Can an empath have a normal relationship? (A complete guide)

In this article, we will answer the question ‘Can an empath have a normal relationship? ’. We will do that by first defining an empath and domains of relationships that an empath needs to be mindful of in relationships. This will follow up by a discussion of challenges empaths face in relationships. Finally, we will discuss tips for empaths to have a healthy relationship.  

Can an empath have a normal relationship? 

Yes. Empaths can have normal relationships. However, like all other relationships, they face their own set of challenges. The right kind of relationship can empower empaths and make them feel secure, loved, and grounded. Communication, setting boundaries, and tolerance is the key for empaths to have a loving and healthy relationship.

Empath

An empath refers to an individual who is sensitive and able to feel the emotional pain of other people.  People consider them to be a subset of Highly sensitive people (HSP). They have a good awareness of another person’s thoughts and feelings. They can put themselves in another person’s shoes and understand their perspective and worldview.It’s like empaths can hear the words and listen to the body language of other people including their tone of voice, posture, facial expressions, and even their silence. Such people are driven to help and heal others.  Usually,  they hold the other person’s feelings and help them process it together. 

Romantic Relationships

Being an empath can be exhausting and these people struggle in intimate relationships. They are driven to connect with their partners but they need space as well since being together all the time can be exhausting for them. Such people need to find a balance to have a healthy relationship. These people particularly are able to guess the feelings of other people and choose their partner accordingly. So, this intuition helps them find a good partner but it takes some time to do so.

Communication

Empaths have good skills of communication. Due to their self-awareness and awareness of other people, they can express themselves and openly talk about underlying emotions and thoughts. So, this plays as an advantage in a relationship. If empaths do communicate openly in their own romantic relationship and if they are with the right person, their partner will understand and such open communication will boost the relationship. However, if their partner is not right for them, it can backfire and they might label them as overly sensitive.

Self-care

Empaths need time to care for themself in order to survive the emotional strain of a romantic relationship. They frequently need to spend time alone and engage in activities like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, spending time in nature, etc. A romantic partner who understands this need of theirs will give them their due space and not get offended. 

Challenges in Relationships

Fear of intimacy

Empaths may avoid certain relationships because they fear intimacy and being emotionally overwhelmed. This is because they like their space be it emotional or physical. They recover best by having space to recharge from social, physical, and emotional overstimulation. However, they need to understand the need for space does not mean they have to be limited and not look for relationships. Rather, being in a relationship and having space, both are possible with the right kind of communication and boundary setting with their partner. 

Prioritizing partner’s needs

Since empaths are sensitive to the needs and emotions of other people, they may have a tendency to put people’s needs ahead of their own. Such prioritization especially with their partner in a romantic relationship can create an imbalance in their relationship. They may struggle with confrontation, asserting themself and suppress their own needs. So, in a way, they fall into the people-pleasing trap. Such self-sacrifice may eventually lead to unconscious feelings of resentment in them for their partner.  

Over investment in partner’s emotions

Empaths may take their bonding with their partner too far by carrying their emotions for them. This can especially drain them and leave no space for them to process their own emotions. To prevent that, they need to ask themself regularly about whose emotions they are carrying, in order to not fall into this trap. 

Over Tuning into partner

Empaths can easily tune in with their surroundings and their partners. However, doing so can leave them drained and overwhelmed. They need to learn to keep it in balance.

Trying to change partner

Empaths can sometimes feel they are responsible for fixing their partner especially if there are unresolved emotional traumas of their partner. They carry this burden around and try to change, manage, or contain their emotions in hopes of trying to help them grow/change for the better. However, they need to understand they are not responsible and it is not their job to do all this. They can only learn to be there for them and empathize. 

Tips for Relationships

Empaths may face challenges in romantic relationships due to their intuition and sensitivity to other people’s needs. Since they are loving and put others first before themself, this can affect their relationships negatively. They need to be able to learn to set boundaries, feel grounded, and secure. Following are a few tips they can utilize to have healthy  relationships:

  • Ask your partner for alone time to decompress and recharge after being emotionally overstimulated. Do it in a way that your partner understands and does not take it as a sign that you are trying to reject them or are pushing them away.
  • Limit your time spent on socialization. Decide with your partner mutually your limits and capacity for being around other people. Set aside a chunk dedicated to socialization that lies within your limits. When you feel that your limits are over, respectfully communicate and leave the space. 
  • Establish ground rules for physical space and comfort with your partner. This can include space in the bedroom, bathroom sharing rules, and overall rules for living including organization and routine.
  • Cater to one emotional issue at a time to avoid you and your partner from being overwhelmed. Set aside a time of the week or month where you can thoroughly discuss one issue, process it, and resolve it peacefully and effectively. Allow this the time and space it deserves instead of rushing through a lot of issues at once.
  • Try not to take things personally or react to comments subjectively. Learn to be able to put your emotions aside in order to get less triggered by daily conversation with your partner.
  • Ask your partner to come halfway in terms of compromise and appreciate them for their efforts. Avoid being the one who always makes compromises.
  • Establish a rule for yelling and loud voices in your relationship. This is to prevent any overstimulation and being overwhelmed by the noise. 
  • Avoid trying to fix your partner. Rather, accept them unconditionally with their flaws instead of trying to change them. Learn that it is not your job to resolve or carry their emotional burden for them.
  • Avoid being a people pleaser and set your boundaries. 
  • Cherish your peace and quiet time and ask your partner to give you space to be silent when you don’t feel like talking.
  • Find a partner who is sensitive and understands you at your level. 
  • Learn to be able to be on the receiving end once in a while and not feel like a burden on others. 
  • Learn to be compassionate to yourself. Recognize and validate your own suffering just like you do with others. 

FAQs: Can an empath have a normal relationship?

Can empaths have relationships?

Yes. Empaths can have loving and healthy relationships provided that they are with the right partner who understands their sensitivity towards emotions. Empaths can make loving, compassionate, and supportive partners with the right person.

Are most Empaths single?

No empaths can have healthy relationships and have partners. However, since they are sensitive, selfless, compassionate, and forgiving of others, they can often get overwhelmed by relationships and fear them. So, they prefer to be single. 

Why is it hard for empaths to find love?

It is hard for empaths to find love because they are always busy looking after someone else as it gives meaning to their life. A lot of people struggle to understand that and think they are emotional. This makes it difficult for empaths to find someone who understands and accepts them for who they are. 

Do empaths love differently?

Empaths love a bit differently from other people. They can understand and love people for who they are. They can even be supportive of them and assist them in processing their emotions. Despite that, even though they love people, they dislike being surrounded by them all the time since it can overwhelm them. They need time to process their emotions. 

Are Empaths rare?

Empathy is a rare gift that is given to very few people. Being able to empathize is a powerful and unique trait that not everyone has. 

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question can an empath have a healthy relationship?’. We found that Empaths can have normal relationships. However, like all other relationships, they face their own set of challenges. The right kind of relationship can empower empaths and make them feel secure, loved, and grounded. Communication, setting boundaries, and tolerance is the key for empaths to have a loving and healthy relationship.

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/problems-empaths-have-in-relationships

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