After heartbreak: Dealing with uncertainty about the future

Dealing with a breakup is difficult enough, but one of the worst aspects of it is facing the uncertainty about the future. It's not uncommon to feel confused and a bit lost when you've talked about and planned for a future with your guy and those plans get ripped away when the relationship ends. Although there are going to be good and bad days, getting through the situation doesn't have to completely be an uphill battle. There are ways to deal with the heartbreak while gaining clarity and staying focused on your future.

Don't deny how you feel

I hated envisioning my future with gaping holes where there were once plans for marriage, kids, and buying a house with someone who was now part of my past. When I opened up to a couple of close friends about how I felt, I actually started to feel better. I was also forced to be honest with myself -- the plans we had were dust, and I could either accept it or keep denying how I felt and prolong the healing process.

Don't be ashamed or embarrassed about how you feel -- you'd be surprised how many other people felt the same way at one point. Once you're honest with yourself and open up to a couple of people who are close to you, you can really start mending your heart and moving on with new plans for your future.

Don't try to replace him or the plans you had together

I couldn't stand when people would tell me to just replace the old plans with new ones. When you feel genuinely heartbroken over something -- the end of plans for a future with someone you loved, loss of a loved one or pet, ending of a relationship -- you can't just nonchalantly replace it like it's an empty milk carton. When the term "replace" is used regarding something that's supposed to be so important, it insinuates that whatever is being replaced had no significant value or meaning and it can easily be forgotten about -- but some things are irreplaceable.

You don't have to replace or forget about him or the plans you had together; often, remembering the good and bad helps you make better decisions in the future. Don't wallow in the loss of the relationship -- keep in mind that you still have a future even if the guy is no longer part of it. Rather than try to replace him or your plans, make new plans that are just for you. Cry occasionally about the ones you two shared if you have to, but force yourself to stay focused on your newly formed future that lies ahead.

Embrace the uncertainty

Rather than looking at your future like it's Swiss cheese with holes and gaps everywhere, embrace the uncertainty and consider it a new beginning. Your instinct may be to resist against it, but think about the possibility of how exciting it can be. As this next chapter gets underway, many things are going to feel completely new -- a new perspective, new experiences and eventually, when you're ready, a new romance. Whatever you didn't feel you could do while you were with your guy, whether it's pick up and move across the country or kiss a guy friend you've always had a crush on, you can now do it. You absolutely shouldn't feel ashamed either for embracing the potential positive rather than focusing on the negative.

I know it sounds cliché, but you have to just take things day by day and give yourself enough time to heal. You've probably heard it many times, but unfortunately, it's the truth regardless of how much you want to immediately feel better. Your uncertainty about the future isn't going to go away overnight, and often when you try to force the process to go faster, you just end up pushing yourself when you're not ready and causing more pain. Rather than let your hurt and uncertainty consume you, make it your goal each day to take even the tiniest step forward in the healing process. Before long, you'll look back and realize just how far you've come and how bright of a future you still have ahead of you.

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