I remember telling my roommate every detail of my last date. I reevaluated every word of that conversation, every hint of his body language, trying to read his mind…after the fact. Did he like me? Did he not like me? When would he text me? I was so nervous that by our next interaction, I was a complete basket case—not my normal self at all.
Maybe you can relate?
Overthinking is a classic side effect of dating. We replay the conversation over and over, trying to get inside the guy’s head. We analyze how the date went (or if there wasn’t a date, every single time we see him!). We try to figure everything out to determine possible outcomes to be prepared for…what? The unknown future?
In reality, overthinking is a combination of emotion and a need for control. There’s nothing wrong with thinking about a guy you like (in moderation). Nor is there anything wrong with reminiscing about a fun date! But when our emotions and our need to know the future collide, we end up overthinking. And this overthinking can ruin our dating lives.
Here are three ways overthinking can hurt your love life.
1. Overthinking makes you a different person.
When we turn a situation over in our minds, analyzing every angle, making up scenarios and figuring out what we’ll say the next time we see a guy, we end up acting pretty weird when we DO see the guy. Can I get an amen? We work ourselves into such a mental frenzy we’re no longer acting like our true selves! That is not the way to begin a dating relationship, and it definitely doesn’t help you develop a quality friendship.
By controlling our thoughts and simply letting the future unfold, we stop bending ourselves into a pretzel and can be who we really are.
2. Overthinking removes the joy.
Overthinking is a response to unknowns, so you’d think it would remove anxiety—but it doesn’t. It increases our anxiety about the future, removing the joy from the unknown and exciting days of dating. By letting each day unfold individually and entrusting the control to the Lord, you’ll embrace the joy He has for you.
Joy requires trust; I learn this more and more as I grow in my walk with God. When we trust God fully for our future and relationships, we’re free to experience joy-fully.
3. Overthinking is about control.
As previously mentioned, overthinking is rooted in a need to control—to figure out something we really can’t figure out or anticipate. It’s scary to let go of control and trust God, but that is what this walk of faith is about! Releasing control requires stepping into faith, not knowing what could happen, and using our thoughts as opportunities to pray instead of opportunities to obsess.
If you struggle with overthinking, what can you do? Here are a few steps you can take:
- Use your thoughts to drive you to prayer. When you sense yourself falling into overthinking, turn those thoughts into prayers and pour your heart out to God.
- If you lack joy, ask yourself: Am I trusting God with my future?
- Take the step of faith each morning by committing your day, your emotions and your relationship to the Lord. Revisit this throughout the day as needed.
How have you overcome overthinking? Share in the comments below!