As I sat down to write this piece, I thought about all the ways I could start it. I finally decided after thinking about it for a short (not that short) while, that I should say I'm a chronic over-thinker and that I have a tendency to over-analyze almost everything. I could get a masters degree in the analyzing text messages, emails, body language, and guy speak. I catch details and things that most people miss. I'm observant, and I have the ability of being able to look at a problem or issue from every angle. Some people might think that it really isn't necessary but I can't help it.
Yep, I'm an over-thinker. I'm such an over-thinker that I don't think it's a bad thing; it's like being a researcher for life, and I'm making myself prepared for almost every situation. Obviously, sometimes life throws me a curve-ball, and something completely unexpected happens — but that's ok, even an over-thinker likes to be kept on their toes. I'm not against spontaneity, I'm just against being blindsided by some disaster I never saw coming.
Does being an over-thinker, sometimes make me indecisive? Yes. Has over-thinking sometimes prevented me from taking action. Sure, but it's comforting to find meaning in normal, every day things like a hello or a Facebook update.
Here are some things that are helpful to know if you're dating an over-thinker.
1. Say What You Mean
When you communicate with an over-thinker, whether it's in person, text or email, make sure you aren't sending mixed messages because it could send us on an over-think spiral like you wouldn't believe. We're going to be thinking about what you say anyway, so help us to cut down on the endless interpretations, OK?
2. Don't Withhold Details
If you're planning a special date night or a surprise of some kind, don't leak out details, but not give us the whole story— that's just cruel. By not telling us the whole story, you're giving our minds permission to go to work filling in the details, and then if the surprise isn't as fantastic as expected, your over-thinker will be let down, If the surprise is amazing, and the over-thinker had already decided it would be kind of sucky, then the goodness of the surprise will be tarnished a little. I didn't say we over-thinkers always made perfect sense.
3. Please Plan The Date
It's not that we don't have any ideas, it's that we have too many ideas. If you know the details of the date, then we don't have to spend time trying to decide where, or what to do. Thai food sounds good, but then so does Indian. We could see a movie, or an art exhibit, or go clubbing. If we skip dinner then we might get too hungry to enjoy the movie.
4. Don't Assume The Worst
Sometimes when you're on a date with an over-thinker, it might seem as if she isn't that interested in you or that she's rude because she's just staring intensely and not saying much. She may seem bored on the outside, but it's just that she's probably thinking about what she's going to say and doing a spot analyze on it, so that she doesn't say anything inappropriate or stupid. All that thinking usually ends up paralyzing the over-thinker. If you can get past the awkward silences or weird things that she's able to blurt out, she'll start to loosen up and get more comfortable.
5. Over-Thinkers Are Great Problem Solvers
There's nothing we love better than to help someone else with their problem — it's actually fun for us to use our incredible brain power on another person's issues or challenges, so come to us when you have a problem.
6. We Know How To Party, We Just Don't Know How To Let It Go
We can be the life of the party, have a fantastic time, and then spend the next week or so, doing a playback of those party moments where we could have said something funnier, or now that we're thinking about it, we kind of embarrassed ourselves when we won that drinking game.
7. Social Media Is The Gateway To The Soul
It's not just cyberstalkers who look at their dates social media, it's almost everybody and that includes the over-thinker. The over-thinker, however, is going to get as much information out of that "Lunch with Taylor" comment you made as possible. Who is Taylor? Is that an ex-girlfriend? Does she want you back? Just make sure that what you share via social media is up to scrutiny.
8. Please Accept Our Apology
As over-thinkers, we sometimes upset people without meaning to, and we're really sorry. We've been going over that fight we had for days now, and we're genuinely, truly, deeply, completely sorry, so please help us to get get out of our pit of over-think and forgive us.
9. We're Obsessed With Details
Saying that over-thinkers are detail-orientated is an understatement — we live for details. It may sound over-dramatic to say that details are the essence of our lives, but it's true. When you over-think everything, you get pretty familiar with the small things; the body language, the way something was said, and if the waiter seemed unhappy.
If you can help an over-thinker to live in the moment, they will love you forever. You just need to be so interesting and brilliant that if your over-thinker retreats into her head, she's going to miss something good.
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Images: Rachel Titiriga /Flickr; Giphy(9)