How To Stop Over Analyzing Your Relationship

how-to-stop-over-analyzing-your-relationshipAn 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 over analyze 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 over analysis 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, over analyzing 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 over analyze, 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.

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31 Comments

  • 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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  • 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?

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    • 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 should do from a place of self-value and self-confidence. You may find that you want him in your life but not as a boyfriend.

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  • 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.

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    • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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