Ruler - is love enough in a relationship

“Am I In Love Enough?”

Feb 15, 2022

read time - 8 minutes


This post is all about the question, "Am I In Love Enough?".


"Am I in love enough?”

This question used to haunt me...

And I know I’m not alone in it, because I’ve had many submissions requesting this topic:

“I struggle with not knowing whether I'm in love ENOUGH, or what it really feels like to be in love with someone beyond the "infatuation" stage of a relationship.”

“I spend so much time analyzing my feelings for my partner, which inevitably fills me with anxiety and overrides the positive feelings I have. He's really amazing and I want to just believe in my love for him, but this doubt is driving me crazy and making me associate really negative, anxious feelings with him.”

“In my past relationship which I was so young, I used to feel more passionate...The relationship I have now is so healthy but I keep comparing my self to my past "in love self" which was obsessive and not healthy. Even though it was not healthy I still feel like I should be that obsessive and I feel guilty bc the partner I have now is the best.”

I’ll add my own former intrusive thoughts or worries to the list:

“It seems like Nate loves me more than I love him”

“Shouldn’t I feel happier in my relationship, and more often?”

“Is the fact that I have anxiety an automatic sign that I’m not in love?”



"Am I In Love Enough?"


I want to start by acknowledging that there is not a singular correct definition of love that applies to or resonates with all people in the world.

8 billion people will each interpret love in slightly different ways.

I used to think that there WAS only one type of love, and it was the type of love you see portrayed in the movies: joyful 24/7, head over heels, day dreaming about them, never sick of the person, always needing to be by their side, passionate, your partner completes you, etc.

So naturally, when my experience differed from this expectation in my head, I felt confused and disappointed.

Sure, there were moments of fun, connection, laughter, and fulfillment.

But there were also moments where I felt disconnected, worried, uncertain, irritated, or confused.

Which led me to feeling extremely anxious that I was doing something wrong, and/or that it must be Nate’s fault because maybe if he was more love-able, then I’d love him more...

Even typing that out makes me cringe, because there was of course a big part of me that knew how love-able Nate was, which made it that much harder for me not to be “feeling it” as deeply or consistently as I thought I “should” be.

And because the part of me who knew how love-able Nate was (despite my inability to feel it all the time, apparently) existed, I started questioning everything I thought about love.

It didn’t happen overnight - in fact, it took me about three years of feeling anxious before I finally broke down and decided enough was enough - but slowly and surely I unpacked my understanding of love.

“If love is supposed to be like the movies, but I love Nate and it’s not like the movies - which one is not the full story?”

“I don’t want to lose this person, and I really want this to work out with them - could that be a form of love, too?”

“Do I even know what love means? Is there one single way to experience love?”

I also started looking for different definitions of love.

And realized how elusive a definition of love really is.

Here are some ways love has been described that have stuck with me within the last few years of searching for “answers”:

“Love is a big, vague concept. So what does it look like? How do you know that you and your partner love each other? Perhaps we should interpret love as a flowing process, as a commitment to daily action, rather than "present or not present." Love is maintained incrementally. Instead of asking whether there is love, or trying to quantify it, it might be easier to ask yourself: How can I show my partner that I love them today? How is my partner showing their love for me today?”

— Gottman Institute

“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity—in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.”

— Anne morrow Lindbergh, via The Wisdom of Anxiety book

And another one, similar to the Gottman’s definition, is that love is an action, not a feeling. I’m not sure who said this first, but I really resonate with that idea.



What is your definition of love?

Do any of those definitions or ways of describing love feel true for you?

Why, or why not?

I think it’s extremely important to unpack and deconstruct what love even means to you in the first place, or what you’d like it to mean to you.

If you don’t have any idea what you’re working towards, how will you know if you’re experiencing love, or heading in a direction that feels good to you?

In order to begin deconstructing what love means to you, it’s worth deciding if your current expectations and beliefs around love are serving you or causing you to feel overwhelmed.

My old definition of love was very one-sided, and only looking for the “positives.”

Now, I know love encompasses more than just the warm and fuzzies.

Love can be beautiful, but it also has challenges.

It’s important to create a definition of love that includes both the ups AND the downs, the highs AND the lows, the ebbs AND the flows.

Unpacking and perhaps even rewriting your definition of love is a great exercise to do if you’ve been feeling like you don’t love your partner “enough.”



Going from judgment to curiosity

Next, I figured I would poke some holes in the below statements to help expand your mind into thinking about them differently.

  • I struggle with not knowing whether I'm in love ENOUGH”

    • Love isn’t like a thermometer where you reach [x] degrees and realize you’re “in love enough”

    • Love isn’t something that we measure, it’s something we give and receive

    • The mentality of trying to be “enough” is part of the thing that’s preventing you from allowing love to grow - the desire to do measure up, or to do the right thing. It’s coming from a place of comparison and scarcity, not appreciation

  • I spend so much time analyzing my feelings for my partner”

    • When we’re stuck in our mind, we take ourselves out of the present moment and loving experience we could be having

    • There is a beautiful quote by Zhuangzi that says “Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness,” and I’d argue the quote could be just as true when it comes to love: “Love is the absence of the striving for love.” We don’t experience love when we’re busy searching for it, if anything, that pushes it away

  • I keep comparing my self to my past ‘in love self’”

    • Be it in a previous relationship, or in a previous stage of a relationship where things felt more passionate, it’s normal to want to go back to feelings of more passion and longing. In one of the very first blog posts I ever wrote, I discuss why the “passion” or “in love” feelings often fade in relationships. Check it out here.

    • I recently shared an Esther Perel quote on my Instagram: "Just think about the last thing you had to have until you owned it. Now that it's yours, you may enjoy it, you may love it, but do you still want it? Do you even remember how much you wanted it in the first place?" Gail Godwin wrote, "The act of longing will always be far more intense than the requiting of it" - this is very true when it comes to a healthy relationships. There’s less chaos and more calm, because in some sense, we “know” that we have our partners - there’s no chasing, and little to no questions about their feelings towards us (assumes you’re in a relationship without abuse or mistreatment)

    • We can cultivate more passion in an existing relationship, but it’s our responsibility - not our partner’s. Check out my article on sex anxiety for more if you missed that.

When we take our thoughts at face value, they become scary.

“I don’t feel in love enough, so it must be true that I’m not and this must be the wrong relationship.”

“I spend so much time analyzing my feelings for my partner, so it’s a sign.”

“I keep comparing myself to my past “in love self” and want to get that feeling back, so maybe a different partner will bring me that feeling again.”

When we get curious about our thoughts and question them, they can be a huge opportunity for growth and evolution.

“I don’t feel in love enough, but what does that even mean? Is there a way to measure levels of love? What is my definition of love, and is that helpful?”

“I spend so much time analyzing my feelings, I wonder if there’s a way to shift out of this pattern? I wonder if I’m putting too much expectation on myself...”

“I keep comparing myself to my past “in love self” and want to get that feeling back, but is that feeling permanent?”

Coming from curiosity instead of judgment with self is a game-changer when working through relationship anxiety.




Challenging your existing beliefs, patterns and expectations

There are two other ideas related to this subject that come to mind:

  1. Don’t say no to yourself before your partner says no to you

  2. 100% of your “love tank” may look different than your partner’s

Don’t say no to yourself before your partner says no to you

I watched a great TikTok of @lizmoody’s a while back where she said something that has really stuck with me: don’t say no to yourself before someone else does.

What did she mean by that?

Well, she gave a great example of a job application. Stereotypically, statistics show that men are more likely to apply for a job that they’re 50% qualified, while women tend to only apply if they feel like they’re 100% qualified.

In this case, by not applying to a job, the woman is saying “no” to herself before she gives the chance for someone else to. She’s not opening the door for a potential “yes” from the job recruiter by not submitting the application at all.

So how does this relate to relationships, you ask?

Well, so often we end up saying “no” for our partners by assuming what they’re thinking or feeling.

“I don’t love them enough” - says who?

Did they tell you they feel unloved, or did you come up with that?

There is a reason your partner is with you.

We have to trust that our partners are adults and if they feel unloved, they can speak up.

And funny enough, every time I have asked Nate how I can help him feel more loved or what I can change to grow in our relationship, his answer has almost always been “I don’t have anything in mind, I’m happy!”

Which always would irk me, because I have a handful of things I could tell him, and he doesn’t seem to think the same about me.

But that doesn’t mean we’re “not meant to be together” - it may just mean that we see the world in a different lens…

Which leads me to my second point:

100% of your “love tank” may look different than your partner’s

One of my former clients and her boyfriend had a great analogy that they discussed with one another that I find to be SO TRUE.

They would say “well, what if we’re both giving 100% of the love we’re capable of at the current moment, but my “love tank” is bigger than yours?”

To further illustrate this - let’s think of Starbucks cups.

Maybe your partner’s 100% love cup is a Venti-size, whereas your 100% is a Tall size.

You’re both giving 100% of the love you feel capable of giving in this season of life, but one’s “tank” or “cup” is simply bigger and more expansive.

I love this idea, and it’s really helped some of my other clients to think about this, too.

If you’re on board with this idea, let me also reassure you that our love “tanks” or “cups” are not necessarily set in stone.

I personally believe that the capacity for love we hold within us is just as big as any other person’s, but there are many reasons why we aren’t able to give more than our current 100% at any given time.

Every time anxiety or fear comes up, it’s blocking love.

You can think of all the anxiety and fear stacking up over time in your life...

  • The intrusive thoughts that never got questioned

  • The heartaches or traumas of any past relationships or family (like divorce)

  • The societal expectations and pressures of what love “should be”

  • The comparisons we see to movies and social media

  • The fear of loss, pain, independence, conflict

  • The disagreements that happened without communication tools to resolve them in a way that felt supportive

  • The irritations, nitpicks, and frustrations

  • The lack of self trust, self compassion, and self worth

  • The ebbs and flows of attraction, connection, and love which caused doubt

And the more anxiety or fear that someone has blocking their love, the less love they may be able to give and receive.

It makes sense right?

Nate feels less anxiety and fear around love, so he has more to give.

I feel more anxiety and fear around love, so I have less to give, unless I work on reducing that fear or moving ahead despite it.

This makes perfect sense to me.

It brings to mind a quote I’ve shared on the blog before from Joe Dispenza that “your personality creates your personal reality.”

What if our personality is what’s causing us to “not feel in love enough,” and our partner’s personality allows them to “feel in love enough,” simply by who we are as people.

Perhaps one of us is always needing more and more, better and better, and the other is more content with things as they are.

Perhaps one of us is thinking someone else would make them happier, and the other is looking for ways to appreciate the person in front of them.

Perhaps one of us is more grounded in the present moment, where the other is looking ahead into the future which leads to anxiety and fear.

To shift into a place where we can give and receive more love may take some effort on our part.

I know I know, it doesn’t sound sexy to have to put effort in for love, it should be effortless right?

Well...maybe not so much.

Maybe it’s more challenging because of our existing beliefs, patterns and expectations.

And yet, despite feeling challenging right now, we absolutely can change the beliefs, patterns and expectations causing the challenges.

It’s not going to happen overnight, but it’s absolutely possible.

If you’d like support in reducing fear so you can hopefully expand your love “tank” or “cup,” or to learn from someone who’s been in your shoes, I have a couple ways I can do help:

Deconstruct the Doubts, my digital course where I walk you through why relationship anxiety happens and give you tools to reduce the doubts. You can learn more and sign up here.

Private Coaching, a 12-week personalized program where I support you in feeling more confident in your relationship. You can learn more and apply here.




Final thoughts

In the present day, I no longer ask myself questions like “Am I in love enough?” because I know that all they do is cause anxiety.

There isn’t really a way to measure love to begin with, so why even ask the question.

It’s unanswerable.

It’s our mind craving certainty or confirmation that we’re on the right path, which is why we bother asking it in the first place.

And once we know all of this, we can have compassion for ourselves, while also deciding to shift into new patterns, behaviors, questions or beliefs that are moving us forward.

Sending a lot of love, and thanks for reading!


This post is all about the question, "Am I In Love Enough?".


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Here are some ways I can support you further:

1 - “is it anxiety or intuition?” webinar - I explore this question in great detail and help you build up more trust in your own inner wisdom. Purchase the replay for $27.

2 - my recent webinar replay: “is it anxiety or incompatibility?” - Helps you answer this question with more clarity and ease so you can stop questioning if your relationship is incompatible. Purchase the replay for $27.

3 - Check out my self-study course Deconstruct the Doubts, which is perfect for someone who wants to confidently choose their partner and relationship and have access to the information TODAY!

4 - Learn more about Private Coaching.