If you have a boyfriend who is possessive, dominating, or just plain controlling, you may have a territorial boyfriend. What does territorial mean, and what are the signs he is territorial?
It can be a bit confusing because a territorial person may be possessive and jealous. However, a jealous boyfriend may not necessarily be territorial. This can be quite overwhelming to understand!
For that reason, we are going to go into detail on the subject today, looking at what territorial behavior is, the signs that your man may be a territorial or possessive person, and what to do if you are in an unhealthy relationship when you should call it quits, and more! Claiming you are his territory or possession is not a healthy way to act – for all parties involved!
You may be thinking, “I just want a healthy relationship!” We’ll spend time figuring out what that looks like, but you have to remember that everyone’s life is different, and each relationship has its own set of problems.
In other words, you will ultimately have to decide what is best for you. However, the relationship advice in this article is stellar and should help guide you!
- 1 What Does Territorial Mean?
- 2 Top 27 Indicators Your Man Is Territorial
- 2.1 1. He snoops on your phone and social media accounts
- 2.2 2. He likes to dominate the conversation
- 2.3 3. He doubts if you really love him
- 2.4 4. He isn’t crazy about you spending time with your friends
- 2.5 5. He accuses you of flirting with other guys
- 2.6 6. He reads your instant messages and emails
- 2.7 7. He doesn’t give you the personal space you need
- 2.8 8. He is quick to announce to others that you are taken
- 2.9 9. He doesn’t like it when he isn’t included in your plans
- 2.10 10. He gets upset very easily
- 2.11 11. He feels more secure when you are uneasy about something
- 2.12 12. He makes many assumptions and judgments
- 2.13 13. He blames you for things that are not your fault
- 2.14 14. He expects you to instantly respond to his calls and text messages
- 2.15 15. He is clingy and enjoys PDA when you are in public
- 2.16 16. He wants to be your Knight in Shining Armor
- 2.17 17. He wants you all to himself
- 2.18 18. He doesn’t like it when you disagree with him
- 2.19 19. He gossips about people who you admire
- 2.20 20. He makes you feel guilty if he’s not included in your plans
- 2.21 21. He relies on you for everything
- 2.22 22. He doesn’t respect your boundaries
- 2.23 23. He accuses you of actually cheating
- 2.24 24. He expects you to make him happy
- 2.25 25. He makes you want to agree with him just to keep the peace
- 2.26 26. He has inconsistent behavior
- 2.27 27. He tells you that you belong to him
- 3 Feelings You May Have If Your Partner Is Territorial
- 4 What To Do If Your Boyfriend Is Territorial?
- 5 When You Should Break Up with Your Man?
- 6 FAQs
- 7 The Bottomline
What Does Territorial Mean?
According to the Urban Dictionary, territorial means that a guy is protective of what he believes is his. However, protectiveness is not the keyword I would be concerned about here; I think the fact that he thinks he owns you is more of a concern. Possessive people don’t usually make good partners in relationships because they act controlling, bossy, and dominating.
Possessive people generally don’t make the best candidates for a healthy relationship. Their restrictive behavior makes it hard to do what you want because a possessive person is always there to tell you what he or she thinks you should be doing rather than letting you figure it out for yourself. Possessiveness leads to controlling and jealous behavior, too.
In a healthy relationship, your partner may want to know what you are up to, but they certainly don’t monitor your phone calls or have serious trust issues. Instead, a healthy partner will make you feel safe. If your man makes you think you cannot feel safe around him, you should reach out to the proper authorities to get the help you need. It can be a serious problem.
Top 27 Indicators Your Man Is Territorial
When your guy gets on your phone to snoop around and sees what you’ve posted on social media, it’s not fun. You deserve your privacy and shouldn’t have to put up with that. He’s probably just worried you are talking to other guys. His jealousy has just gotten the better of him; set some healthy boundaries and see if he won’t give you your space.
2. He likes to dominate the conversation
When a guy likes to be in charge of what is said in your conversation, he’s probably not a great listener. Listening is a crucial part of any relationship. You need to know that your partner hears you and respects what you have to say.
If he is possessive when it comes to your chats, you should let him know that it hurts your feelings that he won’t let you share.
3. He doubts if you really love him
This can drive a person crazy! You say that you love him; you offer reassurance; you give him all that you have in you, but he still won’t believe that you truly do love him. He may have trouble with his emotions or expressing love himself. Just give him attention and reassure him that the love is there.
You might even ask him why he has doubts. Is there something that you are doing that makes him believe that your intentions are not pure? Have a chat about his insecurity, but make sure you are kind and compassionate!
4. He isn’t crazy about you spending time with your friends
Everyone needs time with their pals. I mean, you can’t spend every second with your boyfriend. If you have guy friends, this can especially make your man jealous because he possibly thinks that something more than friendship is going on there. Don’t let his jealousy rob you of your time with your friends. Tell him you need time and space.
5. He accuses you of flirting with other guys
Irrational accusations come with the territory when you are dating a possessive man. He believes that you are not being true to him, which makes his emotions irrational. Pat him on the back, letting him know that he is the only guy in your little black book, and hopefully, his jealousy will pass. If not, you may want to think about breaking up.
6. He reads your instant messages and emails
Again, invading your privacy is a big no-no. You don’t need someone who is that insecure and possessive in your life. A relationship that is built on insecurities like this won’t last very long because his insecurities won’t change. He’ll always think you are up to something, even if you’ve never given him a reason to believe that. Move on!
7. He doesn’t give you the personal space you need
As mentioned, boundaries are crucial in a relationship. You must be able to freely do what you need to do without the invasion or interference of your partner. He should trust you enough to give you the personal space you need.
8. He is quick to announce to others that you are taken
This is kind of cute. I mean, he just wants people to know that you are not available to date around. It’s true that he’s probably doing this out of jealousy, but as long as he does no harm, it’s okay, in my opinion. It’s actually kind of sweet that he’s jealous and wants people to know that he is your man!
9. He doesn’t like it when he isn’t included in your plans
When a guy does this, he really comes across as needy and insecure. Those traits are not really what you want in a partner in a relationship. Speak to him about the space you need and let him know that he needs to find his own hobbies and things to do to keep himself busy while you enjoy time with your own family and friends.
10. He gets upset very easily
A moody guy is never welcome. I mean, who wants to have a boyfriend who gets upset over every little thing? I am so thankful that my man is not that way. Instead, he is very patient and understanding and doesn’t get mad easily. See if this is a trait that cannot be changed. If he doesn’t change, you need to decide if you can live with this or not.
11. He feels more secure when you are uneasy about something
This isn’t fair or reasonable at all. When you are down, he should be trying to lift you up. He shouldn’t enjoy the moments when you are insecure or not yourself. If you are at a party and feel weird because you don’t know anyone, he shouldn’t enjoy that moment because he can have you all to himself. It’s unreasonable and unwanted. Next!
12. He makes many assumptions and judgments
A territorial guy is likely to make many false judgments on what he believes to be true. You can assure him about the truth all day long, but in the end, if he does not believe you, you may have to decide if you can handle being with him in the long term.
13. He blames you for things that are not your fault
This is very annoying. You don’t want to be with someone who insists on always being right, even when they are in the wrong. A relationship like this is not sustainable. The next time this happens, consider showing proof that you are right to humble him a bit.
14. He expects you to instantly respond to his calls and text messages
This type of needy behavior is unwanted and a bit childish. You are a busy person and have a million things to do; you can’t be expected to answer within a millisecond of receiving a message or call. You might remind him of your schedule so that he will better understand what all you have going on and that you are not purposefully avoiding him.
15. He is clingy and enjoys PDA when you are in public
Your man is probably full of jealousy because when you are in public, other guys can check you out and don’t know if you are taken or not. If he is frequently jealous, just let him know that you only have eyes for him. This will let him know that you are not going to stray or leave him. Perhaps, this will help get his jealous feelings under control.
16. He wants to be your Knight in Shining Armor
Well, doesn’t every guy want to be this? They want to be the hero in your story! It’s kind of sweet; he wants to take care of you and give you attention. This trait isn’t so bad unless you are a very independent woman!
17. He wants you all to himself
This just comes with a possessive man. He’s going to want all the attention in the world. If you have the time to give it to him and want to, go ahead. You may be a match made in heaven! Most people like to enjoy time with their friends and family members, however. So, you’ll just have to let him know that you must be shared!
18. He doesn’t like it when you disagree with him
Very patient people can put up with this, but most people are not that patient. There just comes a time when you must agree to disagree. If he’s not on board for that, you may want to consider throwing this fish back in the sea and finding someone new.
Arguments and disagreements are just part of life. They happen, and there isn’t much we can do about it. It’s just not possible to agree on every subject that comes up in life. Remember, too, that if he is like this as a boyfriend, imagine what he’ll be like as a lifetime partner, a husband! Things only magnify then!
19. He gossips about people who you admire
If your man gossips about those you hold near to your heart, he is probably just jealous. He is hoping you will see negative traits in them and quit spending time with them. That way, you can devote more time to your boyfriend! It’s kind of passive-aggressive and selfish, but that’s probably the reasoning behind his actions!
20. He makes you feel guilty if he’s not included in your plans
No one likes to feel guilty for any reason. It’s just not something that sits well with your tummy. You begin to question your actions, thinking you’ve done something wrong, even if you haven’t. If you don’t like that feeling, speak to your man about how you feel. Ask him to try to understand where you are coming from (be empathetic)!
21. He relies on you for everything
Maybe you cook for him or do his laundry. What in the world would he do if you were not part of his life? He may become very territorial because he depends on you for so many little things. Teach him how to be more independent or ask him to contribute to the things you do for him. You might wash the clothes but make him put them away!
22. He doesn’t respect your boundaries
As mentioned, this is a pretty big deal. You need your time away from him. Everyone needs alone time. Maybe you enjoy reading a good book or just meditating in a quiet room. If he can’t respect that, you could find less joy in your life. Speak to him about your concerns to see if he could change this aspect to make you happy.
23. He accuses you of actually cheating
Cheating is a big deal in a relationship. If one person is unfaithful, the other person has every right to leave the relationship and pursue a new partner. If you are being accused of this without any proof or evidence, especially if you did not do anything, you should explain to your man how important this is to you. Tell him you don’t appreciate this at all.
24. He expects you to make him happy
No one should rely on another person for their happiness. That just isn’t fair to your partner. If you feel that he is leaning on you too much, you need to have a chat about this. Explain that you need him to be more independent and not rely on you for everything, especially his feelings.
I’ll admit that it is great when you are upset about something that happened during your day and your partner takes your side and gets angry himself. However, you don’t want someone to rely on you for their happiness, because the two of you may break up one day! You don’t want to have to worry about him hurting himself because of it!
25. He makes you want to agree with him just to keep the peace
Often, in a relationship, we agree for the sole purpose of keeping the peace. We don’t do it because we actually agree with our partner. We just don’t want to argue about it. I’ve done this, and I’m sure you have as well. Make sure at the end of the day, you are still yourself and not compromising your values in any way.
26. He has inconsistent behavior
A moody partner is never a good thing. One minute, he is happy as can be, and the next minute, he is upset over nothing. You can’t keep his mental health in check. What he does doesn’t really make sense to you. This can be a problem in a relationship. Couples counseling could help you sort things out better.
27. He tells you that you belong to him
Okay, it’s true that this can be a cute thing, but if he is serious, you might get scared. What does he mean by that? Are you his property? Does he realize you are just dating and not married? Your mind may be full of questions like this, wondering how far he has taken this whole territorial thing. Be careful with a guy who says this about you.
After all, he could become controlling and possessive of you – in an unhealthy way!
Feelings You May Have If Your Partner Is Territorial
If you have a man with territorial behavior, you may be feeling emotionally vulnerable because you have to share everything with someone else who is insecure and needs validation from you on a continuous basis. The relationship may take a lot of hard work in order for it to work right. Watch for any sign from the above list to see if he is territorial, possessive, or jealous.
If you see one sign from the above list, that does not mean your boyfriend is territorial; it could just mean that he is a little overprotective. But if you see more than one sign above, you may be looking at a relationship that is in jeopardy. Don’t worry; we will talk through the possible solutions that you, as his girlfriend, can take now that you know he is territorial.
What might you be feeling? If your boyfriend is jealous and possessive or exhibits more than one of the signs from the above list, you may be feeling insecure, isolated from your friends and family, weak, and confused. If you are feeling that way, that is a sign that you may need to take action to either end the relationship or improve your situation as a girlfriend.
What To Do If Your Boyfriend Is Territorial?
There are several things you can do if you know your man is territorial. First, talk to your boyfriend about the feelings and emotions you are experiencing because of his behavior. Be specific and give examples of each sign you have seen that shows he is too possessive and jealous. Jealousy has no place in a healthy relationship! It’s just not healthy!
Once changes have begun, you’ll need to build trust with your man. Don’t fight about every little thing; instead, give him a chance to correct the things he knows he is doing wrong. Set healthy boundaries in your relationship. Decide what crosses a line and what is okay. If he does something that makes you afraid, tell him that. Don’t be worried about a fight; he needs to know!
Couples counseling is always a great choice, too! A qualified therapist can help with the things you fight about and help you determine how bad things are. If those options do not help you, you may need to take a break from the relationship or end things for good. After all, it’s not fun to be afraid that you are going to upset someone just because you need more space!
When You Should Break Up with Your Man?
If you have been talking to your man about his jealous, possessive, and controlling behavior, my question for you is, has anything changed? Are you still struggling with trust issues? Don’t get me wrong; my hope is that you can work this out! Plus, getting over trust issues, for example, takes time. You need open communication and lots of faith in your relationship.
So, what do you do when the fun is gone and the things you once found attractive in your partner are no longer there? Instead, his possessive nature is just ruining things! He may be attractive to look at, but are his personality and behavior attractive? Probably not! It’s hard to let go of a relationship, especially if you’ve been together for a long time.
It’s called a sunk cost. You have put a lot into the relationship, and you expect a solid return on your investment. It just doesn’t always work out that way. If you worry about your safety, that should be a clear sign that you need to get out of the relationship. If you worry about his possessive, jealous nature, you need to break up with him! Always be safe!
A territorial guy is very possessive and overprotective. This can be a cute attitude at the beginning of a relationship, but honestly, it can get scary. You may be afraid to hang out with your friends for fear of upsetting your boyfriend. He might give you a hard time just being with friends!
Be aware of territorial guys. They try to “protect” what they believe is theirs. They may get in the middle of your relationships with other people, which is not always healthy. They can also be very controlling, trying to control who you hang out with and what you do!
Honestly, not all men feel the need to be territorial with their women. Some guys are great at setting and keeping healthy boundaries. If you are worried your man is territorial, consider having a talk with him about the things that you need in the relationship.
A jealous guy will likely try to get in the middle of you and any other guy because he feels insecure and threatened by your relationships with other people. A territorial guy is more possessive in nature. He might treat you more like property than someone he loves.
If these people have not realized that you are uncomfortable with their behavior, spend some time talking it out with them. The hope is that they will fall away from these actions, stop any control issues they have, and be more aware of how their actions are affecting you.
What has been your experience with territorial guys? Do they get jealous when you talk to someone else or worry that you are having sex with other guys? If you are not having sex with someone else, you should talk to your partner about his jealous behavior! Please comment below about your relationship experience!
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.