6 Questions To Ask Yourself When You Start Doubting Your Relationship
If you’ve been in a serious relationship for a long time, you’ve probably asked yourself, “is this really the one?”
Maybe you and your boo got into a fight, maybe you discovered that they’re not the person you really thought they were, or maybe you just wonder if you can really imagine being with this same person for the rest of your life.
It’s totally normal, and nothing to freak out over. Maybe you’re really not with the right person and you need to explore being single, or maybe it’s all in your head, your bae is perfect, and you’re just overthinking things.
We talked to Dr. Jed Diamond, author of The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why the Best Is Still to Come, about how the real test of your relationship is getting through this disillusionment stage without bailing out.
1. What’s Really Missing?
It’s totally normal to get to a point in your relationship where you wonder if your current bae is really the person you’ll end up with. Sometimes this gets you thinking that they’re not the right one. But the question you have to ask yourself is why? What’s really missing about them that’s causing you to doubt your relationship? Is it that they’re not treating you right? Or is it that you always saw yourself dating a doctor or a lawyer and the guy you’re currently dating is a musician?
“Often what you’ll find is that we’ve projected things onto that person that may not be things that may be deal breakers,” says Diamond. “In this phase we’ve often got this social critic that is operating in our relationship that may not be the one we want to listen to.”
It’s easy to listen to everyone else’s opinion about the type of guy you should be with, but nobody knows better than you. Don’t let physical or trivial shit cloud your head.
2. Are You Blaming Your Partner For Something That’s Your Fault?
Not to throw you under the bus here, but sometimes we tend to blame our partners or our relationship for things that are really our own fault. For example, something like, “I feel like my girlfriend never lets me have time to be with my friends.”
If your girlfriend is seriously telling you that she doesn’t want you seeing your friends, that’s obviously an issue. But if it’s really that she takes up all your time and you haven’t mentioned to her that you want time for your friends, then you’re both at fault. Your partner isn’t going to be able to make changes unless you tell them what changes need to be made — they’re not mind readers.
3. Are You Being Influenced By Hollywood’s Idea of Romance?
Wouldn’t it be fab if every relationship was like a 90 minute love story directed by Nicholas Sparks? Unfortunately, real life isn’t quite as perfect. You’re probably not going to want to passionately jump your partner’s bones every damn day. You’re also probably not always going to see your partner looking his sexiest or at his best. The reality of spending a lot of time with another person is that you’re going to see a lot of shit you didn’t see when you started dating, and that’s cool. If you’re thinking of dumping your bae because you don’t feel “sparks” everyday then you need to get a grip, sorry.
“The ‘in love’ stage is nature’s way of getting us to mate,” says Diamond. “Our bodies, minds, are flooded with neuro-chemicals. Not necessarily happiness, but if we didn’t have these chemicals we wouldn’t reproduce and our species would die out. That ‘love’ phase is just meant to get you bonded to a certain person.Then what happens is when that chemical wears off, as it inevitably does, we feel like there’s something missing. It’s almost like a drug rush and the drug has gone away. It’s like coming off being high on alcohol, weed, cocaine, or any drug. There are drugs that come in your body and when you come down you’ll feel that something is missing.”
4. Are You Actually Unhappy?
Are you really unhappy with your relationship and your partner? Or are you seriously overthinking? When you’re hanging out with your boo, do you wish you were somewhere else? Do you physically dread hanging out with them? If that’s the case, it makes sense that you’re considering breaking up.
If not, then maybe consider that you and your boo just need a change of pace. Try a new activity or hang out in a new setting. If you’re hanging out too often, stop seeing each other so much. If it’s all in your head, focus on being present and enjoying the times you spend with your bae rather than thinking about your future together.
5. Is Your Boo Treating You Right?
If the answer is no, feel free to GTFO of your relationship. But also consider what it means to be treated right. Does your boo know what your idea of being treated right is? Does he know that it pisses you off when he doesn’t send you a good morning text or when he asks for nudes? If he doesn’t know, he’s not going to be able to change. If he does know and he still doesn’t do shit, then dump his ass.
6. Are You Upset That They’re Not Who You Thought?
“Maybe this disillusionment isn’t because [you] picked the wrong person, but because in the throes of an early relationship or falling in love, maybe instead of really seeing the other person, [you’re] projecting [your] hopes and dreams and all the things that [you] want, and that maybe the feeling of betrayal that many people feel isn’t because we have the wrong person, but because we’ve started to see the real person,” says Diamond.
It’s really easy to think you know someone after a few dates (or after you’ve fucked), but you really don’t. People are complicated. In an early relationship, nobody really wants to show their bad side. Once you get to know someone, you’ll probably see their “bad side” or simply a side of them you didn’t see before. This can freak you out, especially if you envisioned them being a certain way only to find out that they’re totally different than what you thought.
But this shouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker. I mean, if you find out that the clean cut boy you’ve been dating secretly smokes meth, you can dump him. But if you thought the guy you were dating was a typical jock only to find out that he’s super sensitive, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. There’s no reason not to at least try it out and see if the person you’re learning more about is even better than the person you thought it was.