it’s important to call out and address them.

Related Reading: 12 Signs You Have A Selfish Girlfriend

12. He’s never there for you but expects you to support him

Schedules are essential for many people because they provide a sense of structure. If you or your boyfriend have set schedules, it’s natural to want to stick to them. However, emergencies can happen. If your boyfriend refuses to change his schedule if you need him, it could be one of the signs of a selfish man. He will always make excuses when you need him but will always expect you to be there for him in times of distress.

Ginger Fraiser, a high school teacher, has been married to Walter Fraiser for 16 years. She says, “I’ll never be able to answer why men are so selfish. All I know is that they are. Every time I’ve had a long day at work or am going through a rough patch, Walter doesn’t even care to listen. He just opens a can of beer and watches football as I’m talking to him. It is very disrespectful and I don’t know how long I can put up with it.”

If you’re in such a selfish relationship, you will struggle to find emotional support from your partner. If you try to share your feelings with him, he will:

  • Ignore you
  • Continue to do his own thing
  • Try to end the conversation as soon as possible
  • Find ways to escape from the situation

13. He expects you to change but will never work on himself

One of the most telling selfish partner signs is that he is so focused on his needs, wants, and desires, that it doesn’t even occur to him that he, too, needs to make an effort in the relationship. As a result, you may notice that while he often expects you to change certain aspects of your personality and life to fit his needs, he seldom returns the favor.

You find yourself thinking, “My boyfriend is selfish!” because he expects you to do all the compromising. While it’s okay to change for the better in a relationship, it has to be a two-way street. If he refuses to change for your sake, it might be a sign of selfishness.

14. He makes/cancels plans without asking you and expects you to follow through

One of the red flags of a selfish partner is that he often makes, cancels, and alters plans involving both of you without discussing them with you. An inconsiderate boyfriend will show no respect for your expectations or limitations as long as his needs are being met. If your partner always does things that are convenient for him only, then it’s a sign of selfishness. If you can relate to this, then your “My boyfriend is selfish” fear is not unfounded.

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15. He is nice to you, supports you, and does things for you only if he benefits from it

One of the signs of a selfish partner is that he always has a hidden agenda behind his actions. For instance, when he:

  • Shows up to pick you up from work
  • Gets you your favorite flowers or a surprise gift 
  • Plans a romantic date for you
  • Pleases you in bed
  • Gets you out of trouble or helps you in times of distress


… it might not be out of kindness but because he needs something from you. He’s nice to you only when he expects something in return. For him, kindness or romance is transactional. And that’s a major red flag.

Related Reading: How To Keep A Relationship Exciting And Interesting For Long Term

How To Deal With A Selfish Boyfriend

Navigating a relationship with a selfish boyfriend can be emotionally taxing. However, before you consider breaking up with a selfish man, try addressing the issue head-on and implementing strategies to foster a healthier connection. Here are some practical tips on how to deal with a selfish man in a relationship:

  • Communication is key: Engage in an open conversation about your feelings, needs, expectations, and concerns. Help your boyfriend understand the impact of his actions on the relationship. Simultaneously, get answers to your “why is my boyfriend selfish” question. Listen to him and try to understand where it comes from
  • Establish clear boundaries: Set clear boundaries to define expectations and ensure a respectful partnership. Communicate what is acceptable and what is not. Do not justify his selfish actions or allow him to disrespect you, take you for granted, and blame you for his mistakes
  • Encourage empathy and self-reflection: Foster empathy by sharing your experiences and encouraging your boyfriend to step into your shoes to understand your perspective. Suggest self-reflection for your boyfriend to understand the impact of his actions on the relationship 
  • Build a support system: Talk to your friends and family for emotional support. Share your personal experience and seek their advice. If issues persist, couples counseling or therapy can help address deep-rooted problems. Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists is only a click away if you are looking for help
  • Prioritize self-care: Focus on self-care to maintain your mental and emotional well-being. A healthy self-esteem is crucial when navigating a relationship with a selfish partner. Support individual interests and hobbies to encourage personal growth and reduce dependency on the relationship for fulfillment
  • Know when to walk away: If you haven’t got answers to your “why is my boyfriend selfish” question and attempts to address his behavior have failed, then we recommend walking away. If the relationship becomes detrimental to your well-being, consider breaking up with a selfish man for your own happiness, peace, and growth

Transforming a relationship with a selfish boyfriend requires patience, open communication, and a commitment to positive change. By implementing these strategies, you can navigate the complexities of self-centered dynamics and work toward creating a partnership that is fulfilling for both parties. Remember, relationships are a continuous journey of growth and understanding. While challenges may arise, your efforts to foster empathy and encourage positive behaviors can lead to a stronger, more considerate connection. 

Key Pointers

  • A selfish boyfriend may display various behaviors that prioritize his own needs and desires over those of the relationship
  • Such a partner loves to be the center of attention and talk about himself, will never accept his mistakes, is selfish in bed, or be there for you when you need him
  • An ungrateful partner will ignore your feelings and needs, exert control over you, belittle and disrespect you, and will not bother making time for your interests and desires
  • To deal with a selfish man, you need to learn to draw boundaries and make it clear what you will tolerate and what you will not
  • Talk to him about your concerns and listen to his side of the story, try couples therapy, but at the same time prioritize yourself. Know when to walk away

Relationships demand mutual respect, effort, and a shared commitment to be there for each other. It is a big deal. When choosing a life partner, it’s essential to find someone willing to weather the ups and downs with you. Find someone who will stand by you, protect you, and find a middle ground during disagreements. Look for a companion who invests time and effort into your shared journey and makes the relationship a fulfilling experience.

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