How to Deal With Uncertainty in a New Relationship

So, you’ve been seeing someone new. You’ve passed the honeymoon stage and you’re onto the … Well, you’re not really sure what’s going on. They’ve stopped meeting you in between classes and the “Good morning” texts are infrequent. Naturally, you’re concerned that things are heading south. How can you deal with feelings of uncertainty in a new relationship?

Calling them out, as much as you want to, may be a little too aggressive. It might even do unnecessary damage to the situation. Every relationship goes through a transitional phase. Yes, some of those end in breakups, but there is no need to jump to the worst of conclusions just yet. Take your time. Before directly approaching the situation at hand, there are other things you need to do first.

A girl takes a walk and wonders how to deal with doubt in a new relationship.

iPostnikov /

Acknowledge That It Stinks

You’re allowed to feel disappointed and frustrated. Whatever you’re feeling, feel it! You can express it through hitting a punching bag at the gym or writing a sad poem. Whatever you do, though, don’t hold onto those feelings. There are a thousand ways to explain the differences in your relationship. Throwing a pity party when you receive fewer roses than you did a month ago will not help mend the situation. Feel it, let it go, and find ways to move forward.

Nurture Yourself

Take a walk. Take a bubble bath. Take some time for yourself. Do something that honors your worth and makes you feel good. When facing uncertainty in a relationship, we sometimes feel uncertainty toward ourselves. Above all else, preserving your self-worth is the key to resolving relationship problems. Respect yourself. Be kind to yourself. Do things that make you feel proud of who you are.

Seek Support but Be Skeptical of Opinions

You need friends to help distract you and lift your spirits right now. Real friends will be more than willing to help take your mind off of the situation. Ask them for advice first (you know you want to), but don’t dwell on the issue. You don’t want to spend too much of your attention on the problem. Plus, sometimes it can do more harm than good to ask your friends to give their opinions. After all, they may feel obligated to tell you what you want to hear or only see the situation from your point of view.

Two students on a date at the start of a new relationship; the girl is enthralled with her phone while the boy experiences relationship anxiety.

WAYHOME studio /

Don’t Snoop

When you begin to feel uncertain about a relationship, your first idea might be to hop on social media and dig up some dirt. You might search their photos for signs of someone new, compare, cry, whatever. Don’t do it. You’ll likely be making up stories and reading into things. It’s of no use to you. Social media is a whole different world; what matters is right here, right now. Shut off your phone and take time for yourself.

Don’t Text About It

Confronting the situation by voicing your concern through a text message is most definitely not the way to approach the problem. Texting, though easy, makes resolving the confusion much harder. If you feel you are ready to speak to your partner after taking some time apart, do so face to face, in a place where both of you feel comfortable to voice your feelings. Maybe get off campus and find a safe, private place, like a park, to avoid potential distractions. During tough conversations, there’s nothing worse than being overheard by classmates or interrupted by waitstaff at a restaurant. And plan for the conversation before you meet up. Even though you don’t need to make a decision to break up or put a label on your relationship in that very conversation, you don’t want to forget to bring up any of your concerns.

If you’re unsure of where you stand with someone, it’s bound to cause emotional turmoil. Remember, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Your main priority is you—your success, your education, and your happiness. If your relationship with someone else isn’t making you happy, stick to the important one: the one with yourself.

About Katelyn Brush

Katelyn likes learning, good health, traveling, and pizza on Fridays. Her mixed education, composed of SUNY the College at Brockport, a semester at a community college, and one abroad at the University of Oxford, helped her earn a bachelor’s degree in English. College also gave her a few lessons in Taekwondo and sleeping in a hostel dorm with total strangers. She’s a yoga teacher, author and illustrator of the children’s book, “Signing Together: A Guide to American Sign Language for Everyone.” As a Student Caffé writer, she hopes to help you through the highs and lows of college with a laugh ... or 20.

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