When you’re a woman in a relationship or thinking about getting into a relationship it can be a confusing time.
One of the things that can happen is that you meet a guy you’re really into, but certain things about his behavior rub you the wrong way.
This is especially true of jealousy.
But the thing about jealousy is this:
It’s not always obvious when the guy you’re with is jealous or not. And some guys will work hard to hide it.
But there are accurate ways on how to tell if a guy is jealous of you talking to another guy.
And it’s important to figure out because it can tell you a lot about your relationship and the future of your relationship.
I will discuss signs that he is jealous and hiding it as well as why men get jealous, why they sometimes try to hide it and what it can mean.
The truth about men
I will tell you the truth about most men: they need validation like a duck needs water.
Because of their need for validation, they look for more of it when they get jealous.
Therefore, if you want to know how to tell if a guy is jealous of you talking to another guy you need to watch for changes in his usual behavior.
Compare that to his behavior when he wasn’t potentially jealous and you have a way to reach a reliable conclusion.
Why do men get jealous when their partner talks to other guys?
Men get jealous for a variety of reasons.
Basically, men believe that it is their role to win over women and for that, they also believe that they must be able to convince women that they are worthy of their undivided attention.
If you are talking to another man, your attention is being divided between him and someone else. This can lead directly to him feeling jealous and wanting to gain back all your affection and attention for himself.
Sometimes a little bit of jealousy can be good, and a lot depends on the intensity as I will discuss below.
But as Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. teaches, it is a mistake to believe that jealousy is always a sign of love.
In many cases, jealousy over small things — like you talking to your male friends or random guys — can be a sign of something far more toxic and controlling in your partner.
Seidman notes that “when you get jealous over ‘stupid things,’ you’re not showing love; you’re revealing your own insecurities.”
Needless to say, this is unattractive and disturbing behavior and it’s not always something you’ll be able to work through in your relationship since it’s ultimately his issue, not yours.
Sometimes a little bit of jealousy is good
Like I wrote above, sometimes a little bit of jealousy is good.
If your guy is at least interested in who you’re talking to and why — but not in a possessive or domineering way — it shows that he’s definitely attracted to you and wants something special with you.
If his jealousy isn’t about trying to control you and is more just caring and being interested in your life and making it clear he cares about having you around then it can definitely be a positive factor.
When jealousy gets bad…
But possessiveness and intense jealousy when you talk to other guys is something completely different.
If you just greet a male friend at the supermarket and he accuses you of flirting or sulks the rest of the day then watch out! You could have a real creepo on your hands.
If the simple fact that you have guy friends is enough for your partner to accuse you of cheating on him or not showing him enough attention then it is a big sign that he’s possessive, emotionally insecure, and controlling.
Kristeen Cherney, Ph.D. writes about Obsessive Love Disorder (OLD), which can also lead to similar situations of possessiveness and controlling, jealous behavior.
As Cherney notes:
“Symptoms of OLD may include an overwhelming attraction to one person obsessive thoughts about the person, feeling the need to “protect” the person you’re in love with, possessive thoughts and actions, and extreme jealousy over other interpersonal interactions.”
Let’s face it:
If your guy is getting OLD then it could be time to ditch him for someone new.
The top 18 ways to tell if a guy is jealous of you talking to another guy
Below I’ll get into a list of the top 19 ways to tell if a guy is jealous of you talking to another guy.
These are based on personal experience and my research into what the experts say.
Some jealous behavior may be annoying or frustrating but not a dealbreaker, but other types of jealousy can become so overwhelming that you no longer want to be with the guy.
First, you have to find out how to tell if he’s jealous or not, because in many cases he will try to hide it or disguise it as something else.
1) He plays hot and cold
When a man feels insecure and jealous, it is common for him to start acting strange and withdraw his attention and time from you.
He wants you to sense something is wrong and go after him.
He probably didn’t like something you did and is adopting this behavior so that you are in a position of feeling like you have to “prove” that you care.
This is bad because it shows that he does not have the maturity to be direct about how he’s feeling or communicate openly with you.
2) He gets sulky when you talk about someone else
Be aware of facial expressions, tone of voice, and attitude when you talk about something that involves other people, especially another man (other than your brother or father).
If he gasps, frowns, folds his arms, and looks uncomfortable, he’s showing signs of being jealous.
3) He goes crazy if you’re able to have fun without him
Feeling the absence of the person you love is normal.
Even feeling a little jealous when you go to a party alone is natural, but healthy jealousy will only make him comment on how sorry he was for not being with you at the party.
But if your partner simply does not accept that you have a life beyond the relationship, this is not healthy.
For example, if he goes crazy just knowing that you are able to have fun without him, it shows that he is controlling and deeply insecure.
4) He often pops up where you are by surprise
If you are wondering how to tell if a guy is jealous of you talking to another guy, it is worth asking yourself what he was like before the relationship.
Before you met — or before the relationship started — you had independent lives. That should continue to be the case to an extent, even if you’re married!
If he often pops up by surprise in the places where you are, he is probably insecure and possessive.
Usually, men do this in order to have control over their partners, and also to make sure that they are not being cheated on.
If your partner does this it’s a bad sign. A healthy relationship requires trust.
5) He doesn’t like when people praise you
A safe and emotionally healthy man may feel a little jealous if Henry Cavil says his girl is the most beautiful woman in the world.
But he will still be proud to be with the girl who impressed such a famous celebrity!
On the opposite end of the scale is the jealous man who gets upset by any compliment that doesn’t come from him.
If your boyfriend or husband can’t handle the fact that other people admire you then be alert: he probably has severe jealousy issues.
RELATED: If you want to level up your love life, Text Chemistry by Amy North can help. Read our review of Text Chemistry here.
6) He doesn’t like your friends
People often meet through friends, but it’s normal that they don’t always see eye-to-eye on everyone!
The question is, if he doesn’t like any of your friends, is the problem with them or with him?
If he complains that you pay too much attention to your friends, say bad things about your friendships, and tries to distance you from everyone around you, then he is proving to be possessive and controlling.
This is very harmful behavior and usually, the story does not end well.
I have a friend who was severely isolated by an ex-boyfriend.
He answered the calls at her house and always said that she was busy, he never left her on her own and controlled everything about her life.
Then he started hitting her. And I saw him seducing another girl at a party soon after.
Nobody wants to be in this kind of situation, and if it’s happening to you then you need to get out fast and/or contact the authorities.
7) He says he feels bad and makes you feel guilty
Jealous men are often masters of narcissistic emotional manipulation.
They only care about themselves and will try to put on a show about how awful they feel and make you feel guilty about it. They will use their problems and frustrations as leverage against you.
Sometimes it can be hard to spot if you’re not cynical enough or love him too much.
When he tries to make you feel bad for things that aren’t your fault and makes it clear you should be responsible for his own emotional state, then he’s full of crap.
You are not responsible for building a safe bubble that he’ll always be happy to live inside, and if he tries to make you think you are then he’s not a keeper.
8) He lives to stalk you
Social media is a reality of daily life that’s very hard to escape from.
Even if you personally don’t use it — or minimize your use of it — other people can put up photos of you, send your photo to friends, and otherwise share around your private moments online.
It’s normal that your guy is going to get a bit jealous if someone is liking and commenting on many of their posts — and vice versa.
But this is completely different from someone who complains about any comments made and any likes, and who hovers over any online presence you have like a rapacious hawk.
He’ll even lurk around reviews you post, asking why you praised a new vacuum cleaner on Amazon so profusely.
This level of jealousy is insane and it’s a trap that nobody deserves to be in.
Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D. shows us 6 ways to break free from the jealousy trap.
9) He makes decisions for you without your consent
If you’re reading this then you have a head and a brain.
You don’t need your partner to make all your decisions for you.
In a serious relationship, all decisions that affect the two of you must be made together, so that you are both involved and responsible for the decision that’s made.
If your man wants to speak on your behalf constantly and make all the decisions for you then he’s exhibiting classic possessive behavior.
Here’s the dividing line:
If he recommends the salmon when you’re out at dinner but not in a way that forces you to choose it then it’s simply a nice and romantic gesture.
If he orders the salmon on your behalf and loudly talks over you as you express hesitation or a different choice, then he’s an epic douchebag who wants to run your life and make every decision for you.
10) He sends messages when he’s not with you
The jealous and possessive man wants details of what you’re doing all the time.
If you can’t go to the mall with your sister or buy a present for your mom without him pinging you every 5 seconds for an update on what you’re doing and why then you’ve got a real problem on your hands.
If he’s texting you all the time, then you know he’s thinking about you. And only you.
You’re in his head big time. You just have to work this to your advantage.
11) He makes fun of things that you like
People like different things and that’s okay!
As the country band Florida-Georgia Line sings:
“This old world would be a whole lot better place
If we’d all just embraced the fact
That people are different.”
If he likes to skate or ride his motorbike and you are more into dance and meeting up with your weekly book club that’s not a bad thing!
But there has to be respect.
One of the signs of an insecure and jealous guy is when he tears you down and insults what you love on a regular basis.
He might say you look like a zombie when you dance or that you look like an old cat lady when you read so much, he’s invalidating your passions and mocking what you love.
He’s clearly jealous of the interactions you have with others and the joy you get from things other than time with him.
When there’s no respect then love can’t grow.
12) He destroys your self-esteem
This is related to the last point, but it applies in every way you can think of.
One of my friends is a beautiful and very intelligent girl who got involved with an insecure and possessive guy.
He said he wanted to take care of her, that she was beautiful and special, and on and on…and then he treated her like shit!
He recognized her physical beauty but used it to insult her intelligence, saying that a sexy woman like her should not “waste” time on her studies and work and that her gorgeous appearance was proof that she wasn’t made for scholarly and professional pursuits.
He said she was too much of a perfectionist and too focused on outer accomplishments.
These comments of his hurt her self-esteem badly because she was in love with him.
Pay attention to the fact that he never directly said she was stupid or foolish. He just continually implied that her beauty meant she wasn’t suited for intellectual things and should “know her place.”
If a man loves you and respects you in a healthy way, he will never humiliate you and destroy your self-esteem!
He is trying to manipulate you into believing that you are worthless and that only he will have a relationship with you.
13) He wants to know and control your private information
Remember the bank machine’s warning: your pin number is private, keep it confidential, and don’t share it with others!
In a healthy relationship, it’s important to trust each other.
But if he starts demanding to know the password for your phone, your social media, and other private information then it’s a flashing red warning sign that this guy is a jealous and controlling individual.
Once you’ve already said no once or twice, he should accept that and move on completely. If he won’t and keeps demanding access then you need to dump him.
If you accept his invasion of privacy, you are putting yourself under his control and are now in the shadow of his toxic jealousy and suspicion.
Do not accept this kind of situation!
14) He wants to make you feel jealous
One of the top ways for how to tell if a guy is jealous of you talking to another guy is that he tries to make you jealous of him.
He may make sure you see him chatting to other girls, comment on their attractive appearance, and so on.
Especially if you notice that he does this as a reaction to you talking to other guys then you can be sure it’s jealousy and possessiveness rearing its ugly head.
This behavior isn’t normal and no guy should be toying with your emotions in such a way.
I advise you to cut ties and move on if this is happening.
15) His shadow only leaves you when the light goes out
It may seem romantic that he accompanies you everywhere, but there is a limit to everything and you need to understand this if you don’t want to be controlled by your man.
If his shadow only leaves you when the light goes out then he’s more of a stalker than your boyfriend or partner.
When a man doesn’t want you to go to your friend’s wedding shower because he doesn’t trust you, and he’s jealous of every interaction you have with any guy who’s not him or your dad, then he’s gone a bridge too far.
Watch out for any man who won’t let you have your space. Even the most affectionate man in the world understands that everyone is an individual and that you need your own life too.
16) He stops talking to you when he wants to show that he is upset about something
Another sign of a jealous guy you should avoid is when he stops talking to you and withdraws his attention to “prove” how upset he is and get a reaction.
If he does this after he sees you talking to another guy, it’s not only immature, it’s also poisonous behavior that will ruin even the strongest attraction.
This man is more of a man-child and he isn’t able to give you a healthy relationship.
This kind of behavior is barely acceptable for a 5-year-old, much less somebody you’re dating or in a relationship with.
Make that clear and clear out if he won’t accept your boundaries.
17) He wants you to be always available and always respond immediately
Some people imagine that when a man is angry about his woman not responding soon enough, it’s because he’s worried about her or concerned for her safety.
If that was the case he would be relieved and affectionate, not angry.
If he’s upset every time you don’t respond right away or have plans, it’s because he’s possessive and controlling. It’s not always possible for you to respond right away and you have your own schedule.
This guy needs to accept that.
If you’re in the middle of a business meeting and afterward you see that he called 19 times and left 29 messages then you need to take a step back and think about whether you really want to keep seeing this guy.
18) He interrogates you like a cop
A relationship should not be an ongoing interrogation.
If your man always wants to know what you’re doing and why and then interrogates you about it like a cop, this is deeply unhealthy and weird.
Pay attention to the type of questions he asks as well.
Instead of asking if you had fun, a jealous guy will want to know details about what you did that are strangely specific.
If you went shopping he wants to know what stores, what you bought, why you bought those items, and why you didn’t text him at a specific time.
He’ll want to know who you met and whether you talked to any new “people” as well (he means whether you talked to any new guys).
He’s clearly jealous and wants to track and control you.
So…he’s jealous of you talking to other guys. What should you do next?
If he is just a little jealous, you can make it clear that you love him and that you are not going to leave him.
There are reasonable ways to respond to a guy who’s just slightly insecure or bad at romance.
Let him know that you can resolve any difficulties with a good and honest conversation. It is important that you know that you can trust each other even to resolve small differences.
But if he’s going overboard and doing things like what I’ve written about above, then simple reassurance or talking things over is usually not going to be enough.
Zawn Villines has an excellent article that explains the difference between real (healthy) love and obsessive love.
But if you identified your man in the description of possessives and controllers, you better be prepared to break up. In some cases, breaking up with a possessive man may seem like torture, he will make a scandal and promise to change.
If your man is being obsessive, jealous, and controlling then you may have no choice but to head for the exit.
This can often be deeply difficult, as he will try to gaslight you and make you feel guilty or like you are making the wrong decision.
But sometimes it’s the only way to truly overcome this kind of situation.
Lisa Firestone Ph.D. has outstanding advice about how to deal with possessiveness in a relationship. As Firestone writes:
“Feeling connected to someone doesn’t mean it’s okay to act entitled or to exert power over them. In fact, attempts to exercise power over our partners actually serve to reduce and diminish our own attraction to them. When we try to control someone close to us, we limit them in ways that make them less themselves.”
You should never accept a humiliating or controlling situation.
In cases where you are dealing with a jealous and possessive man, it can be crucial to your survival and future to move on.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
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