How to Stop Overthinking
Feel Like a Muse (even if your guy isn't a poet)
We've all been there. You meet this great guy, things go so well, and then you become a little worried about some of his behaviors. You start doubting yourself and wondering if there is any way that this guy is seriously interested in you. Overthinking in relationships is familiar to many smart, attractive, and accomplished women.
Overthinking in relationships is just one of the high functioning anxiety symptoms
You don't have to have an official anxiety diagnosis, but the struggles that come with this are real. Overthinking in relationships is just one of the signs and it significantly diminishes our ability to enjoy love and relationships to the fullest.Your relationships will be affected by that anxiety.
The consequences of overthinking in relationships
Being intelligent and analytical served you well throughout life in your education and career. But, when it comes to relationships, relying too much on our logical skills can seriously diminish your ability to enjoy your love life.
Difficulty connecting with men
One of the most problematic results of overthinking in relationships is that you will struggle to connect with your potential partner. Your overthinking may stem from the desire to connect with the guy, but the problem is that you will get precisely the opposite results most likely.
Instead of connecting with him, your overthinking will lead to possible awkwardness and mutual anxiety.
Your overthinking will lead to you feeling anxious. Thus on a date with a guy, you have a hard time relaxing and enjoying the moment. While you are analyzing the situation and wondering how to engage this guy, you will have a hard time showing up authentically.
Not showing up authentically means you are not showing your best self, your true self. That's the one, your partner wants to see, and instead, he will get the impression that you may be uptight.
The other way in which overthinking affects you on a date is that your partner will most likely feel your anxiety and discomfort. This will make him feel uncomfortable, although he may like you a lot. He may not be willing to ask for another date because his anxiety may make him think that you are not into him.
Overthinking in relationships leads to confusion in relationships
It's simple. When you are on a date and overthinking, you aren't in tune with your emotions and with your partner's cues. While you are trying to analyze what's going on, does he like you, etc., you may miss what's actually going on. You may think the date went really well, but your partner was feeling uncomfortable.
When you are able to be in a moment, you can get a sense of what's going on with more ease. Similarly, due to your anxiety and discomfort, you may not be able to realize that he is really into you.
So, you get the picture of how your confusion may grow due to overthinking in relationships.
Diminished self-esteem due to overthinking in relationships
What happens after one, two, or several dates where you are unable to show up authentically due to overthinking. More confusion and sense of inadequacy will most likely come up due to the struggle to connect and struggle to read your own emotions and your partner's cues.
Once you start with negative thought patterns, more negative thoughts will pile up. Your deep emotional wounds will be triggered, and you may wind up feeling hopeless, unworthy of love, unattractive, etc.
We all have our own scripts and how we identify ourselves. For instance, you may think of yourself, as the smart one, and not the pretty one. Or, you may think that men are interested in those other kinds of women (whatever the "other kinds" are).
These are limiting beliefs that further lead to overthinking and struggle to let go and enjoy yourself. So, you see how this negative loop can perpetuate itself.
Needless to say, you would probably like to stop this tendency, and I would love to help you do that. However, I'm afraid that you will not be able to stop overthinking in relationships because this is the long term tendency that served you in the times of need. In order to start addressing it, it's important to understand why you are doing this.
What are the reasons for overthinking in relationships
There are various reasons why you may not be able to chill during a date or enjoy relationships. Somewhere down the line, you were forced to make the choice to protect your heart. For some reason, it was unsafe for you to let go and be yourself. Many potential scenarios can lead to this kind of fear.
Our parents may have the best intentions, but their limitations lead to their inability to provide a completely secure environment for us to explore or express ourselves freely.
Thus working on uncovering and healing these wounds can help you feel more freedom, so you can open up to love that you crave. You may still have that tendency, but it's OK. Although you will not completely get rid of overthinking, you will figure other ways of being in relationships.
Deep work to integrate and heal
In my online therapy work with clients, I help them get in touch with their young self that's been wounded/ I help my clients stay in the present moment while connecting with their younger self.
This work leads to the integration of both adult self that wants to enjoy love and relationships and the wounded child that wants to stay protected from hurt.
Healing allows you to feel whole again and embrace all the parts of yourself, including the analytical or skeptical and the free and explorative self. Thus instead of being limited to only overthinking in relationships, you can also learn to let go and enjoy or be playful for instance. Expanding these options is the primary goal of counseling.
Imagine, how your love life could be if you were able to let go and be more in the moment.
Learning how to deal with your emotions in the present moment
Besides deep counseling work, I also provide courses and coaching that help clients with different communication, coping, relationship, and emotional intelligence skills.
In my coaching work with clients, I help them learn how to read their emotions, address their anxiety, and communicate with a partner in an authentic way. This significantly helps reduce overthinking in relationships and leads to much happier love lives. You too can apply some of these tips that I use with my clients.
Tips that will help you deal with overthinking in relationships
Ok, let's understand each other! You can't stop your tendencies just like that. You are an intellectual, analytical person, and thinking your strength. Thus, I don't want you to disown it.
The goal is to do it less, so it's not overthinking that leads you to anxiety and fears that prevent you from enjoying relationships. As I already explained, the goal is to expand your experience, so you are not stuck only on one strategy of managing your emotions in relationships.
Read more for different strategies to expand your assortment of strategies.
Critical thinking about your thinking
Heard of critical thinking? I'm sure you did. I suggest fact checking your thinking and messages that you give yourself.
So, when you wind up in a downward spiral with thoughts such as, "He is not a kind of guy he would like me,' or "I'm not pretty enough to be attractive to this guy," pause and think a bit. Do you have any solid evidence for these claims?
Once you realize that you obviously don't have the evidence to support your claims, you can say, "I don't know if this is true. Time will tell." And then, you can let go of this thought and enjoy the rest of the evening.
You see how this can help you stop your thoughts right away. Basically what you are doing is redirecting yourself from thinking negatively utilizing your own strength, thinking. How cool is that? I can trick you to trick yourself away from the negative self-torture.
Acknowledge your beliefs, emotions, and thoughts
Observe yourself thinking, believing, and feeling various thoughts, beliefs, or emotions. For instance, you can notice them and say to yourself, "I feel doubtful about this guy." If you are on a date with him, you don't have to go deeper into analyzing this feeling.
But, when you are on your own, you can write in a journal and see what comes up. It's important to distinguish if this thought comes from some behaviors that your date shows or from your own insecurities.
Acknowledging your emotions, thoughts, and beliefs will help you understand yourself better. It will allow you to communicate effectively and you will see how in the next tip.
Express yourself directly
When you are in touch with your emotions during the date, you will be able to express yourself to him. Instead of overthinking, you will be able to put it out there and defuse the potentially uncomfortable situation.
For instance, if the guy you are meeting doesn't talk much during a date, you can say something like, "You are so quiet. It makes me wonder if you want to be here." This will allow you to stop analyzing and just be present and open to learning more.
He may say something like, "Oh, I'm very excited to be here. I'm just a bit nervous." And, voila. You don't have to get a headache pondering about what's up with him and call your girlfriend squad, all of which will give you their own projection of where your guy may be coming from.
Or, if things are not going well, you will also know based on his response. In that case, it's good to know early, so again, you don't have to overthink.In a similar manner, I recommend expressing your own nervousness. Instead of asking him why he is so quiet, you can say something like, "I feel a bit nervous. How about you?" This small gesture of opening your heart to him will disarm him and allow you two to get closer and enjoy the date. Communication from the heart is powerful and it can help you jumpstart your relationship.
Flip the script
Finally, there is a special tip that I like to give women. When you have a tendency towards overthinking in relationships, it's quite likely that you may position yourself as someone who needs to prove herself worthy of being liked.
If you are like millions of women today, you may think, "How can I make sure that he likes me?" You get the picture. You position yourself as someone who needs to meet certain standards. What are those standards? They can be anything. You may feel you are not pretty, skinny, curvy, pleasant, etc.
This is torture. Remember, you are IT for that one lucky person deserving your time and heart. You have your beautiful heart to give. Who deserves it? Answering this question should be your goal.
Now instead of thinking, "Will they like me," you can flip the script. You are here to evaluate if he is the one who's good for you.
You may ask yourself, "What is this guy about? Can I give my heart to him one day? Do I like him? What are his needs, wants, and desires? Do they work with my needs, wants, and desires? Can I compromise with him?" Those are just some of the questions. You understand where I'm coming from.
Instead of overthinking and wondering if he will like you enough, see what he has to bring to the table, and observe how his presence, actions, and communication makes you feel. That's when you will truly know if you like him.
Now that you understand the negative consequences of overthinking in relationships, you can start making small changes and adding different behaviors that will replace some of those old ways. You can be more whole and show up as you, beautiful self in relationships. Thus you can be ready for true love from the right partner.
Support is available as counseling or relationship coaching
Perhaps you find yourself overthinking and ruining many good chances for love. It's always confusing when you are in such a situation yourself. It may seem hard now, but if you start using these tips, you too can feel more at ease when going on dates. Imagine how your love life could change with just small tweaks.
If you need extra support dealing with anxiety or learning some of the skills, my therapy practice or coaching is here to help. I'm currently accepting new clients. Book a free consultation session with me. I'll help you figure out what you need to work on to find love. If we are the right fit, we can figure out how to work together. If not, I can give you some pointers.
In case that you are not ready for coaching or therapy, you can sign up for my free academy where you can find courses that will help you with your love life. Sign up now to deal with your limiting beliefs that may prevent you from getting the love you want.
Get exclusive access to my best tips about love, dating, and relationships in the free Academy Resource Hub and download The Accidental Singledom Checklist: Are You Standing in Your Own Way?
You will also get two bonus courses:
Challenge Your Accidental Singledom Assumptions - Learn how to change your limiting beliefs and get the love you want
Reach His Heart- Communicate with your partner, so he never has to feel attacked