Will Anyone Ever Love Me? Overcoming Self-Doubt In Relationships
Updated October 21, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Kelly Kampf
Will anyone ever love me? It’s a tough question and a question, so many of us have asked ourselves. Finding love, maintaining a healthy relationship, and overcoming relationship anxiety are all challenges that can lead us to doubt our self-worth.
The bottom line is: you are valuable! We all have worth, even when we doubt ourselves. But that self-doubt can be difficult to overcome, especially when it comes to romantic love and relationships. With that in mind, here are some tips for remembering your worth, combatting relationship anxiety, and overcoming self-doubt in relationships.
What Is Relationship Anxiety?
Anxiety has many faces. It can come from any number of stressors or sources, and it can seriously impact our lives. Anxiety over relationships is no less serious or challenging than anxiety in other forms. Unfortunately, it’s also very common.
In fact, in a recent APA poll, around 48% of subjects said they felt anxious about interpersonal relationships. That’s a lot! Plenty of Americans face self-doubt and stress over finding and maintaining a relationship.
Relationship anxiety refers to high levels of anxiety specifically related to romantic relationships. It can make it challenging to meet people or find love and can cause you to question your own self-worth. It can also stress existing relationships, causing you to doubt your partner’s loyalty or love for you. If this sounds like something you have experienced, you’re not alone. Relationship anxiety should be taken seriously and treated like any other form of anxiety — professional therapy can be a huge help.
The Problem With Love Stories
Why do so many people doubt that they will ever find true love?
The answer might lie partially with the popular stories we love. For example, one clinical psychologist has described the science of lovesickness due to over-romanticized ideas of love and relationships enforced by our movies and television.
Consider all your favorite stories. So many of them — even if they are not technically “romance” stories — probably include a protagonist who falls in unconditional love with someone. Even though we know those stories are fictional, they make us feel good. They give us the idea that there is one perfect person out there for everyone and that falling in love is inevitable.
So, what’s the problem with enjoying love stories? Well, unfortunately, real life is not like fiction. Love stories set unrealistic expectations for love and romance — and worse, make us feel bad when we can’t meet those expectations. It’s fine to enjoy the stories that make you feel good, but it’s also important to acknowledge that they are not real and that no one should expect their life to work out like what they see on screen or read in novels.
How To Overcome Self-Doubt And Relationship Anxiety
It’s important to understand that doubting your self-worth and feeling anxious about relationships are normal feelings — and they are also not your fault. But they can be hard.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you push past those feelings of doubt.
- Shake the idea of “deserving” love.
Thanks to the pressure of Hollywood, a lot of us tend to have the idea that love is something we “deserve” or have to “earn.” So when you express your self-doubt, you may hear advice like “you deserve love” or “everyone deserves love.”
Of course, anyone who says that you deserve to find love has your best interest at heart. However, the best path to pushing through your self-doubt is to shake the whole idea that anyone can be deserving or worthy of love.
Love and companionship are like food and water — a normal part of the human experience. And, just like food and water, love is something that we have to find and grow for ourselves. Unfortunately, the idea of deserving or not deserving love can lead us to doubt our self-worth or to ask questions like, “If I deserve it, why doesn’t anybody love me?” The fact is, relationships take cultivation and care, and love doesn’t just appear to the people who deserve it. Shaking off that old stereotype can help you to regain your confidence and overcome your anxiety, so you can get out there and experience love for yourself.
- Remember, there is no timeline.
There is no such thing as being “late for love.”
If you feel pressure to meet people or find someone “before it’s too late,” try to remember that there is no timeline you need to stick to. In fact, the pressure to start a relationship within a certain timeline can be harmful — it can lead people to commit to relationships they are not ready for or stay in a relationship they are unhappy with.
The reality is, people, find love at all different times in their life. Remember, love is just like food and water. We all need it, and it occurs wherever it has the space to grow. And it can be hard for love to grow under pressure. So try not to rush it! There is no such thing as too late.
- Don’t worry about the spark.
Don’t you love it when you meet people you feel like you can click with right away? It’s a great feeling — but it’s not necessarily a sign that you should be in a relationship with that person.
Many people who struggle to meet new people feel like they are waiting for a “spark” or a special connection with a potential partner. Unfortunately, love doesn’t always work that way. Remember that romance and love stories can heavily influence the way we look at love and relationships. Love, at first sight, is a common misconception; a meaningful relationship isn’t about the first meeting but the experiences and trust you build with that person over time.
So, don’t worry too much about trying to meet people you have an instant connection with. You don’t have to play the numbers game until you find that click. Just because you have trouble finding the “spark” does not mean you can’t find love.
- Enjoy the little things.
You might have heard that love dies or dulls over time or that long-term relationships become less exciting. Those old sayings can cause a lot of anxiety in your relationship. You might wonder: will you inevitably fall out of love with your partner?
The truth is, no relationship is 100% perfect 100% of the time. Your feelings toward your partner will change over time, just like in a long friendship. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, and it does not mean that you will eventually fall out of love.
The key is to welcome and enjoy every little aspect of a relationship. The rush of falling in love is great, but all those endorphins can’t last forever. So, remember that love can look boring, imperfect, and even messy sometimes. But, as long as you feel happy, healthy, and supported by your partner, you don’t need to worry about the pressure of feeling 100% in love 100% of the time.
- Love yourself first.
Finally, and most importantly, overcoming self-doubt in relationships means overcoming your own personal challenges.
Self-love is a different kind of love, but it is just as important (if not more so) than romance. Like a relationship, it takes patience and growth. Professional therapy is an amazing tool to help you tackle your doubts and gain confidence. Pursuing your passions, staying healthy, and spending time with the things and people you care most about can also help.
Is it possible to find love with yourself? Absolutely! Remember, there is no pressure to find someone to love, and a relationship is not a “cure” for self-doubt. Take care of your mental and physical health first, and the rest will follow.
There Is No Shame In Getting Help
Self-doubt in relationships is challenging. Old stereotypes like “with age come wisdom,” “accept the love you deserve,” can challenge our self-worth. However, the reality is, there is no pressure to accept love, to start a relationship, or to be in the perfect relationship right away.
To overcome your self-doubt, it’s important to look inward and address other challenges in your life as well. Mental health issues like anxiety and depression are not cured by a relationship and should be treated seriously. If you find yourself asking, “will anybody ever love me?” often, it might help to take a step back, examine other stresses in your life, and ask yourself why you feel that way. Consider asking, “do I love me?” Caring for yourself first is the best path to a healthy and loving relationship in the future.
We would all love to find a quick cure for self-doubt. But, just like love, valuing and caring for yourself takes time and work. With that in mind, there is never any shame in seeking help. You can always talk to a professional therapist online to work through these challenges.
Therapy is an important tool on the road to healing and self-love. Remember, you have value, you matter, and everyone is capable of building love.
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