Is it Normal to Have Doubts in a Relationship?

Why do I feel doubt in my relationship?
on May 29, 2024
Read time: 10 mins
by Moraya Seeger DeGeare

No relationship is smooth sailing, but if you’re dealing with constant waves of uncertainity, does it mean it’s time to abandon ship? 

Even though every couple goes through rough patches, is it normal to have doubts in a relationship? If you’re going through a hard time on a personal level, or if your partner’s behavior is starting to raise red flags — it can feel like you have nothing left but doubt and uncertainty about your future together. 

So, is this just a stage of your relationship that you should see through? Or should you be paying more attention to what these doubts are telling you? 

If you need some expert relationship advice to guide you through these waves of doubt, we’re here to help. 

Key Takeaways
  • Doubts in a relationship, especially during transitions or challenging times, are often normal. Understanding when these doubts are typical versus when they indicate deeper issues is crucial for relationship health. Remember, questioning aspects of your relationship can be a sign of a healthy desire to ensure long-term compatibility and happiness.
  • Most doubts can be addressed with open and honest communication. Partners should strive to discuss their insecurities, concerns, and needs without judgment, which can help prevent misinterpretations and build trust.
  • Personal insecurities often contribute to relationship doubts. Recognizing when doubts are more about one’s issues rather than the relationship itself can prevent undue strain.
  • Regularly assess the health and direction of the relationship. Doubts concerning fundamental values, trust, or respect need serious attention. This assessment might involve difficult decisions, especially if fundamental relationship aspects are continually in question.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek support from relationship counselors or therapists, especially when doubts become overwhelming or are symptomatic of deeper issues. Professional guidance can offer strategies and insights that help couples navigate doubts more effectively.
  • As we discuss feelings of doubt in a relationship, we are incredibly mindful of those experiencing domestic violence and abuse. In these situations, complex feelings of self-doubt, fear, and worry occur, and a conversation may not be a safe possibility.

Why am I doubting my relationship so much?

Romantic relationships are full of questions, concerns, and in many cases, uncertainties. No matter how long you and your partner have been together, certain scenarios will often throw up doubts or worries about the future of your relationship. 

In many cases, these doubts are totally normal and can be easily resolved with open and honest communication. However, if you’re being constantly plagued by serious doubts about your significant other or your future, it could signal the need to dive deeper into your relationship health. 

“If you are someone who finds yourself with major doubts in all romantic relationships you have been in, get curious about any blocks to intimacy, such as shame, insecurities, or unattended trauma,” says Moraya Seeger DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist and In-House Expert at Paired.

“As the feeling of doubt creeps in, it can act as a block to connection. Working on what feels challenging about getting close to another person is important. Is it that this person isn’t the one? Or is it about healing your intimacy blockers so you can achieve a more fulfilling relationship?”

Can you love someone and still have doubts?


Love and doubt often come hand in hand. While one part of your brain might tell you that you’ve found your soulmate, the other half naturally questions your compatibility and whether you’re suited to a long-term future together. Couples who jump into a future together without asking these questions are often exposed to more issues down the road. 

People can question their relationship for a variety of different reasons, with some doubts stemming from personal insecurities and struggles, while others could trigger you to ask the right kind of questions. 

You might love someone, but are they good for you? Do you see them in your future? Is there a real problem beneath the surface that you’re not addressing that is the real culprit for your doubts? 

Common causes of doubt in a relationship

  1. Self-doubt: Research shows that low self-esteem individuals reacted to self-doubt with heightened doubts about their partners' regard, which then tarnished impressions of their partners. In this case, personal demons contaminate an otherwise happy relationship. 

  2. Fear of commitment: While you may not have addressed it, an unrealized fear of commitment could be triggering doubts in your relationship. Even though have a healthy relationship, you might start running for the break-up button as you fear settling down. 

  3. Past experiences: Naturally, your past relationships will affect your future partnerships. For example, if your previous partner cheated on you, your trust issues might make you doubtful about your new partner’s behavior — even if these doubts are unjustified. 

  4. Overthinking: As you pursue a long-term relationship, it’s natural for doubts to arise as you contemplate spending your life with one person. It’s natural to question your compatibility with your partner and wonder if you’re well suited for a long-term future. While it’s natural to feel a bit unsure here and there — serious doubts could be dealbreakers in disguise. 

  5. Red flags: Sometimes, your relationship doubts can be very justified! If your partner is acting shady or is continuously breaking your boundaries, then your negative thoughts and uncertainty may not be unfounded. If you find yourself in a toxic relationship when you thought you’d found your soul mate, it can be quite a shock — but doubts could be the warning signs that you need. 

Are relationship doubts normal?

No relationship is perfect, and even if you have a very good relationship, both partners likely go through periods of doubt or uncertainty throughout their time together. 

In many cases, these doubts are not vocalized between partners, and they have a habit of going away alone. Or, couples can choose to chat through their worries as a team! With the rollercoaster of relationships, it’s normal to not feel 100% confident all the time — that’s human nature!

The key thing to consider is how much doubt is present, and if it’s inhibiting your ability from moving forward as a couple. If you can’t see past your doubts or they start triggering self-sabotaging behaviors, that’s when it goes beyond the normal barometer.

How much doubt in a relationship is normal?

If you’ve noticed doubt creep into your relationship, it usually comes with a host of questions, and if you should be worried. 

There are various types and levels of doubt that are totally normal in a relationship, and which should not signal the dissolution of the relationship. 

When you’re in a new relationship, it's common to experience doubts as you are still learning about each other’s values, behaviors, and compatibility. These doubts often revolve around whether you can envision a future together or if you share similar values and life goals. These early stages are naturally going to be more fragile, and it’s normal to ask these questions — in fact, it would be more worrying if you didn’t! 

When you go through life changes or transitions, there will also naturally be an element of uncertainty. In this case, doubts might surface about how well the relationship can withstand stress from external factors like job changes, moves, or family pressures. Within all of the reasons for doubt, there is a certain level of normalcy in these situations — the key is that they should pass. 

These doubts should be fleeting, linked to specific situations, and can be resolved through communication and reassurance. They do not significantly disrupt the relationship’s functioning. However, doubts are not considered ‘normal’ if they cause significant distress, or relate to fundamental aspects of the relationship (like trust or respect), they may indicate deeper issues. 

On top of this, personal insecurities can have a big impact on the role of these doubts in your relationship, with studies showing how self-doubt can contaminate your relationship beliefs. In these cases, unwarranted insecurities start to taint the person’s perception of their partner, with individuals troubled by self-doubt underestimating the strength of their partners’ love and triggering self-sabotaging tendencies. 

How do you overcome doubts in a relationship?

  1. Identify the source: Where are your doubts stemming from? Are they founded in any behavioral patterns in your partner? Or perhaps are they more rooted in your own personal insecurities? Once you have identified the cause, you can start from there. 

  2. Communication: Without pointing fingers or attributing blame, try and calmly discuss your concerns and doubts with your partner. Remember that they might react with defensiveness or upset, as they could see this as an attack. Try and frame it in a way so it’s clear that you want to work on these issues, and if they can help you along the way. 

  3. Set expectations: What do you want from the relationship? If you have doubts about where the relationship is going, try and set expectations about your future together. Try and decide on your non-negotiables and the role of compromise in your future. 

  4. Establish boundaries: Every relationship is founded on healthy boundaries. To move forward, setting boundaries to preserve your emotional well-being can be a very positive step. What can your partner do to make you feel safe and secure? 

  5. Build trust: Depending on your circumstances, you may need to focus on rebuilding trust in your relationship. Understand that this might take some time, and be willing to work on this together. 

  6. Self-work: Am I the problem in my relationship? While no one likes to point fingers in the mirror, take the opportunity to focus on individual growth and development. 

  7. Evaluate the relationship: With all of these measures in place, is this still a relationship that you want to be in? Honestly evaluate your relationship (with the added guidance of a trusted friend) and see where to go from there. 

  8. Practice regular check-ins: Instead of having one conversation, and never addressing it again, get into the habit of regularly checking in with your partner. We provide Paired users with monthly check-ins, to facilitate honest conversations about relationship growth. 

  9. Seek professional help: Remember, you don’t have to do this journey alone! If you’re struggling with doubts, speaking to a relationship expert can help you get some perspective on your uncertainties. Or, if you want to tackle your relationship issues as a team, it can also be helpful to consider couples counseling. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it normal to question your feelings in a long-distance relationship?

    Yes, questioning your feelings in a long-distance relationship is quite normal and even expected. Long-distance relationships present unique challenges that can lead to doubts and questions about one’s feelings and the viability of the relationship. Often, these issues are caused by a lack of communication between the couple due to your physical separation. LDRs often have more doubts than your average couple due to their unique challenges, but setting goals, opting for open communication, and trying to plan your future together can help ease these worries.
  • Can doubts in a relationship be a sign of personal insecurities?

    While doubts can stem from many places, they can often be a sign of personal insecurities. Understanding the interplay between one's insecurities and doubts within a relationship is crucial for addressing the underlying issues effectively, ensuring they don’t self-sabotage or run for the door. Identifying your own insecurities can help you overcome these doubts in a healthy and effective way.
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