There's something to be said for taking your time when it comes to romance. After all, you're far less likely to find yourself caught up in a relationship that you don't actually want to be in if you take some time to think it all through. But how do you know if you're overthinking it? What do you do if your doubts are causing problems in a perfectly good relationship?

Keep reading to learn more about how doubts ruin dating, as well as what you can do to date with more confidence.

The Problem with Doubt

What's the difference between a healthy dose of caution and relationship-sabotaging doubt? One is based on reason, and the other is based on fear. It's "Is this person really right for me?" vs. "What if I mess this up?"

Doubting yourself, your partner and the merit of dating in general can take a pretty serious toll on your relationship. It causes you to see problems that don't exist and maybe even generate some drama, all in an effort to protect yourself from getting hurt. You become more critical of yourself and more critical of your partner, which puts a lot of pressure on your relationship. Rather than examining the good in your relationship, you're examining and magnifying every little nuisance that may or may not actually be a problem.

Ultimately, you have to trust your instincts. If something truly doesn't feel right with your partner or your relationship with them, then take some time to determine whether your concerns have any legitimacy. But if your doubts are rooted in theoretical potential problems that are not based on your current reality, then you may end up sabotaging your love life.

Getting Rid of the Doubt

Once you've decided that you're ruining your relationship with doubt, there are a few things you can do to change the way you think.

Identify the Areas That You're Doubting

What are your doubts rooted in? Do you question whether you can maintain a healthy relationship or whether you can keep your partner happy? If you have a less than stellar dating history, it can be difficult to move past that and enjoy the present.

On the other hand, maybe you have doubts in your partner's character, motives or ability to keep you happy. Trust is an important building block in any relationship, and nothing good will come from approaching your partner with paranoia. If you have no reason to believe that your partner has been unfaithful or that they're not as invested in the relationship as you are, then feel free to do a little probing. Casually asking indirect questions to mutual friends or even to your partner is acceptable; logging into their social media page or checking their phone is not. If you feel that you must talk to your partner about any nagging doubts, be sure to do so in a non-confrontational, non-accusing way. Remember: if you're going to do a little exploring to determine whether your doubts are justified, make sure that you don't do it in a way that undermines trust.

Decide Whether Your Doubts Are Legitimate

Once you've pinpointed the source of your doubts and spoken with your partner, you should be able to decide whether your fears have any basis in reality. Learn to let go of your unfounded doubts rather than letting them pollute your relationship. While you don't need to blindly trust your partner or accept a relationship that is unhealthy, you can definitely learn to silence the negative voices.

Be Optimistic

Rather than looking for problems in a great relationship, take on an optimistic attitude and focus on what makes you happy. By looking at everything that is going right instead of everything thatcould go wrong, you can be sure that you're setting the right tone for your love life.

If you've had a series of bad relationships, it can be difficult to be a part of a happy and healthy romance. Do yourself and your partner a big favour by overcoming your doubt, silencing the negative voices and laying the groundwork for a great long term relationship.

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