13:44, 15.Nov 2017
After the initial rush of jumping into a new partnership has started to settle, even the most compatible of couples are likely to have an occasional case of "the doubts." And thankfully, many of the worries in a new relationship are actually totally normal. What most people forget is that navigating life with a new plus-one can definitely take some getting used to, and part of this adjustment process involves critically evaluating the pros and cons that are present in every partnership. So yes, let out that breath you were holding in.
Sex and intimacy coach Irene Fehr notes that "while relationships are exciting, they're also scary for most people." For many of you, this new-ish thang you've got going isn't your first rodeo, so it's likely your past experiences will have some influence on your fears and anxieties in the present. But before you let yourself drown thinking about impending doom, let's address some of the most common worries in a new relationship and how communicating them openly can lay a solid foundation for the future.
1. Things Won't Work Out
"[New relationships] have as much potential to bring love, companionship and joy as they carry the risk of rejection, hurt, and vulnerability," explains Fehr. Being scared that things are going to come crashing down like they may have in the past is totally rational — that risk comes with every single relationship. But the truth is, you aren't the same as you were in the past. Anyone who's experienced pain has also experienced some amount of personal growth because of it. And your past certainly does not have to dictate your future.
2. Your Partner Is Too Good To Be True
According to Fehr, when trying to work through new relationship worries, it's important to first determine if your fears are "fears from within" or "fears that are rooted in what is already going on in the relationship."
For example thinking that your partner seems too perfect and there must be something wrong with them is likely coming "from doubting yourself and your worthiness or [whether or not you're deserving] of the relationship," says Fehr. But if your fear is that your bae seems disconnected and might be seeing other people, this is a fear that could be linked to linked to your partner's behavior, and that's something that definitely warrants a convo.
3. You Aren't Enough
Feeling like your new bae is simply too amazing to actually be happy with you is another example of a fear that may very well stem from your own self-esteem. And it goes without saying that this (i.e. you not being worthy of your partner) is literally not true.
"Be compassionate with yourself and trust that you're enough for your partner," says Fehr. However, if this fear stems from something outside yourself — for example, your partner making remarks that insinuate this — then Fehr urges you to "check with your partner" and start a conversation about your concerns.
4. They'll Leave Once They See "The Real You"
Look, we all know that, for the first few months of any new relationship — particularly when you've fallen hard — both people are usually on their best behavior. But naturally, as we get more comfortable with the other person, we start to relax. Inevitably, some of our not-so-great qualities (which we all have) start to seep through the cracks. But if seeing you in a less-than-perfect state is really enough to send your new partner running, then tell 'em bye, because they simply aren't the right person for you.
5. They Don't Really Love You
We all want to be loved deeply — it's one of the most satisfying parts of the human experience. Don't let the temptation to self-sabotage push someone good for you away. Remember that if their behavior hasn't given you this fear, then it's preeeeetty likely they wouldn't be with you in the first place if they didn't want you.
On the flip side, if you fears of not being loved are in response to your partner's negative behavior — or if something realy just feels off — then don't wait to address it. "Talking about it with your partner early on is crucial," explains Fehr. "Aside from preventing the build-up of resentment, talking about [concerns] helps both people get on the same page about what's important to them, what they value, and what your boundaries are."
6. You Don't Really Love Them
Sometimes, you feel completely in love with someone from day one. But in most cases, this is just lust in disguise, as real love usually takes a good amount of time to develop. So rest easy if you don't feel immediate fireworks. That doesn't mean you won't fall deeply in love with this person. This might simply mean that you are going into this partnership with a level head. Anyone who's been in a relationship past the honeymoon phase will tell you that initial chemistry isn't what makes a relationship last.
7. The Relationship Might Not Be What You Want
Let me guess: All you've wanted for the past few months has been to meet someone amazing. So when your prayers have finally been answered, why TF are you suddenly unsure if you actually do want a relationship with this person? Well, you may be falling under a normal "is the grass greener on the other side" mentality. It's totally normal to begin wanting what we don't have now. When you were single, a relationship might've seemed like the best thing in the world. But now that you're in one, you may begin wishing for the freedom you had when you were single. At the end of the day, it's just important to take some time to yourself and really think about what you want.
Then again, maybe, as you develop a relationship with this person, you're realizing this just isn't the right relationship for you or they actually can't give you the things you want. While these worries are totally normal, only time will tell. And when you are more sure of what you want, it's important to be honest with yourself — and your partner— about it.