When it comes to relationships, I am the queen of doubt. I love to dissect text messages, interpret "I love you" as a lie, and pick apart all of the Instagram followers my partner probably thinks are hotter than me. This usually has nothing to do with the person I'm dating, and everything to do with me.
It's never a good feeling to have doubts in a relationship, but it's pretty unavoidable. Those with no doubts in their relationships probably also have no problem displaying their massive egos. Doubts are normal and common, and they aren't always red flags.
Elite Daily spoke to relationship and etiquette expert April Masini about four normal doubts a person might have in their relationship.
1. "Will This Person Be Faithful?"
This is a very common doubt, no matter how long you've been with your partner. The ultimate betrayal in a relationship is being cheated on, and it leaves a major scar. If you have been cheated on in the past, you're going to have an especially difficult time trusting your partner. No matter how trustworthy your partner seems, you're going to doubt them because of your history.
"Having doubts about fidelity — especially early on when one person likes the other one more — are normal. But when they overwhelm behavior, they're obstacles," says Masini.
And if you're constantly doubting your partner's fidelity, they might feel attacked or hurt. "Ironically, if these doubts become overwhelming, they can be self-fulfilling and sabotage the relationship," says Masini.
Trust is a key component in any relationship. If you're having doubts about your partner's faithfulness, don't fret, you're in good company. However, if you have a gut feeling that your partner is cheating that won't go away, talk to your them about your fears.
2. "Does This Person Like Me?"
Despite the fact that they are spending time with you, being intimate with you, and exclusively dating you, you might still wonder, "yeah, but do they really like me?" This is especially common if you are in a relationship for someone you have had a crush on for a long time, Masini explains.
"You may not have been on their radar the way they were on yours," says Masini. "Or, because you don't know them that well, they may not be naturally effusive or expressive about their feelings. All this leads to doubt about whether or not they like you."
Again, calm your bum. If someone is seriously dating you, they like you. They might even love you. Trust that they will speak up if they are looking for an out.
3. "Are We Compatible Beyond The Sex?"
Sex is definitely nerve-wracking the first time you have it with a new partner, but it can be even more worrisome later in your relationship. If things started out hot and heavy for you and your partner, the flames will fan at least a little bit over time. This can lead to doubts about if you and your boo are meant to be.
"When there's early lust and lots of sex, doubts about long-term compatibility come late — and because they're arising after a lot of sex, it feels like there is more at stake because of the investment in the relationship already," says Masini.
Was it just the awesome sex that brought you together? Or are you truly compatible with your partner? When the mundane day-to-day things like money, living habits, and goals come into play, you might worry that you and your partner are not a true fit.
Remember that opposites attract, and you're not going to be on the same page all of the time. There's a reason this person is your SO and not just a friend with benefits.
4. "Can We Bridge An Incompatibility?"
Masini explains that at a certain point in a relationship, you're going to learn things about your partner's religion, goals, or desire to have a family that might not fit perfectly with your own lifestyle.
"This realization can cause doubt — and that's not only normal, it's healthy," she says. "Dating is a learning process, if you do it right! You should uncover these differences and decide which are deal breakers or red flags, and which differences are workable."
If your partner wants kids and you don't, at a certain point you are going to have to have that discussion, but early on, try not to get caught up in a mental checklist of qualities you want in your partner. Once you see how you both handle your incompatibilities, you'll have a clearer picture on whether this is a person you want to make compromises for.
All things considered, it is very normal to feel doubt about your partner no matter what stage your relationship is in. The important thing to keep track of is whether your doubts continue to grow. If someone is treating you badly, or acting sketchy, it's important not to ignore those red flags.
If you have any of these normal, passing doubts, though, don't stress out. These fears are self-generated, and likely have to do with your relationship history and not the person you are with.
Remind yourself that you are worthy of love. Oftentimes, we generate these fears when we don't have confidence in our own self-worth. Take a page from The Help and keep telling yourself, "You is kind, you is smart, you is important." That's why your partner is dating you, silly.
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