Last Updated on March 16, 2022 by Angela Vaz
Stress and anxiety are more common than you think.
Do you spend hours overthinking about what your partner might have said in the morning or last night?
Are you constantly panicking or thinking up different scenarios when they don’t text back immediately or leave your message on “read”?
Do you worry and assume the worst when you can’t reach them over the phone?
In this post, you will learn to stop overthinking in a relationship.
It is natural to overthink at times because that is how most people cope. But in time, overthinking can ruin our relationships because those thoughts eventually transform into our actions.
If overthinking becomes a persistent habit and is no longer just happening from time to time, it can really damage our relationships because it will push our partners away.
Let’s learn what causes overthinking and how we can stop it.
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What does overthinking in a relationship look like?
Do you feel this is you?
Are you constantly:
- Rereading your texts and your partner’s to see if everything sounds normal?
- Going over conversations to understand what went wrong or both of you could have handled it better?
- Discussing your relationship problems with friends and family hoping they will give you some solid advice?
- Worrying who your partner is with when they go out?
- Thinking up negative scenarious when they don’t answer their texts or calls for a few hours?
- Imagining the worst possible outcomes when they say anything remotely negative?
- In need of reassurance from your partner and require them to tell you how much they love you daily?
- Confused about how you feel or are questioning how they feel?
If most of these scenarios describe you, then there is a good chance that you are overthinking in a relationship.
What causes overthinking in a relationship?
If you are a person that constantly overthinks and overanalyzes everything, it may just be your way of coping.
You may have stress and anxiety issues that cause you to overthink and ruminate endlessly.
However, if you’re specifically overthinking about your partner and your relationship, then you may have:
- Unresolved issues from your previous relationships
- Low self-esteem
- A lot of self-doubt
Or your partner is just ticking a lot of red flags. Read this post to understand if you are with someone who doesn’t love you back.
Most people overthink in a relationship because they have abandonment issues. Either their parents did not treat them with love and care they deserved, or they have been in toxic relationships in the past.
And there are ways to remedy this.
A lot of the times when you overthink, your constant overthinking and worrying may be tricking your brain that it is preparing you for the worst outcomes or that it is saving you from heartbreak, but this is not true.
Your thoughts are only stopping you from living a fulfilling life, and it will slowly impact your behavior which could eventually harm you and your relationship with your partner.
Let’s now move on to how to stop overthinking in a relationship.
How to stop overthinking in a relationship once and for all
1. Understand what is causing you to overthink
Every time you find yourself overthinking, ask yourself why this is happening.
The first step to solving any problem is self-awareness.
So, when you find yourself overthinking, write down your thoughts. It will help you see it for what it actually is.
Write down your fears.
- What are you really afraid of?
- What are you feeling right now?
- Are any of these thoughts actually helping you or your relationship in any way?
You may find that this takes a little time and effort, but this is one of the best ways to gain insight into your overthinking.
Journaling and just writing things down really help identify the root cause of overthinking.
2. Learn to let go
Many people overthink because they believe that overthinking will help them gain control of their partner.
Abandon ideas like “he should” or “she must” or “what if he does this” or “why is she doing that.”
These thoughts aren’t constructive.
For instance, if your partner does not text you when they are busy, or they don’t call you when they’re hanging out with their friends, it can cause you to worry.
Understand that you cannot always control how they operate when they’re outside.
You cannot force them to call you all the time and reassure you that they love you or they’re missing you.
But you can take control of your feelings and your thoughts and channel them into something better.
Remember, your past and your future are two different entities. You should not let your past ruin your present and future.
3. Develop trust
If your relationship is brand new, take some time to learn more about your partner and talk to them to understand how they work or operate.
I have been with my ex for almost ten years and discovered that he was cheating on me. It did cause certain trust issues and overall increased my anxiety.
So, I spent more time getting to know my next partner before jumping to conclusions.
Just because someone else cheated on you doesn’t mean everyone else will.
Abandon this kind of thinking and learn to trust yourself and your partner.
Ask yourself certain questions like:
- Has my partner given me reason to doubt them?
- Have they behaved in a certain way that is leaving me suspicious?
- Have they made me feel loved and cared for?
If your partner has given you no reason to doubt them and has always loved you, then you need to develop trust in your partner.
4. Spend time with your partner
The more time you spend with your partner, the better your relationship will become.
Make plans with your partner.
If you both love reading, go to a bookstore and buy yourselves some good books to read. Sit on the couch or lie on the bed while reading your respective books.
Here are some other fun ways you can bond with your partner:
- Go to a park and have a nice picnic.
- Or go to a movie that both of you will enjoy.
- Cook a meal together and then have it over a nice conversation.
- Hang out with some common friends or go on a double date.
Spending more time with your partner will help strengthen your relationship and gradually reduce your overthinking.
5. Improve your communication with your partner
Many problems will go away if you do less “figuring out” and communicate more with your partner.
For instance, if you’re constantly wondering why they said what they said, ask them.
Be very gentle and honest and explain to them why you feel the way you do.
It’s perfectly alright to be honest, and talk to your partner about how you feel.
If you have had a history of abuse and being cheated on and it is causing you to ruminate endlessly, sit your partner down and explain to them why you feel the way you do.
For instance, if you’re always worried about your partner reaching somewhere safely, ask them if they can text you when they reach their destination.
At the same time, ask your partner if there are needs they require that you’re not meeting.
The key to a successful relationship is a give and take.
Remember to be open and receptive when they’re giving you their feedback. If you find yourself getting angry or upset, remember that their feedback will help you both build a better relationship.
If you have tried a lot to communicate with your partner about your feelings and are constantly getting negative feedback, or they’re getting angry with you and are making you feel small, then they are probably not the best person to start a relationship with.
However, if your partner isn’t being open and honest with you and is ghosting you over prolonged periods of time or constantly getting upset with you, then this is a sign of toxic communication, and you may have to look into this deeper.
If you feel that there are a lot of things that both of you need to discuss, set aside time each week to discuss:
- What both of you require from the relationship
- What you both can do better for each other in the relationship
Do not let issues build up till you feel like you’re bursting with emotions and thoughts.
It is important to bring up stressful issues as and when they arise – this is healthy and will help you build a strong foundation built on trust.
6. Focus on the present
When you’re constantly thinking about “What ifs,” you are worried about something that is in the future.
The future is filled with possibilities that may or may not happen.
This will require you to trust yourself and your skills. Have faith in yourself that if a situation happens, you possess the required skills to fix it and remedy it.
Everybody is given only the present.
So, make every moment count and enjoy what you currently have.
Stop obsessing over things you cannot control or things that are in the future.
Here are a few ways to be present:
- If you are worrying about the future or thinking up future possible scenarios, learn to identify that you are overthinking.
- Stop and take a few deep breaths.
- Check in with your feelings and thoughts right after.
- Note down what are facts and what is fiction.
One of the best ways to stop overthinking in a relationship is to stop focusing on the future and enjoy the present moment.
7. Understand that you and your partner are 2 different people
I’ve seen a few friends overthink about their partners because they are not like them.
This is a sign of overcontrolling behavior.
You have chosen to be in a relationship with someone who is not like you, and of course, there will be differences.
You might be a person that loves to talk and be open with a person when you’re upset or depressed. Your partner might be a person that craves alone time when they’re upset.
It is important to understand that both your needs are different and draw realistic boundaries when it comes to what you want and what you need from your relationship. You also have to be considerate about your partner’s needs.
And then learn to compromise and come to common ground for your relationship.
Because you both are two different individuals, there are certain things that you need to let go of in order to have a good relationship.
8. Love yourself so you can stop overthinking in a relationship
If you spend all your time worrying about what your partner is doing or whom they are hanging out with, and you realize your entire day is overdoing just that, you may be lacking self-love.
Perhaps you have too much free time on your hands, and instead of doing something constructive, you are obsessing about your partner and what they’re constantly doing.
This is not going to help you or your relationship.
Learn to love yourself and find fulfillment in things and people other than your partner.
Your partner is a part of your world. They should not be your whole world. This will lead to a very toxic relationship.
Do things that make you happy.
Take some time to pick up a new skill like playing the guitar or learning how to crochet.
Find meaning in your life by asking yourself what truly makes you happy?
Do things that make your heart sing. For me, that’s drawing and writing. Ask yourself what brings you unhindered joy.
Perhaps it’s reading? Or talking to people? Or playing with puppies and kittens?
Do more of that.
Develop personal goals that will help you drive you and push you to do wonderful things with your life.
Here are some posts that will help you with self-love
- 43 self love journal prompts to help you find yourself
- 7 self love books every single woman should read
- 29 self love quotes to help you heal and love yourself
9. Spend more time taking care of yourself
If you constantly depend on your partner to take care of you, this will lead to a lot of pressure on your partner.
Learn to take care of yourself.
Identify what your physical needs are. Make a note of your emotional needs and your spiritual needs.
Then, write down what you can do daily and weekly to help yourself improve in those areas.
For instance, if your partner is the only person you talk to fulfill your social needs, try to change that.
Make more friends with people around your block or take physical classes to help meet people with similar interests.
If you’ve constantly kept your career on the back burner because your overthinking is taking up most of your time, change that.
Think about how you can focus more of your time on your work and what you can do in your career to give you more inspiration.
If you are physically unfit because you have let yourself go over the span of your relationship, work on becoming fitter and stronger.
- Start drinking more water
- Eat home-cooked meals
- Exercise more frequently
The main idea behind these strategies is to discover your self-identity and realize that you are not just defined by your relationship.
There is so much more to you than your relationship with your partner.
Your life is an amalgamation of:
- The people you love and cherish
- Your hobbies and interests
- Your work
- All your morales and values
- Your skills and your passions
You have to develop other areas of your life. This will help you overthink less.
Just because you are in a relationship, you should not spend 24 hours with them or think about them. You have to build a relationship with yourself and other people as well.
10. Be more positive and understanding
For instance, if you’re worried as to why your partner has not contacted you after a long day of work, instead of assuming the worst, believe that your partner might have just taken a nap.
Give yourself and your partner the benefit of the doubt before assuming the worst.
Or, if your partner is not picking up your calls or their phone is dead, give them some time to get back to you instead of overthinking.
Remember, it is helpful to catch yourself when you’re overthinking and then redirect that energy elsewhere.
Focus on your life, and do something valuable with your time instead of going down the “what if” route.
Go for a walk, start a new project, call somebody you love like a friend or family member, or play with your pet.
This is one of the best ways to train your mind to stop overthinking in a relationship.
11. Remember to keep aside your ego
Often we do not share our feelings with our partners because we fear that we’ll sound “crazy” or “insecure.”
But when you’re in a relationship, the two of you are against the problem.
The problem should never come between you and your partner.
So, practice being vulnerable and talking about your feelings. You have the right to feel the way you do.
And it’s okay to talk it out with your partner. The more you do this, the more honest and real your communication becomes, strengthening your relationship.
I have already said this before, but I am repeating this point because it positively impacted my life.
Writing down how you feel and why you feel the way you do will help you understand the “why” behind your overthinking.
The biggest part of solving a problem is identifying the why behind it.
Just knowing this will help you identify how you can change your way of thinking and help you overcome overthinking.
Journaling and meditating will really help you see your relationship for what it really is and help you take a look at it from fresh eyes.
13. Consult a therapist
If you have tried most of the above methods or all of them and see no improvement in your mental health or are still overthinking, then it is time to get some outside help.
You can either talk to a few close relatives and friends that you trust or speak to someone who is unbiased, like a counselor or therapist.
I highly recommend talking to a therapist over friends and relatives because they can sometimes give you misconstrued advice, which can jeopardize your relationship with your partner.
A therapist, on the other hand, is extremely unbiased.
They will listen to you without judgment and help you understand why you are overthinking before giving you methods and strategies to cope with your overthinking.
Final Takeaway – How to stop overthinking in a relationship
Anxiety and stress aren’t going to go away immediately.
Learning to stop overthinking in a relationship definitely takes a lot of practice and patience because you are basically training your mind to do something new and different.
Many people overthink and are stressed, so please understand that you are not alone in this.
More than anything, be honest with your partner, especially if you’ve been in a long-term relationship with them.
Start your sentences with “I feel” and be kind and compassionate when you’re opening up to your partner and telling them how you feel.
The key to a successful relationship is communication.
If you enjoyed this post, here are more posts to help you with your relationship:
- 7 signs of toxic communication and how to fix it
- What I did to recover from a toxic relationship
- 13 signs of unrequited love and what to do about it
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