Is your man jealous of your guy friends, the ex you stay in contact with, or the male officemate with the cubicle next to yours? While there are certainly ways to deal with a jealous and overly possessive partner, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of stirring the green-eyed monster when you meet these guys without your current sweetie along.

In fact, a recent study that appears in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE suggests that one concrete thing you can do to make your man less jealous is to meet your exes (and perhaps even any other guys your current sweetie may be feeling insecure about) for coffee or drinks instead of for a meal.

The paper, which was entitled "It's Not Just Lunch: Extra-Pair Commensality Can Trigger Sexual Jealousy," discussed the findings from research done on the amount of jealousy reported by couples when one partner was contacted by and went out with an ex-lover, engaging in activities based on eating and drinking.

"We consistently found that meals elicit more jealousy than face-to-face interactions that do not involve eating—such as having coffee," said Kevin M. Kniffin, co-author of the paper and a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics. "These results are consistent for both men and women."

The researchers suggest that the reason for this increased jealousy is the idea that sharing meals can strengthen a relationship, so having lunch or dinner with an ex is seen to mean more than just consuming calories together.

So the next time your ex calls you up and suggests a meet for old times’ sake, arrange to meet him at a coffee shop instead of a restaurant. On the flip side, you may also want to start sharing more meals with your honey, which may help him feel more secure in your relationship.

(Photo by Garry Knight via Flickr Creative Commons; photo used for illustrative purposes only.)

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