ID your angst. To start, ask yourself what their friendship means to you. “Sorting out the source of your anxiety will give you a plan of action,” says Marshall. Why are you annoyed? Do you suspect there’s a mutual attraction? Does their friendship fill a void in your relationship? Or is there an underlying reason you haven’t addressed? “My dad cheated on my mom and I’ve always had a problem trusting men,” says Cathy, 28, from Boston, Mass. “When I met my boyfriend, it took me a long time to accept his best friend who is a woman. When I got to know her, I realized my jealousy actually stemmed from my unresolved feelings toward my dad.” The key is to make sure you can differentiate between a situation that just bugs you (Is it worth busting up his 10-year-old friendship?) and one that makes you miserable (Do you distrust him or her?).
Review the evidence. “Relationships are special in part because a couple shares exclusive commodities,” says Marshall. “It’s usually the three big ones: sex, time and money. If he’s suddenly sharing one of these things with her, that could be a sign that something deeper is going on.” For example, are they affectionate with each other? Does he make time for her that could be spent with you, say, on Saturday night? Does he spend money on her? “Whenever my boyfriend had dinner with a certain female friend, he always picked up the tab,” says Judy from New York City. “We shared a bank account so it felt like I was, in part, funding their dinners, and it seemed like a protective gesture on his part-something a boyfriend would do. In time, I realized there was something going on and we didn’t last long.” Read More