Have you ever come across a situation where you can’t stop thinking about someone? It doesn’t matter even if you just met them.
If you find yourself constantly thinking about someone in a romantic way obsessively and the feeling doesn’t seem to go away, you might hope that this person is having similar feelings about you.
Accounts of infatuation often involve thoughts of the other person, loss of sleep, and preoccupation with the thought that “they are perfect for me”
It is common knowledge that based on a psychological fact when you think about someone a lot, it means they were thinking of you first.
Although the rules of attraction are understood, there haven’t been many studies to fully explain this phenomenon.
We know the feeling when your stomach flips or your heart skips a beat when you see that certain person, or hear their voice, and we also know how elated it feels when we receive a message or call from them.
Also read: Psychological facts about thinking of someone.
It’s easy to get caught up in the what-ifs and fantasies of your imagination if you can’t stop thinking about someone are they thinking about you? And come to your own conclusion, when you think about someone a lot, it means they were thinking about you first.
Feelings such as these are important and should not be taken lightly. You could easily waste your free time by constantly thinking about the person.
If you’re curious if they are thinking about you or realize how much time you are spending on them.
Let’s discuss this in more detail in a constructive way based on psychological research including my personal insights:
- If you can’t stop thinking about someone are they thinking about you?
- What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone?
- If someone is on your mind are you on theirs: psychology
- Why You Can’t Stop Thinking About Someone?
- Why do I keep thinking about someone from my past?
- What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone you barely know?
- When someone is heavily on your mind?
- Signs you can’t stop thinking about someone
- What to do when you can’t stop thinking about someone?
- How to stop thinking about someone?
If you can’t stop thinking about someone are they thinking about you?
If I can’t get someone off my mind are they thinking about me? There’s no scientific evidence that proves that when we think of a particular person, they’re thinking about us too.
However, there is some evidence that suggests our thoughts are linked to those around us.
Research has shown that some people can pick up on the thoughts and emotions of others in their presence through what is known as “mindsight.”
Cognitive empathy, or the ability to understand how others think and feel, can give people insight into whether or not someone is thinking about them.
There are a few key signs that a person is thinking about you. They may:
- Ask you for your opinion on something when it’s clear they’ve already come to a conclusion (they’re trying to know if your thoughts align with theirs)
- Ask you questions you know the answer to and have asked many times before (they want their own perspective on things to be validated through your own)
- Make comments about how similar your interests are (they’re trying to determine whether or not you’ll get along with each other)
We tend to think a lot about our past and present relationships. On top of that, if we are thinking about someone we like, who does not like us back, it can become a problem.
You see when you think about someone or something a lot, your brain makes it easy for you to continue thinking about them by making these thoughts easier to recall.
A study conducted by Brown University explains, this process well. When you repeatedly think of something (like a person), the related neural network becomes strengthened, making it easier to recall those thoughts and their associated emotions the next time they come up. This is called the ‘Easily Reactivated Memory Network.’
Also read: 10 Psychological reasons behind why you can’t stop thinking about someone.
The more often you think of something or someone the stronger the neural network gets, thus creating an obsession with whatever thought keeps reoccurring in your head.
So why do some people make us think so much while others don’t? Well on top of the cognitive processes mentioned above, it is also believed that there are different reasons why we might obsess over different people.
For instance, if we have an unmet desire for the other person then our brain will keep generating thoughts related to them until we act upon our desires (or forget about them).
Another reason could be your need for closure from that particular episode in your life which is causing you stress because you still haven’t found its resolution yet.
Studies suggest that this lack of closure causes our mind to keep revisiting those specific thoughts and emotions over and over again because it needs answers to all its unanswered questions before moving on from this stressful event in our lives.
Also read: 20 Psychological tricks to get someone to like you
What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone?
What does it mean when you can’t get someone off your mind?
According to psychology, when you can’t stop thinking about someone – if the nature of your obsession is constantly thinking about the person you love or are intimately related to, then it means that you are dealing with attachment anxiety, loneliness, self-esteem, need to belong and heightened sensitivity to social cues of rejection.
According to new research, love isn’t defined as a single emotion as before, but rather as a mix of fast-moving feelings that have different meanings depending on the individual’s experiences and personality.
Recently, neuroscientists have concentrated their research on its neural bases in an attempt to determine how various emotions combine to form love.
They found that romantic love activates specific brain regions, some of which are also activated during sexual arousal and in the reward system.
It simply means then your thoughts and emotions are more intense to the person you are deeply attached to or in love with. But less intense to your friends, acquaintances, and family.
Also read: 20+ Psychological facts about crushes and falling in love
If someone is on your mind are you on theirs: psychology
In reality, someone who is emotionally attached to you is often thinking about you, too. In fact, they may be thinking about you constantly but only if your feelings are mutual and you shared a deep relationship before.
So, when someone can’t stop thinking about you, it’s a sign that they are interested in you and also you are on their mind all the time.
Also read: How to not get attached to people? (Complete Guide)
Why You Can’t Stop Thinking About Someone?
In psychology, the process of thinking about a person is called “cognitive drifting.” It entails thinking about a person for a prolonged period of time, say, an hour. During this time, thoughts usually revolve around how the person looks and acts.
Mind drifting (or mental wandering, wandering mind, daydreaming, etc.) is a cognitive phenomenon in the brain wherein one’s attention becomes distracted from the task at hand and strays into unrelated thoughts
Cognitive drifting is related to daydreaming, though daydreaming involves thinking about a person only in brief moments.
It is also referred to as “mental time travel,” because it involves thinking about a person in the past or future. This is the reason why you can’t stop thinking about someone.
Also read: How to stop obsessive thoughts about a person?
Why do I keep thinking about someone from my past?
Researchers have found that cognitive drifting is more prevalent among people who have developed emotional attachments to people, and who tend to have stronger memories of people.
For example, psychologists have found that people who have experienced trauma are more likely to drift toward memories of traumatic events.
These researchers also found that people who drift toward memories of a person’s past are likely to behave very intensely and this can help strengthen emotional bonds.
People also tend to keep thinking of people they admire, because it helps them feel closer to that person.
For instance, thinking about your crush or favorite role model can trigger mind wandering because it makes the admired person seem almost perfect one ever existed.
Also read: What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone? (7 Psychological terms and tips to stop obsessive thinking)
So, you keep thinking about someone from your past because
1. The person you keep thinking about either caused you extreme trauma in the past or created extreme joy in your life.
2. You are not thinking about the person but you are missing those moments you had spent with him/her.
3. You keep thinking about that person because you are emotionally attached and so far you haven’t found any better person than him/her.
4. You have a fear of connecting with new people that’s the reason you keep thinking about some from the past and want to seek your past relationship because you are familiar and feel comfortable with that person.
Also read: Why can’t I stop thinking about someone? (According to psychology)
What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone you barely know?
Cognitive drifting can also happen among people who don’t know the person they’re drawn toward, but who share similar traits with the drifting person.
For example, consider people who have had romantic relationships with each other in the past, or people who have worked together on projects.
Psychology Professor Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad conducted a study asking subjects to think of someone they were attracted to.
Then, she measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to see if those subjects’ brains responded to the object of their affection.
What she found was that, as subjects were thinking about the object of their affection, their heart rates spiked. The brain’s response to the object was so strong that Holt-Lunstad was able to detect the heart activity.
Holt-Lunstad wasn’t surprised. Research indicates that our biological responses are triggered when we think about something, no matter what it is. The desire we feel for someone is biologically based.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that the person you’re talking to doesn’t think about you at all.
He or she might be caught up in the moment and unable to focus on you. There could also be another explanation for her behavior.
Even if you can’t stop thinking about someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she thinks about you.
For the vast majority of people, thinking about people is a way of making social connections — it’s how we make friendships. That’s why people do think a lot about their friends or close relationships.
When someone is heavily on your mind?
Someone is heavily on your mind when you are so preoccupied with another person. Sometimes you don’t even recognize it as the mind wandering happens subconsciously because of your unhealthy attachment style.
In another survey, when Dr. Farley offered 7,000 people an online test, he discovered that about 7 percent were preoccupied with another person and unable to think about anything else.
These people had low confidence in their ability to think about anything else,” he says. “They said, ‘Even if I don’t think about you, I think about you all the time.’”
That kind of obsession is relatively rare, but it happens. “It’s also possible for someone who’s obsessed with you to have thoughts about you that aren’t positive,” Dr. Farley says. “For example, he or she may think, ‘I hope she doesn’t think of me like that!’”
Of course, there are all kinds of ways to think about someone, even if you can’t stop thinking about them.
Maybe the person reminds you of someone you used to be close to, or maybe you’re motivated by their bad qualities.
“You can think about someone in many different ways,” Dr. Farley says. “How you think about someone has a lot to do with the type of relationship you have.”
So, the question is, if they’re thinking about you, are they thinking about you romantically?
Not necessarily. Opposites do attract, but most of us are far more attracted to those who are similar to us than we are to people who are wildly different.
This may be because our brains seek comfort and familiarity. Given that, it makes perfect sense that if my brain is thinking about someone romantically, it’s going to seek to identify that person as similar to me. And I’ve got plenty of built-in cues for how to do this.
For example, if we like someone, we’ll spend time trying to understand how they think and process information. We pay attention to the details of their appearance, their speech, and the way they hold themselves.
The similar cues we use when choosing a romantic partner are the same cues we use when choosing a friend, boss, or peer, so we tend to look for the same cues with romantic partners as well.
But just because someone is “like you” doesn’t mean they’re “your type.” Indeed, what makes someone attractive isn’t necessarily how similar they are to us but rather how dissimilar they are from the average man or woman.
This may be why so many people are obsessed with finding their ‘soul mate.’
Dating someone with similar tastes and values to our own is comforting, but dating someone very different can make us feel like we have something to offer. And, as we all know, variety is the spice of life.
So if you’re having trouble finding someone who’s similar to you, try to expand your horizons.
Also read: How to stop being emotionally attached to someone?
Signs you can’t stop thinking about someone
Yes, there is such a thing as thinking about someone too much. If you’re wondering if you suffer from this condition, here are some common signs:
When you’re obsessing over a person, it’s difficult to pay attention to other things. You might find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat when you talk to this person. You may have difficulty focusing on your work or school because your mind is filled with thoughts of them.
You might find yourself replaying the last time you saw this person in your mind over and over again.
Or maybe you keep going through conversations that you could have had with them or ways that you could have acted differently.
You may find yourself checking up on this person’s social media profiles several times each day, hoping for an update or new post by them.
You might feel an intense urge to know everything that they are doing and who they are spending their time with. This is especially true if they seem to be keeping their distance from you lately.
Also read: What is it called when you care too much about what others think?(10 tips on how to not care what people think)
What to do when you can’t stop thinking about someone?
Don’t assume that when you think about someone a lot, it means they were thinking about you first. If you can’t stop thinking about someone, it doesn’t always mean they are also thinking about you.
As per a study, there is no evidence that imagining oneself in another person’s shoes increases one’s ability to understand another’s thoughts.
In a series of experiments, researchers determined that putting oneself in another’s shoes did not help a person understand how the other feels more accurately.
In a review of a wide range of psychological literature, it was found that such thinking does not improve understanding another’s mind.
In fact, perspective-taking decreased accuracy overall while occasionally increasing confidence in judgment.
When we imagine another person’s perspective, we might feel like we’re making better judgments. However, this does not directly improve our ability to recognize how someone feels or thinks.
The results did not differ based on gender. It is very difficult for most men and women to put themselves in another’s shoes when trying to guess their perspective.
Even when their insights were incorrect, they kept a sense of self-confidence in their predictions.
So, if you don’t know what to do if you can’t get someone out of your head, then my advice to you is, either stop thinking about someone constantly or bring courage to yourself and approach them by expressing your thoughts and feelings for them.
Only this way, you can bridge the gap between both of your interpretations and put an end to your anxiety.
Also read: When you feel a connection with someone do they feel it too?
How to stop thinking about someone?
Here are some helpful tips you need to do if you can’t stop thinking about someone.
1. Don’t assume, your thoughts are not actual facts. Keep that in mind always.
2. Talk to the person directly so that most of your assumptions will become clear. And you can have a better understanding of the true situation.
If they have similar thoughts or feelings for you then plan for a series of dates to know each other better. Otherwise walk away from them permanently.
3. Divert your mind by focusing on the things you value and the people you care about. Especially take care of your body, mind, and health. Focus on your life and become better at your perspectives.
So that similar-minded people eventually encounter in your life, if you keep improving yourself.
4. Be optimistic about the future. Just realize that time is a very crucial and limited resource anyone can have.
The time you just simply wasted thinking of someone you can’t have will not serve you at all. So, instead of making yourself stuck in the past, think about a better future. And use your time wisely.
5. Take some help from your friends, family, or an expert to deal with the issues. If your thoughts are very obsessive and completely destructive then they will cause you serious mental health issues.
Recognize your kind attachment very soon and receive some help from professionals. That way they will guide you to stop thinking about someone you can’t have.
Recommended reading for you: What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone you barely know?