Relationships: An Overthinker's Perspective

Do you tend to think too much about the smallest details in your relationship?
spending time and communicating with your loving partner
Image source: Pixabay on pexels

When Covid-19 was announced as a global pandemic, the last thing I was expecting was to fall in love. It was just a cursory text that grew into bubble tea 'hangouts', and after a few weeks of that, he asked me out on a date. 

We've been together ever since. 

I don't want you to think it was all sunshine and giggles. 

Mere weeks into dating my boyfriend, I ran into some problems that I'm going to share with you and how we overcame them together. As an overthinker myself, this is my advice on how to settle those thoughts and how your partner should be treating you. 

I overthink on pretty much a daily basis. Let me give you an example. 

My boyfriend loves to sleep, and I mean really loves to sleep. He's not lazy - he attends his lectures and completes his assignments on time - but when he can afford the time, I sometimes won't hear from him until the middle of the afternoon.

Even though I know he's sleeping, I still, to this very day, think things like, "What if he's awake and just ignoring me? What if he hasn't said good morning because he no longer cares about me? What if he's found someone better to spend time with?" 

Sound familiar? 

I have these negative thoughts all the time. I overthink everything he says and doesn't say, everything he does and doesn't do. It's not an attack on his character or on mine - it's just the way my mind works. And if you find yourself going, "OMG that's so relatable," then there's a chance you're an overthinker, too. 

e's what you should do when you catch yourself overthinking the smallest details: 

1. Tell yourself, "You are getting ahead of yourself."

Oftentimes when I overthink, the thoughts begin with "what if". I'm here to tell you that those thoughts are, for the most part, useless. The future is unwritten, and I know that's scary, but that's why I'm encouraging you to stay focused on the present. Even I struggle with that most days, and it will be a constant effort on your part. It's worth trying, though. I promise. 

2. Ask yourself, "Who told you that?"

What I mean by this is these fantasies created by my overthinking - and they are just fantasies, you know, because they're not reality - they're entirely informed by the worries and concerns within my own mind. You have a say in what you think about. If I think, "What if he doesn't love me anymore?" I try to immediately follow up with, "Who told you that?" 

3. Remind yourself, "This is how you know he cares about you."

I think about the time he called me just to say he missed me. I think about the time he beat my sister in a game of Monopoly and laughed so hard I went to bed grinning from ear to ear. I ground myself in the facts. When I find it complicated to trust his intentions, I try to trust his actions. 

Some of you might be saying, "Well, that's all fine and dandy, Clara, but what happens when I overthink and I'm actually right?" 

Sometimes you will be. It's honestly inevitable. You will overthink so much that it's highly likely you'll come up with something that's based on details your subconscious noticed. 

My advice is hopeful. Hopeful, because I hope that your partner is trustworthy and genuine, and I hope your fears are unfounded. I can't guarantee any of this, but I am choosing to have positive vibes only. 

Now, after having learned how to outsmart my overthinking self, I also learned how a good, considerate partner should behave when dating an overthinker. 

Image source: pexels
Image source: on pexels

If you're anything like me, you'll find it terrifying to communicate these fears to your partner. You'll be scared that they'll leave you or think you're overreacting or that it's a reflection of your value as a person. See? You're overthinking your overthinking! 

A couple of months after we started dating, a pile of restrictions was introduced to limit the spread of the virus, and I wouldn't be able to see him for what turned out to be over a month. 

We reacted to this in vastly different ways: I wanted to talk to him all the time, and he buried himself in schoolwork. As someone whose primary love language is quality time, those were a rough couple of weeks. 

I kept thinking that he was about to break up with me, or that he'd finally found a reason to criticize me, or that he'd realize I wasn't worth the effort if hugs and kisses were out of the question. 

After several lectures from my friends - friends that are aware of my overthinking - I decided to man up and tell him what was wrong. His reaction taught me a few things that I carry with me to this day. 

Here's how a loving partner should treat you: 

1. Your lover will never make you feel judged for overthinking

In hindsight, I probably scared him when I sent a text that said, "I need to talk to you." I had spent days overthinking about how to tell him that because, you know, I worried a lot about the outcome. My shoulders relaxed the moment he skipped his lecture to call me, and they relaxed further when he let me talk about how I felt without speaking for me. Your partner shouldn't make you feel bad for overthinking, and they definitely shouldn't ever attempt to invalidate your feelings.

2. Your loving partner will try to understand you, not fix you

When I told him I'm a chronic overthinker, instead of telling me to stop worrying, he asked me, "What can I do to help you?" Your partner shouldn't treat your overthinking as some disease that needs to be healed. They should realize that it's just part of who you are. Not only should your partner listen to the things you overthink about, but they should also be willing to learn how to meet you in the middle. This is where I'll tell you to also give them a break once in a while and compromise - relationships should be equal giving and receiving. 

3. Your partner will always be clear about how they feel

Your partner should be doing everything within their power to let you know that they love you. This means that they will communicate clearly, kindly, and as often as you need them to. If this means texting you just to say, "Hey, I'm still out but just wanted you to know I'm safe," then they'll do so. They can listen and learn your overthinking habits as much as they want, but if they don't prove this awareness through their actions, then they might not be the partner for you. 

My relationship isn't perfect. No relationship is. But being in one with a person that I wholeheartedly love and trust has taught me that overthinking shouldn't keep you from trying to find that rare connection. If that's what you really want, then I think waiting for the person who makes you feel seen and understood is well worth the effort of putting yourself out there. 

Stay in the moment. Be kind to yourself. The world isn't as horrible as it seems.

An Asian-Canadian with your stereotypical bubble tea addiction. I'm also a writer, student, and lover of all things Marvel-related.

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