17 Practical Ways How to Stop Overthinking About Someone [in a Relationship]

Jun 4, 202411 min
a couple sat on a table but a lady starts overthinking about their relationship and about someone

You love someone with all your heart and yet at the slightest inconvenience, your brain runs off in a negative direction.

Ever happened to you? 

If you are going through this, there is a possibility that you are overthinking. You are incorporating your worries into the relationship and this is causing a lot of strain between you and your partner. 

Imagine overthinking like a villain in a Bollywood movie. The villain is hell-bent on separating the hero and heroine in the movie. The villains can go to lengths to make sure that they can prevent a happy ending. 

Just like the villain, overthinking is acting like a wedge between you and your partner from having the blissful life you have imagined. 

Does overthinking ruin relationships?

Yes. overthinking can sometimes lead you to the brink of ruin.  If not handled correctly, it can become overbearing….for you as well as your partner. If you are somebody who overthinks a lot, you need to understand that overthinking can take an emotional toll on your partner. 

You might have an incredibly loving partner and yet, the ruminative thoughts can get the best of you. 

These ruminative thoughts can form an altered perception of the situation and you might start holding an unexplained grudge against your partner or the worst -  stop opening up to your partner. 

To avoid such circumstances, overthinking needs to be contained to a minimum. If it feels like an unsolvable task, just have faith that you can still turn things around.  

Here are 15 strategies that can help you to stop overthinking about your relationship. 

 #1 Strategy: Communicate Openly and Honestly

 A. Share With Your Partner

When two people decide to commit to each other, you expect your partner to understand every problem of yours. You expect your partner to “Read your mind” instead of speaking out loud. This creates a sense of insecurity and can lead you into a downward spiral. To resolve this,  communicate openly with your partner about your insecurities and concerns. You must understand that they are not you….nor do they have the superpower to read your mind. Being vocal about your feelings and asking for clarification can save you from encountering any kind of misunderstanding or overthinking. 

B. Have Regular Relationship Check-ins

If you are somebody who overthinks a lot, there is a high chance that you need reassurance often. Such instances can surface from the feelings of insecurity within. If you feel that this is affecting your relationship, you can set aside time to discuss feelings and concerns with your partner.  Letting your partner see your vulnerable side can help to increase empathy and understand each other on a deeper level. Such regular check-ins can strengthen the bond of the relationship.

#2 Strategy: Set Boundaries and Expectations

C.  Draw the line

You might hear the word boundaries and imagine a wall separating people. Well, that is not the case. In fact, setting boundaries can help you cultivate a very healthy relationship with your partner. These are healthy boundaries. 

Let’s take the example of Radha. She has problems with maintaining boundaries with her partner. She used to constantly need her partner to text her even when her partner and herself were busy at work. The inability of her partner to keep up with this want caused a lot of fights between them. Every time they fought, Radha would start overthinking causing them to further drift apart. After this, Radha voluntarily decided to end this cycle of overthinking by setting boundaries. She and her partner mutually decided to not disturb each other while working. Setting this boundary helped them reduce the friction and clear out all the misunderstandings. 

 D. Be Clear About Your Needs

Overthinking can make a dirty mess in your mind. You might have multiple thoughts including blame and criticism involved, all of which source from unmet needs. “You never make the first move”, “He always leaves the room unclean…should I even be with such a person?” These unmet needs can harbor anxiety and eventually overthinking. 

Before you start with the blame game, understand what you exactly need from the relationship. Make a list if it is difficult to remember them all. Find the source behind those needs. Some of these needs might stem from our past wounds or trauma or even OCD. Find out what you need exactly and then rationalize all those needs. Ask yourself - “Do I really need my partner to do this?” If the answer is yes, then approach and raise your concerns to your partner. 

 #3 Strategy: Practice Active Listening

 E. Focus on listening Intently:

The most crucial aspect of resolving any issues in a relationship is “Listening”. It is not just hearing out your partner. Active listening requires your 100% attention. While doing so, you are making a conscious effort to understand what concerns your partner and also empathize with them. If you listen and understand the situation correctly, you will succeed in keeping the negative thoughts about your relationship at bay. 

F. Reflect and Paraphrase:

When you are in a relationship, it is important to listen to your partner's needs. It makes them feel heard and respected.

For example, you or your partner are suffering from depression. It might be because of some external factors or because of the relationship anxiety. Sometimes the situation might get too out of control. What you can do next is practice Reflecting and paraphrasing.  If it is getting difficult for you to manage the misunderstandings that throw you into the pit of overthinking, practicing to reflect and paraphrase your words can work effectively. Using it simply means to show you and your partner that they have not only heard them but also understood the feelings and emotions that were being experienced at the moment. Doing this can help you and your partner develop a sense of empathy for each other and help to develop a connection with a really strong foundation. 

 #4 Strategy: Address Issues Promptly 

 G. Address Past Traumas 

Past traumas can change how we perceive and associate ourselves with the world. These traumas can be anything majorly distressing that happened to you in the past. It can be losing a partner, losing a pet, a breakup, etc. These past traumas can severely affect your current relationship with other people. 

For example, Neha broke up with her partner almost 2 years ago. Now she has decided to find a new partner but avoids meeting anybody new because of the fear of abandonment. 

In this situation, the abandonment wound in Neha is her source of trauma. The experience of a breakup is influencing her thoughts and descending her into a space of overthinking. She does not realize that the true reason for her not getting into a new relationship is her past trauma.

If you are troubled by past traumas, you must find ways to face your fears head-on. Explore the reasons and address them one by one. If you find yourself stuck or not being able to heal yourself from the trauma, you can consider therapy. It can help you work through unresolved issues and heal emotional wounds. Mave Health can help you work through your past traumas. With the help of experienced psychologists, you can have a mental health assessment that will help you narrow down your issues. 

H. Address present conflict:

While past traumas contribute to their share of problems, having conflicts in the present can be more stressful. One of the couples' most difficult problems is letting issues remain unsolved. Piling up grudges can only lead to anger and disappointment. It might also lead one to overthink about their relationship. Resolving the issues faced is crucial so that they can move past the problems and grow by learning from their mistakes. 

For example, if you and your partner fought over finances and slept angry over each other. The fight continued the next day and instead of resolving the fight, it got worse. It can send you or your partner into a spiral of overthinking, leading either of you to question the relationship. To avoid such issues, you and your partner can mutually decide to set some rules to follow for solving conflicts. For this conflict, you can make a pact with your partner to never go to bed without resolving conflicts.      

#5 Strategy: Trust Your Partner 

 I. Develop Trust

Trust is the foundation you lay for a happy and healthy relationship. The genuineness in a relationship is developed because of trust. But developing trust is easier said than done. Many couples dissolve into fights because of the lack of trust.

Suppose you are in a long-distance relationship with your partner. Your partner calls you and tells you that he is leaving for a party and will not be able to talk today and will call tomorrow. You feel sad about the lack of talks today and might start overthinking about everything that would go wrong at that party. “What if he meets a better girl there? Will he still like me? Will he still want to be with me? What if he breaks up because he likes somebody else?”

Somewhere deep down you know that these thoughts are not rational and yet you give power to them. In such situations, you need to trust your partner’s trustworthiness based on their actions. Instead of fueling your negative thoughts, you can deliberately think - “If he wanted to, he would have left for the party without mentioning it to me. But he decided to call and inform and also mentioned that he would call tomorrow. This shows his trustworthiness.”

If this practice is difficult, try thinking of all the instances in the past where your partner has proved to be reliable. It will help you calm down and pull yourself out of a space of overthinking. 

#6 Strategy: Focus on the Present Moment 

 J. Concentrate on the Here and Now:  

Dwelling on the past can cause a lot of friction in your relationship. The mistakes made, the words said in the heat of the moment, the disappointments, everything can pile up if you allow it to. You might not allow positive things to happen in your relationship because you have been so focused on the past. Try to let go. Staying in the present moment with your partner can reverse the negative feelings you have about your partner or the relationship. 

If you want to genuinely improve your relationship, you need to stop worrying excessively about the future too. You might associate your partner with unrealistic expectations and cause them to distance themselves from you. Be present and focus on the problems that both of you currently face. It will help you resolve 50% of the fights. 

 K. Stay Open to Growth

Once you have narrowed down on the pain points of the relationships, embrace them and perceive them as a challenge instead of an unsolvable burden. Stay open to the possibilities of growing personally and mutually. This can help you feel secure and put your overthinking to a halt. If you face any challenge, do not overthink and question the relationship. What you can do instead is talk to your partner and develop ways to help you calm down when you panic. Your partner too can understand how to deal with a partner that overthinks. Being considerate and empathetic towards you can help both of you strengthen your bond.

 #7 Strategy: Manage Your Insecurities 

 L. Practice Vulnerability

If you are in a relationship, it is impossible to not have insecurities. In fact, having a healthy amount of insecurity can be amusing because it shows that your partner cares. But when this insecurity surpasses a certain limit, there are chances that your partner will get frustrated and not trust you with trivial things. 

Imagine living in a loving relationship but your partner shows distrust by assuming that you are having an affair. You are tired of explaining again and again and this makes you shut down any further developments in the relationship. 

In such cases, you can practice vulnerability. Try becoming the most authentic self with your partner. Openly communicate about your concerns, however petty they seem. This will help you and your partner be on the same page and help your partner understand the root of your insecurities. 

M. Challenge Negative Thoughts

Insecurities stem from ruminating over a situation for a long time. You need to trace the negative thought patterns that lead to overthinking. Once you understand that negative thoughts are overpowering you, challenge them and try to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. This can mean thinking of all the good times in your relationship, some instance that makes you trust your partner more, or setting up more realistic perspectives. This will help you neutralize the negative thoughts effectively.  

#8 Strategy: Prioritize Self-Care and Independence

 N. Prioritize Your Well-being: 

Overthinking can take a big toll on you emotionally or physically. Sometimes, this overthinking can descend into depression or other disorders. Being emotionally distressed can have implications on your physiological health too. Many people resort to overeating while some reduce their usual food intake. You need to take care of your physical as well as your mental health. Prioritize your mental health and learn to stabilize it with whatever strategy that suits you well. Physical activities have shown visible results in managing and reducing stress effectively. Try to engage in activities that uplift your mood and build endurance and strength. 

 O. Cultivate Trust in Yourself

When in a relationship, couples make decisions mutually and handle challenges together. However, you must understand that your partner cannot be your sole source of companionship or happiness. You need to build trust in yourself by handling challenges and uncertainties by yourself. 

For example, you know that you have a habit of chronic overthinking when your partner is absent for a long period. In the past, you have had fights due to the same issue. Now, you somehow have lost confidence in yourself to spend time alone. 

In this situation, you have two options - 1. Start overthinking all over again  2. Face this challenge and have confidence that you can spend time alone without needing your partner’s reassurance. Which one are you choosing?

#9 Strategy: Seek Support from Friends, Family, and Professional Help if Necessary

 P. Reach out to Friends or Family for support 

“How do you stop overthinking about someone you love”. - If this statement has been bothering you for a long, you can always talk to your trusted friends or family members about your concerns. When you are having relationship problems, it is very difficult to understand the problems. Listening to a fresh perspective on a problem might help you come up with an effective solution. 

Besides, sharing burdens with your loved ones can help you relieve a lot of thoughts that are going on in your mind. This can help you contain your overthinking and relieve stress. 

Q. Turn to a Professional When Needed:

Tackling overthinking is like walking on a tightrope. One moment you feel like you have learned to balance yourself and then bam! You tumble on your next step. Whatever you may go through, may it be relationship anxiety, panic attacks, chest pain, depression, obsessing over a single thought, or unwarranted fights in the relationship, it might be a result of overthinking. 

 If you think that it is too overwhelming for you and your relationship is in danger, you can always seek professional help

At Mave Health, we can help you identify the root cause of your problems by combining science with the complexities of human emotions. If you are suffering from depression or any other mental health disorders, you can take the aid of ARC-tDCS, a non-invasive brain stimulation technology that can help you reduce the symptoms of depression without any side effects. 

Does overthinking ruin relationships?

What causes overthinking in a relationship?

Overthinking can stem from a lot of issues that have been undealt in the past or remain a mystery for the future. Whatever the reason may be, it can cause a lot of problems and eventually create a lot of tension between partners.

Some of the most 8 common patterns that can cause problems are:

  1. Dwelling on a problem for too long
  2. Ruminating thoughts
  3. Second-guessing decisions
  4. Past-trauma
  5. Abandonment wounds
  6. Being too reliant on your partner
  7.  Assuming the worst outcomes
  8. Insecurities and lack of trust

Sometimes a sound sleep is sacrificed due to overthinking at night, this usually happen in any Relationship.

Conclusion:

Navigating the tumultuous tides of overthinking can be difficult but not impossible. Tackling overthinking and managing it can help you overcome the occasional storms in a relationship. Practicing not to overthink actively requires patience, self-control, and discipline. however, once you have followed these bits of advice, it can act as a safety-jacket for you and make you a master of dealing with overthinking.

If despite working with these strategies overthinking prevails, it would be good to consult a relationship professional or a mental health professional. There could be a possibility that the relationship might be toxic or the relationship is having a severe effect on you. This needs to change. 

If you feel that your overthinking is getting out of hand, do not worry! Mave health’s got you. We will help you stay afloat and help you reconnect with your partner or your loved ones. 

Reference:

  1. How To Talk To Your Partner About Your Needs Not Being Met
  2. Signs of Trust Issues
  3. How To Stop Overthinking In A Relationship
  4. Stress Symptoms By Hedy Marks
  5. How to Handle Relationship Insecurity | Tony Robbins.
  6. 15 Most Common Relationship Problems & Solutions|Talkspace 
Author's Profile picture
Mave
Clinical Psychologist