Bring it to Barb

Barb Rock

Dear Barb,
I have been dating a new man and I feel that he is a bit controlling and jealous. I don’t want to get too involved with him and be blinded by the passion. What are things to watch for during the first few months of dating? Are men just controlling and jealous naturally?

Cautiously Watching

Dear Cautiously Watching,
It’s hard to make a relationship stronger when your man is often controlling or jealous. Men are pleasers mostly, but insecurity from past relationships can play a part in how they act. Jealousy turns to resentment and resentment turns to (silent) anger. You must recognize the signs early on that he’s jealous and controlling. Don’t invest too much time in a non-productive partnership. If you find that he exhibits behaviors like these, you might need to find a new man:

  1. He doesn’t call you, text you, or respond when you’re out with girlfriends. It’s his way of showing you that he resents the time you spend with others because you’re not with him. If he isn’t happy, then he doesn’t want you to be happy.
  2. He won’t admit when he feels jealous, but he will withhold affection. Sometimes he’ll refuse to be intimate. You can tell if he really loves you by the way he looks at you.
  3. He often makes excuses for not taking you out. He doesn’t want you where you’ll attract attention from single men. If he doesn’t want to do something with you, then do it alone. You are the one who decides how to live your best life!
  4. He wants to decide the mood for both of you. He will work hard to adjust any plans to be in control, and he will sabotage things that he doesn’t want to do. When he’s feeling up, he expects you to feel the same. When he’s feeling down, he expects you also to be miserable.
  5. If you are in a really good mood, he cuts you down. Or, he brings up something negative to change your mood.
  6. He resists your positive influences. You can pray for him and wish him positive thoughts, but he enjoys being miserable.
  7. To make you feel jealous, he pays attention to other women. He often looks at them, flirts with them, and adds them to his Facebook or Snapchat. However, whenever this happens, you aren’t “allowed” to feel jealous. If you try it, he gets livid.
  8. He leaves the restaurant if you talk to another guy. He doesn’t give you a chance to explain that you are reconnecting with a long-lost friend or a college study partner.

Decide if this boyfriend is a positive person in your life or not. Examine his recent behavior patterns. If he treats you poorly most of the time, there’s your answer. You can choose to love yourself more and to set yourself free from anyone’s control. Watch the behavior the first six months, and be honest with yourself: Is it acceptable for you?

If breaking up is difficult, then don’t tolerate his games or patterns of jealousy and hold your ground and watch him stomp away.

Barb Rock is a mental health counselor and the published author of “Run Your Own Race: Happiness after 50.” Send any questions related to mental health, relationships or life issues to her at



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