Do you go over and over something trivial that your partner said? Is overthinking ruining your relationship? So, how to stop overthinking in a relationship?
Overthinking is that uninvited guest whom we have to deal with despite hating the most. Overthinking in a relationship is even worse. It not only affects the relationship but also has the potential to hamper your physical and mental health. No matter how much you try there comes a phase where you overanalyze and overthink everything related to your relationship. We have all been through it and certainly are aware of how nerve-wracking and mentally taxing it can be. Being stuck in the past or future contemplating every little thing. It holds you back from enjoying the present moments with your partner. However, we have come to a solution for it.
Let’s get to know the signs of overthinking in a relationship, the effects, and lastly, how to stop overthinking in a relationship.
Signs of overthinking in a relationship
Doubts are normal in a relationship. However, if not addressed properly they may pave the way for overthinking. Overthinking is disastrous for any relationship let alone romantic relationships. It makes you jump to conclusions, assumes negative consequences, and doubt the feelings of your special someone. Obsessing over every little thing that your partner said, trying to read between the lines, and wondering if your partner values you enough or not, are just some of the signs of overthinking. Additionally, you need constant reassurance from your partner. You obsess over the tiniest matters like not hearing from them for a while. Or listening to something uncertain like ‘see you soon or ‘talk to you later.’
You can’t seem to make up your mind when it comes to the word ‘Commitment’. The fact that you’ll be spending your life with one person makes you freak out. You start assuming the worst-case scenarios which could ever happen to anyone. You can’t just get over the pessimistic soul in yourself which makes you dwell on the negative traits of your partner.
Moreover, you have an encyclopedic memory when it comes to your partner’s words or sayings. You remember the exact words that they said to you one year ago. It doesn’t end here, you mull over them and bring them up even when everything was sorted between the two of you earlier. On top of that, you tend to blame yourself for anything that goes wrong in your relationship. You keep replaying the negative tapes in your head until you convince yourself that something is wrong with you and so you are not worthy of love.
These are the most common signs of overthinking in a relationship which can wreak havoc on any stable relationship.
How does overthinking affect a relationship?
Frequent fights with your partner, arguing about every little thing, and missing out on happy moments are some of the consequences. Assuming that your partner’s feelings towards you might not be sincere sabotages the relationship. Eventually leading to an unhealthy equation where you can’t just trust them completely. While breaking off the habit of overthinking is not that easy. Acknowledging the problem is imperative in the first place. Often, it’s the baggage of past relationships, bad experiences, or other insecurities that nourishes the over-thinker within you. Once you realize and understand the root cause of the problem it’s easier to nip it in the bud.
According to Quick and Dirty Tips overthinking exhausts you to the point that your chances of getting depression increase by four folds than those who don’t. It is like a hamster running desperately on a wheel without moving an inch in reality. So, if this sounds familiar you might want to reconsider your thinking pattern to maintain a happy and healthy relationship.
Top ten tips to stop overthinking in a relationship
After all the reality checks and the friendly reminders, let me tell you one thing all is not that gloomy though. Although it would be hard to completely get rid of the habit in the start. But, with the right mindset and correct attitude, the over-thinker within you can be put to sleep forever. So, without further ado let’s get into it.
1- Stop reading between the lines
Much of the problem is created by the habit of reading between the lines trying to find the hidden meaning. However, most things aren’t that complicated if you start taking them at face value. Reading a single text ten times making out ten different meanings of it is not only exhausting you but also jeopardizes the relationship. Sometimes a simple ‘k’ means ‘k’. Sometimes a ‘see you soon’ means exactly what it implies. An uncertain phrase used here and there doesn’t mean that your partner doesn’t have a plan to meet you soon. It just means that they are eager to meet you soon.
Stop freaking out your partner, lest they start taking you like a psychotic person. Take things slowly and don’t rush over anything. Things get pretty simple if we start taking them at face value and stop assuming the hidden meanings. So, you need to slow down to stop overthinking in a relationship. Not everything needs your two cents and you should not do that to your brain either.
2- Start living in the present
Enjoy the present instead of dwelling over the past or worrying about the future. ‘what if I had done that, ‘maybe I shouldn’t have said that, or ‘What if it didn’t work out.’ The constant rambling between the past and the future gallops the happy moments of the present. You can never really have a content relationship with your partner if you constantly overthink every little thing whether about the past or the future. Overthinking severely hampers the success of a relationship. Rather than thinking about ‘what would happen 2 months from now, ‘where will we go for our anniversary dinner’ or ‘will he remember or not.’ Think about the present moments. Think about how their being around uplifts your mood.
Although it is important to think about the negative indicators every once in a while. But, acknowledging the logical part of it should also be practiced. Slow down a bit and take time to enjoy the present phase of your relationship, as Dr. Alisha Powell, Ph.D., told Bustle in an interview. So, as a starter to stop overthinking about a relationship you might want to give up on this habit of dwelling over the past or the future.
3- Communicate openly
Keeping the lines of communication open really helps in dealing with any distracting thoughts. When you can communicate openly with your partner you can share any insecurity or any thought with them. However, it is advisable not to share everything that comes to your mind. Sometimes our mind gets wild and it makes up dramatic stories that do not even exist in the first place. So you need to think logically about that first. Having a person with whom you can share all your doubts and fears is important. It makes you feel valued and worthy of attention and love. But, if you go over and over the same thing it will lose value and you won’t get anything more than eye rolls!
So, you might give a read to Effective Communication Skills to figure out ways of communication that would eventually help to stop overthinking in a relationship. Trust me, you won’t regret practicing these skills ever!
4- Focus on the positives
Human beings are made of positives and negatives. There is not one person on Earth who doesn’t possess any negative traits. But, the point is to strike a balance while evaluating a person. If a person has one negative trait then they certainly would have countless positive traits too. Stop thinking about the negatives all the time. Stop remembering how they made you feel bad that one time 6 months ago. What about the time they made you feel out of this world? What about the happy moments? Cherish the positives and train your brain to focus on the positives. Because it is the negative thoughts that seep in overthinking.
Train your brain to focus on the positives and forget about the negatives to stop overthinking in a relationship. Always think about your partner in a positive light and never put them in a position where they have to justify or clarify their every action. It will exhaust you both to the point of being tired of each other.
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5- Distract yourself
It’s nothing more than boredom mostly. Your mind needs something to ponder over if you have nothing substantial to feed it. Get busy with yourself. Find a new hobby. Join a Zumba class or volunteer in an organization. This way you’ll remain focused on yourself without keeping your partner at the target. You’ll also know more about yourself. You would know if you enjoy helping people. If you like dancing or working out. Although, it is important to stay active to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It often serves as a distraction too. Spending that 1 hour at the gym instead of thinking about why your partner said that particular word last night can be such a stress reliever. This way you’ll focus more on your strengths and weaknesses.
Thus, having too much time at your disposal might also be one of the reasons for overthinking in a relationship. So, find yourself a new hobby if the old one doesn’t intrigue you that much. You never know how shaking your body a bit can stop the over-thinker within you.
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6- Set your priorities in a relationship straight
Before going into a relationship think about what you need from it. Set your priorities straight and only commit if you get the indication at the start of the relationship. Once you are clear about your wants and needs you can have a clear discussion with your partner about it. Also, if something goes missing you can easily pinpoint it as well. This will also save you from comparing your relationship with someone else’s. You won’t get upset or angry at your partner if they don’t behave a particular way like your friend’s partner does. Having a clear understanding of how your partner acts and behaves will give a clear indication of what you should expect out of it.
In addition, say what you mean and mean what you say. Never beat about the bush or give signals. This way your partner will also communicate clearly which is exactly what we want to stop overthinking in a relationship. Also, never make the problem a point of focus. Instead, think about the solution. Think about what you want and you’ll get a clear vision of the solution too.
Overthinking at a certain phase in a relationship may sound familiar to many of you. But, you need to put an end to that habit as it is neither healthy nor fun. It may be hard to slow down at first. However, practicing these 6 sure-fire ways to stop overthinking in a relationship will be beneficial to you in the longer run.