Sneaky Ways Guys Try To Make Women Jealous

Jealousy is a green-eyed monster, and yet it is one of the most common aspects of the dating world. Sometimes we try to activate another person’s jealousy on purpose to make us seem more desirable when first trying to catch their attention. Even while dating, some people will strive to make their partners a little jealous.

These are some of the common methods guys use while trying to make women jealous.

Casually Mentioning His Ex

Couple on bikes
Photo Credit: Scopio / David Goncalves
Photo Credit: Scopio / David Goncalves

When you start to date a new guy, it often feels like you’re competing with all the women from his past. Some men will lean into that competitive feeling by bringing up their ex(es).

Raving About A Good Time He Had Without You

concert
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Danny Howe
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Danny Howe

Men will use this tactic to not only make you feel like you missed out on a good time with them, but also to subtly remind you that they have a lot of fun when you’re not around to stir up your insecurities.

Purposely Waiting To Respond To Texts

Close up detail of a businessman working at a desk with a smartphone
Photo Credit: Neil Godwin / Future via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Neil Godwin / Future via Getty Images

He knows that you’re impatiently checking your phone and waiting for him to respond, so he might purposely put off responding in hopes that you’ll spend time thinking/obsessing over him and what he’s prioritizing over you.

Complimenting Other Women

Man in grey crew neck t-shirt standing beside woman in brown sleeveless dress
Photo Credit: Scopio / Sam Holman
Photo Credit: Scopio / Sam Holman

Whether it’s a random woman on the street, a celebrity, or a mutual friend, he will go out of his way to compliment other women in hopes that you’ll feel a little jealous.

Exaggerating How Busy He Is

man on phone in office
Photo Credit: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

He’ll act like he’s always on the go with friends or work because he wants you to feel like he’s in high demand and that you have to fight in order to deserve priority in his life.

Being A Little Flirty With A Female Friend

Man and woman sitting and laughing at a bar
Photo Credit: Scopio / Tariq Keblaoui
Photo Credit: Scopio / Tariq Keblaoui

It’s easy to be jealous of a guy’s female friends—they’re hot women that have an incredibly close bond with him—so men will play into it and even flirt with them a bit to get a reaction from you.

Texting Someone Else In The Middle Of A Date

Man sitting on sofa chair using smartphone
Photo Credit: Scopio / Mostafa Mohammed
Photo Credit: Scopio / Mostafa Mohammed

While some people actually might just lack the self-awareness to realize this is rude, some guys will plan to text someone else during your date to seem like they’re in high demand.

Pointing Out Women He Has History With In Public

people talking at pool bar
Photo Credit: Slim Aarons / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Slim Aarons / Getty Images

He’ll say it casually, often without even mentioning how close they were, how long they dated, etc. Similar to mentioning his ex, he hopes this will strike a competitive nerve in you.

Following Random Hot Girls On Social Media

alexis ren
Photo Credit: Alo Ceballos / GC Images
Photo Credit: Alo Ceballos / GC Images

Unfortunately for women, men have caught on to our tendency to stalk them on social media and take stock of who they’re following. They’ll follow a slew of hot girls on social media to dig into your own insecurities a little.

Talking About His Boys’ Girlfriends

A group of young men and women with various expressions of happiness, anger and confusion playing video games on a sofa
Photo Credit: Philip Sowels / Future via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Philip Sowels / Future via Getty Images

He’ll brag on and on about how cool his best friends’ girlfriends are and talk about how perfect their relationship is to spark jealousy and make you want to receive the same kind of praise from his friends.

Separating From You At Social Gatherings

men cheers drinks at bar
Photo Credit: Unsplash / John Arano
Photo Credit: Unsplash / John Arano

Rather than staying by your side in a group social setting, he’ll split off from you to talk to other people (including other women) to show he doesn’t really “need” you.

Lightly Flirting With Her Friends

group of female friends laughing
Photo Credit: In Pictures Ltd. / Corbis via Getty Images
Photo Credit: In Pictures Ltd. / Corbis via Getty Images

When you introduce him to your friends, he might even seem a little flirty with them—but never so obviously that he couldn’t pass it off as being friendly. He hopes that this behavior will trigger some possessiveness from you.

Ignoring A Few Calls

phone in foreground with man in background holding it
Photo Credit: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images

You’ll call him a few times only to end up reaching his voicemail despite the fact that he’s normally good at answering or getting back to you quickly. Men sometimes do this purposefully to keep you on your toes.

Talking About His Celebrity Crush

Emily Ratajkowski
Photo Credit: Edward Berthelot / GC Images
Photo Credit: Edward Berthelot / GC Images

He’ll casually bring up that he’s super into (insert hot celebrity’s name) to purposely push you to get a little competitive, insecure, or jealous while comparing your appearance to hers.

Still Wearing Or Using Gifts From His Exes

man putting on tie clip
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Mariah Ashby
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Mariah Ashby

Some men really do this innocently, but some do it with purpose. They’ll wear that tie or watch their ex bought to remind you that they loved someone else before and spark jealousy.

Excitedly Talking About A Close Female Friend

man and woman laughing together
Photo Credit: Scopio / Tariq Keblaoui
Photo Credit: Scopio / Tariq Keblaoui

Especially if he notices that you and his female friend aren’t particularly friendly, he’ll talk about her in an admiring way in order to get on your nerves a little and bring out your competitive side.

Not Taking Her Book/Movie/Music Suggestions

Logo of the music streaming platform Apple Music is displayed on the screen of an iPhone
Photo Credit: Chesnot / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Chesnot / Getty Images

Sometimes men will avoid taking your suggestions on music, books, or movies but still obviously take suggestions from other people. In making it seem like they aren’t super invested in your opinion, they hope to make you a little jealous of the people whose opinions they value.

Accepting Friend/Follow Requests From Random Girls

phone screen with social media apps
Photo Credit: Chesnot / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Chesnot / Getty Images

Once again, men are growing increasingly aware of our stalking habits and are taking advantage of them. They’ll accept follow requests from hot women they know you don’t know hoping you’ll obsess over how they met, etc.

Talking About His Past Crushes And How He Acted Toward Them

Couple holding hands near door
Photo Credit: Scopio / Agnieszja Mykieta
Photo Credit: Scopio / Agnieszja Mykieta

He’ll mention how over the moon he was for a particular girl or all the romantic gestures he did for her in an off-hand way, but he does it so that you’ll compare how he acts towards you to how he acted in the past.

Dating Lots Of New People And Acting Like He’s Moved On

couple on date on rooftop
Photo Credit: Scopio / Miguel Mimoso
Photo Credit: Scopio / Miguel Mimoso

Whether you dated and broke up or he was interested in you without you reciprocating the feelings, he’ll start dating lots of people and acting indifferent to you, hoping that you’ll get jealous and realize you missed out on him.

Not Texting Back, But Being Active On Social Media

man under hovering graphic of instagram like notification
Photo Credit: Pexels / Oladimeji
Photo Credit: Pexels / Oladimeji

He’ll take a while to get back to you, but he’ll make it clear that he’s on his phone by posting to social media or liking posts so that you feel like you have to fight for his attention.

Playing Hot And Cold

snowman with head on fire
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jonathan Cooper
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jonathan Cooper

He can try to activate your sense of jealousy without involving anyone else—he can simply make you feel jealous of your past self by erratically changing how he acts towards you.

Why Do Men Act This Way?

man leaning over woman, flirting
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Frankie Cordoba
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Frankie Cordoba

There are many reasons that a guy might try to make a woman jealous: maybe he wants to make himself seem or desirable, or perhaps he just wants a little more attention from her.

Sometimes, She Does It First

man and woman face to face
Photo Credit: Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio
Photo Credit: Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

A lot of guys will try to make a woman jealous because they themselves feel jealous. For example, he might start using these tactics if he notices her talking to someone else at a party or having really close friendships with other guys.

Sometimes It Comes From A Place Of Insecurity

man silhouette in grayscale
Photo Credit: Pexels / Padli Pradana
Photo Credit: Pexels / Padli Pradana

Men, just like women, want to feel desirable, and playing little games can help elevate a woman’s interest in them. Sometimes they fear that she’ll move on from them if they don’t try to keep her hooked.

A Little Bit Of Jealousy Isn’t A Bad Thing

balloons shaped like heart eyes and winky kiss emojis
Photo Credit: Polina Tankilevitch
Photo Credit: Polina Tankilevitch

Jealousy is a completely natural emotional reaction when we feel a little threatened or want more attention from someone. A little dose of jealousy in a relationship just means that you really value them and want them to yourself.

However, Jealousy Games Can Go Too Far

woman and man sitting away from each other on park bench
Photo Credit: Pexels / Pixabay
Photo Credit: Pexels / Pixabay

If a partner actively tries to play mind games with you and keep you jealous all the time, it can be a red flag—by trying to keep you a little insecure, they might hope to control your actions.

Don’t Try To Get Even

woman with fists up ready to box
Photo Credit: Pexels / Reafon Gates
Photo Credit: Pexels / Reafon Gates

If your guy is using these jealousy tactics, whether consciously or subconsciously, and it bothers you, bring it up to him rather than retaliating with similar behavior. It will only cause both of you to get more agitated and competitive about the situation.

Talk It Out Instead

man and woman walking and talking
Photo Credit: Pexels / Trinity Kubassek
Photo Credit: Pexels / Trinity Kubassek

If you are upset by a boyfriend making you jealous, sit him down and talk to him about what particular part of it upsets you and what you want to see from him; for example, you might ask for more verbal reassurance from him that everything between you two is all good.

Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

person tossing up large die
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Erik McLean
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Erik McLean

While jealousy tactics can be useful to get someone hooked on you or even add some fire to a relationship, they also can cause a connection to fizzle out quickly. If you’re dating to try and make something last, quit the games and just be honest about your feelings.