Is flirting cheating? Many guys might ask themselves this when it comes to their girlfriends. First and foremost, though; no, flirting is not cheating. Second, just because you have a girlfriend who happens to be a flirt, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to worry about her ever cheating. We break down why that is, and how a guy can handle the flirty nature of his girlfriend so not to become jealous or nervous.

Look, we get it, no guy wants to feel secondary when it comes to how his girlfriend might feel about him — especially when in a public setting where she seems to be flirting with everyone else but him. The truth is, flirting isn’t cheating, and it should be taken as a sign that your girlfriend is, in fact, comfortable and confident in her own skin, and know that she’s all yours at the end of the night.

Still, because a flirtatious girlfriend can cause anxiety for a guy — and takes communication about boundaries — these are the ways for guys to handle such a girl, as well as being confident about how to approach talking to her.

Flirting is normal, so let it happen

According to sex therapist Tammy Nelson, per CNN, flirting is 100 percent normal, so don’t hold someone back if that’s their natural personality. Said Nelson, “why shut down your natural feelings of attraction for someone just because you are in a monogamous relationship with someone else?” she asked. “You might be married, but you’re not dead.”

That’s an important message, because, after all, part of the reason you’re dating your girlfriend is because she is who she is! Far too often, jealousy can reign supreme and people try to mold their partners into something they aren’t, which only causes tension and can lead to jealousy or arguments — which all stem from bad chemistry or insecurities. Allow flirting to happen and understand that you’re able to do it, too!

But don’t become a pushover

That said, the last part in the above tip is important, because you and your girlfriend must know that this is a two-way street. This isn’t one of those deals where she’s running around the bar and seeking out other people and ignoring you, and you’re just there left talking to the bartender alone, watching her have fun.

It all comes down to understanding your girlfriend and yourself, and not turning the flirting into a competition to make the other person jealous. That’s just a red flag for a bad relationship.

Talk boundaries

This should go without saying, because, like many things in a relationship, there should be boundaries on things. If she’s still talking to her ex-boyfriend, that should be cool — they have chemistry, always will and should both be happy to have salvaged a relationship. However, if she’s still flirting with him and sharing details with him before she is with you, it’s time to approach her to let her know how it makes you feel.

In other examples, just because you and/or your girlfriend are attracted to other people isn’t a bad thing. We’re humans, it happens. It’s understanding and respecting the relationship you’re in that matters most, knowing when it’s OK to flirt and when it’s time to sort of pump the brakes.

Think, analyze, communicate the issue

When all else fails, it’s time for you to think about why her flirting bothers you, how you want to approach the situation and then communicate back to her an opportunity to talk about it. You’re both adults, so don’t just internalize it and have things boil over, leading to an argument or accusations.

Before jumping the gun, analyzing the issue is a major first step. Are your feelings coming from insecurity or somewhere else? Is the issue really something you can’t control on your own? Lastly, if she’s putting you second and you’re feeling inferior to other people she’s flirting with, that’s something she should hear about and want to change. If not, it could be time to end things with her.

So, no, flirting isn’t cheating. But, flirting is something that needs to be monitored and talked about in order to make both people understand how their partner can be happiest and the relationship can be healthiest.