It's really great when you feel like you're with a guy who thinks you're, like, the best ever and is super-attentive and loves spending a ton of time with you. But there's a difference between a caring boyfriend, and a guy who's actually jealous and controlling. There are some telltale markers of trouble, and if you spot enough of them, bail on that relationship—it isn't going anywhere good.
1. He fondly calls you "crazy" or "too much," like he's so chill and you aren't.
Sometimes they say it lovingly, like, "You crazy girl," or lightly, like, *sigh* "You're too much sometimes." But after a while, you'll actually start to feel crazy. And that's bad, because it puts him a few rungs above you on the humanity ladder. Very uncool.
2. When he smiles and says things like, "You're perfect," like you're his personal Barbie doll.
What's wrong with this, right? It should be a compliment. Nope. This sucker is putting you on a pedestal—he thinks you're superhuman, and even if you are a total badass, everyone has their low moments. He's not going to react well when his "perfect girlfriend" fucks up or shows an imperfect side.
3. When he only wants to hang out if it's intimate sexy time just one-on-one, like your relationship is just a string of cute dates.
Seemingly good but actually bad because LOL, you'll literally never meet any of his friends, and why is he keeping you a secret? When someone actually likes and respects you as a person and doesn't feel somehow bad about being with you, they want to introduce you to other people they like. This is how humans operate. We like to combine good things. Why else do you think peanut butter on toast exists?
4. When he texts you while you're out with friends, and then keeps texting and keeps texting and keeps texting, until your phone is basically nonstop vibrating.
At first it seems nice—he wants to make sure you're having a good time! But if a guy can't learn to relax and let you have well-deserved time out with friends you've had longer than you've known him, he's not being sweet. He's being selfish and controlling.
5. He says things like, "Oh, I know exactly how you feel," when you come to him with a super-real problem.
This isn't empathy, it's like reading off a "how to make someone feel OK" script, and it's bullshit. Long-term, you want to be with someone who doesn't just take your problems away from you, you want to be with someone who helps you work through them and grow. There's nothing more frustrating than feeling like your problems are insignificant because he can one-up all your problems.
6. If he makes a habit of comparing you to other women, even if it's to say that you're better or prettier than them.
It might feel super-flattering that he thinks you're prettier than all these other women or smarter than all these other women, but if he says things like this or like, "I'm so glad you're not like other girls," that's a sign he's actually just sexist. Women are individuals, not items to be ranked.
7. When you get dressed up to go out with ya girls, he makes a remark like, "Wow, don't you look sexy tonight..."
Maybe he thinks that now that you're with him—the sweetest bae of all baes — you don't need to wear that fire top that makes your cleavage look great, or those jeans that accentuate the booty you've been working so hard on. If this is happening, he thinks that women do everything with their bodies to suit other men, and that's just garbage. He might not act outright jealous, but he should literally never ever question anything you're wearing. That's a right reserved for the safety of group texts and judgmental moms only.
8. He makes comments about wanting to protect you from other guys.
It might feel like love to have him say things that sound protective, or brave when he walks between you and the guys who have been gawking at you on the sidewalk, but it's not love—it's just some weird macho act. Basically he should never act on your behalf unless you ask him too.
9. And he's not a fan of you spending time with your guy friends.
But, like, he can have as many female friends as he wants and it's chill. This is so real I can't even focus right now. Petty jealousy only feels flirty until it stands in the way of your life outside of the relationship, and if you find that your friendship with guy friends are suffering because it just makes him "a little uncomfortable" when you hang out one-on-one with your bros, that's no good. He should know you and respect you well enough to let this go. Adults can have friends of the opposite sex, it's fine.
10. He gets jealous when other guys hit on you, as if that's your fucking problem and you can create an invisibility cloak around yourself.
LOL, this is such shit. First of all, he doesn't get that getting hit on and catcalled by strangers ISN'T FUN. Like, you don't personally enjoy it. And second of all, how dare he get jealous at something that's actually just a side effect of a sexist culture. Instead of getting mad at you for getting harassed, he should maybe consider asking how it makes you feel.
11. He makes little suggestions about ways you could improve your life, like eating more salads or spending less time on Twitter or something.
I'm sorry, he's your boyfriend, not your life coach. A boyfriend should be supportive and offer help if you need it, but his unsolicited advice on every little aspect of your life is not support, it's manipulation. If his suggestions feel even remotely shame-y, run for the hills. The last thing you want is to be unrecognizable to yourself when the relationship inevitably ends because he finds another pet project to date.
12. When you say you want to spend a night or two alone, he whines or gets mad.
Awww, how sweet—little pup wants to hang out with you all the time! Nope. If he can't handle a night (or several) apart, he's got some major insecurities going on and they're definitely going to suck the life out of you. You have to be able to take time apart from one another—sure, you can miss each other, but it's healthy to maintain some sort of space in order to maintain your identity and sanity.
13. If you say you don't want to have sex that night, he says "Awww, but you look so sexy tonight."
I don't care if it's something nice like," I've been thinking about doing you all day," he does not ever get to question your decisions regarding sex. Anything other than a simple "Yep, sounds cool, totally no problem" is actually pressure, and that's a huge problem.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.