As I write this, I am sitting next to my handsome, accomplished, and unconditionally loving boyfriend; the guy I dreamed about and never thought I’d find.
That’s not to say our relationship has been perfect, we’ve had our fair share of fights and tears, but each time we’ve emerged stronger and more in love. Now, almost 2 years later, I cringe thinking about the ways I almost sabotaged our earliest days with my doubts and misgivings (in truth, I may have been a bit jaded.) Our paths crossing is the best thing that could have happened to me, and he has quite literally changed what I thought love could be.
As a teenager, and in my early twenties, singleness was a part of my identity. Many of my friends were dating, and at the time both of my younger sisters were happily coupled up. There are many reasons for my lack of relationship, but the point of this post is not to psychoanalyze my past singleness (believe me, been there done that,) but rather to talk about the reality of emerging on the other side.
Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern of self-doubt; an attribution of success to luck and forces outside of our control. There is no lack of discourse around the prevalence of imposter syndrome in women in the workplace (check out this article on Forbes for tips to beat it), but we rarely talk about the effects it can have on relationships.
It’s strange to articulate, but sometimes I can’t believe I have a person. Calling Chris “my boyfriend,” almost always makes me pause to wonder–is that right? In settings with my friends, I almost feel like like I don’t deserve to comment on dating or relationships. I was the single friend! I’m qualified to talk about that!
While it’s hard to imagine my life without him, or even to think about my life before him, I still feel like I can’t possibly have this. How did I get to a point where I make joint decisions with someone? Where my future includes someone?
We talk about imposter syndrome that comes with any number of achievements, but what about experiencing it from being in a relationship? Am I the only one?