Why Empathic People Struggle With Romantic Relationships

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Let’s face it, everyone wants a soul mate. Empathic people, however, have a unique struggle in this area.

At birth, we started to utilize our emotions, and every single one of us were allotted the same amount. But there were variances, not in the types and quantities of these emotions, but in the way we feel them. For some of us, empathic people to be exact, our emotions react much stronger than others, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.

What is an empath?

The empath is someone who understands the unique feelings of another individual. In fact, they feel the emotions as if these were their own, grieving, being jubilant or furious in relation to whatever their friend or loved one is going through. Clear as mud? Nah, it’s pretty simple, actually.

The empath can sense when something is wrong, even long before their partner is able to sense their own troubles. This is truly a fascinating, almost clairvoyant talent possessed by the empath.

Romance, what’s in the cards for the empath?

Empathic people have a rather difficult time when it comes to romantic relationships. I find it intriguing how two empaths with mental scars get together, for instance, and have a hard time getting past feeling one another’s hidden pains and issues, as with my situation sometimes.

I have literally spent three hours arguing with my empathic counterpart about how I knew something was wrong with him, only to have him say he knew I was upset with him….sigh, the compassion! Trust me, when two get together, it can be an endless “feeling fest”. But I’m not getting sidetracked with that today.

The real issue here is…

Do you want to know why empathic people have unique struggles? Here are a few examples of why you struggle to build a romantic relationship with your empathic soulmate. Try not to get an emotional sugar rush reading these things.

An empath will scare the crap out of you!

Okay, when I met Mr. Empathy, I was, at first, excited. Then a week later, I was freaking out. An empath, being so sure of what they are feeling, will express these feelings much faster than others. You see, others doubt, they second guess the feelings they have and try to understand them through various circumstances. The empath feels and then proclaims these emotions easily.

When he said he loved me, I thought he had lost his mind. After all, we were only together a week or two. This struggle is real because the empath knows what he is feeling and despite my fears of this strong admission, he has words that are secure in his heart. There is nothing and no one that can change his mind about how he feels. It’s fascinating, but this struggle can end romantic relationships before they even start….well, sometimes.

The empath is moody

A romantic relationship is made difficult by the moodiness of empathic people. Because there are such strong emotions involved with the empath, feelings of anger and happiness will be heightened, sometimes to the point of being out of control. On many occasions, the feelings coursing through the body and mind of the empath won’t even be their own.

They have managed to absorb a bit too much of their loved ones energies. This, in turn, can then be targeted back to the original owner. It seems unfair that blame should fall upon the empath due to their moody demeanor, but unfortunately, this is the case most times.

Inconsistency can cause additional struggles

Empaths really hate it when what you say doesn’t match what you do, or more importantly, what you feel, since empaths pick up on that stuff. So, even though I might be a little confused about my self-categorization, I must be, at least partially empathic because I hate when I have to call “bullshit” on friends and loved ones. I even cut to the chase now-a-days, and look them in the eye and say,

“I know you’re lying, so cut the crap!”



In romantic relationships, being as couples are in close quarters most of the time, they will pick up on every little blip or smudge on the surface of loyalty and honestly. Empathic people will call out your lie and make sure you are living consistently when it comes to your relationship. This can be hard to deal with on both sides.

Empaths can feel complacency

You know that plateau that’s reached at a certain point in the relationship, yeah, the empath senses it pretty quickly. There is a point during a new relationship where things start to taper off and settle in a sort of calm flat land, not that it’s gone bad or anything, it’s just leveled. An empath will notice this change right away and sometimes panic. They may even stir up a little trouble just to get the intensity back.

Opposite partners, not able to detect this leveling off, will find the empath strange for feeling this way, when in truth it’s a gift that’s gone slightly awry. Some empaths are able to see the change and accept it for what it really is, just a new level or milestone. Instead, some empathic people struggle with losing a bit of fire from the beginning of once intense relationship.

There is no giving up for the empath

Empaths do not like to break up, divorce or dissolve romantic relationships, even if sometimes this might be the best option. Empathic people always see potential in their mates, because they feel the deep frustration and hardships involved in a marriage or other union.

The struggle here is when empaths marry those who aren’t so in touch with their feelings, and when divorce is mentioned, parties will be at odds on what to do. As you know, the empath will want to hold it together no matter what. Now just imagine, there could be a more compatible partner out there for the empath, but they may never know because they keep trying to revive what’s lost.

Empaths hate being alone but love their own space

What a conundrum, I say, that empaths love having their own space but hate to be alone. Although this is a strange mindset, it makes sense if you analyze it correctly. The empath loves being in love and will spend loads of time cuddling and kissing, but when they need their space, you better let them have it.



An empath will become even more emotional if they cannot partake in important personal time, which makes sense. They need to energize and recuperate from life’s stressful decision-making and conflicts. My empath is strange, he loves intimacy and is clingy as all get out. But, when it comes to zoning out, I have to give him a day on his own, else the moody monster will surface.

They just aren’t taken seriously enough, are they?

The empath has some ideas that may seem far-fetched, but if you give them space and the benefit of the doubt, they will show you just how much their own word means to them. This can be a struggle in romantic relationships because, unfortunately, most people say things and only do about 40% of what they say.

We have become accustomed to only believing half or less than half of what people tell us, especially in romantic relationships. Ever heard your partner say, “I’m going to buy you a new coat.” Or “Let me write that story, I can write too.”, and not believed a single word of what they say because everyone who came before them talked big game and didn’t show up?

Okay, I know that was a mouthful, but do you get my drift? Well, the empath will tell you that they can do something, and they really can do that thing, and guess what, they will too! As for my empath, he bought me a nice coat, and, ahem, he really can write too. I bet it hurts when I don’t believe him.

Always take your empathic friend, family member, and most definitely romantic partner seriously. Empaths are beautiful and powerful people who can only add good things to your life. They will struggle, yes indeed they will, but they will also prevail over many adversities that others just couldn’t handle.

So why do empathic people suffer so much with romantic relationships, you may ask? It’s because the empath is the realest person you will ever meet and quite possible that knight in shiny armor you heard about as a child. In our messed-up world, this brings struggles for the pure at heart. There are other struggles for those who are empathic, but we can cover that on another day. For now, let’s focus a little on the positive aspects.

If you’re in love with an empath, better keep him. Just saying…

By Sherrie S.

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By |2017-11-18T15:22:29+00:00May 31st, 2017|Categories: Lifestyle, Relationships, Relationships & Social Life|Tags: , , , |14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Mark November 21, 2017 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Fantastic article..I am an Empath and everything you’ve written here describes me to a tee!!

  2. Emperor December 12, 2017 at 1:59 am - Reply

    Empaths can feel the emotions of others better than they can feel themselves.
    Great article though I feel as one myself he didn’t so much feel that love for you but more he knew you felt the exact same way about him but didn’t know when, where and how to say that he read it intuitively and that’s what spooks most. The how in gods name did you know the part. That’s the bit I called a bluff on because you felt it yourself and he knew.

  3. Stalin blaze January 29, 2018 at 8:24 am - Reply

    NO one was born as empath …Empaths learn and understand quickly..Most of them struggle in romantic relationship because they are deep love feeling and they see all in love and they feel they can change this world by love and peace ..love can attract everything so narcissistic people attracted too, empathy of a emphatic people trying to change they but most of the narcissistic won’t change ever

  4. Teapot March 6, 2018 at 10:43 am - Reply

    That’s really very accurate. I want just to add a comment about ‘finding the more compatible partner. Empaths don’t care about this. They are those rare romantic people who believe that the only right way is to follow their heart. They want to be with those they love. They are not seeking for comfort. This is not the main thing for them. The main thing is love, the truth and being loyal to their own heart. Empaths don’t need a relationship in the name of the relationship.

    This is a hard path in the society where unconditional romantic love can be seeing almost as a mental disorder. Lots of people love to watch beautiful love melodrama movies..But when they meet something that intense in real life, they often freak out and don’t know how to deal with this. But for an empath, there is no line between reality and those films… They believe that the true love is exactly like this and for them it really feels that way.

  5. Sunkanmi March 7, 2018 at 4:15 am - Reply

    Thanks for these words sis, indeed they bear truth.

  6. Maru March 18, 2018 at 8:37 am - Reply

    I am dating a Empath now for the last 4 weeks (well 32 days but who is counting) From the moment we started messaging i felt something inside my soul that i had never felt before..it was like a thousand butterflies had entered my body with viles of adrenaline!
    She explained to me on the first messaging day she is an Empath (i had to google this) So i figured that was why i felt the way i do like never before.
    This Angelic lady has the most beautiful mind and soul, it was 3 weeks before we physically met but when we did im sure a parts of my soul left my body and transferred to her.
    Understanding an Empath persons gift hasn’t been that difficult probably because im a laid back calm loving individual however after reading this article their are a couple of things i need to remember one of those is….when she needs to recharge leave her be (actually learnt that one yesterday)
    My Anglelic Lady is actually the mose realest person have ever met, by letting time take its natural course hopefully her heart will uncage itself to me.
    Just thought I’d share 🙂
    Great article BTW.

    • MrSatoV December 4, 2018 at 8:40 am - Reply

      Actually it’s people like you (and me) who are easy for empaths to be with. Three things I think are most important are 100% honesty, good communicator, and being “laid back/calm”. You have to just accept their nature and needs, and not give them negative feelings often. Yes, time apart is one of the hardest things for us non-empaths to accept and deal with. But once you learn to make use of that time yourself, and understand that it’s good for BOTH of you, it’s all good.

  7. Amber March 28, 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    I don’t feel like I am the realest person ever, but that may be my modesty showing! Lol!
    I actually am so frustrated with my relationships anymore that I found this article researching this morning. I heavily identify with it. Especially feeling complacency, and I don’t intend to stir up trouble, but I do because I freak out when I feel that!
    All in all, I feel 😉 that the best decision for me may be to be by myself. I don’t really know others strongly like me and my current partner and all others have had an extremely hard time understanding. Thank you for the boost today, I needed that ❤

    • MrSatoV December 4, 2018 at 8:51 am - Reply

      Amber, it’s common for empaths to come to the conclusion that they just can’t have long term relationships. But don’t give up. I’m a non-empath person but am in a long term relationship with an empath. My daughter is also a very strong empath. I’m 51 and this is my 2nd relationship with an empath also. My girlfriend is 44 and had come to the same conclusion as you before her relationship with me. When she was 18-22 she had a 4 year long relationship with an empath man. We discussed that relationship in depth, in chunks (hard for her to talk too much about it at one time, as I’m sure you can imagine). I don’t recommend that for any empath – being with another empath. The idea seems appealing because who could understand you like they could? But from anyone I have talked to in that situation says it slowly (or quickly) drives you both mad. What you want is to find someone who understands enough to be OK with the things in this article. I find it mostly accurate (but empaths don’t always try to keep relationships no matter what. I think the author has this wrong, based on her specific situation). The biggest one is for you to be able to take time out, away from your boyfriend. He has to be 100% OK with that. I wasn’t at first, and she felt my bad feeling when she said she needed time. But I was honest with myself, and even though I knew I’d miss her, I realized I could make good use of that time, and in the end, it was also good for me, and our relationship. Now when she wants time she doesn’t feel guilty or feel anything bad from me. You also need someone who “has their shit together”, in pretty much every way. Someone who has or creates drama in their life is the opposite of what you need. People are pretty steadily happy when they have everything they need, and are always improving themselves and their world. Look for those people.
      Best of luck to you!

  8. Karen April 14, 2018 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    This article Truly resonates with me. I’m struggling to understand if after a spouse of an empath has an affair and both have worked though the affair and both have worked though the situation, if it’s possible to have absorbed the energy of the “other person”? Is this possible and could it be a reason for past thoughts and visions of the “other person” would continue to resurface every now and then?

    • MrSatoV December 4, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Karen, this is a very personal matter for the couple. First of all, it’s unlikely the cheater can completely forget the whole thing, and will likely feel guilt, at least every once in a while. The empath will most certainly feel that. I dated a woman for a little while who told me about her previous marriage. She had cheated on him, and after 3 years could not shake the feeling of guilt, and so left him – as the only way to be free of it. She even cried a little while telling me this story. I’m sure it’s different to varying degrees for different people, but everything I hear about the situation suggests that while in a normal relationship (two non-empaths) it might be possible to learn to quickly dismiss thoughts and feelings like that when they arise, with an empath, it’s already too late. Some empaths, if they love the person enough and have enough understanding, MIGHT be able to endure those moments. But in my experience, even if I feel something for a brief time, my empath partner picks it up and feels it for a much longer period. My daughter who is an empath is the same. I don’t know, maybe some empaths can shake feelings faster?
      I am not optimistic about the situation you describe, to say the least.
      BTW, an empath does not take emotion from a 3rd party who they have not met. That transfer of feeling is only by proximity. Because they are emotional people, and understand a lot about them, they can get “empathy” the way us non-empaths can, but that’s it. So if they have thoughts or feelings about that 3rd person, it’s purely imagined. Not that it makes much difference. At any rate, empaths take their downtime and release the “absorbed energy”. It doesn’t stay with them indefinitely.

  9. Sam August 15, 2018 at 5:20 am - Reply

    Yup! This is me!!!!!!!!!! Wow. The one thing that really sticks out is liking my separate space but I do not want to be alone. For me, I do not want to be lonely. This is probably why I live with my husband who we are separated or live separate lives. It works for me. I can get my alone time and not connected romantically or emotional to him and raise our kid. On top of that, he has narcissistic tendencies. Everything else is on point. I do struggle with people be liars and I call it out all the time. I have to realize people are not like me at all. I really thought most people were honest people but I have to understand people have chaotic lives; I tend to feel things and if it off then I will fix the problem right away. Certain people will say things and not do them- I just have to work on not getting offended. I really do want to be in love it can be so hard when I know that person is lying or I know something about them that they do not know yet. I dislike that I can see things others can not see. I know it is a gift but sometimes I just want to be like everyone else.

  10. Beth Winters November 12, 2018 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Sounds more like bipolar and excuses for poor behavior than empathy.

  11. MrSatoV December 4, 2018 at 9:25 am - Reply

    I’m in a long term relationship with an empath, and have a 16 year old daughter who is an empath. I’d say pretty much everything you say is accurate and good advice. I have only two differences of opinion.
    1. Every empath I know does actually like their alone time. Not just a need. They do want and enjoy relationships, but relationships are difficult, being alone isn’t. I think the longer an empath goes without a successful relationship, the more this feeling deepens.
    2. The empaths I know don’t cling on to relationships that don’t work. My girlfriend has had one 4 year relationship from 18 years old (the guy was also an empath) – and she’s 44 now. She has had many many 1st dates and a good number of short term relationships – all of which she ended, mostly because either they can’t deal with it or she can’t. I’m lucky to have my daughter, who gave me a lot of understanding about the life and trials of empaths, so I accept my girlfriend’s needs and the relationship is the easiest she’s ever had. It’s also extremely fortunate that we are otherwise very very compatible and love each other for who we really are.

    Note that for empaths who are “older” and more experienced, they usually can start to deal with the outside feelings/energy they get from strangers. My girlfriend said she started this by recognizing and saying to herself “this is not my feeling”. That helped her focus only on her own feeling. That said, the amount she feels from others is in direct relation to how much she cares about that person. She doesn’t think she can change that, and doesn’t want to either. But that means when she cares about someone deeply, as in our relationship, she feels EVERYTHING, and quite strongly/clearly. No matter the age, I believe this to be the case for empaths. So romantic relationships are the most dangerous things in their lives. It’s important that they choose wisely, and it’s imperative that if we love one, we do all we can to minimize our negative impact on them. The rest of this article serves as good advice for that.
    Key thing that is missing from the article, in the way of advice to non-empaths who love an empath is to put extra effort into the stabilization of their own lives, to avoid drama, and increase consistency of happiness. We must stay fit (healthy body, healthy mind), be very in touch with our own emotions and be able to communicate about them, and learn to follow our hearts in the way they do. You can keep happy very consistently by always making progress in your own life, and in your relationship.
    Don’t over-talk about their empathy. They don’t really want to think about it. If you want to know about it, do what you’re doing now – research and learn. Come to terms with it, and put it into action.
    Use the time they take to themselves to meditate on your life or issues in your life. Not while you’re with them. That time is useful to you both.
    Good luck to all those who find themselves in a relationship with an empath! If you can deal with this, you will benefit from it greatly! It makes you a better person! Guaranteed! If you find you can’t deal with it, don’t blame them, and don’t feel too bad about it… most people would not be able to deal with it. Just, if you ever cared about them, or still do, please bow out gracefully. You’ll both benefit from that. No regrets.

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