Nothing ruins the fun of a relationship like doubt. He tells you he loves you, but those nagging, buzzkill pangs of uncertainty will not leave you alone. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. You aren’t alone. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make sure he’s for real so you can put your mind at ease and enjoy what you have.
- Check yourself. Take a moment to reflect on past relationships. Go ahead, we’ll wait for you to pour the glass of wine you need to handle the memories of your exes. Ready? Okay, did you feel these same doubts with them? Is this a pattern for you? Make doubly sure that you’re not projecting personal trust issues onto a potentially good man who could help you work on those issues.
- Look for clues. Consider this: maybe you’ve always been more attracted to guys who are more grandiose about their emotions, and this guy is a bit more subtle. Maybe he says “I love you” by filling up your gas tank for you, or by the way he touches your knee when you’re sitting on the couch together. Look for the little things.
- Make your feelings clear. Still not sure? Communication is a two-way street, and he’s probably feeling vulnerable too. Since you’re the one with questions, unfortunately, you need to make the first move. Tell him how much you like what you have and how excited you are to see where it goes. Make these sentiments normal for him to hear and they’ll become normal for him to say–or he’ll feel uncomfortable and finally fess up.
- Check his past. If you’re still unsure, you might be feeling a bit crazy. This step probably won’t help. What were the problems in his past relationships? If you can find a way to bring up his past relationships naturally, then try to figure out what went wrong there. “She said I didn’t communicate” is a relief, because communication can be improved. You can’t fix a liar.
- Talk to your friends. Remind yourself that you are a queen and that your power can be intimidating. Maybe he hasn’t opened up to you, but if he’s really in it, he might be gushing about you to your friends. See what he says about you to them when you aren’t in the room–and more importantly, what he doesn’t say.
- Talk to his friends. He will be the most honest about you with his friends, and their loyalty to him will work in your favor. Next time your bf is out of the room, mention how much you like him and how he’s a good guy. If they clam up or change the subject, there’s a good chance that he is not saying the same things about you.
- Just tell him already. This could (and honestly should) be step one, but since it’s the scariest step and we’re all only human, we put it way down here. Sit him down and just be honest. Tell him how you feel. Tell him you understand that maybe he expresses himself differently than you, but that you need him to lay out the how and why he is here for this relationship.
- Watch his response. A man who is actually committed to the relationship will hear your uncertainty, meet it with understanding, and seek to fix it. A man who has been lying to you about his feelings will be insulted. He might yell about how mean you are for saying that. He might accuse you of being paranoid, or try to convince you that your feelings aren’t valid. Liars do this when you call them out.
- Act accordingly. If he is down for working on communication, great. Offer ways that you can help, and ask if there’s any way you can in turn make him feel reassured of your commitment. If he threw a tantrum and blamed you for not understanding, leave. Right now. It’s a red flag and he’s toxic. Do not try to fix him. You can do better. You deserve better. Dump him. Now. RIGHT now. Seriously.