Falling in love is awesome. But unfortunately, it isn't always like it is in the movies.
Hollywood would have us believe that a lot of the time, people meet, fall in love, and after a few comedic twists and turns, live happily until the credits roll. Although there are some relationships that are like that, there are usually a few less-than-comedic twists and turns along the way. In real life, we often experience relationship uncertainty at a few different stages.
Almost all couples experience some uncertainty before finally deciding to commit to each other. In fact, the stages where you're questioning the relationship can be some of the best things for your partnership long-term: They help you work through your personal issues and realize that you are in the right place.
These are few common stages of uncertainty most couples go through before settling down:
1. The "Do I Want A Relationship?" Stage
This stage happens after you've been casually dating or hooking up for a while and you're just starting to realize there may be something more.
While relationships are really fun, a lot of us also really value our time and freedom when we're single. We like doing whatever we want, whenever we want, without touching base with someone else. Mike Goldstein, EZ Dating Coach founder, says that this is one of the reasons people tend to think carefully before entering a relationship, even if they are having a great time with someone.
First, Goldstein says, we think about personality: "Do I like you? If yes, do we have the same core values?"
If the answer to that is "yes," Goldstein says we then move on to asking, "Is it worth giving up my single life for you?"
Often, people who are getting along great while casually hanging out will go through a bit of this uncertainty when trying to figure out if they want something more. If you're feeling this way about someone you like (or they're feeling it about you), fear not! It's completely normal and chances are, if you push past this stage, you'll realize that you do want a relationship and that you may just be ready for one, too.
2. The "Are They Right For Me?" Stage
If you've decided that a relationship is the way to go, you may soon find yourself happily attached. If you are, though, don't expect the uncertainty to end right away. After getting into a relationship, we tend to think a lot about whether we're in the right relationship.
At this stage, we're often thinking about whether we get along with our partner on a day-to-day basis: We think about whether we're having fun together, whether we feel like we can talk about things, and whether we generally fit into each other's lives.
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker extraordinaire and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, says at this stage we might also be wondering what a long-term commitment would look like down the road.
Trombetti says we ask ourselves: "Is this the right person for the [rest] of my life? Will this person push me to be the best I can or will they hold me back?"
Goldstein says at this stage of uncertainty, we think about whether the person we're with is just the right fit to make everything that goes along with relationships worth it. We tend to ask ourselves, "Are the fights and molding of lives (compromising) worth it?"
"Relationships are a bit of work. It involves time and effort," he adds.
It's only if we feel like we're with the right person that we'll ultimately decide the time and effort is worth it.
3. The "Can I Make Them Happy" Stage?
At this stage, we've gotten over our worries about whether we want to be in a relationship and whether the person is right for us: We're together, we're committed, and we're ready to go.
Well... except for the fact that we're plagued with uncertainty about whether we can make our partner happy forever.
After you've been in a committed relationship for a while — you may have even decided that this is your "one" — your uncertainty starts to shift from your comfort over to your partner's. When you really love someone, you really want to make them happy and that can add a bit of nervousness.
Here, you'll likely be thinking about whether or not you feel like you are worthy of them and whether you can be the person you want to be for them. You'll wonder whether they are truly happy with you and whether that can last.
It might take some time, but if it is the right relationship, you'll find that the anxiety will slowly melt away over time and you'll feel more secure in your overall relationship with your partner.
Don't worry if everything isn't always 100 percent smooth sailing with your love. Even the right partnerships go through a bit of uncertainty and often, it's the uncertainty that makes you realize everything is just as it should be.