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What Does It Mean When You Can’t Stop Thinking About Someone?

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When you can’t stop thinking about someone, it can quickly become annoying. Whether you are thinking about a crush or really dislike your boss, these thoughts can keep reappearing when you least expect them. Because you think about the person so much, they hold an out-sized hold on your subconscious mind and may reappear in your dreams as well. From thinking about them constantly through the day to dreaming about them at night, you need to find a way to escape from these constant, reoccurring thoughts.

What Does It Mean When You Can’t Stop Thinking About Someone?

If the person that you are thinking about is your crush, then it probably means that you are interested in them. Chemical changes occur in your brain when you start to fall for a crush. These changes mean that you are thinking about them constantly and feel nervous when you are around them. Even if your crush does not like you back, it does not stop your thoughts from turning to them all the time.

What If You Don’t Like That Person?

In some cases, you can’t stop thinking about someone because you dislike them. For many people, this is a boss or a family member that just annoys you. Everything that they do just reminds you over and over again that you dislike them. Your mind goes into a frustration circle where it keeps returning to the detail that bothered you so much. Unfortunately, this type of thought pattern can become unhealthy. Before long, your constant thoughts about the person become obsessive and you can’t think about anything else.

Ways to Stop Obsessive Thoughts

When you can’t stop thinking about someone, then you may have a problem with obsessive thoughts. This type of problem is often addressed with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy helps you to naturally channel your thoughts and change your normal behaviors.

One technique that is used is to imagine a large movie screen. On that screen, project the person or activity that you continue to think about all the time. As you think about this stressful image, suddenly tell yourself stop or have someone else say stop. This interrupts your thought patterns briefly. Doing it just once is not enough though. You need to keep doing the same process multiple times until you automatically want to say the word “stop” when you reach a certain point in your thoughts. Once you can do this successfully, you can start using the same technique in your daily life to get yourself to stop thinking about the one person constantly.

Do Constant Thoughts Mean That You Love That Person?

In some cases, thinking about someone all of the time means that you have some type of attraction to them. This is not always the case though. There are many reasons why you could find yourself stuck in thoughts of someone else. In some cases, you may even hate the person.

Other reasons why you cannot stop thinking of someone is because you are attracted to them, have fallen in love or hate them. They could be your mentor, so you think about them a lot. It is also possible that that person is just especially funny or interesting, so you think about them all of the time.

You are the best person to decide what these constant thoughts mean. If you feel like you have fallen for them, then you may be in love or have a crush on them. If you feel hurt when they are absent or wish that you could be around them all of the time, then your thoughts may be due to a crush. If you feel repulsed by the thoughts, then they may be due to a deep-seated hatred or dislike of the person. By analyzing the thoughts and how you feel, you can figure out what is potentially causing these thoughts to occur.

This person cold also just be someone who helps you out or who treats you like family. They could be someone who changes your life or motivates you to succeed. It is also possible that the person just appeared in the dream, and the dream caused you to think about them constantly. In some cases, you don’t even know who the person is. They could have been in the dream randomly, so you don’t know if they even exist in the real world.

If you dislike thinking about this person all the time, try picking up a hobby. Staying busy will help your thoughts turn to other, more useful topics. Watch TED talks, read a book or pick up a new hobby. Writing in a journal each day can also help you work through your thoughts and figure out what is going on. With enough time, these thoughts will eventually go away.

631 COMMENTS

  1. I am a 66 year old male and have been single all my life. I lost my mother 21 years ago to cancer. We used to go camping every weekend with other family members and after she passed on, everyone went elsewhere. I had this crush on a 2nd cousin 39 years ago and the family thought it was wrong.So now I live and work in a hotel and our wait staff are these high school, college girls. Some whom I’m very fond of. There is one that is from the cezch republic and this will be her last year here in the usa. We go out for dinner, email each other quite often, only thing is, she is 25. There is another one who struck me as on a scale of 1 to 10 is a 10 plus and she is a junior in high school. I’ve been to her basket ball games, helped her when she works at the hotel,her school fund raising,I think about her quite often. There a few that I’m attracted to. This one that I’m fond of is 17. I would never have sex or touch any of these girls and they come to me for advice when they need it only because I’ve been in the business over 30 years. I have never been married,had one relationship that ended in disaster. So I am really very careful when I’m around these young girls. Most people think of me around these girls think that I’m ok. At their basket ball game I try to coach them, cheer them on, give them support. But this one girl, she must work out, because it shows and I think about her often. The other one is about the best basketball player that I’ve seen in years and a great waitress.

    • Your feelings are normal, and it seems as though your current behaviors are appropriate. Do not attempt to maintain a romantic relationship with anyone who is not an adult. When they become adults, determine if you believe your actions would be appropriate. If they choose to enter into a consensual relationship with you as adults, then the relationship is acceptable. Continue to share your kindness and compassion with them. However, you should be aware that they may not want to nourish a romantic relationship with you, and they may be uncertain about your behaviors if you attempt to maintain a romantic relationship with them. Make a decision about what you want for your future. Have a great day, Clyde!

  2. I lately started to think of someone quite often. This person is basically a colleague of mine. When I first knew them we were just as normal people and treated each other nicely like every colleagues do. We used to be in a separate places at first (I shared a place with their romantic partner who eventually quit less than one year after we started working together). We met the most when we drove away for outdoor activities with other colleagues. Then something happened and we had to share a work place for almost a year and a half. During this time I started to notice how badly this person is treating me. They would exploit every chance to hurt and anoy me their best. I even started to leave my place to escape thier horrible attitude towards me. I couldn’t understand why would someone be so mean to another with no logical reason for it. Anyway, after one year I had to leave to another work place for six months. I was really feeling pretty much good to be away for too long from this person and I was wishing if we could finally return to our normal previous places when I come back. (I have to mention that I held my behavior towards them as normal as it could be during that time. It was very challenging and difficult, especially that I am a short-tempered person but I managed to be patient and quiet). During my leave I had to contact with them once. It was through email to ask for their expertise in some issue for someone I know (honestly I wouldn’t contact them it, if it was for me). However, I wasn’t expecting for them to reply to me but they did with a positive response. Then when I got back it was for short, almost a week before I left again for vacation. I met them once and I was hoping not to see them at all, but they were there and I totally ignored them. I admit that I noticed they were acting normally as when we first met but it wasn’t really important to me. When I got back from the vacation they were away for work. This was such a relief for me though I got to see what they have done to my space while I was absent! However, we moved back to our old place and this time we become in separate places as well but we still share the same floor. A month later they came back. I was super busy so I didn’t meet them a lot. Anyway, I was very busy for almost 4 months that I couldn’t even notice anything unless for once when they acted carefully about something that regarding me. Then I started to notice a change in their attitude towards me. I wouldn’t say better but maybe they were a bit kinder and careful than they used to be. I was wondering what happened to them?? I thought maybe they hated it when I shared the place with them. I really couldn’t tell!
    Sometime after, we had to do some work together, it lasted for two days. In fact, I avoided being with them unless for necessity in the first day. Nevertheless, I had a sense that this person is miserable inside. We finished very late that day and we had to meet again less than eight hours apart and before sunrise next day. During that night I thought about them. I don’t know why I felt something strange about them. I felt they are so much burden with tiredness that’s unseen to others, I even felt a pity on them in my heart! The next day everything went well. I was unconsciously watching them. I guess I was trying to figure out who they really are?! Usually, this person is so much cynical almost about everything and everyone, they tend to be rough and nasty and they would laugh at everything very laud. I admit; I disliked them too much that I was wondering what does their romantic partner sees to hold on to them?! All I was seeing is a monster and in better cases a destructive person! However, the time passed that day and I was all about watching them in my mind while I was working. They seemed to me very sad and broken inside. I even out of sudden wondered if they ever had a family or someone who they really care about?! I think I started to re-evaluate them and my thoughts about them all that time. Because they were a great proportion of my upsetting mode through thier insensitive behavior. I was complaining to my family and friends about them. Now I am thinking differently and intensively about them I don’t know why? I even started to give them an excuse for their bad behavior, although I feel disgust when I think of it. I don’t know if they are still in good relation with their partner and I don’t honestly care. I failed to mention that they have a very nice dog that I so much like and he likes me in return. He likes to come and sit under my table and relax by my feet. I missed him so much when I was away. And always thought that his owner can’t break this bond between us because it’s pure. I don’t know how must I translate all this?! And I can’t understand why I even bother myself thinking about it!

    • Your relationships and thoughts are manifestations of the interactions and feelings that you have. You should take this time to make a decision about what you want for your future. Determine what you believe is appropriate or viable. You may want to allow people to fade from your life that bring you stress or negative emotions. It could be beneficial to focus your emotional energy elsewhere at this time. Ensure that you share your kindness and compassion at all times. Have a great day, Star!

  3. I am recently on a work trip and always seem to run into this particular girl. It is a long trip and will be gone several months. I didn’t think much at first, until she ran into me while I was working on a job site. Later that day, I went to the gym to relieve the stress from the day and she was in the gym as well. I mustered up the courage and had a small conversation. I asked the questions, mainly, and politely introduced myself. She did the same and shook my hand. I was just finishing my workout and decided to go grab some food. She bid me a good night, to which I replied the same. I saw her again in passing at work and said “good morning” to her, now finally a bit more confident. I also saw her during lunch, although she was with some co-workers. It seems that no matter where I go, we always seem to run into each other someway, somehow. Ever since that small conversation, I can’t stop thinking about her. Just the small little details I had learned made me like her that much more! I don’t want to come off as pushy, nor do I want to seem like that “creepy guy”. I’d love to be friends, and would even enjoy the occasional conversation here and there, but I’m not sure if she reciprocates. What should I do?

    • The two of you run into each other often. It is possible that you are in her thoughts the same way that she is in yours. Take this time to make a decision about what you want for your future. If you believe that it would be appropriate to speak with her about your thoughts and feelings, then do so. Give him an opportunity to share herself with you as well. Have a great day, Joe!

  4. I was on this app and I found this guy who seems to be so nice. We started to chat for like six days and then he decided to come to my work place and to see each other in person and I was nervous. I had to meet him after my break to have a proper conversation with him,so we decided to go out and have a cup of coffee. He was so gentle. He took care of me and asked if I needed anything but then he was asking me questions like my personal life and stuff. Out of nowhere he begins to touch me and I felt it was weird but still hold still. And when he dropped me off to my work place,he texted me saying that I looked the most beautiful in person. When I got back home we texted so so late that the time was like 2 till 4 am and all we talked about was sexual stuff which I clearly fell uncomfortable and I really doubted his intentions. But lately I started to think about this person so much that I can’t even focus at my work and dream about him though i don’t wanna think cause I’m scared.. Scared of being hurt. To be frank with you I haven’t dated anyone in my life. I’m 23 years old and i never dated anyone. So I’m scared if I started to date this guy I might be hurt and that want my experience with that person whom I think I cared about is ruined. What do you think I should so?!

    • It is clear that this person is attracted to you. His behaviors seem to be indications that he is interested in maintaining a physical relationship with you. These feelings are normal for adults. Being interested in sex does not mean that he doesn’t care about you. Make a decision about what you want for your future. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Nourish your relationship by spending additional time with him in person. Have a great day, Ekra!

  5. Just a brief introduction before i move on to tell what’s bothering me.
    I am 24 years old, doing job and will be applying for MBA this year. I am engaged to a person and she sleeps early. Whenever I get free in these hours when she is sleeping, I think a lot about her. I also think that there is something continuously going behind my mind about her, thoughts like breaking up with her, ending everything, thoughts like tell her to give me some time but in real I don’t want these things for us. I love her, I really do but i just can’t control such excessive thoughts. Is it due to my insecurities? Insecurities like whether I am going to get admission in my choice of university or not? because our marriage is heavily dependent on my MBA. Once I will do my MBA, only then I will marry her. I don’t know now what’s bothering me the most. Can you help me?

    • It is clear that you are weighing your thoughts regarding your relationship and your education. Her sleeping schedule is her own. This is a quality of hers that you will have to either accept or not accept. Make a decision about the future of this relationship and about your education. Speak with her about your thoughts and feelings. If you want to nourish this relationship, then spend additional time with her in person. Have a great day, Stranger!

  6. Thanks for your quick reply and thanks for being so helpful. Your advise really hit me off but the fact is that meet her in person is very difficult due to our hectic job routine. We hardly find time to meet each other due to both our scheduling. But its okay i totally understand her schedule and respect it. Other thing is that I have made a decision that after my MBA we will get married and she is fine with it too, but sometimes while discussing generally about our marriage she says some words which hit me really bad and then these thoughts start coming. I really can’t talk about such thoughts to her because then she will be panicked and apologizing , I want her to be relaxed and happy.

    • You clearly care for your partner. It seems as though the two of you need to make a decision about the future. If you think that it would be appropriate to speak with her, then do so. If not, then give her time to herself. Regardless of your decision, ensure that you share your kindness and compassion at all times. Have a great day, Stranger!

  7. Hello. Am dating this guy and I can’t seem to get him out of my mind. He’s always in my mind 24/7. First thing in my mind when I wake up and last thing of my mind before I sleep. I dnt think this is normal. He isn’t my first boyfriend but the first to occupy my thoughts everyday every minute and every seconds. How do I free my self from this thought? Am getting scared of how I am gona live if we break up. I don’t trust him these days.

    • You are dating this person, so it is reasonable that you are thinking about him. If you are interested in focusing your thoughts elsewhere, then make the decision to do so. You will find great benefit in sharing your kindness and compassion with everyone in your life. Nourish your relationship with your partner by spending additional time with him inperson. Have a great day, harry!

  8. I recently started working out a gym in a group setting. There is one specific coach that is constantly telling me how great I’m doing and how far I’ve come in such a short time. I constantly think about our interactions and how anti-social I’ve been. When I think about her and the interactions my anxiety gets really bad. I can’t decipher what this anxiety stims from. Not sure if its the fact that she makes me nervous or it’s a crush (which I identify as straight (into guys)), or it’s just an admiration that someone is actually complementing me when I am not used to it.

    • This coach is treating you in a positive manner. Her behaviors may simply be reflections of her thoughts regarding your behaviors. She may be attracted to you. You feel grateful for her positive attention. It is possible that you want to maintain a social relationship with her, or you may be attracted to her. Make a decision about what you want for the future of this relationship, and determine what is viable and appropriate. Speak with her about your thoughts and feelings, and nourish this relationship by spending additional time with her in person. Have a great day, Anxious!

  9. I’m travelling to my work everyday in a bus. One guy also place and sits in the opposite seat to face towards me. What does that mean?
    But I don’t know who is that guy personally. Now a days I always thinks about him. Everyday I search for him in bus and if he is not around I feel some kind of disappointed. I wanted to speak to him, but I’m nervous. Wanted to know what he is thinking of me whether liking me or hates me?
    Your answer could help me a lot.

    • It is possible that he likes sitting at that location. It is possible that he is interested in maintaining a relationship with you. It seems that you need to make a decision about what you want for the future of this relationship. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Give him an opportunity to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, Gowda!

  10. I’m travelling to my work everyday in a bus. One guy also comes in the same bus. I used to stare at him while travelling as I cannot avoid this. He also stares at me couple of times. One day when I get seated in his back seat, He saw me and changed his seat and sits in the opposite seat to face towards me. What does that mean?
    But I don’t know who is that guy personally. Now a days I always thinks about him. Everyday I search for him in bus and if he is not around I feel some kind of disappointed. I wanted to speak to him, but I’m nervous. Wanted to know what he is thinking of me whether likes me or hates ?

    • It is possible that he likes sitting at that location. It is possible that he is interested in maintaining a relationship with you. It seems that you need to make a decision about what you want for the future of this relationship. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Give him an opportunity to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, Gowda!

  11. I’m 22 and I had a crush on a teacher in high school it’s been 6/7 years since I left I didn’t think of them once since I left and out the blue iv been thinking of them constantly I’m even dreaming of them are they thinking of me ? What does this mean ?

    • Unlikely. Your dreams include many of the memories and experiences you have been through. Some of the people of your past will only naturally appear again in the present, especially if you once had strong feelings for them. While it would be nice if he was thinking about you, it is unfortunately just a superstition.

  12. Hello, I’m worried I have an unhealthy obsession. I’m married and this man at my church who is also married started looking at me a lot about a year ago. We rarely talk so it’s just a hello in passing usually. A few months ago, we had a moment. We were passing each other with no one else around, and we had very prolonged eye contact. I had started to get turned on at how he seemed to want me and I was feeling confident and we just kept staring into each other’s eyes. It was the sexiest moment I’ve ever had. He was very flustered the next few weeks, as was I, we were even trying hard to avoid each other, but eventually we had to look and say hi as we passed in the hall. I was so flustered. Then as weeks went by, we had a few great prolonged eye gazing and smiles at each other. At this point, I’m getting super nervous before church, and I think of him 24/7. It is like a drug to me. I’m addicted to these intense feel good hormones flooding my body. I’ve never wanted anyone so badly. But now, ever since I did one move of requesting him on Facebook, he seems to be doing everything in his power to look away. He just stares at the ground or even awkwardly up at the ceiling. Why does this hurt me so much when he is just protecting his marriage and choosing the right. I am ashamed at my desires. Anyway, how do I stop this insanity?! I think my problem is a big part of me doesn’t even want this to stop! And yet it’s taking over my life. I’m feeling tortured. I am so close to telling him I want to see him and talk but I know how ridiculous and inappropriate that would be! I’m going to try this method of saying stop over and over and hope it works. It’s just I have to keep seeing him. Eventually we’ll be alone again and have to look at each other and say hello. So it’s this never ending anticipation and building up of sexual tension. I feel like if we actually talked and even kissed, for me, I’d probably lose interest. I think it’s the mystery, the secret, the naughty that is making it so exciting. Everything else is boring compared to it.

    • You are probably right–and it’s one of the reasons that affairs rarely work out if the spouses leave. Once the forbidden, secretive nature of the relationship is gone, the relationship itself falls apart. I don’t know of any way of turning off a physical attraction, but I would definitely work on ignoring these feelings as much as possible.

  13. So i have beeen dating this guy for 3 years and he started trearting and doing things for me that no one else had ever done. In six months we had done so much ansd sex was unimaginable and very passionate. After two years i could see a change in his behavior towarda me. The passion was no longer there. I think about him all the time. I found myself wanting things to be the way they used to be. Even when he says harsh things i find myself outweghing the bad with the good. His mom passed 4 mounths ago and he has been working and sleeping like crazy. We have not been intimate in 3 mounths and I cant get him off of my mind. I think of him all of the time. Even at work. I want to see hom. I get really angry with him. Next, i tell myself its okay, let him grieve. I cant stop wondering why he chooses to seperate himself from me when in hard times i feel like he would need me to be there the most. I try thinking and doing other things but i fear if i take my mind off him long enough i am eventually going to move on. Heck its early in the morning and i’m on this web site. I think about him when i go to bed and when i wake up in the morning.

    • It seems as though you need to make a decision about what you want. His behaviors seem to be neglectful and abusive. His behaviors may become more frequent and worse. His behaviors may be related to the death of his mother. Share your kindness and compassion with him, but if he treats you poorly, then do not maintain a relationship with him. Have a great day, Erika!

  14. I kept seeing this girl in college and always thought she was in some different way attractive to me, not the usual hormone induced stuff. I never talked to her during the year, up until the very last day. She was sitting by a river just outside of the college campus and I went there and asked for a cigarette, sat down next to to her and had a short conversation. During the conversation I felt like she has a similar mentality to mine, I don’t know if she felt analogous feeling but she talked to me pretty openly. Although I always thought she’s pretty cute, the brief moment made me feel a lot of empathy as I sensed this natural innocence from her. I am afraid I will not see her anymore as this was my last year in college, but not hers. I don’t know, I just feel like I want to see her again, I didn’t ask for number as I thought I would see her at least once more.

    Now I am stuck with thoughts about her in my head imagining what I could find out about her with the disappointing feeling that I won’t probably see her anymore. I could probably come in to college next year on few days but don’t know how awkward that would be.

    • You feel a strong social and emotional relationship with her. Determine if this relationship is viable. If not, then allow thoughts of her to fade, and focus your emotional energy elsewhere. If you see her again in person, then speak with her about your thoughts and feelings. Share your kindness and compassion at all times, as this will draw positive people and energy toward you. Have a great day, Marty!

  15. I started taking to this guy. He seemed to be very nice person.He treated me very nicely Everytime I met him.we went for coffee like for two times. He shared almost everything about him. He used to text me everyday. I used to respond to his text very lately. I was so sure he likes me but I had no any feelings for him until he stopped talking to me. These days we don’t talk like before and it’s killing me.i can’t stop thinking about him. I texted him like a week ago and he hadn’t responded.i am going crazy. I can’t concentrate and I don’t know what should I do. I do is think about him all day and check my phone if he has replied my text or not😔

    • The two of you have spoken recently. You texted him a week ago, but he chose to not respond. It seems like he may be focusing his emotional energy elsewhere. Determine if you believe that it would be appropriate to reach out to him at this time. Either send him another message at this time, or allow thoughts of him to fade. Have a great day, Deepika!

  16. i feel attracted toward one of my friend. I don’t know she likes me or not but she admits that i am her only frined who never left her in hard times. Nowadays i am feeling much for her and i think about her all day even in my last dream. I am literally waiting for her message all day. Whenever i give her she make me wait or ignore it. It hurts me very much. It doesn’t stop me to check on her. i am not sending her message yet i am checking she is in online or not. If i saw her online and she is not giving me message i feel sad even depressed. Now i want to get out of it. Should i tell her how i feel for her or i should try to become normal again?

    • The two of you share a strong social relationship and history. You are waiting for her to message you, but she likely does not know that you want waiting for her. It is possible that she shares similar feelings for you. She may be interested in maintaining a relationship with you. Make a decision about what you want for the future of this relationship. Speak with her about your thoughts and feelings. Nourish this relationship by spending additional time with her in person. Have a great day, Irfan!

  17. I am 49 working in Govt. office. 1 month back a female colleague (42) working with me since last 14 years transferred to other office. There is no that type of any attraction between us which is called love or something etc. I was shocked on her transfer because we were working since last 14 years and since last one month I am continuously thinking about her, almost all time. Still we are in touch over phone/whatsapp on official topic and other general topic.
    Can anyone suggest any idea of not thinking her all time ?

    • It is normal to think about someone all of the time if you spent years working with them, talking all the time and generally thinking about them. You have clearly developed a friendship over your many years of working together, so it only makes sense that you would think about her frequently. You definitely don’t have to be in love with someone to think about them or have a friendship with them. Instead of trying to get rid of those thoughts, why don’t you try keeping this friendship going instead?

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