Let’s Talk About Doubt in Relationships

Normalize expressing uncertainty in relationships because no relationship is perfect, no matter how it seems from the outside



It’s OK to feel doubt about relationships or to not want to post about your S/O all the time on social media.


POV: You’re in a healthy, happy relationship, but you don’t feel comfortable announcing to all of social media that you’ve found your forever soulmate.

That is totally OK.

As someone who spends a fair amount of time on TikTok, I have seen too many videos of people showing off their relationships. What started as cute couple videos that gave me hope of one day finding a happy queer relationship for myself quickly turned into constant comparison and competition. 

While I’m sure sparking jealousy is not any of the creators’ intentions, a lot of us can’t help but feel tinges of insecurity, no matter our current relationship status. Just take a look at any of the comments on a couple’s video: It’s filled with witty, yet sometimes concerning, statements like “God, it’s me again” and “Happy for you, not at all jealous.” 

The doubt still creeps in and before I know it, I’m questioning why I’m with my partner in the first place.

If consuming relationship influencers’ videos is genuinely making you feel that way, then cute-couple content might not be so harmless anymore. I know that social media is a place where we show our best selves. Even on TikTok, creators can be extremely candid — sometimes to the point of appearing unhinged — in their level of sharing. But instead of idealizing people’s romantic relationships, it’s time we start normalizing expressions of doubt in relationships, whether it’s online or offline. 

Last fall, two of my close friends and I started dating our respective partners just a few months apart from each other. While my friends’ and my dating histories vary, our current relationships are the first that can be considered remotely healthy for us. As my roommate and I say, we’re finally dating people that are not incredibly toxic.

I found that being in your first healthy relationship, especially your first healthy romantic relationship, can be incredibly daunting. If you grew up with traumatic family dynamics, feeling safe for the first time in your life can seem suspicious. When you’ve become used to worrying constantly, it’s hard not to find little issues to hyperfixate on until they become not so little issues anymore — at least in your mind. 

I’m not here to show off my girlfriend but rather to get my point across, so let me just keep this short: My current partner is an absolute gem of a human being whom I’m absolutely captivated by. Yet, there have been terrible moments of anxiety where my mind travels way too far in the future, getting the best of me. Sometimes, I worry, what if, in a year from now, we’re on a date, and we run out of things to talk about? Or, here’s a good one: I once saw a video on TikTok about a girl drawing her girlfriend a bath because she had a hard week, and I immediately thought, my girlfriend and I don’t do that for each other. 

Never mind that we don’t live together and that I don’t own a bathtub nor enjoy baths or that we do other acts of service for each other that do not perfectly mimic the one in this video. The doubt still creeps in and before I know it, I’m questioning why I’m with my partner in the first place. After all, everyone else seems so enraptured with their partners at all times, right?

It may seem that way after spending too much time on social media, where everything is overly romanticized, but every couple has disagreements from time to time and every relationship challenges people to grow. Just because people do not show that side of their lives online does not mean it does not exist. Being in a perfect relationship is a standard that none of us should hold ourselves to, because it will only make us feel inadequate when the inevitable comparisons start. 

Everyone expresses their love in a different way.

I know that I’m not alone in this. Social media can bring out all sorts of insecurities in us. Instead of beating yourself up for not being the perfect partner that relationship influencers make themselves out to be, embrace your moments of weakness as learning moments. When both you and your partner acknowledge your flaws, you are able to strive toward loving each other better. That, more so than idealizing yourself, is key to a healthy relationship.   

Mental health issues like anxiety also make it difficult to not question every decision you ever make, much less such a big decision like choosing a romantic partner. It’s completely normal to question yourself, your partner and your relationship from time to time. On top of acknowledging your flaws, staying inquisitive also allows for growth in the relationship. Forever isn’t promised, but rather something that people have to work toward. 

Everyone expresses their love in a different way. For some people, it means making grand gestures and posting all over social media with captions like “forever mine.” That’s fantastic, but for others, sharing is tethered by a lot of anxiety. 

No matter how happy you are in your relationship, moments of doubt and anxiety may always exist. For now, I’m limiting the amount of cute couple content I consume while I learn to stop putting relationships on a pedestal. My partner and I have occasional disagreements and misunderstandings, and I worry incessantly about the future, but that doesn’t take away from the love and joy in our relationship.