Territorial Behavior

Last week I wrote a post entitled No Strings Relationships where I discussed how these types of relationships can’t work in the long run if both parties involved are actually “good” people. One of my readers left a comment saying:

…As men we tend to be territorial in general and tend to feel a way when we find another hand in our cookie jar, but if one can handle that concept and govern themselves accordingly then the NSA can work if thats what one wants…

My response to him was:

…a dude will claim he doesn’t give two shits about a chick but let him find out she’s fucking another dude and he’s salty. it doesn’t matter if he’s fucking like 4 other chicks. lol we are indeed interesting creatures…

Today I want to discuss the male psyche when it comes to being territorial. Men are human. We can have sex only for the sake of sex, but many of us also get emotionally attached. There is this credence that men are being void of emotions or at least to the level of women. In actuality men can be and are just as emotional as women and if jealousy isn’t an emotion then I don’t know what is. Jealousy is where being territorial stems from.

Just like dogs a man marks his territory. You see, dogs gather essential social information using their sense of smell. Marking serves as a way to claim territory, advertise mating availability and to support the social order. Dogs like hierarchy; it’s what they understand. Its exactly the same with men. Men simply don’t like dogs sniffing around their territory and if they do the other dog needs to understand the hierarchy.

The Male Ego

The fact that we are considered “territorial” creatures may be just the tip of the iceberg where our romantic relationships are concerned. Some of us consider betrayal by women who we are emotionally attached to as a deal breaker [Not me though. It depends on the level of our relationship]. As the “providers” in society, it can be especially damaging when our woman seeks that kind of comfort outside of the relationship. So as visual creatures, the image that we replay in our minds of our lovers possibly being with other men is not something we even want to think about.

I want to dispel any myths on this subject and state that men are not the only ones that become territorial. Women also become territorial for the same reasons we do. Think about women who conveniently leave their lip gloss, makeup or panties over a man’s house. Men and women both may experience insecurity, become possessive of our mates, and flip out every time we observe our mates pay attention to someone else.  It takes a very, very long time for hardwired behavioral patterns to change by natural selection. I say that to say that sometimes its really not something that we can control.

Are you territorial? Have you ever been with someone who was territorial? Do you find it flattering or a complete turnoff? Who do you think is more territorial, men or women?


35 thoughts on “Territorial Behavior

  1. nicknotnikki

    can I say how many sentences I erased while thinking of my answer..
    I was with someone that was territorial.. what was odd is that not only did he not have a reason to be, but he was also cheating on me.. so ask me how that makes sense and I couldn’t tell you..

    I’m not territorial, per se. if we’re at a party and my guy is talking to someone, i don’t find it necessary to loop my arm through his so that people know we’re together.. I’ll watch from afar and make sure i got him in my eyeline tho!
    and yes, being territorial is a turnoff.. don’t come round me and piss on my leg… #NoBueno

  2. Jubilance

    I’ve never dated a overly territorial man before. On some level, everyone is territorial – to not be would be to invite disrespect into your life. I’m not particularly territorial, but I will exert my presence as to not allow any disrespectful behavior. I dont believe in leaving things behind & whatnot tho.

    As for who is more territorial, I’d argue that its not really a man vs woman thing. I really think it comes down to the type of person – are they an alpha or a beta? An alpha is gonna make sure that everyone knows they are in charge, and part of that is claiming their territory & marking it as off-limits to the rest of the pack. If you think of it in those terms, you can see how it can apply to both men & women.

    Interesting topic.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      really didn’t look at it from an alpha or beta type personality. i guess because i’m a mix of the two. and you’re right. i think everyone is territorial to some point.

  3. Euphoric Ears

    I c/s Nikcerz…I’m not territoral on some OD sh*t gotta make my presence known to er’body. As long as no lines are being crossed…it’s all good.

    To my recollection, I’ve never been with someone who was territorial. At least not overtly.

    Being territorial is a turnoff when your taking that ish to the whole ‘nother level. It’s okay to make subtle actions to make it known “Hey, she’s with me”, but beyond that…I couldn’t deal.

    I don’t think men or women are more territorial. I just think it stems from different things: for me the ego, for women insecurity.

  4. Sayo

    I’m territorial, but only in committed relationships. And by committed relationship, I mean there is a mutual understanding of the intent for something long-term. In my current relationship, I never have to let that side show because in as many relationships that have come and gone with me, I have learned to state very clearly what I won’t tolerate from my partner. Territory is just that, having any and all parties know where the boundaries lie.

    I find that a lot of people deal with each other without making clear what expectations are, which is necessary to avoid drama even if you are not dealing with someone on a serious level.

  5. TheMostInterestingManintheWorld

    I’m not, and have never been territorial. It’s just not in my nature. Part of the reason is because I’ve always had tons of beautiful female friends. I can’t in good conscience maintain those relationships and expect someone I’m with, or looking to be with, to have a different set of rules.

    I’ve also never been one for NSA liaisons. Not because i’m territorial, but because I’ve just always favored sticking with a chick for 3-4 months with a certain modicum of exclusivity and then going our separate ways.

    Now that I’m married though, my wife is most definitely my territory, and I’m hers. Neither of us really exert any sort of power like that, because it’s never been necessary, but we both have that right if it were.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “I’ve just always favored sticking with a chick for 3-4 months with a certain modicum of exclusivity and then going our separate ways.”

      so what you’re saying is that you used to be a serial monogamist? i could argue that you did that in fact because you were territorial. “i’ll lock her down till i get tired of her so no one else can get at her”

  6. Janina Jeff

    I have never personally been territorial but I have been with several men that are. When it boils down to it insecurity is where it roots from. I think men and women have different ways of being territorial (expressing their insecurities). Seems like I get guys who go over the top with PDA to stake thier claim. I hate this ish! Women on the other hand may not be as forward (PDA) but will make sure everyone knows who her man is and that she has one. For example, how many men you know have full albums dedicated to their relationship on Facebook. Right! Several women on the other hand have done this or are pressed on having that “in a relationship” status up. I used to be this girl :(. I think it is something that comes with maturity on both parts. You have to get to a point when your focus is not on others (possible threats) but on your relationship (you and your partner). We waste a lot of time and energy playing these territorial games. This comes with maturity and confidence…easier said then done!

    1. JS

      I completely agree with you Janina! You made some comments in your post that I touched on in my response post, but you beat me to posting it, so I hadn’t read your post yet! -Jerrel

    2. madscientist7 Post author

      i’ve been over facebook relationship statuses. i took the option down a long time ago (circa 2006 maybe). too many people in your business.

      “You have to get to a point when your focus is not on others (possible threats) but on your relationship (you and your partner).”


  7. JS

    This is a very good topic as I stated earlier. I do think that both men and women can be territorial. I don’t necessarily think that men more so than women or vice versa, but I definitely think that there is a natural and primal nature about men being territorial of their “home” — talking about the relationship they have with “that” woman. I do believe that men can exert a more territorial nature over women in a manner the women might not. But on the other hand, I do think that men and women have different ways of exhibiting their territorial nature. Secondly, I definitely agree with one of the previous posts about alpha and beta attributes. I do think that is a very real aspect to this entire conversation, “dominance” and that doesn’t have to be taken negatively. Even though you stated that you were a blend of both, which may be true, but in a relationship there is still always someone who is more dominant than the other. And lastly, how do your explain people who are in same-sex relationships? I find from my observance of friends who are in those types of relationships that those relationships whether it’s two men or two women tend to be some of the most territorial kinds. That’s when the alpha and beta complex really comes into play. Sorry for my long response post!

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “I do believe that men can exert a more territorial nature over women in a manner the women might not. ”

      this probably ties into the whole “provider and protector” role that men play.

      i don’t know of any openly gay couples. at least ones that i hang out with close enough to observe their interactions so i wouldn’t know how alpha/beta personalities play into those types of relationships. interesting perspective nonetheless.

  8. Mildred

    Gosh, I’m loving this topic. okay. No, I am not territorial. I feel that I have such a desirable personality and connection with my mate, that I don’t have to be. In all my 29 years of living (at least while in a relationship), I have never felt the need to exert or leave any “mark” behind, besides the respect that I show to the other person. However, I do understand clearly why it’s done by others. I really haven’t had the experience of being with someone who was/is territorial. I have close friends both men and women who are, and i find it a bit exhausting just listening to their stories. So, that leads to my next answer about whether I think it’s flattering or a complete turnoff. Well, I personally think it’s a complete turnoff, especially if its extreme. I’m not saying leave me to do whatever I want, I just don’t think it’s necessary, especially in the manner that i usually see it being conveyed. I see it as having insecurity complex. I feel that there are other ways it can be expressed when one takes pride or loves their partner. I believe men are more territorial than women, simply due to their high level of EGO. I feel that once one fully understands human nature in ALL levels/aspects, being territorial goes out the window.

    1. Shantiekins

      I agree with you on some points. But I for example, am territorial but I am as confident as it gets. I have never been the insecure type. For me, territorial doesn’t mean jealousy. I have been jealous before and I’ve been that girl before. But now it’s just territorial. Like a “you’re mine” kind of mentality. But not in an excessive way either. Like not controlling or anything. In a kind of way that’s like “yea dude, you go do your thing, I trust you. You wanna look at chics, go for it. But at the end of the night, I’ll be the one fucking you. No one else. And I will make you forget every woman you saw today and tomorrow we can start all over again” 😉

  9. Pingback: Territorial person | Goldplatinumsi

  10. Non Conformy

    I’m a woman who’s never really had a mate behave in a territorial way about me. If they did, I’d give the heave-ho, because it’s not reasonable for a partner to be so insecure.

    But I live in a big city, and I find that (maybe because I’m an independent female who’s not afraid to go about on her own, since my partner and my friends are not always available) many people, both male and female, seem to instinctively go into territorial mode at the sight of me. People cut in front of me in lines at coffee shops; they refuse to yield when they see me coming toward them on the sidewalks; people try to get themselves served at stores before me — even when they see that I was there first.

    Now, this may be partly because people in a big, busy place feel like they have to shove themselves forward, no matter what. But I also believe that because I don’t present myself as some conventional female whose way of dressing favours slavish devotion to fashion, instead of comfort and practicality, people’s attitude is “you don’t belong here.”

    I don’t want, or need, to belong. I won’t knock myself out trying. I do, however, try to afford others some basic courtesy in public. I wish that more people felt as I do, i.e., that they believed in fairness and decency and following the rule of first-come-first-served, regardless of whether you approve of how someone presents themselves, but they don’t seem to. And the way people look at me when they see me coming, I can tell they are threatened by someone who’s doesn’t go to great pains to make the most of her appearance.

    When I choose to, I can look very stylish and chic. But I don’t have to dress fashionably every day for a conventional job. I work part-time; my employers don’t have a dress code which forces you to wear business attire, or even “dress casual.:” Most of my clothes are not new, they are used, but all are in good condition, and therefore I consider them presentable. If other people don’t, that doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is the resulting subtle discrimination.

    It’s amazing how threatened many people are by the idea that not everyone wants to be a player in some big, shallow game where the most important thing is appearances.

  11. Mi,chelle

    Ive unfortunately have had to much crazy experience with this topic. Men not only piss to mark their territory, but ive had them mark it as I was already in a relationship by calling (accidently, %YA, RIGHT MY @#&!) My house requesting me and stating wrong # to the man I was splitting up with whom unfortunately didnt have no where to live yet. All though I didnt cheat or gave any confirming sign that I would court w /him I simply may had a slight attraction for only relationship with the other man ( just a comunication desire) at that time., he then called my house asking for me, & him knowing my split man anwered or would answer phn and asked for my name as wrong # becarefull ladies!!! I ended up w/ him and it all wentto hell from there and I didnt cheat. I took the wrong man, even though I was ready to leave the other. dont regret either relationship but the new guy was a player and led me iinto a very ugly path due to the emotions I had fun to get back in check after I left him 2. UGLY SERIOUSE SHIZZIT. EVEN THOUGH I WAS SINGLE FOR YEARS I STILL DIDNT SEE AS STRIGHT AS I THOUGHT I WAS when next animal I didnt want came along and destroyed my entire family

    1. Mi,chelle

      Put it this way, if it acts like a animal it is a wild animal! The 3 rd animal is doing 12 yrs now for what he did.

      1. Mi,chelle

        2nd guy had animalistic behavior but not a beast. I accepted the 3 rd the same way as second by a phone call at my work thinking it was a sign due to his rare first name requesting me w / no return # and he didnt have my phn #. I wasnt even interested untill that happened and realy still didnt want a relationship. Listen to instinks carefully

      2. Mi,chelle

        That 3 rd relationship ill regret for the rest of my life!!!! 2 Fryin pans to ingulfed in flames!!!!

  12. Matt

    I find myself to be very territorial. If my gf starts talking about another guy or she says she sat with him on the bus I instantly become angry. In my mind, I know that I shouldn’t be worried,but emotionally, I can’t help but get mad and want to beat the fuck out of the other guy. I really can’t help it

  13. Shantiekins

    I am a woman and I am extremely territorial. Although, I do not consider it as jealousy. I have been the jealous type before with an ex (the one that would practically look through his phone and so on). But with my current boyfriend it is more like I don’t care if he look at other women (as long as I don’t catch him because that’s just disrespectful) but I just want to have sex with him to assert my dominance and show he’s mine and only mine. For me, it is really the most basic instinctual animalistic reasoning it can get.

  14. TLyte

    I have a question, not comment. I looked online and couldn’t get an answer. I need an answer from men only on this one.

    I don’t drink beer. The man I’ve been seeing for 9 months now is a beer drinker; he lives beer in my refrigerator in my apartment. What is he doing? Marking his territory; he doesn’t live with me. Thanks for your help, men!

  15. TLyte

    I have a question, no comment. I looked online and couldn’t get an answer. I need an answer from men only on this one.

    I don’t drink beer. The man I’ve been seeing for 9 months now is a beer drinker.

    He leaves beer in my refrigerator at my apartment. What is he doing? Marking his territory; he doesn’t live with me. Thanks for your help, men!

  16. Alcudiababe

    Im a Woman and i am territorial. Not in my relationship but of my home, my possessions and when certain family menbers are in my house without my permission. It is very unpleasnt to know someone else other than me or my fiancee is in my house because i just think its not their buisness. My home is my barrier to the outside world and i choose who to let in. They may have an emergency key in case of emergencies but only in emergencies!! I get very heated, because its my house and everything in it is mine – my Mom thinks its lovely to use the emergency key to clean my kitchen and then move stuff and put things where i dont know. I feel like crying because i dont know where it is yet i want to tear the place down until i find it. It angers me when she takes my comfortable bottoms just to take home and wash and when i get her on the phone its wear your pyjamer bottoms or summit else. But thars not the point. Its the taking it out of my own house that i hate with a passion. She mistakes this for being childish or being silly but she doesnt get that a mislaid shoe is upsetting because i just go to where is my favourite pen or my favourite book when i come home from work and i need things where i need them to be, at easy reach where i can get to them and when they are not there i get very angry.
    I just get a real surge when i see her in my house or her car is on my drive and she shouldnt be there. When i find she is on her hands and knees cleaning (even tho im told to look at it as help) that still pisses me off cos she is not a slave she is my Mother and im not going to treat her like a slave and doing things i know i can do but this site explaning territorial is me.


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