Doubts in Love: What's Wrong with Me?
We have all had doubts about love. Cinema and society have idealized relationships. There seems to be no room for uncertainty, so it’s normal to develop feelings of guilt, remorse, and shame when you are not 100% comfortable with your relationship.
If this sounds familiar, we’d like to offer some advice. If you’re experiencing some doubts with respect to your relationship, you may not know how to act or even find the reasons why you’ve suddenly been invaded by uncertainty in what until recently was a stable relationship. In the following lines, we’ll explain the reasons behind the most common doubts in love and what you can do about them.
Is it normal to have doubts about love?
Yes, having doubts about love is completely normal. In fact, we won’t even hesitate to say that they’re the cornerstone of any healthy relationship!
Why? well, it’s very simple: doubts are what allow you to rethink whether or not the relationship is worth it and are a sign that you feel comfortable and are willing and explore the feelings you profess towards your partner.
It’s the same with jealousy. Jealousy is normal in a relationship. However, it all depends on the intensity with which you manifest it. On the contrary, if you develop pathological jealousy, it’s very likely to destroy a relationship. In that sense, untimely doubts will slowly gnaw at any relationship that’s far from being healthy.
A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 2001 found that insecurities are an incendiary spark for dissatisfaction in a relationship. In general, couples consumed by self-doubt have a lower prognosis of continuing in the future or feeling loved by their partner.
As we’ve already discussed, it all depends on the intensity and nature of your self-doubt. If you use your doubts to reflect on your relationship and they only bother you for a realistic period of time (a few months to a year or less), that’s fine. On the other hand, if they’re continuous and are beginning to affect the way you relate to your partner, it is a sign that you should not overlook.
Doubts in love have many causes. We talk about them in the following section.
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Causes of doubts in love
The first association that you’ve probably made is very obvious: you feel doubts about love because you are no longer in love. It’s simple, isn’t it?
Well, no. Not really.
Of course, you can have insecurities about your relationship for this reason, but there are also multiple parallel explanations.
That’s why we have prepared a list of 7 reasons why you may feel doubts about love. Check each section and reflect objectively to see if they explain your insecurities. Finally, we’ll present a list of some things you can do to remedy them.
1. Trauma from past relationships
Researchers agree that trauma affects relationships in a variety of ways. Trauma always leaves an imprint, one that can stay with you permanently in your next relationship. It can be related to episodes of violence, pathological attachment issues, dependency, insecurities, infidelities, and so on.
Any traumatic situation in the past can manifest itself in the present, and it will do so through doubts, insecurities, and prejudices about the relationship. This can be maintained even when there’s no real justification, so it’s a major conditioner for a stable connection.
In addition to this, as experts and researchers point out, childhood trauma can also manifest itself in this way. In general, any traumatic episode you’ve experienced in the past, either inside or outside a relationship, can prevent you from feeling 100% stable with your partner.
You might find this interesting: Ways to Get Over Ghosting and Why You Shouldn’t Ghost
2. Doubts in love: Fear of commitment
The conscious or unconscious fear of commitment may be another explanation for your doubts about love. Here, we’re not referring to commitment as the formal step before marriage, however, but as the decision to enter into a stable, lasting, and prosperous relationship.
This fear has several causes. For example, you may value your independence too much, you may not see yourself with a conventional family in the future, you may fear financial repercussions, you may be emotionally unprepared, and you may even have a pathological fear of falling in love (philophobia).
Shying away from commitment in a relationship is a completely legitimate decision for many, and in fact, is in line with what’s known as free love. However, it’s worth reflecting on whether your doubts in love are nothing more than a fear of commitment because you value your freedom, or if they’re limiting you. Sometimes, this may bethe answer that prevents you from building solid relationships.
3. Expectations regarding the goals of the relationship
Conversely, you may also harbor insecurities in your relationship because your partner does not have the same goals in life as you do. In this sense, you may fear that this discrepancy will sooner or later work against you, to the point that it will be the main reason for a breakup.
For a relationship to be prosperous, there must be common and shared goals. Shared plans allow you to move your life in the same direction. When your goals are contradictory, however, it’s a problem that will surely lead to dissatisfaction.
An example of this is parenthood. If for you being a parent is a life goal, but for your partner, it’s not, then it’s natural to feel doubts in love. This is a somewhat extreme example, but it’s also the most common one in adulthood. Less transcendent goals and objectives can create the same sense of insecurity.
4. Doubts in love: Fidelity issues
Another common cause of doubts in love is fidelity issues. This is a key component in any stable relationship, one that also exemplifies the commitment that exists in the relationship on both sides. If your partner has been unfaithful to you, you fear that they’re cheating, or, on the contrary, these accusations have fallen on you, it’s natural to feel doubts about your relationship.
You can never be 100% sure of your partner’s fidelity. A relationship is based on trust, so it is impossible to build something solid in the absence of it. Forgiving infidelity is not easy, but keep in mind that one thing is real infidelity, and another is the fear that your partner is unfaithful.
We point this out because it’s very common for a person to constantly suspect that their partner is not being faithful. Sometimes, this suspicion is based on evidence. However, other times, it’s a completely unjustified fear. If this is your case, you should think about it because this fear or suspicion will in no way help you feel comfortable with your partner.
5. The passion is over
As we said at the beginning, the most natural thing to experience doubts in love is because the strong feeling of love is over. But does love have an expiration date?
Yes and no. From a neurochemical point of view, the hormones that the brain secretes at the beginning of the relationship are different from those produced a few months later.
The first ones give you a feeling of ecstasy, happiness, and passion, while the second ones are more related to attachment and trust. In any case, your feelings and emotions towards your partner evolve; they don’t remain static.
This increases more when the moments of passion decrease. If you don’t find a space in the relationship for romance and flirting, then it’s inevitable that your interest will diminish. Fortunately, this is something you can work on as long as you commit to continue committing to the relationship.
6. You have expectations that are too idealistic
Finally, you’re also likely to experience doubts in love because you have had very idealistic expectations. This, as we noted at the beginning, is often influenced by movies, romance novels, TV series, and society in general.
A relationship is made up of romantic moments, of course, but not every relationship will be romantic 100% of the time. There will be times of monotony, boring moments, and even some unpleasant situations. Believing that the relationship will be perfect, or idealizing our partner, inevitably leads to failure when we realize the reality.
What can you do if you have doubts about love?
The decision to continue or not in the relationship depends on you, as well as the reasons that have ignited the flame of uncertainty. However, here are some things you can do about them:
- Reflect on whether self-doubt is a common pattern: This will help you recognize whether you have doubts about this relationship or relationships in general and if the doubt is a part of your life, such as when shopping or making important decisions. If it’s a pattern, it’s a bigger problem – one that can be solved with professional help, for instance.
- Talk to your partner: If you have doubts about your relationship, you should tell your partner and avoid hiding your fears, emotions, or feelings of foreboding. Through an open conversation, you can discuss the reasons for these doubts and find a solution to them.
- Be honest with yourself: The next thing to do is be honest with yourself. If you no longer want to maintain the relationship for one reason or another, it will be better to assimilate it and avoid postponing the decision. You will only make yourself and your partner unhappy if you continue when you really are ready to move on. However, if you decide to continue, then make a commitment to strengthen the relationship.
- Go to couples therapy: Finally, if you want to continue the relationship but find yourself at an impasse, don’t be afraid to seek professional support. Therapy is very effective in dealing with these types of problems, as well as being a space for you to get to know each other and explore your strengths and weaknesses.
Having doubts in love is a legitimate experience. Please don’t feel bad about it, but avoid burying them and pretending they’re not there. Face them to find out what’s behind them and discover a solution.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Busby, D. M., Walker, E. C., & Holman, T. B. The association of childhood trauma with perceptions of self and the partner in adult romantic relationships. Personal Relationships. 2011; 18(4): 547-561.
- Marshall, E. M., & Kuijer, R. G. Weathering the storm? The impact of trauma on romantic relationships. Current opinion in psychology. 2017; 13: 54-59.
- Murray, S. L., Holmes, J. G., Griffin, D. W., Bellavia, G., & Rose, P. The mismeasure of love: How self-doubt contaminates relationship beliefs. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2001; 27(4): 423-436.
- Yumbul, C., Cavusoglu, S., & Geyimci, B. The effect of childhood trauma on adult attachment styles, infidelity tendency, romantic jealousy and self-esteem. Procedia-social and behavioral sciences. 2010; 5: 1741-1745.