Ladies, it's time to give our muffin pookie pies a break from our overly active brains. Do him (but mostly yourself) a favor and stop searching for an underlying meaning for everything he does.
While we're overanalyzing, he's most likely oversimplifying. Here are the five ways you are most likely overanalyzing your boyfriend (and how to handle it without seeming like a psycho):
1. He hasn’t texted you back.
It’s been exactly one hour, 37 minutes, and 22 seconds. What could he possibly be doing that’s more important than answering your text message?
7:33 PM: Perhaps he’s taking a nap. He loves naps.
7:37 PM: He is in Costa Rica volunteering with Sea Turtle Conservancy, saving sea turtles from eminent extinction through rigorous science-based conservation. He’s in a remote location and even getting water is a struggle, let alone cell service. He didn’t get a chance to tell me because his passion for marine wildlife conservation paralyzed his ability to text.
7:41 PM: He’s definitely ignoring me on purpose.
7:46 PM: HE’S CLEARLY CHEATING ON ME. THERE’S NO OTHER POSSIBLE EXPLANATION FOR THIS TORTUROUS PROLONGED SILENCE.
7:48 PM: He texted back! He still loves me! Oh, thank goodness!
Let’s try not to be needy psychopaths. If you become relentlessly anxious whenever a minute goes by without a response, you are most likely a stage-five clinger and should make friends/find a hobby as soon as possible.
Now, if you assume he's not texting you back because he's too busy cheating on you, it's probably because you have trust issues from a past relationship or he has given you a reason to doubt him.
Keep in mind that your trust issues have nothing to do with him and will likely push him away and thus, lead him to cheat in a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Nonetheless, if your man has been unfaithful to you, understand that a relationship without trust is not a relationship at all.
2. His female friendships.
So, your man is close with one or more females. They have inside jokes you don't quite understand; they confide in each other for relationship advice and you're reminded that "she's like a sister to me" every so often.
She exhibits celestial innocence and genuine sweetness, yet you’re convinced she’s conniving and malicious and secretly out to sabotage your relationship and subliminally instill her hatred toward you into his brain. There are many variables to consider before deciding on a plan of action.
Does he invite you when they hangout? Have they hooked up in the past? Are you sensing an underlying attraction? If you’re with the right guy, openly and maturely communicating your concerns about his female friendships is extremely effective.
Unless you have a valid reason to be suspicious, it may be possible that you are simply insecure with yourself or your relationship (or both).
If that’s the case, acknowledge the issue and address it properly. It would be a wise decision to make her your ally instead of your enemy because chances are, when you two have an argument, she's the one to whom he's venting. Go ahead and set up that brunch date.
3. His ex called/texted him.
"I miss you,” she tells him. Or my personal favorite, "I'm happy for you." Vom. It's always a little nauseating when the woman with whom he used to share an intimate connection decides it's a great time to remind him of her existence. Let's properly assess the situation before you jump to conclusions.
Did he tell you about the message/call or did you find it when you were lurking through his messages/call log?
If you chose the latter, you have a separate issue, one much larger than your man's ex contacting him: You don’t trust him. If not, you're already in a good place because he's being honest with you.
If you overreact, he will likely hide things from you in the future in order to avoid conflict. Furthermore, if you let her unwelcome advance make you feel insecure, she has already won half the battle. Pour a glass of wine and laugh at her pitiful attempt because guess what? He chose you.
4. Boy’s night.
The dudes have brilliantly decided they want to go to a strip club tonight. “I don’t need to go,” he lies. No, but he wants to go and you should surprise him with your absolute approval. Here’s why: Naked girls or not, a night with his boys is essential for you two to maintain a healthy relationship.
NEWSFLASH: No matter how much he adores you, he doesn’t really want to be with you 24/7. A man needs time to grow, think and breathe.
He needs to make inappropriate comments, eat like a disgusting slob and do all of the things you find to be revolting. If he wants to go to the strip club, let him go to the strip club.
In fact, encourage him to go to the strip club, and while you’re at it, make plans to have drinks with your girls. You might be pleasantly surprised when he decides to spend his night with you, instead. Just for being so cool.
5. He liked that girl’s picture on Instagram.
You’re fuming. The betrayal! The debauchery! How could he do this to you? You’re about to screen shot the evidence and attach it to an angry text message to your boyfriend. Before you embarrass yourself and bring shame to the rest of the female population, I suggest you simmer down and look at the facts.
The “double-tap” mechanism on Instagram has become an automatic reflex for anyone who scrolls down their news feed, almost as a supportive gesture to friends who exhibit their attractive qualities on social media.
While many women might agree that it is disrespectful for their boyfriends to express approval of other women on Instagram via “likes,” consider the concept of “look but don’t touch.” It applies in the street, so why is it any different on Instagram?
Ultimately, he’s coming home to you. You’re the one with whom he’s spending his time and you’re the one about whom he’s constantly thinking. The time you spend exploring who likes what on Instagram could be spent far more productively. I mean, seriously, don’t you have better things to do?
Note: A special thanks to Danny Fisboin (@DannyFisboin) for giving me so much fantastic insight for this article. It was important for me to provide the women I directed this article towards with reliable advice from men, so the proper approaches to these situations described here also came from interviews with Daniel Safirstein (@dannysafi), Salomon Bagdadi (@don_salomon), and Guy Levy (@thtfitguy), who let me constantly annoy them with a million questions about the male brain in regards to relationships.
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