How do you move forward in a relationship when you have uncertainties? Should you even be thinking about moving forward in the first place?
Doubts and uncertainty can occur at any time during a relationship. Feeling uncertain about a future with your partner is frustrating, and it makes sense that you would like some certainty about where you want things to head in your relationship.
Maybe you crave stability. Perhaps you just don’t want to be back in the dating scene, so you stay even though you’re uncertain if they are the right partner for you. Are your doubts about what other people will think? Are you holding yourself back because your family or friends might not like your choice? How do you reconcile their expectations with your desires? Maybe you feel like it’s selfish to pursue what you want to do.
Or, is your uncertainty a red flag?
Sometimes uncertainty can mask truths we don’t want to acknowledge. You may see your partner’s possessiveness as a sign of love, but is it? Or, is it an indication that they can’t form healthy relationships? Every abused spouse overlooked early signs of the abuser’s nature.
If you make excuses for your partner’s actions, or if you’re afraid to tell your friends about some of the things your partner does, it may be a red flag that there is something wrong with the relationship. Do you chalk major disappointments up to poor communication without being sure the deception wasn’t deliberate? Could those disappointments be signs of dishonesty?
“Do I want a great relationship, or will any relationship do?”
If you’re not certain about who you are and what you want from life and your relationship, you may give up too much. You might settle for less than you want and need because you’re not certain your partner, or any partner, can give you those things. You’d rather have the relationship than have whatever it is you’re giving up.
Or maybe you change in order to please your partner because you’re not certain they’ll stay if you aren’t exactly the way they want you to be.
You wonder if you’re settling or if there really is someone better for you out there. Perhaps this is as good as it gets. Or if someone better exists, would you ever actually find that person?
Maybe you distract yourself with work or hobbies until you realize another year has gone by and your relationship isn’t any more satisfying than it was last time you admitted to yourself you weren’t happy with it. Could things really be better? Should you give it more time? Is it okay to move on even though things are okay, but not great? How do you decide? And how do you even go about improving things, if you opt to stay in it?
If you find yourself feeling unsure about your partner’s commitment to you, you may be right that they aren’t committed. Or it could be that you don’t feel lovable enough to believe in the commitment they have made to you. How can you tell the difference?
Or maybe it just seems easier to stay with the status quo even though you aren’t happy, which can be a sign that you’re in an uncomfortable comfort zone. If this is the case, things won’t get better without a disruption of some sort. Proactively addressing it is a gentler way of making change than what happens when the pressure builds without relief.
Although uncertainty in relationships can be quite normal, feeling unsettled and doubting your relationship can make you anxious, restless, and unhappy. You know you can’t control them; you can only control yourself. The less you trust your ability to be okay regardless of what your partner does, the more disruptive uncertainties will feel.
Having doubts about your relationship can be a sign that something is not as good as it could be – in your relationship, within yourself, and often both.
In this situation, the changes that are best are different for everyone. There is a balance to be found between uncertainty and taking your partner for granted.
When It’s Time to See a Professional
Exploring your doubts and uncertainties about your relationship with a professional will ultimately lead to positive changes. Those changes may mean you find ways to be more comfortable with uncertainty or that you decide to make a bigger transformation in your life. You may decide you want to stay with your partner but not as you are, so you begin pursuing ways to build more intimacy and tighter bonds.
At Affinity, we have the experience to help you figure out what you really want from your relationship and to move forward confidently in your decision. Take the first step to clarify your relationship goals by contacting us today.