No relationship is perfect, and having doubts is normal. Doubt is a healthy emotion that indicates you’re paying attention and taking note of any inconsistencies. The question is, what are you having doubts about, and how severe are your doubts? Let’s talk about the doubts you shouldn’t ignore and some questions to ask yourself when you find yourself having doubts.
Doubts you should never ignore
If you find yourself doubting any of these things about your partner and your relationship, don’t ignore it.
- Are they being honest? Never ignore any concerns you have about how honest someone is.
- Are they still attracted to you? Sexual attraction and satisfaction are too significant an aspect of romantic relationships to ignore any doubts about their attraction to you.
- Do you have compatible future goals? You don’t have to want the exact same things in the future, but they should be compatible. If there are significant differences, you need to have a talk about that.
- Are they loyal? Building a future with someone you don’t trust, someone you don’t consider loyal is a bad idea.
- Can they regulate their anger? This is especially important for heterosexual women, if you have any doubts about your partner’s emotional regulation, you should not ignore that.
- Are they too good to be true? You’ve heard it said, ‘When the deal is too good, think twice.’ It’s true, if you worry that they are too good to be true, don’t ignore that.
- Do they care about you? If you have any doubts about whether your partner cares about you or likes you based on their behaviour, you shouldn’t ignore that. You want a partner who you’re certain cares about you even during difficult, conflict-laden periods. It should be embarrassingly obvious if someone likes you.
Questions to ask yourself if you’re having doubts
If you have doubts in any area of your relationship, here are some questions to ask yourself to determine how serious your concerns are and potentially the way forward.
- Are the doubts about you or your partner?
- What are you having doubts about specifically? The area of doubt is likely to determine the way forward, for example, if you doubt your partner’s honesty, that’s a bigger problem than doubts about their attraction to you, which could be caused by your own body insecurities.
- How often do I feel this way? Are the doubts a one-time occurrence, or are they always there underneath the surface? If the doubts and fears are always there, they’re far more serious than fleeting ones.
Other questions to ask yourself include:
- What does a happy relationship look like to me?
- Why have I stayed this long?
- Am I happy? What does a happy relationship look like to me?
- Do I like who I am around my partner?
- Do we have a similar approach to life?
- Am I willing to change?
How to handle doubt
A healthy relationship will involve uncomfortable discussions, such as those you may have about the relationship and your future:
- Communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your doubts
- Reflect on and explore the root causes of your fears and insecurities
- Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to make hard decisions like ending the relationship if it no longer serves you
- Seek help and support from a trusted friend or even a therapist for another perspective that may be beneficial
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