Going through a rough patch or navigating some feelings of disconnect are totally natural parts of being in love. Still, if you've been feeling a little distant from your boo lately or you're having relationship doubts — knowing what to do to move forward isn't always easy. "Every relationship has ebbs and flows, every relationship has challenging moments that call the relationship into question," Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show tells Elite Daily.
Although some relationship doubts may feel bigger than others, Dr. Klapow attests that every relationship deals with its share of disconnect. According to Dr. Klapow, relationship doubts often arise from totally normal parts of relationships, like arguments or personal changes. If you and your boo are totally in love, feelings of doubt starting to creep around your brain may be totally disorienting. And if you're afraid to hurt your boo's feelings or you're not sure why you're feeling doubt, you may feel like staying silent about your thoughts. Yet, as Dr. Klapow shares that when relationship doubts start to linger, the best thing to do is talk to your partner about what you're feeling. "Unfortunately, doubt is so aversive to so many that they push it away, ail to address it, and what is a small concern can grow and grow in to a major relationship problem," Dr. Klapow says.
Though it may initially feel uncomfortable to confront your doubts or questions, Dr. Klapow says that if you're starting to feel unsure in your relationship, it's probably time to check in with your partner. "Doubt signals a deeper undertaking of what you are in, what the relationship really means, and how it is changing your life," Dr. Klapow says. "Doubt is a warning signal. It is a call to action." Although questioning your relationship may feel super intimidating, doubt can serve as a signal to check in your with partner. Dr. Klapow shares that the questions or distance you're feeling could be the result of your own changes, your feelings about your partner, or confusion about the direction of the relationship. And while you may want to suppress all your doubts in order to avoid any potential conflict, the best way to get to the root of the guilt is to talk to your partner openly and honestly about whatever it is you're feeling.
"Clarify the doubts as quickly as possible. What do you doubt? Are you doubting or questioning your emotions and feelings towards your partner? Do you doubt your compatibility? Make sure you know what you are doubting," Dr. Klapow says. If you're just feeling what Dr. Klapow calls "generic doubt," or you're unable to really pin down what you're doubting, opening up the conversation with your boo can be tricky. If you're looking to really define your doubts, Dr. Klapow shares that it can be helpful to write down when you're feeling doubt, noting how long the doubt lasts and what you think brought the doubt on. According to Dr. Klapow, this practice can be a great way to really get to the root of what's making you feel uneasy, and can be a good way to get your thoughts together before talking to your boo.
Additionally, Dr. Klapow attests that it's important to remember that everyone feels doubt sometimes. So, if you're questioning things in your relationship, you don't need to see doubt as permanent or the end of your love. Feeling unsure or uneasy about where your relationship is headed can merely provide a time and space to talk to your partner and find some common understanding. "Relationships can absolutely recover from doubts if they are dealt with directly," Dr. Klapow says. "This means communication about the doubts, specific examples about what those doubts are, and most importantly, a willingness by each partner to hear the doubts and be willing to commit to making changes and compromises and modifications to address the doubt and make it better."
Whether you're starting to think you and your partner want different things or you're not entirely sure where your partner's head is at — relationship doubts are a natural part of dating. If you can't pin down exactly what the heck it is that you're feeling — writing your feelings down and noting how long they last can be a great way to really unpack your thoughts. When in doubt, the best thing to do is talk it out. In every relationship, it's natural to question your feelings, but with enough open communication, you'll never need to doubt what your boo is thinking.