By Nicolle

There are a few things in life that you can be absolutely sure of.

While the sun has risen and set every day for as long as I can remember, there’s still no absolute guarantee that it won’t burn out tomorrow.

While my natural hair color is a dirty blonde, there’s no absolute guarantee that the next few strands that grow in won’t be gray.

While the economy seems to be improving, there’s no absolute guarantee that I’ll find a full-time job in my field.

photo by Kelly Cole

Yes, the statistical likelihood of the sun burning out tomorrow, my 23-year-old roots graying and me never finding a writing job is slim – but it’s not impossible. And, while I may act like I have no doubts in all three of those situations, the truth is that I have to acknowledge there’s a little uncertainty in all of them.

So, if things that we can’t control still elicit doubts, why do we treat our relationships as certainties?

We want to just KNOW. We want an other worldly lighting bolt to strike us when the person we’re dating is THE ONE. We want to walk down the aisle with no reservations. We want to be doubtless. We want to have no uncertainties.

What we need is a healthy dose of realism. We need to accept that, for most of us, a supernatural sign or idea of “just knowing” isn’t going to smack us upside the head.

Most of us have been in relationships before. Think back to that one relationship, the one you thought was IT. For some of us, that relationship was in high school. For others, it was a few years back. For others still, it was last week, or last month.

When it ended, we were crushed. We couldn’t put our fingers on what exactly went wrong and we felt naïve for ever believing that it could have lasted.

My point is this: In the midst of that relationship, we thought we knew. We thought we had no doubts. We were certain. But, our certainty didn’t make it last. And our lack of doubt didn’t keep the relationship intact.

Why then do we use certainty as a prerequisite for a healthy, lasting, successful relationship? We’d be better off being realistic, and asking questions that speak to our doubts, discussing our uncertainties with our significant others and recognizing that a little bit of uncertainty isn’t cause for the relationship to end.

Then maybe, over time, those doubts will fade and we’ll learn to rely on our partners as we rely on the sun to rise every day, and as I assume I won’t go gray until at least my mid-30s.