Sometimes, it’s hard to know where you stand when you’re dating someone new. You text wildly the first few weeks, and then it starts to take them a few days to get back to you. They are available to see you whenever you ask at first, but now, you get “Oh no, I can’t. I have plans.” You don’t know if the relationship is cooling down, or if it is just entering a new phase. But you are quite sure that you do not like this new direction.
Picking The Right Plan
There are no hard and fast rules about what a relationship should look like at every phase. So, when a new relationship becomes unclear, you come up with three possible plans: either talk to the person about it, walk away or hang tight and see where it goes.
You realize that it isn’t a great strategy to share your feelings about this. It is too much, too early in the relationship to report that you aren’t getting enough attention. This can send a message to your potential mate that you are anxious about your attachment and are a high-maintenance person that can’t handle a little space in the relationship. No one wants to be smothered.
Equally, walking away seems premature. Are you really going to call it quits at the first sign that their entire existence doesn’t revolve around you? You may want more than they are giving you, but if your go-to strategy is to start over with someone more adoring, then you might find yourself in serial relationships.
So, it seems that the best option is to sit back and see what happens next. This uncertainty can be challenging, especially if you are a person who hates ambiguity. However, the following five tips can help you cope with the uncertainty of not knowing where you stand.
1. Admit To Yourself How Sensitive You Are To Rejection
You may think of yourself as someone who is cool with just hanging out and doesn’t need a relationship defined, but in reality, you aren’t! You can easily fall into a tailspin when patterns of interaction change and worry that someone is rejecting you. Knowing this about yourself is half the battle because then you can manage it.
2. Practice Mindful Awareness Around Your Uncomfortable Feelings
Your goal is to learn how to tolerate the discomfort that comes up when you start to worry that your new mate might not be interested. Learn to make space for these feelings and not have to do anything about them. If you can tolerate them, you won’t have to rush into impulsive action to put yourself out of your misery.
3. Distract Yourself
Sometimes, you just feel too preoccupied about what you perceive to be going on, and there doesn’t seem to be any respite. Do something helpful to take your mind off your situation. Exercise, do something creative or engage in something grounding to alter your emotional state in a positive way.
4. Seek Out Support
You don’t have to manage this alone. Most people find it helpful to reach out to a supportive friend or professional with your feelings. Just talking can help decrease your discomfort and convince you to not do something that you will regret.
5. Doubt All The Stories You Are Telling Yourself
As you try to hang out in the “not knowing” part of early dating, you will notice that the voice inside your head is chatting away, and usually about upsetting topics (like worst-case scenarios about why they’re not returning your calls). Your psychic powers might also try to convince you that you know what is motivating them. Shut all this noise down.
Whether you’ve just hooked up or you’re a few dates in, recognize that the beginning of a relationship isn’t always easy. Everyone has their own style, and sometimes, you have to take time to see if you are going to be compatible. Try to stay cool about your feelings. Remember, you are just getting to know each other, and not everyone is going to be a perfect match. That’s why it’s so special when you find “the one.”
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