"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." —Sigmund Freud
Have you ever started dating someone and begun overanalyzing how things are going? I know I have. In the beginning stages of a new relationship, it can be so hard to not go over everything repeatedly in a vain attempt to either gain control or divine the future. Your decisions about your reality heavily shape what you will do next. After too much analysis, you're often damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Here's why; if you decide things are going super well, you can get clingy and make the other person feel suffocated. If you decide things are going horribly, you can prematurely shut things down or unintentionally give off the vibe that you aren't interested. This is why it's doubly important to take a "wait and see" approach when it comes to a new relationship.
Here are some things to remember about relationship over-analysis:
- Your analysis does not equal control; Often we overanalyze when we're feeling a lack of control over a situation. It's as if the analysis helps us reconcile the inability to control someone else.
- Over-analysis often leads to incorrect conclusions; In the fight to gain emotional control over what is happening, it's easy to come to incorrect conclusions that actually sabotage the beginning of the relationship. Worrying that there is a problem often creates one whether there was one or not.
- Overthinking keeps you from enjoying the present moment; If you're focused on what has happened, what should be happening and what it all means, then you aren't authentically present. It's like when someone says "don't think of a Pink elephant." The moment ceases to be objective.
- Analysis sucks the fun out of the relationship; Whether this person you've been on a date with turns out to be "The One" or not, analyzing whether s/he is going to call or really, really liked you, or what s/he meant when s/he held the fork that way, takes a certain magic away from the whole thing. If your date turns into "The One," wouldn't you rather remember the butterflies in your stomach and what they said on the date instead of the two hour conversation you had with your best friend about it later?
How to Stop Over-Analyzing Your Relationship:
- Quit Searching For Hidden Meanings: They will either call or they won't. They either like you or they don't. It will all be revealed in time. Most likely, there is no hidden meaning to the little things that happen. Putting yourself in an emotional place where you are hanging on what they are doing and saying doesn't change the outcome and can cause you to create a problem where there wasn't one before.
- Stop Over-Sharing With Your Friends: If your default thing to do after going on a date has been to discuss it with your friends, hold off for a while. Without any input, it's easier to have no opinion at all about what happened on the date. This is not to say that if something terrible happened you shouldn't vent, just that when you're in the early "wait and see" stage of a new relationship, don't go spilling all and start asking "Why do you think they did X?" questions.
- Cultivate Artful Distractions: If you have to date several people at once to not focus on the particulars of any given one, this is a good way to do it. Also, staying involved in your hobbies and interests even when things are going great with someone new is a really good way to avoid over-thinking what is happening. Distractions also help you practice staying in the present moment, which helps a great deal.
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