Questions. Life is full of them, and many of us were rightly taught to always ask questions. We’re encouraged to ask questions, both to fortify our minds, and to gain a better understanding of the world around us.
These are always good questions: Do I want to have more children? Am I satisfied with my life? You should ask yourself these questions—at least occasionally. But when you constantly question yourself to the point where it becomes difficult to see things clearly, that’s a big red flag.
For singles, this constant questioning can do more to hurt a relationship than to help it. Say, for example, that you and your date were planning a romantic candlelight dinner. Then he calls you that afternoon, profusely apologizes, and says he has to work late. Sure, you’re disappointed. But how do you handle that? Are you supportive and understanding – or do all these questions start taking space in your head? Is it me? Does he really want to go out with me? Has he found someone else?
As long as he doesn’t make this type of thing a habit, it’s probably just one of those things he couldn’t avoid. It doesn’t have anything to do with you. Over-questioning can lead to a lot of insecurity. You start doubting yourself unnecessarily. This isn’t good for you, or your relationship.
So, how do you stop over-questioning? Here are some powerful and practical tips I’ve learned over the years.
- Pause and take a deep breath. When it comes to taming irrational questions, just a few deep breaths can work wonders. No matter how busy you are, just stop for a few minutes. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply. If you can get yourself to a calm, relaxing room, or maybe even take a little walk on the beach, that’s even better. You’ll think much more clearly—often in a surprisingly short amount of time.
- Replace unhealthy questions with healthy ones. This tip works especially well if you’re analytical by nature. Go back to the same scenario above. Your man cancels your romantic dinner because he’s working late. If your mind automatically goes to what’s wrong with me, stop for a moment and think of smart questions to ask yourself. Does he do this often? No. Does he have a crazy-busy job? Yes. Wasn’t it just last weekend when he looked me in the eyes and told me how special I was? Yes. By replacing your irrational thoughts with reasoning based in actual reality, you gain keen insight and focus. Even more important, you stop doubting yourself.
- Call your best, most rational friend. You know, the one you can always count on for spot-on advice. Call her (or him.) Chances are, your pal will tell you (in a friendly way) how ridiculous you’re being. Really, they aren’t telling you anything you don’t already know, but hearing this from someone you respect, love, and trust can be just what you need.
- Practice being in the now—and keep practicing every day. Just like your body needs exercise to stay healthy, so does your brain. In fact, physical activity is great for your brain as well as your body. There are many other methods: yoga, meditation, daily affirmations, and mindfulness exercises, just to name a few. Pick the method that feels right to you, and stick with it. When you train yourself to focus on the reality of the present, you become much better at fending off self-defeating questions in the first place.
It’s all about learning to trust yourself more, and question yourself less. It takes practice, but it’s more than worth it. Think about it. You’re probably a pro at trusting your instincts when it comes to other areas of your life. It doesn’t have to be different when it comes to dating.
Of course, if you could use some guidance in learning to trust yourself, contact us. You are not alone. Dating can easily bring up uncertainty and insecurities in just about anyone. By taking the time to get to know you, we’ll help you gain the confidence you need to navigate the dating world successfully.