If you’ve ever felt doubt in your relationship, you’re not alone. Relationships are full of highs and lows. During the lows, doubt can creep in and make you question things about your relationship.
Jay Shetty unpacks the seven most significant relationship doubts couples face and outlines a set of questions and reflections you can use to calm those doubts and make better decisions about the future of your relationship.
Are you confused about whether you are compatible or think someone else would be better for you? Is your relationship moving in the right direction? In this article, Jay Shetty shares insights on how you can take action based on your current feelings in your relationship.
Is my partner still into me?
One of the most considerable doubts people have is if their partner is still into them.
It’s common to wonder if they’re still attracted to you or if they still have fun when you’re around. Whether you’ve been together for a month, a year, or twenty years, you may still wonder if they feel the same way they did in the beginning.
Jay Shetty explains that just as relationships develop over time, so does the attraction in a healthy relationship.
“Often what we’re attracted to initially is someone’s financial presence, not just their physical presence” Jay Shetty shares. “You might be impressed by what they’re driving or wearing. You might be impressed by where you’ve met them. Our initial attraction towards someone is usually based on externals.”
As you progress into the relationship, physical attraction will lead to being attracted to their mind and personality. As you get to know that person more, you become emotionally connected. Eventually, you feel like you are on the same frequency as that person.
“You may find that your partner now notices your mental, emotional and spiritual growth more than your physical and external,” Jay Shetty explained. “Maybe they’re not commenting on your appearance as much because they’re not conscious of it as much. Maybe they don’t recognize when you had your haircut or you got your nails done because they are noticing deeper parts of you meaning there is a deeper sense of attraction.”
To be compatible, you need to have a more-than-physical connection. You need to have an attraction to what is on the inside. The more you get to know someone and the more time you spend together, the more attractive they become, even in simple ways.
Jay Shetty shares that he thinks his wife looks adorable at home in her sweats because he has grown to love her for the giant ray of sunshine that she is. She doesn’t need to be dressed up in date night attire to look beautiful to him.
Don’t exclude attraction in any form, whether it’s physical attraction or an attraction to the inner forms of compliments and validation that your partner is offering.
The attraction you feel for your partner changes over time, and vice versa. It can grow into a more profound love and understanding of who each of you are as a person. Because it changes, it may not be expressed in the same ways as in the beginning.
“Your job is not to check whether it’s the same as it’s been before,” Jay Shetty explains. “If you’re looking for it in the same places, in the same ways, you may be disappointed. If you broaden your picture and broaden the landscape, you may discover that your partner is deeply attracted to you, just in a new way.”
Can I trust my partner?
Trust is essential to a healthy relationship, but many people often feel overwhelming doubt. Trust means you believe the other person is honest and has your best interests at heart. It’s the confidence they will uphold their promises, but it doesn’t mean they are perfect and will always handle everything right. Trust is about intentions, not abilities, says Jay Shetty.
Perhaps you have had your trust broken before, or you met your significant other in a situation where they were breaking someone else’s trust. If this is the case, you may think the chances are that they will do it again. It may be a pattern in their life. Maybe you don’t know the status of your relationship. Are you casual or exclusive?
“If you haven’t had that conversation to clarify that, it’s really difficult to have trust,” explains Jay Shetty. “I find that trust is earned and gained when you have transparent commitments you’re both making to each other. You can’t just assume someone is trustworthy, and you can’t just assume that you’re now exclusive. You can’t just assume that you’re in a relationship. It’s a conversation that needs to happen.”
In his book, Think Like a Monk, Jay Shetty writes that trust is earned, and it’s easier to build and maintain trust when you have established reasonable expectations in your relationship.
“Even people with the best intentions change or don’t follow the same path that we do, Jay Shetty says. “Just because someone didn’t tell you the full truth or maybe hid something, trust must be seen case by case. Don’t amplify something in one area of the relationship to another area. Don’t take it out of context.”
Four Stages of Trust
Not everyone in your life has earned the same level of trust.There are four stages of trust that can be extended to another person. Read Jay Shetty’s descriptions of the four stages of trust below, and pay attention to how deeply you trust someone and whether they’ve earned that level of trust.
Neutral trust is when you see positive qualities in a person, but they haven’t earned your trust yet. This generally occurs at the beginning of relationships. You find the person funny, attractive, and a joy to be around, but those are not reasons enough to trust them.
“It is better to have neutral trust than to trust someone for the wrong reasons or trust them blindly or fully,” explains Jay hetty.
Contractual trust follows the lines of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”.
Contractual trust is when you do something to see if they will do it in return. An example would be taking turns paying the supper tab or picking up lunch for the other person. This builds trust that the other person is willing to be an active part of the relationship in the same way you are.
Mutual trust is trust that’s shown both ways. Confidence grows that you’ll be there for each other in the future, and you start to relax and loosen up. You no longer have to match action for action with the other person.
Pure trust is the trust where you know you have each other’s back no matter what. This is the kind of trust worth waiting for, says Jay Shetty.
Is my partner listening to me?
Have you ever walked into a room and told your partner something about your day, and they looked up from their phone and said, “Huh?” That’s frustrating! You may feel angry and wonder if they ever really listen to you.
Take a deep breath and assess the situation. Was your partner prepared to hear your story when you burst into the room? Were they in the middle of something, and you interrupted them?
Communication is the key.
“Set a commitment in your relationship where you ask for your partner’s time and attention when you want conversations to be exclusive,” suggests Jay Shetty. “Then ask your partner to repeat what you said and how you felt. Them repeating what you felt is even more important than repeating what you said. So ask them ‘Hey, I just want to check in and make sure you understood me. Can you tell me?’ IF they get it right, great. If they get it wrong, don’t judge them because chances are you didn’t articulate it well enough.”
Is my relationship worth saving?
Is doubt sneaking in about whether or not your relationship is worth saving? If so, you need to ask yourself the following questions.
Is there any kind of mental, physical, or emotional abuse going on?
If the answer is yes, most likely it is time to move on.
Am I just scared to be alone or worried about others’ opinions?
“If your reason for trying to save a relationship is that you don’t want to be alone, don’t want to see your partner with anyone else, or don’t want to deal with what your friends and family are going to say, it’s not a relationship you should be trying to save or stay in,” explains Jay Shetty.
None of those reasons are about loving, respecting, or believing in another person. They are about you and the fears that you have. Don’t try and fix something with someone just because you are scared of what life would be like on your own.
Are you stuck in a repeat cycle of petty arguments?
Petty arguments over small things like who did or didn’t do the laundry last or your opinion that your partner didn’t load the dishwasher right can escalate into bigger things.
“Sometimes in our minds, we make the small things really big,” Jay Shetty shares. “If that small fight escalates, but you only think about breaking up when you’re fighting, chances are your relationship is still worth saving because that’s not a thought that you’re having all the time. You’re not constantly thinking about ending this relationship.”
Don’t throw away everything you have because you need to learn to communicate better.
Is the spark gone?
“If you’re still trying to do the same things as you did on day one of your relationship, of course, you’re going to lose the spark,” Jay Shetty shares.
You both might enjoy a particular restaurant or have a favorite spot, but over time those things become mundane and lose their luster. It’s tough to keep a spark when you do the same things repeatedly.
Step out of your comfort zone and try new things together. It is vital that you plan to connect to keep that spark alive.
Is my partner cheating on me?
Most people can sense when their partner has distanced themselves or pulled away from the relationship, but walking a fine line is necessary when you wonder if there is infidelity. The signs may be there. Changing plans with no explanation, working long hours, unreliability, and nervousness could all be signs of an affair. They could also be signs of being busy with work.
“You have to be very careful about this,” explains Jay Shetty. “Create a commitment of how you spend time together. When you spend time together, does that person show up consistently? Ultimately, let them earn your trust.”
Do we have a future together?
Discuss what your dreams and goals are. It is easy when you are at the top of the mountain to see everything with rose-colored glasses. But what does the valley look like? Are they willing to go through the valley when everything is not perfect?
Have hard conversations about what you want from life and what is important to you. If things align, and you’re willing to work on reaching for those goals to create the most fulfilling life possible, then there is the possibility for longevity in your relationship.
We all face doubts in relationships, but knowing how to stare down those doubts with communication and truth will help you make better decisions about the future of your relationships.
One way to experience mental clarity and deal with doubt is meditation. Ready to make meditation a new daily habit? I can help! Meditate with me daily for seven minutes in The Daily Jay, Jay Shetty’s new mindfulness series on Calm. Save 40% off your subscription when you join now at https://calm.com/Jay.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on Jay Shetty ON “7 Relationship Doubts People Have” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.