Relationships are complicated things. You’re up, you’re down, you’re bored, you’re happy, you’re not quite sure what you are sometimes. It leaves you wondering — is it normal to have doubts in a relationship?
The bottom line is, if love was supposed to be easy, we’d be falling in and out of it several times a day!
Did you watch a lot of Disney films when you were a child? Be honest.
You might wonder why I’m bringing up the subject of Cinderella, Prince Charming, and Sleeping Beauty at this point, but it’s actually relevant. I used to watch Disney films all the time when I was young, and I loved them. The thing is, I totally blame them for my completely unrealistic view on relationships! Maybe you can sympathize with this. [Read: 14 unrealistic relationship expectations that can ruin your love life]
We’re told that we meet someone, fall in love *hopefully avoiding the evil queen or sorcerer who is trying to stop the whole thing from happening*, and we live happily ever after. End of story.
It’s never like that!
What Disney doesn’t tell you
Disney never talks about the annoying habits you realize they have: the snoring, the nagging, the staying out late, the spending too much money, and the general ups and downs that all normal relationships go through. They don’t mention the let’s-take-a-break talks, drunken arguments, and breaks ups which lead to fantastic make up sex.
It’s no wonder that many people ask themselves, is it normal to have doubts in a relationship? We’re all brainwashed into thinking that we should never doubt our partner, we should be 100% head over heels, and that means not noticing anything annoying about them. [Read: 10 ways to know if your relationship is worth keeping]
Come on, be realistic here people! I notice annoying things about my partner every single day, but that doesn’t mean I want to leave him! I think about our future and I question whether it’s ever going to work out, but I have faith so I don’t bail simply because I have a few doubts every now and then.
What I’m trying to say is that if you’re having doubts occasionally, and they come and go fleetingly, it’s nothing to worry about. If you’re having serious doubts that you’re pretty sure have a solid foundation, well, that’s something else entirely.
Is it normal to have doubts in a relationship which leave you seriously questioning everything?
Yes, it’s normal, because in that case, it means there is a problem in your relationship that needs fixing, or the relationship needs to end. Doubts are a very normal part of being human. We have them because we’re scared, we’re feeling a little paranoid occasionally, we’re anxious, and we have them because there is a real reason for having them. It’s about figuring out which side of the fence your doubts fall onto.
Serious doubts, questions about the future which you’re pretty sure you know the negative answer to, are your instincts telling you that you have a problem you need to address. In that case, yes, these doubts are totally normal. Doubts of any kind of normal, but what you do about them depends upon the doubts themselves. [Read: How to recognize your relationship doubts and make the right choice for you]
Let’s break this down a little, to make it clearer.
Doubts you don’t have to worry about
– Are they a little distant because they don’t love me anymore? Ridiculous, they’re probably just stressed at work.
– Do I want a future with this person? If the doubt comes and goes, swinging from ‘yes’ to ‘not sure’, it’s not a serious doubt to consider, but something to bear in mind.
– Do I love them or do I just like them a lot? Have you been together years and years? If yes, ask yourself why you’re questioning it. Have you been together a short time? If yes, don’t worry about it. You’re in the confusing phase for now. It will all become abundantly clear in time. [Read: What is love? 12 signs to recognize true love when you see it]
Doubts you should be worried about
Consider these doubts you have carefully:
– Why does every single thing they do annoy me? How long has this been going on? If it’s been a prolonged thing, question why.
– We’ve been together years, are we really that compatible? Not a great sign after years. [Read: 28 revealing signs to know if a relationship is about to end]
Can you see what I’m getting at here? It totally depends on how long you’ve been together, and whether the doubt sticks or it comes and goes.
For instance, after an argument it’s completely normal to doubt everything about your partner, but then when you make up, you are back in love land and everything is fine again. That’s not a doubt, that’s an anger reaction. It’s important to know the difference and not make snap judgements based on temporary emotions. [Read: Steps to telling your partner you’re unhappy]
Normal doubts in a relationship
You might feel guilty when you experience doubts about your partner, and that leads you to ask yourself, is it normal to have doubts in a relationship? I want you to realize that doubts are a normal part of life in general. You’re not supposed to have it all figured out. If you did, then what would be the point?
Sure, you need to know that you’re on the same page when it comes to the future. For instance, you both want children at some stage in the future, not now maybe, but one day. You also need to both be on the same page about potential marriage. Do you want it, or are you happy being together without a ring? It’s important for both to want the same things, but the rest of it can be figured out as you go along.
I live in a foreign country with my partner, and most days I question whether I’m doing the right thing, being away from my family and everything I’ve always known; in fact, not most days, every day. Do I act on it? No. Why? Because I know I’m in the right place. I’m just having jitters about making huge leaps forward in an area of my life which I’ve always lacked confidence in.
It’s vital that you know the difference between real doubts, the ones which you need to pay attention to, and simply your own low self-confidence talking.
Believe it will work, believe it’s for you, and it will be. I really do believe that. If however you’re really not sure if you want to be in a relationship with this person anymore, because they make you unhappy more than they make you smile, then that’s something else entirely. [Read: Should you stay in your relationship or should you go?]
Doubts and issues are two different things
Doubts are little niggles in our brains which can either turn into issues, or simply ebb away like the wind in the trees. Issues are things which are constant problems, arguments that always crop up, things we go back to time and time again, like records stuck on repeat.
Listen to the issues. Only pay a little attention to the doubts. That’s the best way to look at it all.
[Read: Want your happily ever after? Look for these 14 signs]
Is it normal to have doubts in a relationship? Yes! No relationship is perfect, but if yours makes you happy most of the time, throw the Disney rule book out of the window. Make your own instead.
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