In this article, we will look at the signs a guy is marking his territory, the obvious and not-so-obvious signs.
Men are territorial by nature. However, some guys are extremely possessive over their partners. A territorial guy shows that he cares for you and is afraid to lose you.
However, some guys may go to great lengths to dominate their partners and show everyone they are taken.
Most women find it insulting when a man gets very territorial as they see as if they are property for the man to “own.” On the other hand, some women like it and find it appealing.
If a guy feels the need to mark his territory, he may be possessive and controlling, which can be harmful to the relationship
Knowing the signs a guy is marking his territory is useful no matter what side of the divide you are on.
Signs a Guy Is Marking His Territory
So, how do you know if a guy is territorial? Here are signs a guy is marking his territory.
1. He Insists On Moving In Together
If a guy insists on moving in with you even though you feel it is not yet the right time to move in together, he is marking his territory.
A guy will insist on moving in with you so everyone knows you are his girlfriend. Moving in together with your boyfriend is beneficial, but if done early in the relationship, it can cause problems.
First, you do not know each other well enough to cohabitate peacefully, and you may find that the quirks you love about your partner are annoying when you live with them.
Additionally, moving in prematurely will bring about problems with money and house chores.
2. He Will Have Extravagant Physical Contact In Public
A guy marking his territory will make exaggerated physical contact in public. For instance, he will want to hug and kiss you in public and may not do it as often when you are in private.
He may also insist on holding your hands when you are together, not because he wants to, but because he wants other guys to know you are taken and not to come near you.
According to sex therapist Tracey Cox, PDAs don’t mean a guy is getting mushy on you; it is a primitive way of showing you’re off the market.
Most people who have exaggerated public physical contact may not have the same private contact, as they only do it for the benefit of others.
Moreover, a guy marking his territory will want to be involved in all conversations you have with others.
So he will interrupt your conversations with your guy friends so that he may be part of the conversation.
This may cause animosity between him and your friends, and you may lose friends.
For instance, you may be talking to your friend, and your boyfriend will come to hug you and kiss you in front of your friends.
Naturally, a public display of affection does not sit well with everyone and may embarrass some of your friends.
3. He Becomes Possessive
If a guy is trying to mark his territory, he will become overly possessive of you. He will want to control where you go, who you go with, and even who you talk to.
According to Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, a therapist, “Possessiveness is a red flag in a relationship. It is a sign of a controlling and potentially abusive dynamic.”
So, if a guy is possessive and wants to control you, you should be careful because being in a relationship with him may be troublesome in the long run.
Possessive guys will most likely turn into emotional and physical abusers. For instance, if a guy is possessive, he wants to control you and will gaslight you to have power over you; this is emotional abuse.
If the emotional abuse doesn’t work, he will hit you so you can do what he wants. He wants to instill fear in you so that you can do everything he wants.
4. He introduces you as “My Girlfriend” or “My Woman”
When a guy introduces you as “My Girlfriend” or “My Woman,” it can be a sign that he is marking his territory.
This pronoun choice shows a possessive and protective attitude, indicating that he wants others to recognize your relationship status and his claim over you.
It’s a way for him to establish a sense of ownership and let others know that you are off-limits.
5. He Watches Your Every Move
Another sign of a territorial guy is someone who watches your every move. He will want to know what you did, when, and with who.
If your boyfriend keeps asking you where you are, who you are with, or what you are doing, he is territorial and wants to know your every move.
Territorial guys can become stalkers because they want to know everything you do. So they may start stalking you online and offline.
If your boyfriend seems to know everything about you, even something you are sure you didn’t tell him. He is stalking you to get information about you.
Some guys may install spyware in your phone to know who you are texting and where you are at all times.
6. He Is Extremely Jealous
A little jealousy is important in a relationship because it shows that your partner is afraid of losing you.
However, if your boyfriend is extremely jealous and doesn’t want to see you talking to other guys or having guy friends, he is marking his territory.
Extreme jealousy in a relationship is toxic because it shows possessiveness, and it will eventually cause strain on the relationship.
Your boyfriend can’t be your everything; no one can be everything to someone, so if your boyfriend is extremely jealous, he will deter you from having friends.
If your boyfriend is jealous, he will go through your phone to know who you are talking to.
7. He Gets Upset When You Spend Time With Other People
If a guy is marking his territory, he will get upset when you spend time with others. He wants you to spend all your free time with him, and he may isolate you from other people.
A territorial guy is toxic because he will isolate you from your friends and family, and if he gets abusive, you will not have anyone to open up to.
So, if a guy gets upset when you spend time with others, even your family and friends, it is a huge red flag, and you should cut ties with them.
As much as he wants you to spend time with him, he should give you time to spend with other people and not isolate you. This is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
8. He Will Show You Off
A guy marking his territory will want to show you off his friends and family. He will tell everyone who cares to listen about you and will even show them your photo.
A guy marking his territory will post you on his social media and even have your picture as his background photo on his phone.
Your pictures give him the feeling that the relationship and you are real. Moreover, he will leave his phone open for other guys to see your photo to show them he is in a relationship with you and you are off limits.
9. He Takes You Everywhere
If a guy wants you to accompany him to every social function he goes to, he wants to show people you are together.
On the other hand, he could be taking you everywhere because he is possessive and always wants to know your whereabouts.
This is a double-edged sword; he could be showing you off or be possessive and controlling. It is up to you to look for other signs of possessiveness to know if it is positive or negative.
10. He Buys You Personalized Jewelry
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend; it is no secret that ladies love jewelry and like receiving gifts.
However, if a guy gifts you personalized jewelry, maybe with his name or initials, he wants everyone to know you are in a relationship with him.
Moreover, wearing a piece he gave you makes him feel appreciated, and it is a sign that you approve of the relationship.
Moreover, a guy marking his territory may get upset when you don’t wear the jewelry he bought you.
So, if you know your guy is territorial, you can wear the jewelry he buys you and ensure he sees you with it. It will make him feel appreciated and loved back.
11. He Accuses You Of Flirting
If a guy is marking his territory, he will always accuse you of flirting with other guys whenever he sees you talking to someone.
Territorial guys often have irrational accusations and will not want to see you associating with other men.
For instance, if you are doing a work or school project with a male colleague, he will accuse you of flirting with your colleague even if your actions are innocent.
In his books, you can’t have a platonic friendship with a guy without flirting with him.
12. He Expects You To Reply To His Texts And Calls Instantly
A territorial guy will expect you to be at his beck and call. He wants you to respond to his call and texts as soon as he sends them.
As much as we have our phones on our person most of the time, this is an unrealistic expectation. You are busy and have other things to do besides waiting for his texts.
Moreover, you may have left your phone and stepped outside for a minute, but he will not want to understand.
He needs you to pick up his calls when he calls and answer his texts immediately lest he accuses you of cheating.
13. He Likes When You Wear His Clothes
If a guy is marking his territory with you, he will want you to wear his clothes. I know most people have done this before; in every relationship, there is that hood that is communal.
So, if you like wearing your boyfriend’s clothes, you are not the only one who likes it.
He loves it too and would prefer you wear more of them so he can smell your scent when he wears the clothes.
When a guy sees you wearing his clothes, it shows you are comfortable around him and assures him that you are his girlfriend.
Sharing is important in all relationships; when you share his clothes, he feels your bond is strong.
For instance, I am in a long-distance relationship and love wearing my boyfriend’s jackets and hoods.
It doesn’t matter that they literally swallow me whole; I love them because they make me feel closer to him when he is not around.
When a guy gives you his clothes, he wants you to think about him when you wear them.
14. He May Leave A Mark
Love bites may be the most obvious way of marking his territory. Love bites may be innocent and sweet; however, if a guy is marking his territory, he will always ensure you have a visible love bite.
He wants everyone to know you are taken. After all, you didn’t bite your neck, did you?
Love bites are okay if you approve, but if your boyfriend keeps leaving them to mark his territory, it is toxic behavior and unacceptable.
If you want to know if your guy is giving you love bites to mark his territory, tell him you don’t want one and see his reaction. He is giving them out of affection if he is okay with you not liking it.
However, if he gets upset that you don’t want a love bite, he is clearly only doing it to mark his territory, which is a red flag in the relationship.
Your boyfriend may want to leave a mark on you because he is insecure and feels you will attract more deserving men than him. He may feel he is inferior to you and doesn’t deserve you.
15. He Gets Mad When You Don’t Prioritize Him
A guy who wants to mark his territory will get angry when you don’t prioritize him. For instance, he will get upset when you prioritize your family or work over him.
This possessive behavior reveals his underlying need to control and dominate your time and attention.
It’s as if he expects to be at the forefront of your life, demanding that you revolve everything around him.
This unhealthy mindset often stems from insecurity and a fear of losing you to other guys or friends.
When you start to notice his anger escalating whenever you prioritize anything or anyone else, it’s a clear indication that he is marking his territory to you and trying to assert his dominance.
What To Do If You Are Dating A Territorial Guy
Here are some tips on how to deal with dating a territorial guy.
1. Remember, You Are An Individual
As much as you are dating someone, you must remember you are an individual and don’t have to do or love everything your significant other loves.
For instance, if your boyfriend loves football, you don’t have to love it; if you love dancing, your boyfriend doesn’t have to take up dancing.
You can love different things and remain in love with each other. You should be free to do what you like in a relationship without compromising it.
Your individuality is important, and it is what makes you the person you are.
2. Talk To Someone You Trust
If you are in a relationship with a territorial guy, you should tell someone you trust about what is happening.
If they are stalking you or isolating you, tell someone. You will need someone in your corner when things go south.
If you have a territorial boyfriend, letting someone know will help you get a new perspective, and you will have someone who knows what’s happening.
3. Set Boundaries
If you are dating a territorial guy, you need to set clear boundaries in the relationship.
For example, if he wants to know your every move, tell him he doesn’t have to know everything, and if you need him to know something, you will tell him.
You need freedom in the relationship without your boyfriend following you around.
For instance, if your boyfriend is overly touchy with you in public, you can ask him to limit his PDAs or touch you when you are in private.
Draw the line and ensure you enforce the boundaries. Do what you are comfortable with and ask him not to do what you don’t want.
4. Seek Professional Help
If you are dating a territorial and possessive man, you can seek professional help from a therapist.
They will help your boyfriend understand the underlying cause of his possessiveness and show him how to better himself.
They will also give you tools to navigate through a relationship with a territorial man and how you can support him as he works on his possessiveness.
5. Leave him
If your boyfriend is territorial, and it is affecting your relationship, or he becomes abusive, you should leave him.
You should be in a relationship where there is mutual respect and love. If your boyfriend is controlling and possessive, you should move on.
Dating a territorial and possessive guy can be draining. Possessiveness and control in a relationship are toxic and harmful in a relationship.
There are several signs a guy is marking his territory; some of the signs include; he stalks you, he introduces you as my girlfriend or my woman, he insists on moving in with you, and being possessive and controlling.
Moreover, if a guy is marking his territory, he will accuse you of flirting with other guys, want to know all your moves and be extremely jealous.
Additionally, a guy marking his territory will want you to wear his clothes, buy you personalized jewelry, and may also leave a mark on you.
If you are dating a territorial guy, you should talk to him about his possessive nature.
You should also remember you are an individual and should be allowed to be one, you don’t have to do everything your boyfriend wants.
Talk to someone you trust in addition to setting clear and healthy boundaries in the relationship. Consider talking to a professional to help you navigate the relationship with a possessive guy.
If all else fails, it is time to leave the relationship. You shouldn’t be with someone who treats you like property and doesn’t let you do anything for yourself.
Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com
Sarah Williams is an author at CandidHaven.com she is an expert in human psychology having graduated with an M.S. in Psychology.
Sarah has extensive experience in relationships and dating therapy having worked for over 6 years with different groups of people including teens, dating couples, and married people.
She is a lover of life, and self-development and believes everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship. Sarah loves reading self-help books and doing research on human psychology.