Let’s face it, whether a relationship is good or bad, falling into the trap of becoming the jealous boyfriend can be tricky to avoid. It’s not that you don’t trust your girlfriend, but, whether it was getting burned in the past or creating a false identity that you’re beginning to believe in your mind, you just can’t help but be jealous. That needs to stop.

As we all know, trust and communication are often described as the most important factors in a healthy relationship, so, if you’re feeling like the jealous boyfriend, bring up your concerns with your girl and see how she might respond to help ease your mind. If it leads to arguing or tension rather than support from her, it might be time to call things off.

For those who just can’t help but get jealous, though — no matter what you or you and your partner try — here are some tips for you, because nobody wants to be the jealous boyfriend who’s bitter all the time.

Create boundaries

This should be a given with a new relationship, as you want to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success before getting in too deep with a new girlfriend. For instance, as much as it might sting to cut-out certain people from both of your lives, if there’s a threat to your partner — like an ex or a former friend with benefits — there’s no point in holding onto a friendship with that person for the good of the new relationship. It might be good at first, but it’s bound to create drama down the road.

But understand she’s got a past

One thing I like to say is knowing, understanding and accepting. Those three words may appear to be similar, but when you get to the root of their meanings, they’re actually a bit different. In this situation, when it comes to a relationship, you know that your new girlfriend has a past, but you need to understand what that means by talking to her before passing judgement. Once you have that information from her, then you can accept the fact that some of her guy friends are people she’s built relationships with over time, so there’s no need to become jealous.

Stop comparing

We all have insecurities, but it’s channeling those negative thoughts and blocking them from becoming toxic and consuming your mind. Sure, you may see an old picture of your new girlfriend and her ex from years ago looking happy as could be, but, for whatever reason, no matter how happy they look in that moment, it didn’t work out. It can sting if you find yourself wondering how you landed such a pretty girl and she walked away from a guy, seemingly, more attractive and/or successful, but comparing yourself to him (or other guys) will only create unnecessary jealousy.

Embrace the relationship

Have you ever heard the saying, “remember when you wanted what you currently have?” That’s important when it comes to a relationship, because this is what you wanted, a partner to share things and grow with! Being single is fun and allows you to be selfish and figure things out in your own mind, but that’s the past, so embrace what you currently have and stop thinking “what if” and begin training your mind to wonder “what is!”

Speak up

Guess what, guys, it’s 2018 and men are opening up about their feelings. Gone are the days of being the macho man who internalizes everything and blows off insecurity by getting hammered with his friends, going for a long run or some other activity. Rather than accuse your girlfriend of anything or creating a problem that doesn’t exist, speak up about your concerns and help her guide your mind away from a bad place. If your relationship has always been healthy, take her for her word and work together on moving beyond any jealous feelings you have.