Analysis paralysis is when you’re unable to make a move because you just can’t decide what to do.
Overthinking. Perfectionism. Procrastination. Analysis paralysis shows up in many parts of life, including sex and relationships.
There’s a few things that are at work when analysis paralysis shows up:
- Lack of self-worth: Sometimes, we go into analysis paralysis because we have little faith in ourselves as we are, so we try to make the best plan to override our flaws with mechanics and process.
- Lack of discernment: Can you tell the difference between what you want, and what you think others want of you? Analysis paralysis can strike – hard – when we’re trying to foresee and predict people’s reactions and focusing on that, rather than on what we want.
- Lack of control: Analysis paralysis can put us in a bind where we just can’t decide and are waiting to figure out how to control the outcome. As in – “I’ll ask her out when I know, for sure, that it will pay off.”
What this all sums up to is this: analysis paralysis is a manifestation of Outcome Dependence.
When we hang our self-worth on the outcome of any given interaction, we set ourselves up to hurt.
Sometimes, you just want to know what to do to get the desired outcome.
What’s the recipe for getting what you want of life? Out of social interactions? Out of your career?
Outcome independence is the single most important skill you can develop to live a sexually confident life.
The good news is outcome independence is a skill you can develop. You build outcome independence within yourself rather than receive it from outside.
A Little Process is a Good Thing
It takes time to cultivate outcome independence. In the meantime, there are steps you can take in the field of sex and relationships that are more process-oriented.
Having information on best practices can help to support you while you build up outcome independence.
One simple and straightforward way to start practicing outcome independence will also help you increase your chances of getting a second date:
Ask for the Second Date at the End of the First
Asking for the second date at the end of the first is a little vulnerable. You share with your dating partner what you want – to see them again – and gives them the chance to respond with a no.
It’s a rejection risk.
At the same time, it’s exactly the kind of situation outcome independence applies to. When you ask for the second date, are you equally happy with a yes or a no?
If you get a no, you’ll be ok. It’s not a referendum on your value as a person. It’s your dating partner being honest with you, saving you time, and honoring themselves.
Being willing to risk asking for what you want is how you form relationships of all stripes – one night stands, summer romances, and lifetime partnerships – with someone that really wants to be with you.