If your relationship is a good one, you should be able to say, "I trust him"—and mean it.
If you're constantly worried that another woman will take off with your guy or that his late nights "at the office" mean he's up to no good, then your relationship has indeed entered rocky territory.
"People feel jealous because they're afraid, insecure, threatened, or scared to lose someone they love," says Jane Greer, PhD, a New York–based relationship expert and author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal. A confident, well-adjusted person in a healthy partnership should rarely have a reason to get superjealous or suspicious. In short, if your relationship is a good one, you should be able to say, "I trust him"—and mean it.
Not sure if you're as secure as you should be? Here are five key signs that a relationship is a strong one.
1. Neither of you gets upset when one of you dances or flirts with other people.
You have no problem sharing him on the dance floor at a wedding. In fact, you love watching him bust a move with others—it makes you smile.
"Flirting is a natural behavior that's about generating energy," says Greer. "It doesn't bother you because you both know you're still into each other and find the other desirable." Besides, you know that at the end of the night he's going home with you!
2. You both have friends of the opposite sex, and neither of you feel weird about it.
You might give a male friend a ride to the airport, and your partner might help a female friend hang some pictures in her apartment. And guess what? It doesn't cause an argument.
"You completely trust him and know he's doing this favor because he cares about a friend or vice versa," says Greer. "You see it as a gesture of love and caring, rather than a threat of your partner being alone with someone else."
3. When people tell you how attractive your partner is, you feel flattered and happy.
None of those "Back off, he's my man!" thoughts pop into your head. Instead, you feel proud of your guy's good looks and are glad that people notice he's handsome. "You know how sexy he is," says Greer. "And he's all yours."
4. You don't freak out when he talks about how hot Jessica Alba is, and he knows you have a huge crush on Ryan Gosling—and it's totally fine.
This is a big one. It takes a very strong, confident person to hear his or her partner call someone else attractive.
"It means they have a solid foundation of trust within the relationship," says Greer. "You understand that your partner's words are not expressions of a desire to be sexually intimate with someone else, and you feel safe and secure in that knowledge."
5. You aren't always joined at the hip.
Just because you don't constantly run in the same circles doesn't mean you aren't completely committed. Spending lots of time together is great, but so is doing your own thing from time to time.
You understand that your partner sometimes goes out with his friends without you, and you do the same. And when you're apart, you don't spend all night texting and worrying about where he is and who he might have run into. "You're secure in your partner's love and desire for you, so you're not threatened by any other woman who may come along," says Greer.
This article was originally published at Prevention. Reprinted with permission from the author.