What to do when an overthinker says “I love you”: 12 important tips

When an overthinker tells you they love you – believe them. They’ve thought about this long and hard before confessing their feelings. 

But now those three magical words have come out, where does that leave you? Here are 13 important tips to keep in mind when an overthinker says “I love you”. 

1) Tell them you love them too (if it’s true)

When an overthinker says I love you, make sure you understand how scary it was for them to be vulnerable. It was a huge leap of faith.

Hopefully, you feel compelled to say it back, and if not, be open and honest about your feelings at that moment.

The chances are though, they’ve thought carefully about whether their feelings will be reciprocated. 

So if you do love them, but you’re afraid of what it means to be with an overthinker, this article will put your worries to rest. 

The most important thing, though, is being honest with them. Lying to them if you don’t actually love them will only hurt both of you (more them than you) in the long run. 

2) Be patient and empathetic with them 

Here’s the thing, every relationship requires patience. But with an overthinker, they’re going to need it tenfold. 

Remember that overthinkers can’t control the way their mind works. They can’t control the speed at which thoughts race through their mind, often evoking anxiety to kick in. 

The exhausting cycle of stressful thoughts, overthinking, analyzing, and decision-making can cause harmful stress on their mind and body. Here are a few ways to practice being patient and empathetic:

  • Allow them time and space to decompress when they need it
  • Remain calm and let them know you’re there with them
  • Try putting yourself in their shoes to understand how they feel

The truth is:

You may not have firsthand experience with overthinking, but dating an overthinker means you’ve probably witnessed the anxiety they deal with daily.

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Imagine that anxiety in your life and imagine how it would affect your mood, perspective, and decision-making.

Remember this, and tap into your empathy when you’re feeling impatient with your partner. It’ll save a lot of unnecessary arguments!

3) Allow yourself to be vulnerable 

Being vulnerable is a challenge because it exposes weakness and opens us up to potential emotional trauma.

You might have had a previous unhealthy relationship, which is often the cause of fear of vulnerability.

But, it’s important to be vulnerable with a partner because it’s how we build intimacy, trust, and connection.

Sharing your flaws is scary, but it allows your partner to see a different side of you, and that’s important to make love last.

As the partner of an overthinker, you must be open and vulnerable in the same ways they are.

Be open about your feelings, honest about your concerns, and genuine about your love for them.

This creates an opportunity for your partner to be there for you.

And if they feel like you’re usually doing all the caring and worrying, this is a chance for them to listen and support you.

And the bottom line is:

Never hide your feelings because they may sense something is wrong, and that can trigger obsessive thoughts.

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The best way you can help your partner feel secure in the relationship is by being open and honest, even if it means facing a few of your demons in the process. 

4) Build and nurture trust 

Trust is a pillar in any healthy relationship.

Without trust between two people, there’s not much left to base a relationship on. 

But just because you’ve potentially exchanged those three magical words, you shouldn’t take it for granted that trust is given automatically.

The truth is:

Trust is built. It’s earned over time. It rarely forms straight away, no matter how infatuated you are with each other. 

Now, that’s just “trust” on a normal level. 

What about when you’re dealing with an overthinker, who says they love you, but still can’t help overcomplicating things? 

You’re going to have to work even harder. 

Be patient, be reliable, and be honest. With these three qualities, you’ll gain the trust of your overthinker, even if it takes a while.

And once you have it – maintain it. Don’t think that your partner will blindly trust you now for the rest of your life. They won’t. 

As an overthinker, they’re always searching for slip-ups, for ways to catch you out. And if you’re dishonest, it’ll only take them a matter of time to figure it out. 

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5) Don’t beat around the bush 

The truth is, in this relationship you’re going to have to work hard at saying what you mean and saying it to the point. 

Why?

Because ambiguity, being vague, backtracking after you’ve said something, will all make your partner overthink even more. 

So, speak clearly. Don’t leave any room for misinterpretation. Don’t drop sneaky lines which leave your partner wondering what on earth you meant by that comment. 

Even when you’re arguing, which will happen at some point, just be straight up about the issue. You’ll resolve it much quicker than if you try to win one over on your partner with sarcastic or hurtful remarks. 

6) Bring perspective into the mix 

As I just mentioned, there’ll be times you argue with your overthinker. Just because they’ve taken the plunge and said they love you, it doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing from here onwards.

No. It’s a relationship like any other. The only difference here is that when your partner starts overthinking a situation, it may be up to you to bring them back down to earth. 

You might need to be the one who reminds them to take a step back, look at the overall situation, and then think calmly and rationally. 

You can use these techniques to help your partner:

  • Ask them grounding questions, such as “Will this matter in 5 years, or 5 months, or in 5 minutes?
  • Remind them of the worst and the best possible outcome of the situation 
  • Focus on one point rather than discussing different things at the same time
  • Keep goals and long-term plans in mind 

Gaining a new or modified perspective (or time frame) can stop overthinking in its tracks. And, if you practice these with your partner, eventually they’ll learn to do it on their own. 

7) Find healthy ways of communication 

Communication can make or break a relationship if both parties struggle to stay on the same page.

As I mentioned before, be direct and honest when something is bothering you. Don’t leave anything up for interpretation.

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Your partner will question what’s going on, make assumptions, and second-guess themselves. 

They’ll also second-guess you.

That’s why you need to be self-assured about what you want and need. This leaves room for your partner to step up and fulfill your needs.

Also, don’t play games or ignore them if they’re trying to reach you, even if you’re upset.

A prompt and honest reply is the best way to diffuse a situation with an overthinker.

And the truth is:

There are going to be times when no communication is better than arguing unnecessarily. Know when to take a break and give each other space, but be clear about why you’re doing it. 

This will eliminate the chance of your partner overthinking and making the situation potentially worse. 

8) Take the lead when they can’t 

Overthinking can interfere with decision-making and problem-solving abilities. You might have noticed this in your partner. 

Therefore, there may be times when you need to step up to the plate and make the decisions. 

Decision-making requires a clear mind, and overthinkers jeopardize clarity with excessive thoughts and “what if” scenarios.

So what’s the best way to go about taking charge?

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Have a conversation with your partner about when it’s appropriate for you to step in and take the lead.

Discussing this beforehand will avoid any chance of them feeling left out or unsure of your motives when you do start taking control. They’ll also likely be grateful for your help! 

9) Don’t try to be their therapist 

I get it, you want to help your partner. They’ve confessed they love you, and you want the best for them. 

But the truth is:

You aren’t a licensed therapist, so don’t try to be that person for your partner. Taking on that role can be emotionally draining and damaging.

In the end, it can have negative effects on them and you.

With that in mind, being there for them and providing support is different; you should do that!

You could also suggest finding a qualified therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders or stress management.

Or try a couple’s therapist if your partner seems interested.

But avoid pressuring them. Instead, gently guide and support them towards therapy if you see that overthinking is damaging the quality of your partner’s life. 

It should be a decision they make on their own, with your support backing them.

10) Find calming activities to do together 

Using exercise to combat overthinking is common practice.

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Think about it this way:

How many times you’ve been anxious, worked out, and gained a clear mind and a new perspective?

The same can be done for a chronic overthinker. It may just be in a different way.

So what’s so good about exercise?

Movement helps utilize and burn excess thyroid and adrenal hormones that were once used to fuel racing thoughts.

Exercise also increases endorphins, which makes us happier, more focused, and more capable of making decisions.

And the truth is, the activity doesn’t need to be something highly physical. Other ideas include:

  • Practicing yoga or meditation 
  • Doing a puzzle together 
  • Learning a new hobby like playing an instrument 
  • Gardening or simply getting out to walk in nature 

Any calming activity you can share will put their mind at ease and teach them how to manage their thoughts. It’ll also help when it comes to navigating their turbulent emotions after offering up their love to you!

11) Don’t avoid talking about the future 

Here’s the thing – if you don’t talk about the future, you’re giving your partner more reason to distrust you and your intentions. Especially after they’ve confessed their love for you. 

They need to know you’re confident in the relationship, and them.

That knowledge provides security and peace of mind.

This can be something as simple as naming a future pet or talking about where you’d like to buy your first home.

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While these details seem small, they mean everything to an overthinker. It shows you are picturing a future with them in it.

12) And don’t avoid talking about the past, either 

And just as you shouldn’t avoid talking about the future, the past isn’t off-limits either. 

If you do prefer to keep your past private, try putting yourself in the shoes of the overthinker. All this signifies is that you’ve got something to hide. 

So, just as we mentioned the importance of being vulnerable, there may come a time where you need to reveal whatever skeletons are hidden in your closet. 

But with that in mind, there’s no need to go overboard. When it comes to past relationships, for example, let your partner know about them without disclosing too many details. 

As overthinkers are prone to remembering details, this probably won’t help you if they feel insecure or jealous. Just tell them what they need to know, and leave out the heavy stuff. 

When an overthinker says they love you? Enjoy being loved!

When an overthinker comes to the conclusion that they love you, AND confesses it, well, you should consider yourself lucky! 

And while you might worry over the fact that they’re an overthinker, don’t. As you can see from the points above, as long as you’re patient, empathetic, and have good communication, you’ll get along just fine. 

And here’s the thing:

What relationship doesn’t need all those things? If anything, being with an overthinker might help you actually learn how to create a healthy, happy relationship. 

So, sit back, enjoy being in love if the feelings are mutual, and remember – being with an overthinker doesn’t need to be difficult, so long as you’re willing to be a calming source of support for your partner. 

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