“I’m never going to be enough.”
As sad as that sounds, many of us might have said this in our relationships. Perhaps, it was the partner making us feel this way, or maybe it’s our tendency to doubt ourselves whenever we feel loved.
For years, I was stuck with my self-deprecating humor, making jokes about my commitment issues, failure to be fully present with my partner, and my rare-to-connect-with hobbies and interests.
Maybe I thought I would never be the “good enough” girlfriend because I had a list of traits I thought matched the perfect partner I should be.
I should be always positive.
I should have the same interests as my partner.
I should always be so perfect that my partner never looks at other girls.
And on. And on. And on.
But what I later realized was that:
It’s impossible to always be cheerful. We all have our bad moments. And a good partner understands that.
We don’t have to have the same interests as our partners. We can introduce each other to what interests us the most or even appreciate them practicing it.
If our partner looks at other girls, it’s their issue not us. Cheating or having a wandering eye goes back to the person themselves, not to us.
So the first step to overcoming self-doubt is to actually acknowledge it. We need to be aware that it can distort our vision and ruin our relationships when no real issue is arising.
Here are five ways (among many) with which we can fight self-doubt in our relationship:
1. Be honest with your partner.
Your partner is not a mind reader. It’s probably a good idea to communicate the doubts you’re having with them so you can see if they agree, if you’re creating a problem that’s not there, or if you can reach a solution together.
Communication is always key.
2. Assess what’s triggering those doubts.
Picture this. You’re walking with your partner on the street, and they meet an old friend of theirs. That friend is attractive. You start doubting yourself and thinking they might be a better match for them. Maybe they’ll leave you one day for that friend.
When you imagine the worst-case scenario, stop yourself and ask, “Why would I think someone else might be a better match? Why do I think of them leaving me for someone else? Has that ever happened to me or someone I know before? If so, why would the same thing happen with this person?”
Sometimes, examining your triggers can lead you back to the root of your doubts. Are you a perfectionist who can’t stand the idea of not being in control of a situation? Have you been cheated on and lost your trust in every person you have feelings for?
3. Comparisons (in this case) are the enemy.
No two people are the exact same, nor are relationships. If you compare your relationship with your partner with your friend’s, you might be disappointed because it’s not exact same, “typically” perfect relationship.
First of all, no relationship is perfect. Each one has its ups and downs. Second of all, what’s perfect to others might not work for you.
Be unique in your own self and relationships.
4. Love is like food; it’s not something we “earn” or “deserve.”
It’s hard for us to step out of our idea of being “worthy” of love. We all need to receive and give love. And so, if you try to stop thinking of love as something you “deserve” rather than something that’s an essential part of human experience, you’ll stop beating yourself up if you deserve your partner or not.
5. Enjoy the present moment and the small details.
Worrying about the future is typical of most human beings. Sometimes, it’s a good thing when we use it to make a step forward (going to university, cutting ties with people who have toxic behavior, or learning a new language to fit into the country we’re moving to).
But other times, it can be detrimental. It will imprison your mind in the future and make you forget about enjoying the present moment.
You can begin to enjoy the small aspects of your relationship and the big picture—true love.
Talking about overcoming self-doubt in our relationships is easier said than done, but not impossible.
Life’s too precious to focus on problems that aren’t even there!