Dealing with a jealous partner may not be something that you notice at first because, chances are, it’s masked as something “sweeter” to start. And while it may not seem like that big of a deal if your partner has jealous tendencies, the National Domestic Violence Hotline lists jealousy as a warning sign of domestic violence. Although that doesn’t mean that every jealous person will become abusive, it does mean that jealousy is an unhealthy trait in a relationship and something you should keep an eye on.
If you have a feeling that you may be dealing with a jealous partner but aren’t quite sure if their actions fit the bill, here are 11 subtle signs you should look out for.
They check up on you 24/7.
When you’re not spending time with your partner, it’s nice to send or receive a sweet text asking how their day is going, right? Well, author and certified dating/relationship coach Jonathan Bennett said if they’re sending those messages all the time, then you may need to be worried.
“If your partner is only ‘concerned; about you when you’re around other people, it could be a sign of jealousy rather than genuine worry,” he told INSIDER. “This could involve ‘checking up’ on you through texts and calls when you’re out with friends or at a work function, usually in the name of ‘making sure you’re OK”
There’s always an issue if you want to do something without them.
If you’re used to spending the majority or all of your time with your partner, it may feel like separating from them — even for a second — can be unbearable. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s impossible or not even enjoyable. According to Bennett though, if your partner makes a big deal when you try to do your own thing, it’s definitely a sign of jealousy.
“It’s normal for couples to spend time apart and have separate hobbies,” Bennett said. “If your partner takes issue with your time away from him or her – no matter what the reason given – it could indicate jealousy. He or she might be afraid you’ll meet someone else when you’re away.”
They’ve begun to question every friendship you have.
Relationships should be built off of trust and if your partner takes issues with the friendships you have, you should take that as a red flag to jealousy.
“Jealous people often worry that you want to date one of your friends,” Bennett told INSIDER. “So, they try to limit your social circle. If your partner tries to pressure you into ignoring friends or ‘cleaning up’ your social media followers, it could indicate jealousy.”
They stalk your social media.
Nowadays, plenty of relationships start on social media before they turn into real life meetings, so having someone “like” multiple pictures of yours to get your attention isn’t out of the ordinary. If you’re in a relationship and this is happening or everything you post is up for discussion, then you may be dealing with a jealous partner,
“If you post a selfie, they’re the first to like it, ” Amica Graber, relationship expert for TruthFinder, told INSIDER. “If you check-in at Bar A when you told them you were going to bar B, you’ll get a text message about it before you even put down your cell phone. They’ve liked photographs you posted on Instagram over a year ago. All of these are warning signs that this person is following you too closely. Another example could be them randomly referencing the time you went to Thailand a few years ago, but you never told them that. If someone has been stalking your social media profiles, they might give themselves away by knowing just a bit too much about you.”
There’s an issue if you even mention someone else.
According to Graber, jealous partners also have issues with you mentioning someone else from your past or even in your present life — especially if it’s someone they think you could be a bit attracted to.
“If you mention a friend in passing, and they immediately get tense, this is a sign,” she said. “Perhaps they make a sarcastic comment or just visibly appear in a somber mood, but you get a distinct impression that they didn’t like the fact you mentioned someone else. These jealous behaviors may start off as a small backhanded comment, but they can escalate over time.”
They accuse you of cheating all the time — even if they say they’re “joking.”
Having a partner that you can laugh and joke with about anything is literally a God send. When your infidelities – whether imaginary or real – become the topic of the jokes all the time, however, you’re surely dealing with a jealous partner.
“Does your partner ever accuse you of cheating, even as a joke?” said Graber. “In the early stages of a relationship, a jealous partner may pass off their comments as humor — but they return to the subject a lot. Do they get twitchy when you spend time on your cell phone or ask to see your text messages? All of these are strong signs that someone has a jealous personality.”
They pick a fight with you every time you’re getting ready to go out.
Checking in on you while you’re out or sitting quietly with an attitude are both signs of jealousy when you’re spending time away from your partner, but Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford, a forensic psychologist, relationship therapist and expert, told INSIDER that starting a huge fight before you leave is also a sign you should pay attention to.
“If they pick petty fights with you when you are about to go out or at an event, it’s so that you do not go out or leave so that you’ll leave the event early,” she said. “The goal of this action is to limit and or prevent any opportunity for the other partner to meet or socialize with someone else. The goal is to isolate one’s partner or to make them angry so they do not feel like going out or remaining at the event.”
They attempt to control your behavior.
Setting boundaries with your partner about what you do and do not like is very typical in relationships. It becomes an issue when your partner is doing their best at telling you what to do and how to do it, Bates-Duford said.
“If your partner requires you to do things like compliment them all the time, this is controlling and a sign of jealousy,” she said. “Other things like not disagreeing with them in front of others or requiring you pay attention to them and only them, are things you should be cautious of, too.”
You have to provide details on everything you’re doing.
Being treated as if you’re a child in a relationship is far from healthy and Bates-Duford said that it’s a telltale sign that you’re dealing with a jealous partner.
“Whenever your partner is unable to account for your whereabouts, they want you to provide a detailed account to ‘fill in the gaps,'” she said. “This is done to track who you are with and what you are doing. A jealous partner looks for a ‘theme’ to identify and determine if you are spending too much time with a particular person.”
They act as if they don’t care.
In most healthy relationships, partners tend to engage in conversations together with others. Whether one partner knows the additional persons in a conversation more than their partner or not, the idea is to work well together and show unison. If your partner chooses to leave you hanging every time, however, Caleb Backe — health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics — told INSIDER that you’re likely to be dealing with a jealous partner.
“If your significant other seems to be ignoring you when you’re talking to other people and pretending like they couldn’t care less, it means that they couldn’t care more,” he said. “Pay attention to how they act towards you in social settings.”
They try too hard to win you over.
If you’re with a jealous partner, you’ll notice that they’ll go out of their way to do things that will make you show appreciation. It may seem sweet at first, but after some time, you’ll notice that something just isn’t quite right.
“If your partner feels jealous, they will do everything in their power to make you appreciate them,” Backe said. “They’ll do everything possible to make you feel as if you need to reassure them that you only have eyes for them and they have no reason to be worried.”