Sunday December 21st 2014

How To Stop Over Analyzing Your Relationship

An attractive co-worker or even perfect stranger says “hi” to you and you automatically start obsessing and analyzing every little body language. Why did she touch her hair; what does it mean if she also uncrosses her arms; is there a future for the relationship etc.

A guy you’ve gone out with only three times isn’t acting like his usual cheerful self and you conclude he is distancing because he’s falling in love; may be he wants to break up because he has commitment phobia.

An ex who you texted, emailed and called so many times but never returned your calls, texted nor emailed you back no matter how much you pleaded with him or her writes on your Facebook wall and you automatically conclude your ex misses you and wants you back.

Reading between the lines and analyzing information we receive is an intrinsic part of who we are as human beings. But sometimes, some people take it too far — some to an insane and ultimately unhealthy degree.

They obsessively go over and over and over every word in the conversation … why did s/he say/do that… what did s/he really mean when s/he said/did this. They drive themselves crazy worrying and stressing over small things and waste so much time over nothing.

Something that is so simple and straightforward becomes so ridiculously complicated.  Some people so overanalyze that when they eventually decide to act on what they think the other person said/meant everything goes wrong because what they’re acting on is a reality they made up all on their own. Somewhere in the overanalysis they completely lost touch with what was really said or what really happened.

Reading too much and too far into every single little thing can end up costing you the relationship. If you’re one of those people who tends to over think your relationships, one of the things you can do is seek professional help to try to help you stop the behaviour. The other thing you can do instead of trying to stop the behaviour, train yourself to direct it into a creative outlet.

1. Stop looking for hidden meanings and messages that are not really there

Not everything someone says or does has “hidden” meanings and messages. Learn to take people’s words and actions at face value a little more. You don’t have to stick your head in the sand or “dumb down”, just stop trying to read more into everything.

If someone says they’ll call you, overanalyzing what that really means won’t make a difference as to whether they’ll call or not. If your ex says “I love you but not in love with you” trying to convince yourself that they don’t mean what they’re saying or that they don’t really know what they want won’t change how your ex feels.

2. Slow down and take things one day at a time

People who overanalyze, over think stuff, engage in mind-reading, second-guessing, reality altering  are often too focused in the past or so far into the future that they ignore, hide from or forget about the present. Their minds are light days/weeks ahead of the present reality.

If this is you, learn to take one moment at a time and one day at a time as nobody can predict with 100%accuracy what will happen or not happen. There can and there will always be another perspective, reason, explanation, interpretation or something that will happen that you may have not even thought of. When the future you dread so much comes, you may find that it’s not as bad as you had imagined in your head — and you may have read into a situation something that isn’t there.

It’d be great if we could think up everything in advance to get the outcome we want or avoid those things we don’t want to happen. And it would be great if we could turn back the clock of life and un-say or undo some things. But we all know that’s not possible. So learn to trust the unknown a little more. Whatever happens will take care of itself if things are kept positive and realistic.

3. Step back and away from your situation and focus on someone or something other than you (for a change)

If you find yourself so wrapped up in clutter thoughts, it’s most likely because you’ve gone far too deep inwards and are far too focused on you in an unhealthy way.

Focusing less on what’s going on in your mind and more on what’s going on around you keeps you present. Spend more time with friends and family, help someone else, join a cause that stands for something truly meaningful etc.  The more of yourself you share with others, the less time you have to turn in circles in your head.

Readers' Questions and The Love Doctor's Answers...

31 Responses to “How To Stop Over Analyzing Your Relationship”

  1. Greg says:

    I’m one of those people who analyzes and dissects and re-analyzes other people’s words and behavior and the implications of their actions until I forget the original intention. Your article is a good reminder that I need to stop this. It’s messed up many of my relationships. Thank you for all you do.

  2. Bree says:

    This was well written and very appreciated.
    I overanalyze everything myself and others do, that it drives me crazy. I over think in my relationships which makes it hard for me to ever truly just be happy and settled with the person I’m with.. Thanks to your article I realize now that I must calm down, take each day at a time, and just live in the moments and go with the flow. Thank you!

  3. kimmie says:

    This article was very well written. It also makes me realize how exhibiting these behaviors can attract similar types of people to you, those who will feed on that energy and sometimes play on it as well.

  4. Lisa says:

    Well said! Thanks!

  5. Andrew says:

    After a very succesful relationship that ended very suddenly because of her, I’ve become very unsecure with relationships. I keep overthinking about how I may mess up everything even when things are awesome! This is creating a very unusual character on me, that just can’t be happy at every moment. This “hidden meanings” things happen to me so very much! Thanks for the article and for letting me understand a little bit about this issues. Nice to know I’m not alone!

  6. Melody says:

    This article really hit home especially when dealing with the “One day at a time.” This is very inportant because it will cause you to not see the forest for the trees. It’s a very difficult way to be and feel I’ve lost a few good relationships because I wanted to make sure I covered everything.

    Thank you for the well written article that lets me know I am not the only one who thinks the way I do.

  7. Elle says:

    This article has calmed me down a great deal. I have forever thought that i have a huge mess of problems because i overanalyze everything in my relationship with my boy friend. When i can step away from these issues, i feel like i’ve possibly found the love of my life but unfortunatly, because of how i read into things, i try to talk myself out of it. Even reading the comments from the other readers makes me feel better knowing that i’m not the only person who thinks this way. I just wish i knew more about keeping these positive thoughts in my head when i get overly anxious… thank you for the article, though! I think it’s a good reference!

  8. AG says:

    Thank you for making this article, it helped me a lot and i’ve even searched other websites and followed their articles as well but yours seems to be the most effective. I over analyze like crazy, i find myself sitting down at work and forgetting that I’m even at work because i cant get that one subject from keeping my head wondering for an answer. I talked with my friends about these things in hopes of knowing they might over analyze as well but all answered that i was the only one and maybe something is wrong with me. Finding out that there are actual people like me thanks to the internet, that put a lot of ease on my over analyzing. Finding articles like these to stop over analyzing helps a bunch.

  9. Brandon says:

    I really made a connection here and I think this will help me a lot since I tend to over think things quite a bit. I shall bookmark this in-case I need to be reminded.

    Thanks and regards

  10. Beatrice says:

    i think im an overthinker but i confirmed i am one after reading this. and it has made me restless. this article is really helpful as a reminder to myself that situation might not be as bad as we think.

  11. Lucas says:

    I overthink too much my relationship. I have an awesome girfriend and i tell her everything and it complicates our relationship. It was a relief to know some people are in my case too. Doubts can invade me and though I’m spending great time with her doubts invade me and worsen my mood making me eventually sad and thus lead me to think I don’t love her because since I am overthinking i do not succeed enjoying time or feeling happy as I should. I am still in need of help I think but this site helps Thank you for creating such topic.

  12. Shefflad says:

    It just hit me deeply..thanks for the wise words and advice it really help… is there a chance i can copy this to my email..??

  13. Sion says:

    I am a massive analyzer and i suffer a lot with self-esteem which i think is half the problem, but what you said in this article is completely right you got to forget about the past and the future and focus on whats around you at the present moment because life is about enjoyment and not worrying or mind reading other people, I struggle to accept that I have so many good things around me and Im in desperate need of proffesional help, but this article has made me realise that there are other people out there with the same issue so Im glad im not alone in this sense. The brain is such a powerful tool, and when your brain is not accepting good positive things its very hard to cancel out the negativity.Thank you

  14. Jonathan says:

    I’m one of those that over analyzes every little thing people say and do. I can’t help myself. This article will ehlp i believe but professional help i need i think. i over analyze so much i destroy relationships and get very depressed over something that may or may not have happened. i know that i do this but i just can’t help myself. i am going to try the pointers in this article and hope it helps.

  15. Bri says:

    I absolutely love this article. I have never considered the fact that I overanalyze things to death. This has ruined a very important relationship to me that I have been fighting for everyday for over 5 years. I am doing my best to win him back and reading your articles bring me closer to changing myself into a better person first for me, then my future relationship with him.

  16. Kay says:

    I want to say thank you so much for writing this article. Honestly speaking, I have been overanalyzing things for awhile now. Whether it’s a friendship, relationship, or just a simple question that only involves a yes or no answer. This unpleasant condition has messed up many relationships for me. Nevertheless, I’m ready to take control of my life and move on. You have help me to see and understand my problem a bit more. I now realize that in order for me to live a much happier and healthier life, I have to put my past behind me and focus on my present life.

    ~I’m Determined To Be A Much Better Person~

  17. Zerinah says:

    I found this in my search on over thinking relationships. We initially agreed to just give each other space so we can rediscover that feeling again but then it became a breakup. For 5 months we maintained contact. A part of me says this is a good thing but the other part me says it will not work.

  18. You wrote “A part of me says this is a good thing but the other part me says it will not work”.
    Are you referring to the break-up or maintaining contact for 5 months?

  19. Brains says:

    I tend to over analyze things but that is because I want to understand it and be able to come up with a sensible solution. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  20. You don’t see anything wrong because there is nothing wrong if your analysis actually leads to a sensible solution.

    It’s a problem if you over analyze something to the point that it leads to 1) you speculating and worrying about things that aren’t going to happen, 2) your analysis keeps you in a mental spiral loop or, 3) you over analyze to a point where you can’t take any action in any direction.

  21. valarie says:

    I read this article and it helped me, I’m that person who worries over everything and read into things that are not even there. I try to stop doing it but i find myself back to thinking about the whys and the whats. I always think the worst of the situation after a week. Im finding this website very helpful. I just hope i can stop the over thinking and enjoy being with the person without thinking that they are out to play me or hurt me.

  22. Aaron says:

    Yangki, I realise from reading your dating your ex ebook that I have been reacting with fear instead of responding from a place of love. So this is a new way of thinking to me.

  23. Responding instead of reacting takes a while getting used to. Even I sometimes catch myself going on auto (reaction). What helps is just being aware of your mind’s habits and asking yourself, “Am I reacting to how I perceive the situation or a responding to what is actually happening”.

    Just watch that you don’t start over-thinking it too. The mind is a funny thing.

    All the best & lots of love… (:

  24. adam says:

    My girlfriend fell asleep as my thoughts consumed me. I got so frustrated overthinking our relationship I searched for some kind of relief, and I found this. It seems like I can never be happy in a relationship without finding myself here time and time again. I always find excuses to doubt whether or not she really loves me, or if we are really meant for each other. I should leave it alone. This is helpful.

  25. Cathy M. says:

    I overanalyze everything… texts, conversations, body language, actions. I have ruined many good relationships with it. Recently someone I love very much broke up with me because he felt that nothing he did made me happy because I scrutinize excessively. I’m tired of being this way, and will use your advice to change my ways.

  26. charlie says:

    I like this article it definatly speaks to me. Im seeing someone and tend to overanalyze things she’s says. She’s a single mom and dating someone with a child is different from what im used too. I don’t want to mess this up so im just going to breath a little more and find something else to focus on.

  27. RayD says:

    We were apart for a long time, almost 3 years. One day I looked her up, we texted each other and decided to meet the next day. We both admitted that the attraction was still there and things moved quickly. Within 6 months we were practically living together, either at her place or mine. For a couple of weeks now I’ve noticed her pulling away. She says I overanalyze everything and want answers where there are no answers. She says it makes her feel not trusted. The truth is I love her and trust her, I just can’t help constantly analyzing the relationship to the point of wanting to end it to stop the constant chatter in my head.

  28. At least you recognize that most of the time it has nothing to do with the other person… it’s all you… in your head.

    I think that it might help your relationship (and you too) if you worked on trying to trust more. In my personal experience, I’ve realized that when my mind gets stuck on something, it’s not usually about that something. The constant coming back to it is just a signal that there is a deeper underlying issue that needs to be dealt with.

    It’s like when you have a problem with one of your teeth and your tongue keeps going to it, or you have an itch and your hand just goes there without you even thinking about it.

    There is a reason your mind keeps going there. May be you’re afraid she’ll cheat on you or leave you, and your mind is looking for an excuse for you to get out before it happens. May be it’s self-esteem issues, not feeling good enough for her. May be it’s something else. Deal with whatever it is, and you will not have to get out of the relationship to give your mind a rest.

  29. Teree says:

    My ex and I broke up after dating for three years. The only contact we had for two months is when we run into each other. After spending two weeks on your blog and buying your ebook, I contacted him and we started talking again on a regular basis. He’s been working on himself and showing all the signs that he has truly changed. My concern is that i don’t know if I want to get back together with him. Sometime i know i want him back and can work things out but than there are other days when i think there is someone better for him out there and that i am not the right woman for him. I don’t want to hurt him and I’m scared that I will. Any advice?

  30. I think that you are getting way ahead of yourself. You’ve only just started communicating and I don’t see anything in your comment that says he’s told you he wants you back. It may be that he wants you back, but let things play out slowly instead of over-thinking them to a premature conclusion.

    That said, you’re right to be concerned. The fact that you even think that there is someone better for him out there says that you don’t feel good about yourself. Even if the two of you agreed to try the relationship again, your insecurities/inadequacies will undermine your efforts.

    Take things slowly to give yourself time to work on you. If after you’ve worked on your insecurities/inadequacies you still don’t know if you want to get back together, then make your decision on what you from a place of self-value and self-confidence. You may find that you want him in your life but not as a boyfriend.

  31. Tia says:

    I really needed to read this I’ve been single 2 years after a bad break up.I met nice guys but I over aanalyze and overthink every little detail until it drives me insane and I make up all kinds of negative scenarios in my head. Im always thinking somebody is out to get me and hurt me. It sucks I just want to be happy but I sabotage and push everyone away.

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