Are Relationship Doubts Normal? Four Questions to Get Your Answer

relationships

The short answer is “yes,” but the real question is, “When should I listen to my relationship doubts and when should I ignore them?” Whether you’re deciding to move in together and having doubts, or you’ve been together for ten years and wondering if it’s time to go your separate ways, relationship doubts can crop up at any point in a relationship. So how do you separate normal doubts from an inner voice you should listen to? Today, I’m bringing you the top four questions you need to ask yourself (and answer, of course) to stop doubting and start being sure.

8-minute read

Relationship doubts generally happen when there’s been some big disappointment or crisis in the relationship and now you’re calling into question what you thought was a sure thing just a minute ago. But doubts can also happen on a regular basis because there’s one particular issue that keeps cropping up. This is mostly what I’ll be speaking on today. An occasional doubt is relatively normal, but excessive doubting can bring great harm to a relationship as it becomes the central feature having you question everything.

And before I jump in, let me tell you a big reason not to worry. If you find yourself occasionally attracted to someone else, don’t worry about it! Even in the deepest, sexiest relationship on earth, it’s normal to continue to find other people attractive, and it’s not a sign that you’re with the wrong person.

If you’re obsessed with one particular person, and can’t stop thinking about them, that’s a horse of a different color, as we say. If that’s happening, this is a sign about you, not necessarily about the relationship or the other person being wrong for you. If this is you, it’s important for you to pay close attention to everything I’m teaching today.

The answer to overcoming relationship doubts and making a decision you can stick with is to ask yourself some important questions. You can do this on your own, with a therapist or possibly one (very trusted) friend who’s willing to help you explore your thoughts and feelings.

I highly suggest you spend time writing your answers to these questions. Set aside 15-20 minutes for the next week and allow yourself to go deep.

Head over to my shop and pick up a beautiful, uplifting journal.

 

#1: Ask Yourself: Is this a me thing or a them thing?

Many times I’ve worked with clients who have relationship doubts and they come to realize that their doubts are about them, not their partner. Constant wavering is often due to an underlying mental health issue or unresolved trauma, so it’s important to look at any patterns you might have.

You might ask yourself:

  • Do you always have doubts in your relationships?
  • Does this show up in all kinds of relationships and not just romantic ones?
  • Do the doubts always show up at a certain time (such as after three months when things get more “real” and the newness has faded)?
  • Where are these feelings coming from?
  • Do I have a fear of commitment? What does my history of commitment look like in not just romantic relationships but in jobs and homes?
  • Do I trust myself and my decision-making?
  • If you’ve had previous doubts in a relationship, what have those doubts taught you? For example, did you have doubts, break up, and then regret it? Did you have doubts but stayed longer and then regretted it? Have you had doubts, broken up, and then felt great about your decision?

Overall, ask yourself whether you have doubts everywhere or just with this person. Do you constantly doubt when picking classes at college, making decisions at work, or wondering if your best friend has your best interests at heart? If doubt is ubiquitous, it’s a different issue and isn’t something to be solved with your partner. In fact, they might go crazy with your “nagging” on this issue because nothing they do ever seems to work!

#2: Ask Yourself: What do I truly need?

In my experience, most people aren’t truly clear on what they need in a relationship. They meet someone, feel attraction, get along well, so jump in with both feet. Then, a few months in (as things start to get really real), they start having consistent doubts. It’s called being “blinded by love” for a reason!

It’s important to identify where these feelings are truly coming from. It’s easy to say it’s because your partner did x or said y, but then ask yourself why this particular thing bothers you so much that you’re doubting the relationship. It’s not a given that this thing would bother anybody. Identify why it’s bothering you at this level. Work on some self-awareness and introspection so you can get crystal clear on what you need. Having said this, I want to be clear that there’s no perfect person for you. There are no soul mates, but we do create soul relationships where we feel seen and understood.

Sometimes, we’re so busy saying all the things we want, we don’t share what we need. I want you to pick up your socks from the floor. I want you to put away the dishes without being asked. I want you to compliment me. What is it that you really need that these things would signify? There’s likely a better (and easier) way to get there, so you’re not looking for 40 different behaviors from your partner. Instead, there’s one or two basics and, when they’re there, you don’t care about the sock on the floor!

Stopping to truly understand what you need in a relationship to feel safe and loved is key to stopping relationship doubts.

In my new book, Boundaries Made Easy I go deep into understanding your dealbreakers and knowing what your non-negotiable standards are so you can stop having doubts! Pick up your copy now.

 

Ask these 10 questions before getting married or moving in together.

 

#3: Ask Yourself: Is this coming from fear or love?

You might have doubts because it’s actually fear keeping you in your relationship, not love. Because of this, your inner voice is popping up over and over telling you to move on but, because you’re not looking at the deeper issues, you keep dismissing that voice instead of listening.

So, your question is, “Is fear keeping me in this relationship?” You can tell it’s fear keeping you if you’re thinking things like:

  • What if someone better comes along?
  • I’ve already put in so much time. I don’t want to start over.
  • What if I never find anyone again?
  • This is my last chance at love.
  • What if we break up, and then they find someone else right away and they’re happy, but I’m alone and miserable?

Pay attention to how you feel day-to-day in this relationship. If most of the time (or daily) you’re feeling insecure, worried, anxious or scared, this is a relationship based on fear, not love, and I highly suggest working with a therapist to get at the real reason for those feelings.

#4: Ask Yourself: Is this a trust issue?

I discussed the three pillars of trust in episode 201, which are integrity, competence and goodwill. Integrity is all about honesty. Are they saying something so you won’t get upset? Are they trying to manipulate you to get their way or avoid a conflict? Are they saying they feel one way, but you think they really feel another? Are they telling you outright lies consistently? Overall, do you believe what they tell you?

Next is competency. Does the other person do what they say they will successfully and efficiently? Do they follow through? Do they show up on time? Do you believe that they can do the things they promise or commit to? Do they contribute fully to the relationship in ways you need (be that financially, emotionally or spiritually)? In other words, can they do the job of being your partner?

Lastly, goodwill is all about you believing that the other person has your best interest at heart and that they care about you as a person, not just the role you fulfill. Do they express empathy or compassion for your feelings? Do they use things you’ve confided against you? Do they treat your concerns or problems as a we issue and not a you issue? Do they treat you as a team in public? Will they join in with other friends and tease you in public or think it’s funny if you’re embarrassed by something when out at an event? In other words, do they have your back and do you feel like a team?

Last Questions

Lastly, here are some other questions to ask and answer to get at the real reason for your relationship doubts:

  • Do you feel inspired, comforted, encouraged or uplifted when you come to them with something that’s bothering you?
  • Do they give you their full attention when you ask?
  • Do you feel supported and understood?
  • How do you want to feel, the majority of the time, in this relationship? Is that happening?
  • When things are hard, what do you need most from your partner?
  • When something goes well, what do you want most from your partner?

 

In my new book, Boundaries Made Easy I go deep into understanding your dealbreakers and knowing what your non-negotiable standards are so you can stop having doubts! Pick up your copy now.

 

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