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girl overthinking in relationship
Relationships

How to Stop Overthinking in Relationships?


Can’t stop thinking about the little things? Are you tired of overthinking in every relationship you’ve ever been in? We get it; it must be exhausting!

Overthinking is no joke, and when you think about how much you’re overthinking about overthinking, it gets really tough, doesn’t it? We’re sure you relate to that already! 

girl thinking hard

Jokes apart, overthinking in a relationship can ruin a good connection in no time, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. Everyone loves their peace of mind, but sometimes it’s just not easy to let go of the possessiveness or insecurities you might have due to your past relationship experiences.

If you’re reading this article, we know you’re asking yourself the very question, “How can you stop overthinking in your relationship?” We’re here to answer everything this query might entail and maybe even more. 

So let’s look at some strategies to help all of those messy thoughts about your relationship you might have in your head. Here are some ways to stop overthinking in relationships: 

Be mindful 

Step one to stopping yourself from overthinking every little detail is to be mindful. Being mindful could simply mean being aware. What we’re trying to say here is you must be cognizant of when your brain is going off the tracks with the thinking. 

girl reflecting on her options

For instance, if you catch yourself thinking about the supposed slight change in tone of your partner’s text, stop yourself right there. When you stop yourself at the very start of an overthinking session, you will be able to prevent yourself from spiraling into a tornado of thoughts, thoughts, and even more thoughts! 

If and when you catch yourself overthinking about your relationship, ask yourself questions like:

  • Where is this stemming from?
  • Why am I overthinking this? 
  • Is overthinking helping?
  • What is the result of overthinking?

When you ask yourself these questions, you’re questioning your irrational thoughts (if you have any). You may also sometimes resort to overthinking as a way of coping with your overwhelming emotions. In situations like this, it is best to take a pause and ask yourself the above questions before overthinking leads to worse. 

Other times, overthinking can also be rooted from insecurity and the need for control, which is why it is of essence to be mindful of your thoughts. 

Build and gain trust 

Trust is an essential value in any relationship. Whether it is a romantic one or not, fully trusting a person may take a lot of effort, especially if you’ve been poorly treated in the past. However, you must completely trust your partner. 

If your partner has been untrustworthy in the past, it is best to bring the relationship to an end. For example, if your partner has been manipulative or has cheated on you, you will not be able to trust them entirely at any point. So just leaving them, and putting yourself first is the best way to stop overthinking.

couple holding hands

However, if you’re lucky to find a trustworthy partner, make sure they trust you completely, and you trust them completely too. If you’re an overthinker, it may be difficult because you’ve had bad experiences in the past. But it may help to tell yourself that your partner is not the same person as your ex. 

You’re dating them for a reason, and trusting someone is a decision you make for yourself by yourself. Ask us, and we’ll say fully trusting your partner will save you a lot of heartaches, oh, and also a lot of thinking.  

Make sure your partner knows 

While you might think it is a bad idea to let your partner know that you are an overthinker, we beg to differ. Communication in all kinds of relationships can go a long way. 

Don’t be hesitant to tell your partner that sometimes you need a little extra reassurance because you tend to overthink a lot. If you don’t tell them, they’ll never know!

Don’t expect your partner to just know what to say or what to do. Come clean and tell them that you have a little trouble controlling your thoughts and if they’re worth keeping, they’ll understand. 

Set firm boundaries 

Setting some boundaries is important in a relationship. Boundaries are what make sure there is a clear line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior or actions in a relationship. 

Picture this: if you have set a boundary about not liking a particular thing when you and your partner are getting intimate, and they keep trying to cross the line, stay firm on your boundary and do not let them. Even if you allowed it one or two times for their sake, you know the consequence; it will lead to way too much overthinking!

Set your boundaries and get them straight with your partner. Do not accept if these boundaries are being crossed. Make sure to be strong and stand up for yourself. And if your partner still won’t understand, you might want to reconsider the relationship. 

Respect your partner’s boundaries 

Boundaries work both ways. When you expect your partner to respect your limitations, make sure you respect theirs too. 

For instance, if your partner has mentioned explicitly that they do not like it when you invade their privacy and scroll through their social media or check the messages on their account and you still do it, you might not find anything on them. 

However, they might eventually find out about it , and the consequence of that may not be the best one for your relationship. This will cause further issues and complications, causing you to overthink. 

Ask yourself these questions every time you think of crossing a boundary your partner has set:

  1. Is this boundary a firm one?
  2. What will be the consequence of me crossing this boundary?
  3. Is crossing the boundary worth the consequence it will bring?

When you ask yourself these questions, they might help you silence unnecessary thoughts and keep you from overthinking your relationship with your partner. These questions will also save you a lot of time and effort that you might otherwise put into thinking about your relationship. 

Take the optimistic road

Easier said than done, but keeping an optimistic perspective towards your relationship can really help you and your partner go a long way. When you think about the future you want with your partner, make sure it’s bright and happy. 

older couple together

Often in situations involving your partner, you may unknowingly assume the worst-case scenario, which may be highly unhelpful in your position. Overthinking gets ten times worse when you force your mind into thinking only negative outcomes. 

We’re not saying you should be optimistic all the time; that too can be harmful in its own ways. But try to make sure you maintain some sort of balance between the two ways of thinking. Looking for the silver lining in all kinds of situations is a skill you must have up your sleeve, especially if you’re an overthinker. 

Focus on the present 

When you’re out with your significant other, make it a juncture to be present with them. For instance, if you’re out on a date with your boyfriend/girlfriend and you’re overthinking about something you did, or perhaps they did accidentally, you will miss out on the moment. 

This can also cause a lot of regrets later. Focusing on the present will help you keep your head in the right place and where it’s supposed to be in the moment. 

Most times, anxiety is associated with overthinking about the future, but you might want to give this one quote some thought:

“If you stress about something that’s going to happen, you’re putting yourself through it twice.” 

Focusing on the present will help you live more in the moment than in your head, causing you less anxiety and stress.

Distract yourself 

While this may sound superficial, distracting yourself is one of the best ways to stop overthinking. It may be a lot of trouble over analyzing and overthinking every little thing related to your partner, and we know it’s no walk in the park. But what you can do is simply distract yourself from these thoughts by performing refreshing activities. 

Here are four ways to do so:

  • Go outside and take a walk 
  • Listen to some relaxing music or play your favorite happy song 
  • Create your own routines, and move accordingly
  • Meditate or do some Yoga 

Creating your own routines or rituals that you follow every day can be an excellent way to stop yourself from overthinking your relationship. Setting a routine will disallow any extra time to develop negative thoughts. 

At the same time, you will utilize your energy for something that will create a positive impact on your mind. 

Let it out 

If the overthinking gets too much, you might want to let it all out by writing down your emotions and thoughts. One great way to do so is by journaling; maintain a daily journal wherein you can write anything and everything troubling you. 

girl journaling

This can be your safe space. You don’t have to worry about what others will think about you or if your anxious thoughts make sense to anyone. 

If your brain feels scrambled like the eggs your partner made for your breakfast this morning, start journaling by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What triggers these feelings or anxious thoughts?
  2. Where are these thoughts stemming from?
  3. Why are you thinking about that particular situation so much?

And basically, anything else that comes to mind. 

The best part about journaling is that there are no rules to it, and you are the only one that your thoughts have to make sense to. You will start to feel better once you begin letting your thoughts out on paper instead of letting them build up in your head. 

Share your thoughts with the people you trust 

Seeking support from the people you trust can be highly beneficial in some cases. Overthinking in relationships is definitely one such situation you must discuss with your close ones. Talk to your friends or other people in your social circle who understand you and your perspective on things. 

Besides just being a way to release all your thoughts, conversing about issues will also provide you with a new perspective. People who we trust want the best for us and will not hesitate to tell us where we’re wrong and why we might be. 

Speaking to someone you trust may give you a new insight into the thoughts you’re having about your relationship. 

Seek professional help 

Sometimes our friends, family members, or other loved ones may want to help us but may not know how they can do so. When things seem like they’re getting a little too hectic for you to deal with by yourself, there is no harm in seeking professional help. 

exercise the brain

Seeing a therapist will help you gain clarity and understanding of the root of your overthinking. Therapists are trained professionals who can guide you to make decisions by yourself and challenge any irrational thoughts you may have. 

Getting professional help will also assist you uncover a lot about yourself and the relationship you share with your partner. When you go for therapy, you’re taking a step towards your mental health, which has a significant impact on all your relationships, not just one you share with your partner. 

Don’t overanalyze 

When you notice slight changes in your partner’s body language or tone, please do yourself a favor and never analyze them too much!

This will only lead to a lot of overthinking and sad feelings, and we do not want that. When you actively look for negative signs, you will find something unnecessary that may ignite overthinking. So we suggest you don’t look for signs in the first place. 

Sometimes communication gaps can also lead to overthinking, so make sure the lines of communication to you are open for your partner and vice versa. To gain a sense of clarity, you must openly communicate to your partner whatever your thoughts or feelings are towards them. 

Yes, even the times you overthink. 

13. Challenge your thoughts

While a therapist will be able to do this better, you can also try challenging your thoughts by yourself as the first step towards gaining some control over them. 

Challenging your thoughts may mean trying to silence your “what if” thoughts. One way to do this is if you’re always thinking of negatives regarding the “what ifs,” you might want to try thinking the opposite of what you are currently considering. 

For instance, try swapping your questions and perspective by asking the following: 

When you think of a question like “what if they don’t like me anymore because I said that?” stop yourself at the moment and think, “what if they like me for being vocal about my thoughts and feelings?”

In this manner, you will have more control over your thoughts, and you’ll also find ways to be optimistic in the way your thought process works. 

Focus on personal growth 

Personal growth means giving yourself the time and space to learn new things and experience new adventures. Personal development may not necessarily come out of a place of comfort, and you must step out of your comfort zone to try different things. 

When you focus on working on yourself, you become better and more secure with who you are. This can greatly help reduce any thoughts that may stem from a place of insecurity. 

Stay fulfilled and satisfied with the life you’re living; this satisfaction does not always have to come out of your romantic relationship. It may also be in the form of getting that job, starting that business you’ve been thinking about for a while, or simply hanging out with your friends. 

Take life on, one step at a time, at your own speed. You do not have to worry about how far you’ve come. Please don’t compare your life or relationship to anyone else’s; it’s the key to satisfaction. Trust us on this one!

In Conclusion 

Being in a relationship may not be the easiest thing for all of us. For some, it may come naturally, while some may struggle to keep their thoughts under control. Both of these situations are entirely normal. 

Sometimes it may also get tough to differentiate between thinking and overthinking. So, here are some questions you can ask yourself every time you feel like you’re shifting from thinking about something to overthinking about it:

  1. Are you coming to any conclusions from your train of thought?
  2. Do you feel like you’re stuck in a loop?

The main difference between thinking and overthinking is that if you’ve answered yes to question 1, you’re thinking rationally, but you might want to pull the brakes on your thought train if you’ve answered yes to question two. 

The key is always to communicate and talk openly about the things bothering you. Keeping them bottled up to “protect the peace” will not only harm your relationship, but in the long run, it will also give rise to many other anxious thoughts and harm your inner peace. 

While gaining some comfort and support from your loved ones is a good thing, be careful not to always listen to all advice you may get. After all, all advice is advice, but all advice may not be good advice! 

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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