As a matchmaker, I can easily say that over-analytical behavior is hands down the number one crime in dating. There’s no place for cerebral decision-making in matters of the heart.
While it’s normal to process a ton of information when we first meet someone – how they look, move, express themselves verbally and non-verbally – getting trapped in over-analytical mode will damage your chances of finding love.
People who do this are not focusing on what is really being said, rather they focus on what they think is behind the words. When you do that, you are not actually (actively) listening. The danger is that you sometimes come up with your own version of things instead of what actually occurred in the conversation.
Those who over think things fail to be in the moment; they’re constantly thinking about what they’re going to say next instead of enjoying what’s happening in front of them. Or they’re analyzing what someone just said instead of taking it at face value. Others are not great at small talk so they’re stuck in their heads grasping at topics to bring up instead of hearing what’s being said right now. No wonder dating has become so stressful!
Here are three ways to stop overanalyzing on your dates.
1. Read between the lines just don’t let it dominate a conversation. There are plenty of people who have been burned in dating and approach it with a “guilty until proven innocent” mantra. They’ve trained themselves to look for the bad. While it’s normal and smart to use our instincts when we first meet someone, we don’t need to constantly second guess what someone is saying. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Listen less to what people say and watch more what they actually do. That will always reveal their true nature.
2. Be prepared with topics ahead of time. For those who dislike small talk, prepare a few topics / questions that you’d like to talk about such as current events, a controversial topic, something interesting you’d like for your date to know about you or a unique question. The key is to fill your pockets with possibilities so you can pull one out easily instead of hide in your head and miss the whole nuance of a conversation.
3. Stop psychoanalyzing people. It’s so disheartening when we hear this kind of feedback from our clients: “He said his mother was a challenge so he must not have the tools to have a healthy relationship with women” or “She said she wants a family but I’m not ready to jump into a relationship and have kids right away”. Why are people jumping to conclusions and sabotaging potential relationships? Who are you to judge and close the door on a potential relationship based on something someone you barely know said? On a first date? Stop making assumptions. It’s not only unfair, it’s narrow-minded and a sure fire way to stay single.
People will show you who they are. Just give it time…