I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: relationships are messy, messy, messy. Especially when relationships become more serious, it’s normal to experience doubts as the dynamic veers toward a more permanent circumstance. Things that seem inconsequential at the start of a relationship suddenly feel like major red flags when you’re faced with the possibility of commitment. Or is that just me? Barring signs of abuse and manipulation, here are six of some of the most common doubts that women will experience during their relationships.
No matter who you are dating or how wonderful you think your partner is, they are going to do things that annoy you. If you’re worried that being with your current partner will prevent you from meeting a mythical man who possesses no flaws, take a step back and realize that your favorite people in the world are flawed individuals. Our quirks add to our personality so don’t get too hung up worrying about whether his habit of folding napkins into paper airplanes will drive you crazy in 10 years – chances are if it hasn’t bothered you before, it won’t be a big issue in the hypothetical future.
Especially in today’s world, it’s normal for women to have doubts about their ability to maintain a meaningful relationship while pursuing educational and career goals. Relationships take time, effort and compromise. Even if you’re good at articulating your needs, hopes and fears with your partner, it can be unnerving trying to figure out how he will fit into the bigger picture of your life.
The level of attractiveness
The culture promoted by Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms causes an effect that is simultaneously immediate and connected as well as superficial and distant. It’s easier than ever to find that the “grass is always greener on the other side” due to the dozens of tantalizing options a mere swipe away. If you’re feeling doubts about your relationship simply because you think there’s someone more attractive out there, it’s time to reevaluate your motives. Realize that there will always be someone “more attractive” and that physical attraction – while important – isn’t really a reason to be in a relationship in the first place.
Am I settling?
Perhaps one of the most common fears (and one that likely casts the most doubts in a happy relationship) is that of settling. We want different things from our potential long-term partners than we do from our casual boyfriends or girlfriends. As you progress through different stages of your relationship it’s totally normal to have this question cross your mind – even multiple times. This doesn’t make you a horrible person, nor is it cause for relationship doom. Rather it’s an opportunity to evaluate your personal satisfaction and how you view your compatibility with your partner. As you confront your doubts and work through them, it will either strengthen your bond or help you realize it’s time to move on.
The sorts of doubts you experience vary based on your own family’s dynamic and how often you interact with in-laws or extended family members. But regardless of whether your significant other is BFFs with your younger brother or his mom scares you, it’s normal to experience a bit of anxiety regarding each other’s tribe. Just remember that compromise and communication are beautiful things and at the end of the day, you chose your partner, not their family.
You probably won’t experience doubts about whether or not you can be in a long-term relationship with your boo without getting bored. It’s impossible to predict the future accurately, so you’ll have to ask yourself if these doubts arise from the fear of commitment or from boredom that you’re already experiencing. If it’s just a hypothetical, I would suggest crossing that bridge when it comes and doing your part to maintain a sense of romance and excitement in your relationship – and don’t be afraid to include your partner!