“Oh-oh. I have doubts, which shouldn’t happen if the relationship is right, so this is all doomed to fail!”
Those were my precise thoughts the first time I started having doubts in each of my past relationships. But as it turned out, many of my doubts were completely normal and eventually passed.
Look, there are Doubts with capital D – you know, those thoughts that occur to you as a result of disrespectful behavior, big red flags, or dramatic lifestyle differences – and then there are doubts that have little to do with the quality of your connection and everything to do with…well, you.
That sounded rude. But hey! You’re not alone. We *all* have doubts from time to time. It’s kind of a universal experience, so don’t worry – there’s nothing wrong with you.
But some explanations are in order. Here are the 7 signs your doubts are normal and you’re in the right relationship.
1) You’re not head over heels in love anymore
That was the sound of your love bubble bursting when the so-called “honeymoon period” slowly dissipated around the three-to-six-month mark.
You still love your partner. Looking at them still makes you feel such loving tenderness that you want to burst with it.
But maybe you don’t want to jump on them three times a day anymore. Perhaps being around them doesn’t send your heart fluttering like an excited bird, and it’s possible that the overwhelming feeling of euphoria has turned into something more gentle and stable.
In other words, infatuation has transformed into love.
This all sounds good and well on paper, but in reality, the lack of infatuation might make you doubt the relationship because the inherent nature of your love has changed quite dramatically.
Why are things so…calm? Right?
Well, this is actually completely normal. When you fall in love with someone, your hormones go crazy, and the sensation isn’t unlike being high on drugs. But the longer you spend with that special someone, the more you become acclimated to them, and the undercurrent of stress (what you view as excitement) that accompanies the honeymoon phase eventually vanishes.
This is a good thing! It means your relationship is now transforming into a more companionable, calmer, and stronger bond that can last in the long run.
2) You’re suddenly encountering a lot of issues at once
An unfortunate side-effect of this inevitable transformation is that the idealized image of your partner begins to take on new and sharper shapes.
This is when you’re suddenly learning that your darling isn’t perfect after all, and they’re most likely going through the exact same realizations. You’ve spent enough time together now to get comfortable and fall back into your usual routines, and your true colors are finally starting to come out.
And it’s a tumultuous period. That’s for sure.
But the fact that there are suddenly so many issues in the relationship isn’t a sign everything is doomed. What matters is how you and your partner approach these conflicts, whether you manage to work on your differences, and where you draw the line between dealbreakers on the one hand and acceptance on the other.
It’s okay to become disillusioned. It happens to most of us. It’s your attitude to this process that determines the success of the relationship more than anything.
3) You’re attracted to other people but still love your partner
When you’re head over heels in love, chances are that you won’t even look at another person in any other way than “some girl” or “some dude”. You simply won’t care about others on a romantic or sexual level because your partner will become the absolute center of your universe.
Once the craze is over, you might begin to notice that you can view other people as attractive again. This doesn’t apply to everyone – for example, I tend to be so preoccupied with my long-term partners that I rarely spare other people a glance – but it does happen, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
The fact that you love someone doesn’t mean you’ll be able to automatically turn off your attraction to others.
Again, this is where your attitude comes into play. It’s okay to find others good-looking. It’s not okay to try to forge a closer relationship with someone you obviously like on that level or cheat.
What you have with your partner ought to always outweigh some sexual possibilities with people you don’t love half as much.
(Of course, this doesn’t apply to open relationships or polyamory. If there’s a mutual agreement between you, it’s not cheating.)
4) You’re wondering if the grass is greener on the other side
Thanks to dating apps and globalization, we now have more dating options than ever before.
You’re no longer limited to the three eligible bachelors in your village – a few swipes are all it takes to find another possible connection.
And who’s to say that connection won’t be better than the one you already have?
Thus the struggle of having too much choice.
At some point or another, you might wonder if your partner is right for you because they don’t fulfill you 100% of the time. They may not be as talkative as you’d like. They might not be big on sports while you’re a big sports enthusiast. Sometimes, you wish they were a little bit more adventurous.
Let me assure you that those doubts are completely normal. No match is ever perfect, and the areas where you don’t exactly vibe might leave you wondering if you really click after all.
But here’s the truth.
I’ve once read that your partner can only ever fulfill 80% of your requirements, and since we’re lacking that 20%, we decide to seek it in other people…. without realizing that we’re actually giving up 80% for a measly 20%.
It’s kind of a bad deal, right?
In the end, it all comes down to your dealbreakers. If your whole life revolves around sports, it makes sense that you don’t want to date a couch potato. But if you just like going to the gym a few times a week and connect with your partner on many other levels, this might not really be such a huge deal.
It’s normal to wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. But eventually, those doubts ought to pass as you decide to accept your partner for who they are.
5) You want more from your sex life
Sex is a tricky and extremely vulnerable topic. When two people get together, it might take them months to learn each other’s sexual preferences and truly connect on that level.
If your sex life isn’t what you’d like it to be, it’s completely understandable that you have doubts about the relationship as a whole. While some people say sex doesn’t matter as much, it definitely does – regular sex is linked to lower divorce rates, for example.
This is why effective communication is so important. It may feel scary to tell your partner what you like, but since everyone is so unique, it’s vital that you communicate your desires properly and respectfully.
The right partner will hear you out, and together, you can work on making your sex life the best it can be.
6) You have trouble communicating
Speaking of communication, it’s also okay not to have it all figured out. While it’s true that communication is extremely important in relationships, it doesn’t mean you have to be a pro at it from the get-go.
In fact, many people learn the ins and outs of communication *while* they’re in a relationship with someone, helping each other navigate one another’s pet peeves, triggers, and expectations.
If there are a lot of misunderstandings between you two, maybe that’s just a sign you should both work on how you explain your intentions and thoughts. The more detail you give, the better.
For example, you might say, “This came out the wrong way,” and immediately explain what you meant in more depth. This will allow your partner to understand your thought processes better and get on the same page.
See? Not a dealbreaker. You’ve just got to put in the work.
7) You’re battling your own demons
Finally, a lot of us have doubts not because there’s something wrong with the relationship but because we’re letting our own emotional baggage affect us.
Again, that’s normal. Your past experience may define your approach to your current relationship, and unfortunately, this often means you might have irrational doubts and fears that sabotage your happiness because of past trauma or pain.
If that’s the case, know that you are not alone and that those issues *can* be overcome.
You deserve happiness. And in order to internalize that thought, it’s time to get some work done, from journalling and freewriting to therapy, inner child healing, and talking things through with your partner.
Sometimes, it’s not your partner or the dynamic you two have that drives you away. It’s your own fear of loving someone or being loved.
But remember that you are not broken. You are not unlovable. And you can make this work.