There are always going to be things that you don’t have control over. If you’re an over-thinker, you tend to lose sleep over things that are completely and utterly not influenced by you.
I’m sure I am not alone in reliving moments that have passed in your mind, moments that make you feel less proud of yourself. I typically look at those moments and imagine how they could have gone differently.
As an over-thinker, I also have a very difficult time making decisions. People who over-think also tend to be seen as insecure. Being indecisive can make someone appear more unsure of themselves or give off a lack of confidence.
There have been numerous studies linking over-thinking to negative emotions.
In 2008, a study called “Rethinking Rumination” was published which states that there is a strong relationship between over-thinking and mental illness. According to that study, someone who over-thinks is more likely to have depression and anxiety.
However, there are positives to being an over-thinker like good critical thinking skills and being sympathetic to others and their problems.
When you’re in a relationship with an over-thinker, it can be very rewarding for you. Other-thinkers, like myself, tend to want to smooth over any rough patches and fix things immediately.
Knowing how an attachment style can affect a relationship’s dynamic is very important. Articulating your needs is another essential aspect of your relationships. Yet, there are strategies to help improve communication in your relationships.
5 Things to Know About Dating an Over-Thinker
1. They have high levels of empathy
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of someone else. Empaths tend to get easily overwhelmed, have strong intuition, do not like big crowds, are deeply caring, are good at problem-solving, and are highly sensitive.
This feeling is heightened when you’re an over-thinker. So, when in a relationship with someone who overthinks, know that whatever you say will resonate deeply with them.
2. They are great at planning
People who over-think have superior skills in being organized. They pay close attention to detail and come up with creative problem-solving techniques.
When you date someone with this level of organizational skills, just know that despite how indecisive they can be, they will make sure you have the best time in anything you do together.
3. They will prioritize you
For better or worse…
Over-thinkers tend to think about everyone else’s needs before their own. This means they will put your feelings first. I personally focus on making everyone happy, even though I know I should focus on making myself happy. However, I feel most content when everyone else is happy.
Overthinkers are known to disregard their own desires for the sole purpose of satisfying someone else.
Examples of this behavior include repressing your own opinion so you don’t contradict someone else or constantly making decisions based on how other people will react to them (rather than what is best for you).
4. They value effort more than gifts
When you’re in a relationship with an over-thinker, make sure you spend more time and energy investing in the relationship.
We don’t care about gifts given to us, although they are appreciated. What we cherish are attempts to show you care. Even a simple shift in your behavior will go a long way.
Actions speak louder than words.
5. They won’t let you go to bed angry
Does anyone else lay down to go to bed at 11 p.m., only to find yourself wide awake at 2 a.m.?
Overthinkers are known for having sleeping problems. Our brains go haywire at night trying to organize all the thoughts we are having. Relationships are not an exception to this.
After replaying every event that happened in my day, I have the urge to go back and fix everything right away. I, and other over-thinkers like me, will not be sleeping on an argument.
Some tips when you’re dating an overthinker
- Please don’t say to them, “stop overthinking”
This is not helpful.
- Watch what you say and don’t say anything you don’t mean
This is easier said than done. In the heat of the moment, you want to say everything and anything. However, an over-thinker will read way more into your words than you even did.
On the other hand, those who overthink also have to watch what we say. When we say something we don’t 100% mean, we will think about it for days, weeks, months, years later.
- Reassurance, reassurance, reassurance
It never hurts to say or do something that removes doubts or fears from someone.
- Don’t give empty promises… follow through with your words
Having high expectations typically results in disappointment so it is easier to have no expectations at all, right? Wrong. It is okay to expect things from people.
Those who have a relationship with someone who overthinks need to try their best to follow through with their words. Their over-thinking partner will not forget what you said or promised.
A message to overthinkers…
First, try to put things in perspective. There may seem like there are a million things going on in your world, but changing your attitude can immensely change your perspective.
Meditation and deep breathing are unsurprising tactics, but they are effective stress-relieving techniques.
When overthinking, try to focus on the good things in life rather than the bad. Instead of trying to make things as good as possible, it is important to cherish the good moments in life no matter how small.
Stop trying to make everything perfect.
Kaiser, B. N., Haroz, E. E., Kohrt, B. A., Bolton, P. A., Bass, J. K., & Hinton, D. E. (2015). “Thinking too much”: A systematic review of a common idiom of distress. Social science & medicine (1982), 147, 170–183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.044
Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Wisco, B. E., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). Rethinking Rumination. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3(5), 400–424. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6924.2008.00088.x
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