In this video series, readers submit their questions for the therapists at Symmetry Counseling. In this blog, the letter writers asks Dr. Malec about the best way to talk to her boyfriend when he gets sulky and mistrustful at her going out with her friends. Watch the video above for Dr. Malec’s response, and read below for a summary of her advice.

Dr. Malec says that in a relationship, we all need a balance of connection with our partners and a sense of autonomy, meaning outside friendships and interests that we continue to engage with even when we’re in a relationship. She suggests that if this letter writer having outside relationships makes her boyfriend feel insecure, she can sit him down and talk to him about what exactly is worrying him. Is he concerned that she will drink too much and make bad choices? Does this group of friends stay out late and when he tries to reach her, she doesn’t respond? Has she given him reason not to trust her? Has he ever met this group of friends? If not, maybe he just needs to meet them to feel better about her being out with them.

If it is something deeper than that, like he just doesn’t want her to have friends, that is a different discussion. But if it is a relationship where he generally does trust and he just feels a little nervous when she’s out with friends, he should just tell her what it is, and maybe there is something she can do to ease his mind.

Do you have your own question you would like answered by Symmetry Counseling? Submit it here for the chance to be featured on our video blog, and if you need therapy in Chicago, contact us to schedule an appointment.