Jealousy, that green little monster, gets a bad reputation because it can ruin a relationship. Whether you suddenly notice your SO acting strange when you’re around your colleagues or start asking you a million questions when you’re going out without him, he is jealous. What are body language signs he is jealous, though?
With a proper understanding of body language, you might be able to pinpoint your SO’s behavior without confronting him about it. We all know how men get when they’re confronted about something, right? With a little help from body language, you can determine whether he’s protecting you or himself.
What is body language, anyway? Body language refers to conscious and unconscious nonverbal cues we use to communicate with each other. Mannerisms, gestures, body movements, and expressions can uncover more information than words. It’s the things we don’t say that can convey volumes of information.
Jealousy isn’t always the worst thing that can happen in a relationship. Jealousy is about protecting what’s yours or protecting what you think is yours. When you respect your partner and your relationship, you can live with your jealousy without becoming passionate, possessive, and borderline aggressive.
What does it mean when a guy gets jealous? What are the most common body language signs he is jealous because he likes you or loves you? We’re bringing you all that and more down below!
What does it mean when a guy gets jealous?
When you notice your boyfriend or husband getting suspiciously protective over you, you might wonder whether that’s because he doesn’t trust you or because he doesn’t trust the people you’re surrounded by. With all due respect, men are known to become extremely territorial for a million reasons.
Starting with the most obvious one, men are territorial because it’s in their nature to protect what they think is theirs. Nowadays, most women aren’t flattered by that because they’re offended that men dare to consider them their property. Now, some women might think otherwise, but that’s the majority.
Whatever the case might be, research has shown that men tend to exhibit “male territorial behavior” which typically consists of establishing themselves as alpha males and getting rid of the competition. Getting jealous over everything and everyone might just be a man’s way of saying “I love you.”
When we observe men’s behavior, we can conclude that men are threatened by other men. Whether that’s a colleague from work, a friend from the gym, or someone you’ve known your entire life, your SO might not appreciate the fact you’re hanging out with other men.
Men crave security in a relationship, too. When your boyfriend or husband starts to think that you’re getting too much attention from the opposite gender, you might be in for a treat – and not the type of treat you want. What are tell-tale body language signs he is jealous?
10 body language signs he is jealous
1. He crosses his arms and legs
Although jealousy can be considered an emotion in and of itself, it oftentimes brings about other, more basic emotions, particularly anger, fear, and sadness. Depending on the emotion your SO might be feeling at that moment, you might notice him crossing his arms and legs in response to jealousy.
Whether he’s sitting or standing while talking to you, he might cross his arms and legs to create a sense of distance between the two of you. He might clench his fists or intertwine his fingers, too. He might try to emotionally protect himself by creating a physical barrier between the two of you.
2. He stares at you
Jealousy doesn’t always need to be loud – jealousy can be a quiet emotion hidden behind your eyes, too. When you start suspecting that your boyfriend or husband might be showcasing signs of jealousy, start by analyzing what he’s doing when he’s talking to you.
If he’s staring at you, maintaining eye contact, and making you feel uncomfortable with his eyes, he might be trying to figure out whether you’re lying to him. It’s giving him a chance to observe you more closely and providing him with insight into your whereabouts.
It’s also a way for him to instigate a conversation in which he would have the chance to ask you whether he has a reason to get jealous.
3. He avoids eye contact
We’re all different people which means we react differently when we’re happy, angry, or sad. We agree that staring at the person that’s causing you emotional turmoil might be a sign of jealousy, but we can say the same thing about avoiding eye contact, too.
Avoiding eye contact can be a great way to create a sense of distance between two people and that’s why your partner might be looking away every time you’re trying to have a conversation.
Maintaining eye contact with someone you believe wronged you can be challenging and your partner might not be ready for that type of confrontation.
4. He narrows his eyes
When talking about different body language cues that point toward jealousy, we can’t forget about the act of narrowing one’s eyes. Now, the act of narrowing one’s eyes can mean a million things, but that’s why you need to pay attention to the context.
When your SO stares at you with narrow eyes and a look that could kill (alarming!), that might be a tell-tale sign that he’s jealous. He’s feeling threatened and he’s trying to assess the situation by staring at you. He’s probably unaware of what’s going on but he wants you to know that he’s onto you.
5. He puffs up his chest
We’ve got a typical male reaction to feeling threatened right here! When your partner puffs up his chest when you’re talking about the new colleague who started working for your company or the coffee date you had with your BFF and her brother, he’s trying to make himself appear bigger.
Most men do that when they’re trying to assert their dominance or superiority. Whether he’s talking to you about what’s bothering him or trying to hide what’s on his mind, he might showcase signs of trying to appear bigger than he is. It’s his way of dealing with insecurity.
6. He fidgets
When men feel like they’re threatened on their territory, they might become restless and unable to sit still. They’re trying to process what’s going on and figure out what the best response to that might be. They’re struggling with their own emotions.
When the two of you are talking about the problem, you might notice your SO brushing his fingers through his hair, playing with his jewelry, or even pacing around the room.
He might throw frequent glances at his phone or start opening random books. He’s listening to you – he just doesn’t know what to do with himself.
7. He sighs
A deep, prolonged sigh can signal a feeling of being left out, left in the dark about something, or even being lied to. At the end of the day, when your partner showcases body language signs of jealousy, it might mean that he no longer trusts you.
He doesn’t want to say anything. He’s unable to find the words to explain what he’s feeling, and that’s why the only thing that’s left for him to do is to sigh.
We also can’t forget about the possibility that he’s using the sigh to get your attention and to start the conversation about whatever (or whoever) is making him jealous.
8. He gives you the cold shoulder
Argh, you’re feeling a sudden chill in the air? Maybe it’s not the weather. Maybe it’s your partner trying to let you know that you’ve done something to upset him.
Whether you’ve gone out with a bunch of guy friends or asked a colleague from work to dinner, he might be letting you know that he’s not OK with that. When jealousy is at play, all the love and lust are quickly replaced by a frosty demeanor.
When your SO starts sidelining you or deliberately ignoring you, know that he is showing body language signs he is jealous.
9. He gets silent
What can we say, some people retreat into a shell when they’re consumed with jealousy. When he starts giving you the silent treatment, he’s letting you know that he’s ready to make a big deal out of whatever he thinks you’ve done.
We’re not saying that you didn’t do anything to provoke him, but more times than not, men become overworked by the most mundane things that women don’t even think about.
We do need to underline that the silent treatment in a relationship is never a good way to deal with problems. With a little help from him giving you the cold shoulder and refusing to talk things through, the two of you might be headed toward a breakup.
10. He gets agitated
Jealousy can cause all sorts of changes in a person’s body language. You might notice your partner showing signs of physical agitation, restlessness, and even aggression. You might see him pacing around the room, foot tapping, and trembling every time you bring up the topic of the conversation.
Men sometimes have a hard time sitting still when all they want to do is punch someone in the face because you’ve been hanging out with them. We know that’s a sign of toxic masculinity, but not all men are aware of that. When you notice these signs, make sure you have a conversation with your partner.