Why Romantic Relationships Are So Hard For Overthinkers

Overthinkers doubt everything and may actually question whether or not they’re happy on a daily basis, which can put a lot of stress on any relationship. No one wants to feel anxious or uncertain with their partner all the time, but that’s the reality for many of us. Here’s why overthinkers struggle so much in love.

  1. Overthinkers always wonder if their partner secretly doesn’t like them. This can be especially tough since obviously, it’s valid. But, overthinkers tend to reflect on every interaction and categorize it as good or bad. It’s harder for them to look at the big picture, and say something like “this has been a really great month.” One snarky comment may lead them to believe a breakup is near. Even if their partner doesn’t even remember saying it in the moment, an overthinker will dwell for quite some time.
  2. They also question their own happiness. It can trigger anywhere. Maybe you happen to see your best couple friends holding hands and then look at the body language shared between you and your partner. Suddenly, you question, “when was the last time we actually held hands in public?” Then, a once non-issue makes you wonder whether or not you’d be happier with someone who isn’t so ashamed of public displays of affection. That one maneuver, which had nothing to do with you, is suddenly making you question your entire relationship.
  3. They can have a hard time spending money. Overthinkers really like to save, just in case there’s an emergency. But that can really cause a lot of issues if they ever need to spend it. Nobody wants to go to the mall with someone who spends 20 minutes wondering if they “really need” that sweater from J.Crew. Overthinkers have a hard time acting on impulse. Sometimes, this is for the best. Other times, it can really cause a lot of issues while dating.
  4. Sometimes they romanticize past relationships. Even if they’re fully over them, their brains still play the “what if?” game. What if that guy you casually and briefly dated 4 years ago didn’t ghost? Would you be happily married? Would you even be living in the same state as you are now? Harmless fantasizing can be fun, but these thoughts may crowd your head and make you doubt every step you’ve taken in life, so it can quickly become dangerous.
  5. It can be hard for them to think up clear responses. For example, the question of “what do you want for dinner tonight?” may take some time for them to really digest. If they are big on nutrition, overthinkers might re-examine their meals prior and look for something that’s nutritionally different. Or, they may doubt what they want. They know chef salad is the better choice, but fried chicken just sounds too good to pass up. These incidents happen with everyone. But with overthinkers, it may be a daily struggle.
  6. They might be a little pessimistic at times. When you allow your brain to wander, it often comes up with a lot of scary — yet rare — circumstances. For example, if an overthinker happens to get involved with a true crime story, they may be on the lookout for subtle clues that their partner is also a murderer. Or, they may have a gameplan in case anyone chooses to break into their home. They may have even rigged together a security system. These are all good things to think about just in case, but overthinkers tend to take it to the extreme. If it’s not safety, it may be social interactions. Overthinkers may feel like friends have ulterior motives for acting a certain way or become convinced that everyone’s out to get them.
  7. Making solid plans in general can be tough. Not only will an overthinker really stress which family to visit for each holiday, but they may feel a ton of guilt afterward. Overthinkers are often people pleasers as well. They want to try and find a perfect plan that’d make everyone happy, but then they’ll get discouraged if that’s not the case. Overthinkers are also big on planning out the small details and may get frustrated if small things go wrong — which, often happens naturally.
  8. Overthinking is something that overthinkers can’t turn off. But, they’ve likely tried 15 ways to shut their brain down. An overthinker knows that their trait may be somewhat of a burden, but it’s really hard for them to change things. So, quite often, they may rely on their partner to just make a plan and choose to go along with it, regardless of what it may be.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.