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4 Times It's Smart to Be Jealous

Feel guilty for getting protective of your guy? Don't. Not only is it sometimes warranted, he'll appreciate that you care.

No matter how tight your bond is, your inner green monster is bound to pop up from time to time. Luckily, relationship gurus agree jealousy is healthy. “It can be a productive way to show your guy how you want to be treated and that you care,” says Debbie Magids, PhD, author of All the Good Ones Aren’t Taken. But figuring out which situations call for a fit can be tough. We're here to help:

1. Your man’s new work buddy is a flirt...and looks exactly like Solenn.
It’s one thing if your guy chats with some touchy-feely girl he’ll never see again, but it’s different if he’s around her 40 hours a week, says Rachel Sussman, a couples therapist in New York City. Office romances happen—a recent study found 40 percent of people have dated a coworker, and often it’s because we spend more time at work than anywhere else. Odds are, your guy would be clueless if his new pal was moving in on him, but it’s good to let him know you’re not wild about the situation.

2. Your guy is going to a strip club for his friend’s bachelor party.
Yeah, guys can be guys, but you really don’t have to be totally okay with your guy making plans to drool over another woman’s bod, says Bethany Marshall, PhD, author of Deal Breakers. If you’re honestly cool with it, great. But if you feel a little uncomfortable, speak up. Ask how he’d feel if the roles were reversed, and tell him the whole thing doesn’t sit well with you. He should respect your feelings enough to at least refrain from getting a lap dance. (You can surprise him with a private show later.)

3. He’s meeting his significant ex for drinks to catch up.
If your guy is upfront about his, er, date, you shouldn’t overreact, says relationship therapist Terri Orbuch, PhD, author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great. That doesn’t mean keep your feelings to yourself. Just take a sec to evaluate whether your insecurities are seeping into this. No? Okay, then tell him you’re fine with him reconnecting with an old friend, and while you trust him, you’d feel more comfortable with them grabbing coffee instead of dinner and drinks, which can lower both of their inhibitions.

4. He consistently won’t tell you who he’s texting
A certain level of privacy in a relationship is necessary, but you’d have to be crazy to put up with this secretive behavior, says Magids. She says to be direct. Tell your guy, “I feel like something is going on because you’re keeping it so private.” Then say, “I hate to be in this situation, but I want to see who you’re texting.” You’re not overstepping, she says—his shady behavior makes your request acceptable. If he has nothing to hide, he’ll fork it over. If not, there’s a good chance he’s involved with another woman.

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