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What is your partner trying to tell you? While they probably just mean want they say and say what they mean, you spend hours analyzing every word.
If you jump to conclusions and have intrusive thoughts about your partner, you are probably overthinking your relationship.
Are they mad at you? Did you do something wrong? Will they break up with you?
These questions torture you even though there’s no reason to think anything is wrong in your relationship. And these thoughts will continue to bother you unless you do something about it and stop overthinking everything.
Let’s look at some of the signs that you’re dealing with this issue, and then we’ll talk about how to resolve it.
Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist because they are best-placed to help you find ways to manage your overthinking tendencies. You may want to try speaking to one via BetterHelp.com for quality care at its most convenient (get 10% off your first month when you sign up through this link).
20 Signs You Are Overthinking A Relationship
Do you think that you might be obsessing too much when it comes to your romantic relationship? Let’s find out.
Here are the most common signs of overthinking in a relationship:
1. You analyze everything they say and do.
The biggest and most obvious sign of overthinking in a relationship is if you read into everything they say and do. You analyze what it all means and search for a sign that they love you or want to break up with you.
For instance, you could imagine that they want to break up with you based on the tone of their voice or a small thing that they didn’t do for you.
You could also assume that they are cheating on you or want to cheat on you based on nothing but their body language and possible eye contact.
Are they falling out of love with you? Do they still find you attractive? You obsess over these types of things because of something that they’ve said or done.
If you’re overthinking your relationship, there is little reason for you to assume that your partner is ending things or doesn’t find you attractive.
Yet you constantly search for signs and continuously analyze their words and actions.
2. You read into their messages.
Why didn’t they use emojis in their last two messages to you? When was the last time they texted you first? How long did it take them to reply? What does their response mean, and is it a sign of something you should worry about?
Questions like these are constantly on your mind, and you treat your partner’s messages to you as if it was a secret love code that you need to decipher to get the “real” message.
Did they ask you questions? Are they being sarcastic or patronizing? Does it feel like you’re bothering them, or are they annoyed by you?
There are endless different ways that you could interpret a message, and you think about all the possibilities.
You probably send screenshots of your conversations to your friends to get them to help you interpret your partner’s messages.
While a lot of people do these things at the beginning of a romantic relationship, overthinkers can do it despite being in a relationship for years.
3. You take forever to write them a message.
Crafting the perfect message takes time. Sometimes it takes you forever to respond to your partner’s messages because you overanalyze your messages as well.
Do you sound casual enough? Are you being needy? Did you give them a reason to respond? Have you got an excuse to get in touch with them? Will you respond too fast if you do it now?
These questions and/or similar ones leave you worried about what you should write to your partner.
You may also include your friends in deciding what you are going to send to your partner. They give you advice on how to approach your partner’s previous messages or get your partner to engage in a conversation with you. Sometimes they might literally tell you what to write to your partner or how to respond based on what your partner wrote.
Again, while many people do these things when they’re crushing on someone or have recently started dating, overthinkers act this way throughout the relationship.
4. You remember every word they say.
When the two of you are fighting, you will mention the exact words they said in an argument that happened two years ago.
If they promised you something, you inevitably quote it eight months later in a fight.
You remember every word they say because you replay the conversation in your head long after it happened. It’s like you absorb every word they say while you are with them and you analyze those words later on by overthinking what they might mean.
The two of you frequently fight because of the tiniest details that you’ve noticed about them, such as their precise choice of words while they were mad at you.
5. You are afraid of commitment.
Are you scared of commitment? You could be overthinking your relationship by being unsure whether or not your partner is right for you.
Are they The One? Can you really be with one person for as long as you live? Is this that person? What if something bad happens in the future?
Thoughts like these leave you awake at night and worried during the day.
You might be worried that this is not the right relationship for you. What if this is not the person that you’re meant to spend your future with?
This is why it’s important to think about what you want and focus on setting your relationship goals. More on that later.
For now, know that you might not be overthinking it if you feel like your relationship is not right for you. You could have a fear of commitment that’s stopping you from being with one person forever.
This is especially true if you felt this way about every relationship that you had.
6. You are scared that they’ll break up with you.
Whenever the tiniest argument happens, you’re afraid that your partner is going to leave you.
Even if they reassure you that they’re not breaking up with you, you constantly fear that they are and you find “proof” in what they say and do… or at least, that’s what you read into it.
You are afraid of losing them, and you probably don’t feel like you are worthy of them. Your insecurities could be stopping you from enjoying your relationship.
You could also overthink things to the point that you imagine that they’re lying to you or cheating on you. This could also be out of the fear of losing them.
Am I good enough for them? What if they fall for someone more attractive? Are they thinking about walking away from me? Do I always make mistakes that make them mad?
You stress yourself out over these types of things and always assume the worst.
7. You frequently change your mind.
Not only do you dwell on stuff that happens and analyze everything, you also frequently change your mind. One minute you consider ending things and five minutes later you feel convinced that your relationship will last forever.
You could be sure that your partner is going to leave you and then feel loved by them in a matter of seconds.
For instance, maybe your partner sends a message a lot later than you expected—a one-worder with no emojis. For you, this is enough to assume that your relationship is going to be over. However, then you text them that you love them, and they respond by saying that they love you too.
However, you could again overanalyze things and change your mind five seconds later.
Sometimes you’ll think that your relationship is going great, but after some overthinking, you’ll conclude that your relationship is doomed. Your partner will probably reassure you, but then the cycle begins again.
8. You always think that they’re mad at you.
Do you think your partner’s mad at you if they neglect to respond to your text right away? What if they had to break your lunch date? Chances are you will assume the worst. You always have a feeling that you’re doing something wrong, which makes you think that your partner is constantly mad at you.
You also read into the things that they say and do and find “proof” for thinking that they’re upset with you or that they find you annoying. You notice the slightest changes in their tone of voice or body language to validate your doubts.
Just because your partner doesn’t use a smiley face in a message doesn’t mean they’re mad at you. It also doesn’t mean they’re about to leave you, but you do always imagine the worst-case scenario.
9. You always imagine the worst-case scenario.
If your partner was hiding something from you, you would never think that they were planning a surprise for you. You’d instantly assume that they’re cheating or that something terrible is going on behind your back.
This is because you tend to imagine the worst-case scenario in every situation. It’s like you live in constant fear that something bad is going to happen to your relationship with no valid reason to think that way.
You spend a lot of time replaying conversations that happened and imagining future discussions. By analyzing and overthinking the words that have been said, you assume that something bad is going to happen. When it comes to your relationship and its future, you’re always a pessimist.
10. You always think you did something wrong.
What if what you’ve said or done was a mistake?
Since you constantly review scenarios that happened, you also dwell on anything that you might have done wrong and fear that it will end your relationship.
What if you come across as too needy or desperate? Maybe it’s a mistake that you’ve sent them a romantic text, or you did something wrong by not commenting on their new hairstyle…
You obsess over these types of things all the time, and you frequently apologize to your partner even if they don’t understand why.
Again, this is probably because of your insecurities and the feeling that you’re not good enough for your partner. It’s also because of your attention to tiny details that they might not even be noticing.
11. You can’t handle uncertainty.
When are you going to see your partner again? You always think about this while you’re with them. You need them to make immediate plans with you for the next time that you’ll see each other because you can’t handle uncertainty.
Phrases such as, “See you soon,” “I’ll call you,” or “Talk to you later,” fill you with fear that your partner is never going to get back to you. If you don’t know when you’re going to see them again, you fear that you’re not going to see them at all!
You live in constant fear that your partner is going to ghost you out of nowhere.
Are they still interested? If they’re not scheduling something right away, you will assume that they’re losing interest. You lack object constancy, so you also can’t handle any distance between you.
12. You constantly seek reassurance.
Do you love me? Really? Why? If these questions sound familiar, you probably seek constant reassurance from your partner because you tend to overthink things.
Even though your partner tries to reassure you, you still have relationship doubts that come creeping in even if everything is going great between you.
Do they really love you?
Maybe you can’t believe them and can’t understand why they would love someone like you because you have low self-esteem. You don’t love yourself, so you can’t see why others love you.
In addition, by overthinking things all the time, you find all sorts of signs that your partner doesn’t care as much as they say. You find it difficult to trust them even if they gave you no reason to doubt their honesty and loyalty to you.
You probably also struggle with retroactive jealousy and assume that your partner loved their exes more than they love you.
13. You find it hard to live in the present.
Since you’re constantly replaying events that happened in your head to analyze them, you find it hard to live in the present moment.
You’re stuck in the past where you think you’ve made some mistakes or noticed something that you should be worried about. You also worry about the future.
So, when you’re not stuck in the past, you’re stressing about what the future could bring, leaving no room for just living in the present moment. You don’t truly enjoy being in a relationship when you’re constantly worried about things that have been and things that are yet to happen.
Overthinking a relationship might seem like it is giving you some answers, but it is just preventing you from enjoying your life with your partner.
14. You always go to your friends for advice.
When you need to find out what your partner meant in their latest text, you send a screenshot to your friends. You always consult with your friends about your relationship and seek their advice. In fact, they are a bit tired of hearing about it, but they still offer some advice. You often blindly listen to them because you trust their judgment more than your own.
Maybe your friends are wise when it comes to relationships, but they’re no experts. Plus, no one can know more about your relationship than you do. Only you know what the right thing to do is, and you can’t always rely on your friends for help.
You should learn to trust your gut instead of overthinking things all the time.
15. You don’t trust your intuition.
You are the type of person that will pull out a yellow pad and write down a list of pros and cons rather than trusting your gut. If you had to choose between trusting your heart and trusting your head, you would always choose your head. However, you will also always rely on other people’s opinions about your relationship.
You don’t trust yourself enough to make decisions, and you always fear that you’ll make the wrong ones. Since you frequently change your mind, you also change your decisions entirely depending on the moment.
At one point, you are sure that your partner cares about you, while you think that they’ll leave you the next minute. This is partly because you don’t rely on your instincts. You’re always overthinking things that happen outside of you and never stop to reflect on what’s going on inside of you and how you feel.
16. You’ve never broken up with anybody.
Be honest. Have you ever actually broken up with someone? You may have sabotaged your relationship so that your partners break up with you, but you’ve never really ended things yourself. This is because you find it difficult to make decisions and because you’re afraid of taking risks.
Overthinking your relationship could lead you to think that you’ll end up alone if you leave your partner. So, even if you’re not happy in your relationship anymore, you will stay in it out of fear. That’s why you never break up with anyone; you make them break up with you instead.
When you’re feeling crazy in a relationship, your partner probably suffers because of your “craziness” too. And you’re driving both of you nuts by overthinking things instead of ending them.
17. You entertain intrusive thoughts.
As an overthinker, you often have to deal with intrusive thoughts. It’s okay that these thoughts pop into your head every now and then, but you tend to dwell on them for a long time and draw conclusions based on them. So, you end up being convinced that your partner is going to leave you or cheat on you.
Similarly to how people spend time daydreaming and fantasizing, you spend a lot of your time on intrusive thoughts and doubts about your relationship. You obsess over the little things that your partner might have said or done and can’t live in the present.
18. You replay the conversations you’ve had with them.
Whenever you have a conversation with your partner, you replay that conversation in your head later, when you’re alone. Obviously, you analyze every word, question what it could have meant, and come up with different scenarios.
You also look for anything you might have said wrong and obsess over it as if it was the biggest mistake you’ve made.
This is yet another thing that people often do in the beginning when they’re crushing on someone, but overthinkers do it in long-term relationships too.
There are usually no deep and hidden meanings in the conversations that you have with your partner, but you find them by reading into everything.
19. You spend a lot of time imagining things that could happen.
Yes, you do usually imagine the worst-case scenario, but you imagine all sorts of other scenarios as well.
What if you suddenly gain weight and your partner leaves you because of it? If they are unhappy with their job, will they want to move to another country in search of greater opportunities? What if they are secretly attracted to blondes while you’re a redhead?
All sorts of things could cross your mind and drive you crazy for no reason whatsoever.
For instance, you could be worried about sending your kid to college while you haven’t even talked about having a baby yet. You could be worried that your partner is suddenly going to meet someone new or that they won’t love you after they get to know you better. All of these things could be very confusing for them, but even to you too.
20. You even confuse yourself.
Overthinking things can be confusing, and you probably don’t know what to think after imagining possible future scenarios for a while.
You are confused about how your partner feels about you, but you’re also confused when it comes to how you feel about them. With so many different possible explanations and meanings behind their words and actions, you don’t know what to think.
The best choice would be to stop thinking about it so much. Learn to communicate with your partner openly and honestly so that you don’t have to worry about what might have been left unsaid.
12 Ways To Stop Overthinking A Relationship
Now that you know you’re overthinking things, you probably want to stop this bad habit and have a healthier relationship. With a little effort, you can do that. Here’s how:
It is a good idea to seek professional help from one of the therapists at BetterHelp.com as professional therapy can be highly effective in helping you to uncover the root causes of your overthinking and overcome the problem.
1. Find out the root of the issue.
Overcoming relationship anxiety starts by identifying the root of the issue. What is causing you to overthink your relationship?
This could be rooted in past bad relationships. For instance, maybe your ex betrayed you and left you with trust issues. Then again, the problem might date back to your childhood and have something to do with your attachment style. Maybe you instead suffer from anxiety.
A therapist can help with all of these problems, but make sure to consider the possibility that there really is something wrong with your relationship.
Maybe you’re not overthinking things, you’re just on to something that you need to be worried about. It is possible, so consider everything and see what best fits in with your specific situation.
2. Don’t try to control everything.
You can’t control the future or your partner. You can only control yourself and the way you approach things.
Maybe you are worried about the possibility of your relationship ending, so you try to control the outcome. However, you can’t do this on your own. You and your partner can work on the relationship together to try to improve it, but you can’t control them and the way they feel about you and all this.
Accept that there are simply some things that are out of your control. No relationship ever comes with a guarantee of a happily ever after. It is something that you need to work toward together with patience and persistence.
3. Talk to your partner about it.
Did you ever bring this issue to the attention of your partner? If you haven’t been in a relationship for a long time, it can be scary to talk about your deepest fears with them.
Naturally, you don’t want to seem needy or unstable because you’re worried about the future of your relationship.
However, make sure to share your doubts with your partner. Even if your thoughts are just the product of overthinking and they’re downright irrational, communicate them to your partner. They should be able to empathize with you, and this is a good sign for your future.
Let them get to know your weaknesses, not just your strengths. If they can accept and love both, you’ll overcome this problem together.
Learn to communicate openly and honestly, and share things with each other with no fear of being judged.
4. Stay busy.
It’s easy to spend a lot of time on imaginary scenarios and on entertaining intrusive, negative thoughts when you have a lot of free time on your hands. Get busy to prevent yourself from dwelling on things that don’t matter.
Dedicate more time and energy to your career, but also make sure to do more of the things that make you happy. Start a hobby, learn a new skill, and invest time in self-care. Pamper yourself and show yourself self-love, but also make sure to dedicate some time to self-improvement.
Your problems might be because of your low self-esteem, so see how you can increase it to feel better in your own skin. Start some personal projects that are going to take you where you want to be in life and focus on other things besides your love life.
5. Control your thoughts.
When a thought occurs in your head, notice it and think about where it could be coming from. Is it based on something that happened, or is it a fear that’s coming from your insecurities? Instead of entertaining intrusive thoughts, challenge them.
Are you focusing only on the negative things or catastrophizing? Is there anything that actually backs up your theories, or are you trying to read your partner’s mind? Control your thoughts by reframing them into something more accurate. Accept the things that you can’t control, and don’t imagine the worst-case scenario.
For instance, maybe your partner sent a less enthusiastic text instead of a romantic one. This doesn’t have to mean that they’re unhappy in the relationship. Maybe they just had a long day at work and feel tired. What sounds more plausible to you?
Learn to trust your gut and focus on the facts, not the theories and things you read into their words.
A good way to learn to control your thoughts is to meditate. Focus on your breathing and clear your mind. Don’t ignore thoughts that come to you or get upset for thinking them. Simply notice the thoughts, acknowledge them, and let them go.
Do the same thing with every thought that comes to you without dwelling on them or letting them control your emotions. Don’t forget to focus on your breathing while doing this.
That’s just one way of meditating— you can also use guided meditations where you could, for example, envision your happy place or visualize your success.
Meditation can also help with anxiety and make you more relaxed in general.
7. Write things down.
Making your thoughts go away can be easier when you write them down. A lot of overthinkers that struggle with anxiety find journaling to be a good way to deal with this issue.
Write down anything that you want and let it all out of you on a regular basis. Keep in mind that a piece of paper can handle anything.
You could also write letters to your partner without actually sending them to them. This way you could put your thoughts on paper and read them again to see if your theories make sense or if you’re overthinking.
Journaling is a good way to reflect on the conversations that you have and what happens in your relationship. That is what you are doing anyway, but when you write it down, it’s easier to avoid obsessing over it or letting it overwhelm you.
8. Expand your interests.
Starting a new hobby is a great way to keep yourself focused on the present and stop yourself from overthinking. Is there something you’d be interested in trying?
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and experiment with things you never considered before. Maybe your new passion could be skiing, pottery, collecting or drawing comic books, writing poetry, learning to make cocktails, or going to the theater.
What have you always wanted to learn but never gotten the chance to do?
Maybe it’s learning a new language or taking piano lessons. Whatever it is, do it now.
Have a fulfilling life outside of your relationship, and do something that makes you feel happy and good about yourself. Being successful or talented in something new can also improve your self-esteem.
9. Live in the present moment.
You deserve to live your life consciously by being mindful and present in the moment instead of dwelling on the past or the future.
Practice being present by focusing on what’s happening right now instead of worrying about what the past or the future might bring. Notice the small things about the world around you and be thankful for them.
This could mean taking a moment to listen to an awesome song on the radio or to eat your favorite flavor of ice cream. Truly enjoy these moments and be grateful for them.
Next up, remind yourself of all the things that you can be grateful for and smile. Taking a second to remind yourself to smile and think about something positive could make a big difference in your life. So, focus on the now, notice the small things, be thankful for them, and smile.
Repeat these steps whenever you can to become more mindful and present in the moment.
If something bad from your past comes to mind while doing this exercise, take a moment to forgive those who have hurt you and yourself for what happened.
Practicing gratitude and forgiveness could make you feel happier and stop you from overthinking your relationship. When your mind makes you think negative thoughts, switch the focus onto something positive, say the alphabet backward and forward to distract yourself, or repeat positive affirmations.
10. Think about your wants and set goals.
Take a moment to think about what you want. What are your relationship goals, and what do you want out of your relationship? What are your other goals in life and plans for the future?
Most importantly, can you have the relationship that you deserve and the future you want if you stay with your partner?
There is a chance that you’re not overthinking it and that there is something wrong in your relationship. If that is the case, consider whether you want to stay with your partner. Whether you do or not, make sure to set other goals that you can achieve during this time.
Set short-term goals that are easier to achieve to give yourself the confidence boost that you need in order to pursue your long-term goals. Go after what you want, whether it’s in your love life or in other areas.
Achieving goals is a great way to stay busy so you don’t inadvertently overthink things. You can also raise your self-esteem in the process.
11. Plan for when you catch yourself overthinking.
What are you going to do the next time you catch yourself overthinking your relationship? Don’t let your problem catch you off guard. Create a game plan for how you’re going to deal with the moment when it happens.
For instance, you could work out, meditate, listen to music, or take a walk. You could also engage in a hobby until the urge to overthink stops.
12. Talk to a therapist.
In the end, if you are struggling with an issue that you can’t deal with on your own anymore, turn to someone who can help you.
Talk to a therapist about your issue, and they can help you find more ways to stop overthinking and realize why you’re doing it in the first place.
Try all the steps that you’ve read about so far, but don’t hesitate to also seek professional help in tackling issues that are stopping you from enjoying your life and your relationships.
BetterHelp.com is a website where you can connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message. And you'll get 10% off your first month when signing up through this link.
While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.
Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome behaviors they don’t really understand in the first place. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.
You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to a therapist. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.