Lately, it feels as though your boyfriend would rather do anything else than hang out with you.
Whether it’s working late, hanging out with friends, or just buckling down and playing on his console, it seems as though there are a thousand things that come before you.
Over time, guys can fall complacent and may unintentionally forget to neglect to uphold their part of the bargain.
When this time comes, you might be tempted to give him a dose of his own medicine.
And what better way to call his attention than with a controlled dose of jealousy.
In this article, I’ll cover 16 surefire ways to make him jealous. But before we can get into that, let’s talk about why jealously is so powerful (and why you need to be careful with how you use it).
Why jealousy works: the science behind jealousy
Thankfully, a complacent or apathetic partner doesn’t always mean the end of a relationship. Complacency can be fixed; all it needs is a little work. And one way to do that is with jealousy.
So what is jealousy?
At its core, jealousy is the instinctual feeling or reaction that we get when we feel that something that is ours is at risk of being taken away from us.
Jealousy is an intense form of protectiveness because, unlike protectiveness, jealousy can quickly manifest into destructive acts and responses, turning into controlling and selfish behavior.
Jealousy can blind us from the actual reality, making us believe a fantastical reality because of the intense emotions involved.
As jealousy is a deeply personal issue, it is more effective with partners who have issues of the self, such as low self-esteem and insecurity.
But anyone can be made jealous, as long as something that they love deeply enough is at risk of being taken away.
So is jealousy good for a relationship?
Playing with jealousy is like playing with fire — if done carefully, it can be the perfect way to boost a relationship and give it the kickstart it needs.
If done too aggressively, it can become a source of toxic feelings for the relationship, making it worse rather than saving it.
Jealousy can definitely be used for good in a relationship because it can do the following for your partner:
- Make them remember your value
- Remind them how lucky they are to have you
- Show them that you are still attractive and wanted, and other men want you
- Make them understand that you are not obligated to be his
- Remind them how much they wanted you before the complacency set in
Making him jealous: 15 ways to make your man want you more
Want to remind him just lucky he was to get you in the first place? Here are fifteen safe ways to make your boyfriend jealous, without putting the relationship in danger:
1) Reminisce about your ex
It doesn’t matter if you’re his girl and know it. Reminiscing positive memories you had with your ex is one of the easiest ways to get a guy jealous.
Men are incredibly territorial beings, and hearing you talk about a guy you previously dated can make him second guess his position in your life.
You don’t have to talk about something particularly racy or intimate. Even just wondering how your ex has been or talking about that one cool date you had is enough to get his blood boiling.
2) Hug a guy friend in front of him
Physical touch is another no-brainer. Even the most harmless of touches — a hug, a playful tap, a friendly kiss on the cheek — is enough to drive him mad with jealousy.
The next time you’re hanging out with your friends or meeting another couple for lunch, laugh a little louder and let your eyes linger a little longer.
It won’t be long before he’s asking you about your “feelings” for someone else.
3) Take the time to return calls or texts
Are you usually the one in the relationship dropping everything just to return his texts or calls?
Spend a few days taking your time texting or calling him back. Or better yet, just don’t reply until he sends another message.
This will get him thinking about what’s keeping you busy.
Sooner or later, your man will realize that your attention isn’t exclusive to him and that there are other things you could do with your time than spend it with him. This should make him more grateful for the attention he’s received so far.
4) Go out with the girls
Is your man convinced that he’s the only one you’d rather spend time with?
Keep him on his toes by reminding him of your very active social circle. Plan a date with the girls and go somewhere fun. As a bonus, send him a photo of you all dolled up and ready to party.
This will remind him that you had a life before him, and are still very much capable of creating one after him.
5) Gush about your celebrity crush
Celebrities are pretty much unattainable but that doesn’t stop boyfriends from feeling jealous over them.
Hearing their girl talk about how dreamy some actor is or how hot some model is bound to make any guy think twice about his own looks.
Who knows? This might be the nudge he needs to start dressing better and taking your formal dress nights more seriously.
6) “Accidentally” touch another man
This is a little sneaky, but it can be very effective.
If you’re sitting with your male friends and your man, try to “accidentally” touch another man and laugh at his jokes all the time.
Don’t be too obvious about it, though. It might come off as creepy, so make sure you can do it in a way that looks natural.
Look, guys are really sensitive when it comes to this. When someone touches their woman, they can’t help but get ultra-protective.
7) Be friendly with his friends
Again, guys are extremely territorial, even when it comes to his own pack. The next time he asks where you are and what you’re doing, send a casual selfie with one of his buddies.
Give one of his friends (or better yet, his best friend) a little more attention than needed.
Sooner or later, you’ll be bombarded with texts asking what’s up. It will make him rethink what you’re bringing to the table and make him less likely to take you for granted.
8) Skip a few date nights
One reason why he’s gotten complacent maybe because you’re too available. No matter what time or day, he knows that he can rely on you to come over and have some fun.
Skipping a few date nights and telling him you’re working late or out with a few friends should be a sobering reminder not to take your time for granted.
If you’re able, keep this little game up for a couple of dates until he’s ready to do more than text or call you.
9) Strike a pose with some guys
Social media is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. It’s a great way to get your message across without necessarily getting in touch with your recipient.
The next time you’re out with a guy friend, post a selfie of the two of you hanging out. It doesn’t even matter how hot the guy is or how harmless your relationship is.
Just seeing a photo of you with someone else is bound to make him think if he’s still in the picture. Bonus points if the guy you’re hanging out with looks like someone straight out of a catalog.
10) Say someone asked you out
Nothing wrong with a little white lie from time to time. Even the most emotionally secure and confident boyfriend is bound to feel a little neglected if you talk about someone asking you out.
What’s even more gutting is if you show not-so-subtle hints of liking the attention.
This little trick is guaranteed to make your man roll up his sleeves and step up his game. Maybe the next time he wants to choose his console over you, he’ll remember this little stunt you pulled.
11) Hang out with a (guy) friend
Being competitive is in every guy’s DNA. Seeing you hang out with another guy alone, even if it’s just one of your closest friends, is an instant jealousy trigger.
Most guys understand that having a boyfriend isn’t enough to get other men off your scent.
His brain will easily work out the math and before you know it, he’s trying to fill in your calendar so no other guy ends up spending time with you.
12) Go out with his friends
There’s no getting around it. Guys hate it when their girls go out without them.
In the back of their mind, they are constantly thinking that another guy will hit on her and she might become drunk enough to cheat.
As far off reality as that might be, any guy can’t help but think it.
So if you want to make your guy jealous, put on your sexiest dress, apply your favorite make-up, and do your hair.
When your man sees that you are dressed to impressed, he will immediately get uncomfortable because he knows that other guys are going to notice you and try their best to get your attention.
You know what that will do, right?
Yep, turn him into a jealous monster, and he won’t be able to relax until your home safe and sound.
It’s amazing how a little bit of effort can change his world, right?
13) Ignore his texts and calls
Do you usually text your man back right away? Answer his calls within 1 second?
Well, it’s time to change your tune.
Show your man that you’re not available every minute or every hour of every day.
You’ve got your own life and you’ve got shit to do.
If you really want to get under his skin, post on social media, and show him that you’re online.
He’ll eventually work out that you’re obviously ignoring him. This will make him think twice about his behavior and reflect on how much he actually cares about you.
He might even realize that acting all distant clearly doesn’t work with you.
14) Compliment his male best friend
This is a little cheeky, but if you give more attention to his best male friend or your guy best friend than to him, then he’s going to become jealous.
He’ll be bemused why you’re acting like that and why he simply isn’t enough for you.
But it could be the wake-up call he needs to get his shit together and care for you like you know he should.
He’ll start comparing himself to his best friend and wonder what you find so attractive about him.
It will make your boyfriend think about you more and what he can bring to the table to make sure that you don’t leave him.
15) Say you’re at work late (with a male co worker)
He probably thinks it’s fine that you work late and don’t come home for dinner, but what if you tell him that you’re working late with a male co-worker? Hmm. The plot thickens.
He won’t be able to stop thinking about what you two might be doing.
Is it really just work when it’s this late?
After all, we’ve all seen those Hollywood movies where two co-workers stay alone in the office in the evening, and well…we all know what happens next.
Your man might even start wondering if this co-worker is better in bed than him. The mind can race pretty fast sometimes!
There’s no question that feeling will eat him aline, and he won’t be able to relax until he knows that you were just working.
How to keep him interested moving forward
Your man is back in your arms and ready to pay his dues — great.
But nothing is keeping him from falling back into the same level of complacency he was stuck in before.
Sooner or later he’s going to fall back into his old habits, and you’ll have to roll up your sleeves to make him jealous again.
Avoid this in the first place by keeping things interesting in the relationship.
If you keep him on his toes, keep him guessing and wondering about what’s coming around the corner, he’ll never feel too comfortable in the relationship.
Here are some effective ways to inject your relationship with fun and excitement:
Invest in new lingerie: Nothing keeps your man in line better than a goodie bag from Victoria’s Secret.
If you can’t afford to get new sexy wear, just remember that the lingerie is more symbolic than anything else.
Relationships, especially old ones, grow stale, which can have repercussions in the bedroom. At the very least, mix things up when you’re in bed or be more spontaneous when it comes to sex.
Be more flirtatious: Playfulness doesn’t have to be limited in the bedroom. There are ways to extend the honeymoon phase long after you’ve started dating.
One way to do this is to be extra flirty with each other. Cultivate inside jokes, playfully touch him when you’re around, and send him funny and cute texts when you’re apart. The general playfulness helps keep the relationship light and enjoyable.
Plan new travels together: New experiences are one of the best ways to forge strong relationships.
The next time one of you is pining for a beach trip, why not take them along? The change in scenery can be romantic, and just might be the shake-up you need to keep things fresh and interesting.
Establish shared goals: Shared long-term goals bond couples better than anything else. It gives you a shared sense of purpose and direction and will motivate the two of you to be more cooperative.
How jealousy can be your superpower and your kryptonite
Realizing the effect you have on another person can feel empowering.
With jealousy as part of your arsenal, you have a reliable way of pushing his buttons ever so slightly so he stays agreeable and holds up his end of the bargain.
But with great power comes great responsibility. Abusing this power will likely backfire and open up a can of worms you’ve never had to deal with until now.
Using jealousy to stoke the fire every once and a while can be beneficial to a stale but otherwise healthy and happy relationship; abusing this power for anything else is just a shortcut to a breakup.
Why do guys get complacent in relationships and how to know you’re not overreacting?
One of the main reasons why you might want to make a man jealous is because he’s become complacent in your relationship.
He doesn’t respect and see you the same way anymore, and he takes you for granted in ways you’ve never experienced. And a major cause of that is generally the end of the honeymoon period.
We all know about the honeymoon period – the time in the relationship where everything seems fresh and wonderful, but which inevitably comes to an unfortunate end, leaving behind a relationship that is significantly less fulfilling.
But when you’re in the honeymoon period – or one of those lucky couples who just have a perfect relationship – you never want to believe that the honeymoon period is real, because you never want to think that your relationship might take a few steps down.
The honeymoon period can last months and in some cases years, but for most couples, this period eventually comes to an end.
This is when one or both partners not only get comfortable, but too comfortable. They become complacent.
Complacency can be fatal for a relationship, and men tend to fall into this state of complacency more often than women do.
While women do experience their fair share of bouts with complacency, it’s usually men who find themselves “bored” with the relationship first. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as:
– They love the “chase” of the relationship, and once that’s done, they feel like their fun is over
– They get used to the high of the honeymoon period, and when it ends they feel like the relationship is no longer worth it
– They miss the feeling of being alone after being with a partner for too long and yearn for their individuality
– They dislike the reality of settling into a routine with their partner, and instead of trying to reinvigorate it, they tend to look away
Complacency comes hand-in-hand with apathy; once we start feeling that our partner is someone who is just a foundational part of our life rather than someone we have to earn and prove ourselves to, then we start feeling apathetic towards maintaining the romantic quality and standards that our partner has come to expect.
We stop caring about what they care about, and we start turning inward or even looking at other people.
But how do you know that your partner has really become complacent? It might be just that you are overreacting and in need of more attention, which can be another sign that the honeymoon period is over.
Here are some day-to-day signs indicating that your man has become complacent in your relationship:
- Vacations, date nights, and spontaneous dates have disappeared, replaced by boring and mechanical routines that give you no reason to be excited
- You don’t tell each other everything anymore, both the major life-changing events and the tiny day-to-day secrets and anxieties
- The sex isn’t as great as it used to be, and it no longer feels like he craves your physical attention
- You feel emotionally and mentally distant from him as if there are an increasing number of other things going on in his life that have nothing to do with you
4 ways to know your man is taking you for granted
Before you use the jealousy techniques above, you need to make sure that your man is actually taking you for granted.
Jealousy can be a “dirty tactic” which can go wrong in several ways, and potentially damage your relationship if not done carefully, so it should be considered a last resort option.
So you should be absolutely sure that your man is taking you for granted before you employ the dark arts of jealousy.
Here are 3 clear ways to know that your man is definitely taking you for granted:
1) He stopped appreciating the things you do
When we look at other people’s relationships, we tend to only see the big things: their amazing trek across Europe, their expensive honeymoon, their beautiful house and kids, and everything else posted on social media.
But true happiness in a relationship isn’t made up of the major, rare events.
It’s made up of all the small things; the minimal acts of love and kindness shared between two partners in their daily life.
All the little things that you do for each other to show that you appreciate your partner, and it doesn’t have to be during vacations or wedding anniversaries or birthdays when you show your love, but any day of the week, any hour of the day.
And he stopped caring about the things you do.
He no longer appreciates the random “I love you, hope you’re having a nice day” texts, and sometimes he even ignores them.
He doesn’t care that you prepared a nice meal for him after a long day; he just wants to swallow it and get back to his computer or phone.
2) He’s only affectionate when he wants to be physical
It can be difficult to tell the difference between your partner being less affectionate, or you being increasingly needy for attention (especially because he’ll make you believe that it’s the latter rather than the former).
But an easy way to really be sure is by seeing how your man acts when he wants to be physical with you.
Does he suddenly become his old self? Does he shower you with compliments and attention, and kiss you and touch you in ways he hasn’t in a while?
If it’s like he’s a different person when he’s lusting over you, then his disinterest in you when he doesn’t want your body becomes even clearer.
3) You’ve fallen on his priority list
You used to be his number one in all things in life. When you texted, he replied; when you were sick, he’d show up with medicine and soup.
He canceled plans with his friends for you and shaped his schedule around you, because he wanted you to realize that he had time and space for you in his life; that he would gladly make you his life.
But now he takes every opportunity to seemingly get away from you. If he gets a call or email from work, he’ll always tell you that he has to take it or go into the office.
If his friends want him to go out, he’ll make excuses for them to you, rather than weighing the options more.
You are his second choice, his backup plan, and you never know if plans are going to push through until they actually happen.
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.
I know this from personal experience…
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