I’m an overthinker. If I catch just a whisper of a person, location or activity I might be involved with any time in the near – or not so near – future, my mind springs into frenzied action. Advice that “you’re overthinking it”, “they’re both fine, either would be great” or from my longsuffering advisors “she literally won’t care” falls soundlessly onto my selectively deaf ears!
I used to be concerned that I overthought every situation, searching for the pros and cons of each activity or conversation, instead of simply living in the moment. This turned out not to be true. You can do both. When I took a moment to look at what and why I was thinking so much about future plans in my dating and personal life, it turns out that to the right person, being branded an ‘overthinker’ is actually not a negative thing at all. Here’s why:
1) Overthinkers find the best dates
For some, a first date might have fallen into a routine at the same-ish bar, in the same-ish part of town followed by a meal at a same-ish restaurant. Not so likely with an overthinker! It’s in our nature to pick up on little details. If you mentioned you were listening to Louis Armstrong, you’ll probably find us in a jazz bar. You’re reading a book about contemporary art? It’s not a coincidence we’re at this exhibition together. It’s the trademark of an overthinker to relentlessly research and discover new things to have a great time; TripAdvisor reviews, Timeout, recommendations from friends and personal experiences are all taken into consideration. It’s definitely worth the extra effort for both parties.
2) Overthinkers are prepared
There’s a new new sushi place open in town which is getting rave reviews. It’s one of those places where you’d have to book in advance though, and the more flaky among us just don’t seem to like locking down a reservation. Have no fear, the overthinker has already checked its availability, usually before we even ask you out! Over planned? Possibly? Delicious date? Definitely.
It’s the little things too. Your typical overthinker will have checked the weather, transport for getting around after a date and done that all important research into where we could go after our date for a nightcap – no more google map-sing for ‘bars near me’ landing you in a dubious local!
3) Overthinkers don’t rush into things
Relationships and people can be complicated. Overthinkers take the time to try and fully understand as much as possible about the people and circumstances they involve themselves in, and as a result, can prepare themselves for some what might lie further down the line. Being able to take a step back and think about your relationship can be really helpful for anyone. It’s so easy to fall into traps such as falling for the idea of someone, as opposed to the person you’re getting to know, or getting caught up in the whirlwind of new, exciting romance and forgetting what you really want from a relationship – not that this can’t change! Overthinkers are just as romantic as their happy-go-lucky counterparts, they’re simply also honest about what things mean, which is helpful to any relationship.
4) Overthinkers are dependable and appreciative
We live in an age where it seems like most people are constantly searching for ‘the next best thing’ in all aspects of their lives. While it’s essential and exciting to remain curious and seize every likely opportunity that comes your way, this shouldn’t come at the expense of actually savouring the moment and experience whenever you can. Overthinkers are really great at putting things into perspective; sure, we could have been doing ‘X’, but we’re doing ‘Y’, and actually, I’m having a great time, and ‘Y’ is fantastic. Part of overthinking is considering a situation, accepting it and living it, while storing up those alternatives ready for another day. Because of this, overthinkers aren’t usually flaky; they set things up because they’ve thought about why it’s a good idea, and regardless of what might come up, that good idea remains a good idea; and there’s always opportunity for more in the future!
5) Overthinkers are reflective and good learners
One of the primary hallmarks of an overthinker is not only to look at what might lie ahead, but also look closely at the past. We all know how it’s possible to get caught up “if only’s…” of life, and we all have our fair share of cringe-worthy moments, but casting your mind backward isn’t in itself a negative experience, and for the overthinker it can be a useful learning tool! Churning over the minutiae of every conversation, date or interaction can actually be really useful in helping to identify what you loved about someone, or something, and what you didn’t enjoy so much. The key here is to identify things you can influence; your topics of conversation, date location or even what time you met up and then taking it a step further and thinking about why they a positive experience for you; maybe you prefer a Sunday morning date to a Friday night? Once you’ve done this a few times, patterns emerge, and you discover more about yourself, what you want and where you might find it – which is essential for your dating journey
Being an overthinker can be tough at times! There are almost limitless things to take into consideration when it comes to the complex dance of dating and relationships. The crucial step is to be a thinker, not a worrier. Don’t let things sit and stew inside; if you can make a change to something, think about the different ways you can make a positive difference, weigh them up, then simply do it, safe in the knowledge that you gave the action adequate consideration. Don’t perch on the fence of indecision; that in itself is a – poor – decision. Being an overthinker doesn’t mean that we can anticipate every situation – where would be the fun in that?! – but it does mean that you can be as prepared-as-can-be, and quick to adapt to whatever your dating life might surprise you with.