It may have been flattering -- the way your boyfriend seemed to want to spend so much time with you. However, it is not normal for a guy to get upset when you hang out with other people. It also makes for a relationship filled with high tensions. Consider that his anger likely stems from some inner insecurities and fears. Discovering what causes him to react the way he does can help you determine if this relationship has a promising, healthy future.
Afraid of Being Vulnerable
As your boyfriend grows closer to you he may fear being rejected, suggests best-selling author and Huffington Post relationship writer Margaret Paul in “Fear of Intimacy.” This is a major insecurity for many people in relationships. In his mind, you spending time with your friends could be one way in which you are rejecting him, by excluding him. Overcoming this fear will first require that your guy admit that he is afraid. He must embrace the fact that rejection is a possibility in every relationship. He should come to appreciate the time you spend being together, as well as the time you both socialize with others.
Effects of Upbringing
Your guy may be accustomed to seeing relationships in which one partner exercised a lot of control over the other. The relationships that he witnessed while growing up can have a significant impact on what he believes to be acceptable in his romantic relationship with you, says psychologist and marriage therapist Marie Hartwell-Walker in the article "Signs of a Controlling Guy” for Psych Central. In this respect, he may be mimicking patterns of a controlling male figure which he witnessed in the relationships of his family members.
If your guy does not think too highly of himself, he may get mad as a means to control you. On the one hand he may resent your relationship with your friends, because he is either jealous of how friendly and sociable you can be or that you have more friends than he does. On the other hand, his anger can be a way to manipulate you so that he can feel more in control and possibly improve how he views himself.
Negotiate for Strong Boundaries
You will not be able to determine for certain why your guy gets mad when you spend time with others unless you talk to him directly about it. Tell him that although you care about him very much you also need to have time with your family and friends. Let him know how badly you feel when he gets angry. If he is ready to admit that he has been acting out-of-line, you can talk about the need to have clear boundaries for personal time and space. On the other hand, if your guy is being unreasonable and shows no signs of becoming less controlling, you should consider taking a step back from the relationship in order to protect yourself from experiencing further emotional or even physical hurt.
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