How to Stop Overthinking In A Relationship
Getting into a relationship with someone is insanely beautiful and incredibly exciting, after all, love really is the best, especially when it’s first developing! However, aside from all the gushy feelings and nights spent drifting off to made-up scenarios of them (we all do this, don’t lie!), there can also be a lot of anxiety that comes with relationships, especially if you’re prone to overthinking.
Overthinking happens to all of us from time to time, especially at the beginning of new relationships (some of this overthinking might be because you’re actually excited about the person) but when it becomes consistent, the thoughts are always negative, or it’s detrimental to your happiness or your relationship, that’s when there’s an issue!
If you’re someone that suffers from overthinking in relationships, obviously it would be ideal if you could just stop thinking and move on, but unfortunately for you, your brain doesn’t work like an on-off switch. However, there’s a multitude of things you can do to stop yourself from overthinking and even a few specific methods you can use to quiet your mind and put overthinking to rest for good.
In this article we’re going to be taking a look at some signs you might be overthinking in a relationship, discover why overthinking happens, and give you tips and methods that will help you stop overthinking and start enjoying the moment for what it is.
Signs You Are Overthinking In Relationships
Although you may think it’s fairly obvious if you are overthinking your relationship, that’s not always the case! If you’re someone that’s predisposed to overthinking, you might not even realise that you’re doing it or that it’s impacting the way you feel towards the person you’re with.
So, let’s take a look at some of the signs that you’re overthinking your relationship!
You constantly think about your partner.
Whilst thinking about your partner is lovely, if you struggle to get on with your own life and you can’t seem to switch your brain off from thoughts of your relationship, that’s a problem.
You are worried about how you text your partner.
Do you worry about texting back too fast? Are you concerned about the way you phrase things? Wondering how long your texts should be? Obsessing over how you text your partner is a huge sign that you’re overthinking your relationship.
You re-read texts if you haven’t heard from your partner.
Find yourself going back to reread the conversation with your partner when you haven’t heard back from them in a while? That’s a sure sign your brain is on overdrive.
You overanalyse your partner’s body language.
Body language is something that typically you don’t have to read into a lot to understand, so if you find yourself overanalysing the way your partner is sat, the way they touched you, or the way they’re moving, you might be thinking about everything a little too much.
You’re constantly thinking about the future.
Whilst a lot of us find it difficult to remain in the moment at all times, if you find that your brain isn’t just flitting to thoughts of the future but is stuck there, you’re missing out on the joy of today by thinking of all the hypothetical situations of the future.
You struggle to maintain concentration at work.
When you first get into a relationship you might find that the person you’re with pops into your head throughout the day, which is fine, and in fact, totally lovely! However, if you can’t focus on your work or other aspects of your life and it’s disruptive, this isn’t a good sign.
You’re worried something will go wrong.
Whilst you may be overthinking about positive thoughts, that’s probably not the case. So, if you find that negative thoughts, anxiety, and doubts are taking up your mind and leaving you unable to enjoy all of the great parts of your relationship, it’s a definite sign you are overthinking (or the relationship isn’t healthy for you).
You find yourself creating issues where there aren’t any.
Overthinking often leads to self-sabotage without us realising that it was overthinking that caused the issue in the first place. So, if you find yourself creating issues, starting problems, or picking at areas of your relationship where there are actually no issues, you might be doing so as a result of overthinking.
Why Does That Happen?
Overthinking, in general, can be caused by many things, such as stress, anxiety, depression, and even due to things you’ve learnt from your childhood. However, when it comes to overthinking in relationships there are typically two main reasons behind it: insecurity and lack of self-awareness.
So, let’s take a look at both of them.
Reason 1: Insecurity
If you’re overthinking, it may be because you’re dealing with some kind of insecurity in relationships. Whilst a lot of people deal with insecurity in relationships (especially at the beginning), this will affect you on a greater level to you if you have been mistreated or had bad experiences with relationships in the past.
For example, if you have been cheated on in the past you might carry this insecurity into a new relationship, causing you to overthink about where your partner is, what they’re doing, and if they will be unfaithful.
Reason 2: Lack of self-awareness
When I say that you might be overthinking due to self-awareness, it sounds a little judgemental, but I promise, I don’t mean it in the way you probably think I do!
If you don’t truly understand your own needs, you’re not going to be able to voice them to your partner and therefore they will never be met. When your needs (even when you’re unaware of them) aren’t being met, you’re much more likely to start to overthink and experience anxiety surrounding your relationship.
How To Stop Overthinking In Relationships: 5 Tips + 3 Actionable Methods
So, since we know we can’t just force our brains to shut down our thoughts, what are some of the ways we can stop overthinking in relationships? Here are 5 tips you can use to do just that:
Understand your own insecurities and needs.
Since insecurity and a lack of self-awareness are the two main causes for overthinking in relationships, it’s important that you tackle them head-on, which means you need to understand and deal with your insecurities, and learn about your own needs so you can communicate them with your partner.
Whilst tackling these two things might seem daunting, require introspection, and potentially even need professional support, they will change the game for you when it comes to overthinking in relationships.
After all, you will have directly lessened the impact of (or even eliminated) the root causes!
Don’t try to stop overthinking.
Yes, I get that this sounds totally crazy, after all, you’re reading this article in an attempt to stop overthinking. However, if you try too hard to stop yourself from overthinking, the opposite will occur and you’re likely to experience anxiety surrounding the overactive thoughts too.
So, let go of any judgement you hold towards yourself about overthinking and don’t force yourself to stop doing it - by doing the other tips and using the methods in this article, you’re going to be able to curb your overthinking, and nothing good will come of attempting to force yourself to stop the habit.
Work on developing trust with your partner.
A lack of trust can also cause anxiety and lead you to overthink, even if it’s not because of a negative experience you’ve had with this person but rather because you’ve not had enough time to develop that trust - such as when you’re in the first stages of a relationship.
So, make an active effort to start developing a level of trust with your partner by being trusting and allowing them to earn your trust through their actions. Equally, understand that your partner might lack trust in you, so make sure you’re showing up in a trustworthy way too.
Communicate your anxieties with your partner.
Often when you’re overthinking it’s like you’re drowning in a sea of your own thoughts, alone. The solution to feeling like this? Sharing how you feel with your partner!
Let your partner know that you’re currently dealing with overthinking and some anxiety towards the relationship (in a kind way, of course) and allow them to understand you better and talk with you about it.
The right person will want to understand you, be there for you, and work things out with you. But if they aren’t compassionate about the things you’re struggling with, maybe they aren’t the right match anyway!
Seek therapy or counselling.
Sometimes our thoughts can get the better of us and if you’re struggling to find the joy in your relationship because of overthinking, it might be a good idea to seek professional support from a therapist or counsellor that can help you work through any individual issues you may have, or work with you and your partner as a couple, even if it’s just to bridge the communication between the two of you.
3 Actionable Methods To Stop Overthinking Immediately
If you’re going down an overthinking spiral, use one (or all three) of these methods to help you stop your thoughts from taking over:
Use mindful practices
When you feel the bout of overthinking start to come on, switch your focus immediately and do a mindful practice. Whether you put on a relaxing meditation, grab your journal and write down your thoughts, or go for a peaceful walk, shifting your focus and doing something that’s proven to reduce anxiety and stress is a game-changer.
Think about your immediate reality
A lot of overthinking comes with creating hypothetical situations in your head, so when you find yourself future-tripping over something that’s not real and may never be real, bring yourself back down to earth and into the moment by thinking about your immediate reality.
Are you happy in your relationship now? Is your partner acting in a way that causes you not to trust them at this moment? Is anything that worrying happening to you right now?
Asking yourself these kinds of questions helps you move away from the past (where traumas may live) and the future (where hypothetical situations you’ve created may live).
Speak to your partner
If you are concerned that your partner is doing something that you’re overthinking about, why not just be more direct and honest with them? This is an easy and impactful way to curb your overthinking.
For example, if they haven’t replied to you all day, just got home, and they’re being quiet, whilst you spiral silently and watch their every move, why not just sit by them and say, “Hey, I just want to check in as I feel you’ve been quiet today, is everything ok?”.
Boom, open and honest communication has been brought to the floor and you can start a real conversation with your partner without all of the messy thoughts.
There’s nothing worse than lying in bed at night and overthinking about the relationship you have falling down around you or creating scenarios in your head where your partner does something wrong and ultimately ruins your relationship.
Trust me, most of us have been there at some point and it’s not a place you want to be, especially not for a long time!
So, if you’re struggling with overthinking your relationship, take a moment to make a conscious decision to work on it and start finding more joy in the real moments of your relationship, using the tips, methods, and advice in this article to help!