From time to time, everyone is guilty of it. We meet someone cute who grabs our attention, exchange numbers/Facebooks and begin to socialize. Whether we officially go on “dates” or fall into a will-they-won’t-they pattern, we find ourselves smiling a lot more around them, replaying certain interactions in our heads and rereading our text message conversations in search of some hidden meaning. We don’t do this all the time, but when we do, we instantly know it because our friends won’t let us live it down. It is the science of overanalyzing a relationship, reading into every little detail because maybe it will mean something later.
Often I wonder why we do this. Why do we turn every single gesture into a symbol of something much more important than it probably is? (Tweet this!) After all, we recognize when our friends are doing it, and laugh as they drive themselves crazy with too many overanalyses of their crush/significant other’s actions. We encourage them to take things one step at a time, and tell them to focus on other things, but of course they only end up pointing out the many times that we have done this in the past.
Maybe our over-thinking gives us some confidence when dealing with unknown territory. Although we don’t know exactly what that one Facebook message meant, our assumption that it meant something significant can give us hope. It makes us excited about whatever is coming next.
At the same time, of course, overanalyzing a potential relationship can be detrimental. It can cause anxiety if something he/she said makes us think that we aren’t wanted; it can also raise our expectations too high. If we obsess about every little detail, we will only go insane… even if things are headed in the right direction!
Ultimately, it is important to stay positive and be excited about whatever is going on in your life without thinking about it every second of the day. Maybe that extra emoticon was the answer to your questions, but it is important not to dwell on the small stuff too often, and let the good things come and surprise you along the way. 🙂