Although overanalyzing relationships is a nasty, dirty habit, many of us are prone to it. (Let the one who hasn’t given her relationships too much consideration take the opening swing.) My partner did it, but why? What *actually* are they saying?
The query is: What are some strategies for overcoming obsessive thoughts and overanalyzing?
Relationships may be harmed by overthinking. It may also be quite difficult to stop ruminating, even if you are aware that it is unhealthy.
Naturally, we looked to professionals for advice on how to stop overanalyzing and get the lowdown on what we can do. They also offered us a ton of relationship guidance.
Here are 13 ways to stop overthinking your relationship, before it’s too late:
1. Don’t overanalyze everything that comes out of your partner’s mouth
“Sometimes people don’t communicate properly and don’t always say things that they mean,” celebrity relationship expert and TV personality Vikki Ziegler explains.
“Just because your partner doesn’t say I love you several times a day or is uncomfortable with PDA, it doesn’t mean you don’t have an amazing relationship,” Ziegler says. “Stop obsessing over certain words or lack thereof, and if you feel a certain way, ask your partner — don’t obsess over it.”
2. Focus on how you feel instead of assessing the relationship
You could be overthinking the relationship when you should be concerned with how you feel about the relationship/your partner. “Consider how you feel about yourself within the context of the relationship,” Jess O’Reilly, PhD, licensed intimacy and relationships expert, explains.
“This can provide a better gauge of where you are than attempting to analyze everything you’ve said, done, and experienced as a couple.”
3. Consider your “best friend” perspective
Sometimes, your closest friends do offer the best advice. So what relationship advice would you give them?
“If you find you’re overthinking interactions, arguments, or situations in your relationship, consider the advice you’d give your best friend if they were in the same scenario,” O’Reilly says. “Would you tell them to speak up? Would you tell them to stop overthinking? If so, you could likely benefit from following that same advice.”
4. Ask yourself, “Do I have too much time on my hands?”
Maybe you’re bored and need something fulfilling to consume you.
“Get interested in yourself and make yourself more interesting,” Rori Sassoon, relationship expert and Platinum Poire CEO, explains.
“Finding a hobby, passion or something that excites you may put the focus where it belongs — on you.”
You’ll become so busy that you’ll stop overthinking about your relationship.
5. Be clear with yourself about what is it you need in a relationship
Often, overthinking everything about the relationship and your partner is a sign you don’t know what you want and aren’t getting what you need.
“Once you have clarity around what it is that you need, then you can pinpoint if something is missing in your relationship,” Laurel House, dating and relationship coach, explains.
“With the specific knowledge of what is missing, you can talk with your partner so that they also have clarity around what it is that you need.”
6. Don’t make the relationship problems the stars of the show
In other words, stop focusing on what’s wrong, and instead redirect your mind to what you want.
“This way, you are focusing on the solution and the ideal outcome and how you can achieve it as opposed to the relationship problem,” House says.
7. Say what you mean — and mean what you say
You shouldn’t have to read between the lines to understand your partner’s needs and intentions, so don’t ask them to do the same.
“You’ll find that the more you model direct communication, the more they’ll reciprocate similarly,” O’Reilly says. “You can then listen to what they have to say and trust them instead of analyzing and looking for hidden meaning.”
8. Train your brain to be more positive
If your mind starts drifting toward what’s worrying you about the relationship, turn the wheel and think about your friends or your dog, text your best friend … just stop yourself from thinking about the relationship.
“Don’t go thinking of the future or the past. If it’s meant to be with your partner, it will be,” Sassoon says. “Stay present with them and be aware of how they make you feel.”
9. Stop gabbing with your friends about all your relationship issues
While it’s nice to have friends who are on your side, it’s not helpful when all they’re doing is fueling the fire.
“Pity-partying isn’t helpful and in fact can be hurtful. Your friends might have the best intentions, but they might not know how to help you,” House says.
“They likely won’t bring up your faults and ways that you may be aggravating the problem because they don’t want to hurt your feelings or maybe because they are so narrowly focused that they can’t see the bigger reality of the situation.”
10. See a therapist
Sometimes, getting professional relationship advice and having someone to talk to without judgment can be the best solution to overthinking a relationship.
“Most likely, a therapist will diffuse the situation and make you realize you are just overthinking,” Lindsey Metselaar, a relationship expert, says.
11. Get away for the weekend
Get some fresh air, with or without your significant other.
“Your mind will clear, and you’ll be able to focus on living in the moment. If you travel without your partner, you will miss them and think of the good times and not overthink,” Metselaar says.
12. Start focusing on the positive
Be grateful for the good things your partner does for you and try not to focus on or overanalyze the small things he or she doesn’t do.
“Practicing this will keep you in a state of happiness and prevent you from over-analyzing and overthinking the entire relationship,” Ziegler says.
13. Create a journal to track how often your overthinking is happening
You may feel like you’re thinking too much about the relationship, but this will give you a good perspective on how much overthinking you’re doing and why.
“In addition to helping quantify, [it will help you] identify specific thought patterns, triggers, underlying emotions,” Rachel Perlstein, a dating coach, says. “Once you have more understanding, you can take action to address the underlying thoughts, feelings/needs.”