15 Smart Ways On How To Make A Guy Jealous

Dating experience | | , Researcher & Content Writer
Updated On: March 17, 2024
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It is a dicey game to make him jealous without losing him. Play it right, it might be your superpower. Play it wrong, it might backfire really badly. You can either win him back or lose his trust in the process. So, how to make a guy jealous just the right amount? How to be subtle and smart about it? And, the most important thing, why make him jealous in the first place?

Every once in a while, a guy might get complacent and start taking your love for granted after the initial ‘chase’ is over. When this happens, there is no harm in shaking him out of his comfort zone a little bit to draw his attention. But how do you make your boyfriend jealous without coming off as a villain who enjoys causing intentional hurt to her boyfriend? Let’s find out.

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 can 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 forget how badly you wanted it and the effort you put into achieving your goal! Here jealousy works as a gentle reminder to set your priorities straight and value what (or who) is important.

A study conducted on college students in premarital relationships to establish links between jealousy and relationship closeness 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.”

Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You – Don’t Waste Your Time!

what makes a guy jealous?

Evoking jealousy to keep the spark alive in a relationship is one of the oldest tricks in the book. More often than not women resort to this technique because it’s pretty full-proof if executed shrewdly. Be it a man or a woman, it doesn’t take much to press the right button and stir up jealousy to offer your partner the much-required epiphany of what they are missing out on by ignoring you

No matter how secure he is in the relationship, there are a few things you can do that make guys jealous. For instance, a Reddit user mentions the one thing that runs faster than light and hits men hard, “Flirting with other men. Women often say that they’re just being friendly and whatnot and will use any kind of excuse for it, but to me, it’s bullshit. Yeah, they may have no intention of doing anything but it’s incredibly disrespectful.”

Just because he is spending more time with his video games than you doesn’t necessarily mean that he is looking for an escape route. Perhaps he needs a nudge to be reminded of your presence and the fact that every relationship survives on equal efforts from both partners.

Before we give you the scoop on what will make your man jealous, you should first know his inherent nature. If he has an erratic streak in his body, jealousy can trigger certain destructive actions that you don’t want to deal with. Otherwise, there’s no harm in giving him a dose of his own medicine and here are some ways you can do it:

  • Acting aloof and not giving him his share of attention and affection
  • Living your life on your own terms and not being emotionally dependent on him
  • Canceling dates at the last minute
  • Not being the one who calls and texts first
  • Details of your past sexual relationships and partners
  • Giving attention to every other man in your life except for him
  • Withholding sex

Related Reading: 9 Signs Of Complacency In A Relationship

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 your partner appreciates in others. Jealousy, however, is a feeling that something or someone you love is at risk of being taken away. 

Before you go ahead and look for ways to make anyone jealous, remember it’s one thing to have him feel jealous in a cute way but it can quickly turn into a dangerous game if he is a sensitive fellow or you don’t know where to draw the line. The point is not to make him feel that he lacks something. Rather you want to stop him from getting complacent and taking you for granted. So, how to make a guy jealous then? Here are 15 smart ways:

1. Dressing up 

Although it’s not always the wisest idea to make your boyfriend jealous in a long-distance relationship, this one’s worth a shot if he missed your calls three days in a row. Wearing something sexy to a party will do the trick given that he sees the pictures. 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 to imagine all the guys ogling at you. But trust me, a little FOMO never hurt anyone. Healthy jealousy is not such a bad thing after all.

2. How to make your boyfriend jealous? Use social media smartly

Posting stories on social media is a clever way to make him jealous and want you more. Spam your Instagram by uploading lit moments from your girls’ night out. Let him know that your world doesn’t revolve around him and that you are capable of doing fine on your own. He takes you for granted because he sometimes thinks you can’t do without him and you will have to come back to him at the end of the day no matter how he behaves.

So, it’s time to show him through your actions that you have got a life of your own and your social interactions don’t begin and end with him and him only. This will keep your boyfriend on his toes once he knows that he is not the only source of your happiness. The moment he notices that his place in your life is slipping, he will work harder. Showing him that you are happy without him might be the subtle dose of jealousy that will make him chase you

3. Show him a flirty DM from someone

Don’t rub it in his face but when someone hits on you, you can slyly slide it into a conversation with your boyfriend and stir up jealousy. In order to make a man jealous, you can 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 smooth pick-up line, take a screenshot and send it to them. Sounds evil? Perhaps a little. But soon enough, he will sit tight and buckle up. This is how you use jealousy to your advantage.

4. Being friends with his friends

How to make your boyfriend jealous? 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. 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 your partner flirts with others at a party in front of you, make sure you bite your tongue and digest your anger. Don’t be a hypocrite then, okay?  

make your man jealous
Laugh out loud at his best friend’s jokes

5. Late replies

Being online and not replying can be a solid move to make your partner jealous. Don’t do this every day though. You don’t want to upset him deeply. But sometimes, late replies can be such a bummer. If you feel that he has been unavailable lately, there’s nothing wrong with taking a tiny step back. Act pricey and busy for a little while. 

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 contributed to an unhappy relationship. So, acting 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. Swoon over a celebrity crush

Tom Cruise, is it? Talking about a celebrity crush can make your man jealous more effectively than you think it would. My mom still doesn’t like Meryl Streep because my dad had a humongous poster of Streep in his bedroom during his college days. As hilarious as it sounds, you can make your new boyfriend jealous in a cute way by swooning over celebrity crushes. And with this innocent trick, you don’t have to worry about “I tried to make him jealous and it backfired” because the situation will never go out of hand.

Related Reading: How To Make Him Regret Taking You For Granted

7. Make him work for your attention 

Remember when you hadn’t started dating and you both were just friends or in the talking stage? He would do literally anything and everything to grab your attention and create a place for himself outside the friend zone, right? Here’s a sly game for you to relive those days. Playing hard to get can make him chase you like in old times.

So when you go to a party with him, give others your undivided attention. Talk to other people, socialize, dance, and 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 an exciting role-playing game that will bring you two closer in the end.

8. Introduce him to your male friends

Make him jealous by introducing him to your gang. If there’s someone who has a crush on you or has asked you out, even better! Let’s say your friend Paul has a crush on you. When your boyfriend notices the way Paul looks at you, it will make him jealous and want you more. Avoid it if your sole purpose is to torture him though…that would be among the signs of a toxic relationship. But if he acts like an ungrateful boyfriend, you should make him realize that he is not the only man in this world.

9. Don’t ask him for help

If your alpha male boyfriend likes to act the ‘hero’ or ‘savior’ all the time, do not ask for his help for some time. And you’d have cracked the code on how to make a guy jealous. All you need to do is make him feel like a dispensable entity in your life. Need to go 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 is one of those great tricks to make him jealous without losing him and he will come around before you know it. Although 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, or else, jealousy in relationships can translate into nasty fights, revenge games, and more.

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 your boyfriend jealous? With a casual 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 is throwing your relationship into a stagnant pool.

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 your boyfriend jealous over text? Act indifferent to his flirty messages. 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.

on jealousy

12. Use your phone when he is saying something

If he hasn’t been a good listener lately, play by his rules for a couple of days and observe his reaction. When he is trying to say something important, dive into Instagram, respond to chats, or take work calls, just like he does. Don’t give him the undivided attention that he’s so used to getting from you. Take some time off from figuring out how to be a better girlfriend to him. 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

One way to make anyone jealous is to be mysterious about your whereabouts. This works just as well when you’re trying to figure out how to make a guy jealous over text or in person. With responses like “I have a lot on my plate right now” or “The party last night was lit”. Don’t go into the specifics. Be vague and beat around the bush. If he is shying away from spending time with you, this will be enough push to get him back on track. Mystery can be your masterstroke in making your boyfriend jealous in a long-distance relationship.

14. Compliment another guy in front of him

All you have to do to make your boyfriend jealous is praise someone else in front of him. You can say, “Hey, I like your tie” to a passing stranger in the mall or “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. So, it’s better not to be too hard on your loved one and say something hurtful like, “That guy is way more successful and accomplished than you.”

Related Reading: 10 Things To Do If You Are Feeling Unappreciated In Your Relationship

15. Checking a guy out 

If you want to test your limits, you can go to the extent of checking out 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 he becomes violent or abusive when he gets jealous, then you might reconsider playing this game. Heck, you may need to reconsider being in this relationship after all.

Key Pointers

  • Jealousy can be a good trick to win back your boyfriend’s affection if it’s played right
  • A guy from his or your friend circle crushing over you can stir up jealousy in him
  • You can deliberately make him a witness of others hitting on you or the flirty DMs you receive
  • When you become more self-dependent socially and emotionally and make him feel ‘not needed’, it can be a warning for him to work harder for this relationship
  • Be careful that you don’t hurt him or damage his self-esteem in the process of making him jealous

We hope you find this article helpful. Also, if you are someone who easily gets jealous in your relationships and that is what led you to figure out 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, and focus on your own journey and keep blooming.

This article has been updated in Oct 2022. 


1. How do you know when a guy gets jealous?

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”.

2. What do guys do when they’re jealous?

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.

3. What makes a guy really jealous?

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.

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