Making a guy jealous is a dicey game. Play it right, it might be your superpower. Play it wrong, it might backfire really badly. So, how to make a guy jealous, just in the right amount? How to be subtle and smart about it? And why make him jealous, in the first place?
Every once in a while, he might get complacent and start taking your love for granted after the ‘chase’ is over. When this happens, there is no harm in shaking him out of his comfort zone, just a little bit. But how to go about it? How to make a guy jealous without seeming like a villain or a sadist who enjoys causing intentional hurt to her boyfriend? Let’s dig in.
How Jealousy Works – The Science
Remember how as a kid, just another toy would suddenly become more attractive to you when your sibling wanted it? That’s pretty much how jealousy works – you become more desirable in his eyes when he sees that others want you too. A subtle dose of jealousy might just make him realize how lucky and grateful he is to have you in his life. It’s just classic human behavior – you want something bad, you go all out to get it. Once you have it, you just forget how badly you wanted it in the first place! And jealousy works as a gentle reminder.
A study was conducted on college students in premarital relationships, to establish links between jealousy and relationship closeness. This study defined the positive and negative attributes of romantic jealousy, clearly distinguishing emotional/reactive jealousy as mostly “good” and cognitive/suspicious jealousy as “bad”.
“A little bit of jealousy in a healthy relationship is fine,” says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., author of Why We Love, “It’s going to wake you up. When you’re reminded that your mate is attractive and that you’re lucky, it can stimulate you to be nicer [and] friendlier. However, when jealousy is chronic, debilitating and overt – well, that’s when it becomes a problem.”
Ways To Make Your Man Jealous And Want You More
Author Mwanandeke Kindembo said “Without jealousy, the flame of love will be extinguished. Jealousy is the fuel of relationships and marriage. At the same time, envy kills affection in love.” As Kindembo points out, there is a thin line between jealousy and envy. Envy is the feeling of lacking an attribute that is enjoyed by another. Jealousy, however, is a feeling that something or someone you love is at the risk of being taken away.
So, the point is not to make him feel that he deeply “lacks” something. Instead, the point is to not let him get complacent and take you for granted. How to make a guy jealous? Here are 15 smart ways to make him jealous and want you more:
1. Dressing up
Make your boyfriend jealous by wearing something sexy to a party he is not invited to. That backless dress that you’re too shy to wear? Put it on, and nail a smokey eye. He will drop dead, thinking he is missing out on it. It will kill him, in just the right ways. A little FOMO never hurt anyone. Healthy jealousy is not such a bad thing after all.
2. How to make a guy jealous? Use social media smartly
Posting stories is a classic way to make him jealous and want you more. Spam your Instagram by uploading lit moments from your girls’ night out. He will just end up missing you a LOT. Showing him that you are happy without him might be just the subtle dose of jealousy that will make him chase you.
Related Reading: 9 Signs Of Complacency In A Relationship
He takes you for granted because he sometimes thinks you can’t do without him. Withdraw just a little and show that you are just doing fine, by yourself too. Through your actions, convey that you have a life that revolves not just around your relationship. This will keep him on his toes, once he knows that he is not the only source for your happiness.
3. Show him a flirty DM from someone
Don’t rub it in his face but when someone hits on you but you can slyly slide it into a conversation. How to make a guy jealous? Say something like, “Hey, Marshall introduced me to this new show called Euphoria, it’s really dope.”
Remember, it has to be just a slight mention DO NOT be a jerk about it. When someone slides into your DM with a really cheesy pick-up line, just take a screenshot and send it to them. Sounds evil? Just a little. You’re in demand, no harm in letting him know. Let him sit tight and buckle up. This is how you can use jealousy to your advantage.
4. Being friends with his friends
Laugh out loud at his best friend’s jokes. Give one of his friends a little more attention than the others. It will set him on fire. Don’t overdo it or you will end up looking like a creep. How to make a guy jealous? Get his male friends to like you and give you attention.
Remember, once you start playing this game, he might also do the same. So when he harmlessly flirts with your girlfriends, make sure you bite your tongue and have a thick skin. Don’t be a hypocrite then, okay?
5. Late replies
Being online and not replying can be a solid move to make your bf jealous. Don’t do this every day though, you don’t want to upset him. But sometimes, late replies can be such a bummer. If you feel that he has been pretty ignorant and unavailable lately, no harm in taking just a tiny step back. Act pricey and busy, just for a little while. Let him realize what he has been missing.
A study of marriage called The Early Years of Marriage Project, which has been following the same 373 married couples for over 25 years, found that a lack of privacy or time for self was responsible for creating an unhappy relationship. So, to act busy without being rude can work wonders as a technique of flirtatious aloofness. But make sure that it doesn’t escalate into silent treatment or stonewalling.
6. How to make a guy jealous? Swoon over a celebrity crush
Tom Cruise, is it? Talking about a celebrity crush can make him jealous, more effectively than you think it would. My mom still doesn’t like the actress Madhuri Dixit that much. Why? Because when my dad was a bachelor, he had a humongous poster of Madhuri Dixit in his room. As hilarious as it sounds, you can make your boyfriend jealous by swooning over celebrity crushes.
Related Reading: How To Make Him Regret Taking You For Granted
7. Make him work for your attention
Remember when you both were not dating? He would try hard and do anything to get your attention, right? Maybe it’s time to relive that a little. Playing ‘hard to get’ can actually make him chase you.
So when you go to a party with him, give others your undivided attention. Talk to other people, socialize, dance, chill with them. Let him look at you from a distance and admire how good you are with people. Let him eventually come to you. It’s like a little exciting role play.
8. Introduce him to your male friends
Make him jealous by introducing him to your gang. If it has someone who has a crush on you or has asked you out, even better! (flash warning: it can get awkward). Let’s say your friend Paul has a crush on you. So, when your boyfriend will notice the way Paul looks at you, it will make him jealous and want you more. Don’t do it out of nowhere to torture him…that would be among the signs of unhealthy jealousy. But if he acts like an ungrateful boyfriend, there is no harm in making him realize that he is not the only man in this world.
9. Don’t ask him for help
If he likes to act the “hero” or “savior” all the time, try not asking him for his help for some time. How to make a guy jealous? Make him feel like he isn’t needed. Feel like going for a quick grocery run? Take a cute guy friend along. Need someone to take you to the doctor? Ask your roommate to go with you. Or just go alone. This will make your bf jealous and he will come around.
But don’t go overboard and don’t overdo this in your relationship. Jealousy, in its most intense form, can crush a person’s self-esteem and he might go into self-doubt, thinking he is not good enough. So, make sure you are subtle about it. Don’t take it too far, jealousy in relationships can get mean.
10. Casually mention your ex
Don’t tell your boyfriend you miss your ex. Or that you want him back. Jeez, that would be cruel and unfair! Then, how to make a guy jealous? With a subtle mention of your ex in the middle of a conversation. For example, “Hey, I think I’ve been here before, with my ex.” Again, the intention here is not to rub it in his face but to bring him out of the complacent mindset that you’re not going anywhere.
Related Reading: Power Dynamics In Relationships – How To Keep It Healthy
11. Do not react when he flirts
This will make him go bonkers. When he ends up using the same cheesy lines that he uses every time, don’t react. How to make a guy jealous over text? Act indifferent to his flirting. He will get jealous to the bone, thinking he has to try harder than this and can’t always get his way around, whenever he likes. He might also wonder if there is someone new in your life. This might make him turn jealousy into motivation to become a better boyfriend.
12. Use your phone when he is saying something
If he hasn’t been a good listener lately, no harm in pulling giving him a taste of his own medicine. When he is trying to say something important, use your Instagram or respond to chats or take work calls, as he does. How to make a guy jealous? Don’t give him the undivided attention that he’s so used to getting from you. Don’t be the clingy girlfriend that you usually are. This will drive him nuts.
Aaron Doughty, a life coach, often gives an example of a friend in his YouTube videos. His friend always gets hit on by other guys when she is in a relationship but when she is single, no one hits on her. Why does this happen? According to Aaron, the more detached you are and the more self-fulfilled you become, the more you attract love. But if you do the opposite i.e. if you are desperate for love and clinging to the idea of it, you will actually start repelling the person you’re trying to attract.
13. How to make a guy jealous? Be mysterious
Even if you are spending time watching Netflix in your pajamas, be mysterious when it comes to your whereabouts. How to make a guy jealous over text? With responses like “I have a lot going on right now” or “Last night was too lit”. Don’t go into the specifics of it all. Be vague and beat around the bush. If he is shying away from spending time with you, this will be just enough push to get him back on track. Mystery or curiosity drives people crazy.
14. Compliment another guy in front of him
How to make a guy jealous? All you have to do is praise someone else in front of him. You can say, “Hey, I like your tie” to the guy next to him or be like, “I really loved what your friend Robert was wearing yesterday”. Research points out that the average man is more competitive than the average woman. On the positive side, competition can make people work harder and perform better. But, on the negative side, it can hurt their confidence and self-esteem.
15. Checking a guy out
If you want to test your limits, you can go to the extent of checking a random cute stranger in front of him or harmlessly flirting with a guy, when your boyfriend is looking. Do this only if your boyfriend is a sport. If your boyfriend gets violent or abusive when he gets jealous, then you might reconsider playing this game – strike that, you need to reconsider being in a relationship with him.
Also, if you are someone who easily gets jealous in your relationship and that is what led you to Google “how to make a guy jealous”, don’t worry, jealousy is a pretty natural and common feeling. In fact, jealousy makes us human. You just have to “turn the flame of jealousy into the fire of self-improvement”, as Donna Goddard put it in her book Writing: A Spiritual Voice. Don’t give too much importance to the feeling of jealousy that you’re feeling, focus on your own journey and keep blooming.
You know a guy is jealous when he starts getting too possessive about you. Irritability, passive aggressiveness and sudden outbursts are also signs of jealousy among men. Some guys also get too sweet or clingy out of jealousy. You know a guy is jealous when he starts being cold and mean for no reason or constantly tells you statements like “You are mine”.
When guys get jealous, they constantly want you to be in touch. It might scare them if you don’t reply for too long or hang out with your male friends. Guys often express their jealousy through anger or silent treatment. Also, they become vulnerable and constantly need their partners to reassure them that their fears are irrational.
When you casually mention an ex, swoon over a celebrity crush or give his best friend more attention, he might get really jealous. Other things that make a guy really jealous include late replies, dressing up when he is not around, you being mysterious or vague about your plans or him seeing a flirty DM from someone on your phone.