Secrets For Sensitive People: Why Emotional Empaths Stay Lonely

Secrets For Sensitive People: Why Emotional Empaths Stay Lonely

Secrets For Sensitive People: Why Emotional Empaths Stay LonelyLoneliness gets to some more than others. But why it hangs on isn’t always apparent when read by traditional medical eyes.

In my medical practice and workshops I’ve been struck by how many sensitive, empathic people who I call “emotional empaths” come to me, lonely, wanting a romantic partner, yet remaining single for years. Or else they’re in relationships but feel constantly fatigued and overwhelmed.

The reason isn’t simply that “there aren’t enough emotionally available people ‘out there,’” nor is their burnout”neurotic.” Personally and professionally, I’ve discovered that something more is going on.

Emotional empaths are a species unto themselves. Whereas others may thrive on the togetherness of being a couple, for empaths like me, too much togetherness can be difficult, may cause us to bolt. Why?

We tend to intuit and absorb our partner’s energy, and become overloaded, anxious, or exhausted when we don’t have time to decompress in our own space. We’re super-responders; our sensory experience of relationship is the equivalent of feeling objects with fifty fingers instead of five.

Recommended: This Is Why Empaths Freeze Around Fake People

Energetically sensitive people unknowingly avoid romantic partnership because deep down they’re afraid of getting engulfed. Or else, they feel engulfed when coupled, a nerve-wracking, constrictive way to live. If this isn’t understood, empaths can stay perpetually lonely; we want companionship, but, paradoxically, it doesn’t feel safe.

For emotional empaths to be at ease in a relationship, the traditional paradigm for coupling must be redefined. Most of all, this means asserting your personal space needs–the physical and time limits you set with someone so you don’t feel they’re on top of you.

Empaths can’t fully experience emotional freedom with another until they do this. Your space needs can vary with your situation, upbringing, and culture. My ideal distance to keep in public is at least an arm’s length.

In doctors’ waiting rooms I’ll pile my purse and folders on the seats beside me to keep others away. With friends it’s about half that. With a mate it’s variable. Sometimes it’s rapture being wrapped in his arms; later I may need to be in a room of my own, shut away.

All of us have an invisible energetic border that sets a comfort level. Identifying and communicating yours will prevent you from being bled dry by others. Then intimacy can flourish, even if you’ve felt suffocated before.

Recommended: 7 Signs That You Are A Highly Intuitive Empath (Not Just a Normal One)

If you’re an empath or if the ordinary expectations of coupledom don’t jibe with you practice the following tips.


Tips for empaths to feel at ease in a relationship:


Tip 1. What to say to a potential mate

As you’re getting to know someone, share that you’re a sensitive person, that you periodically need quiet time. The right partner will be understanding; the wrong person will put you down for being “overly sensitive,” won’t respect your need.


Tip 2. Clarify your preferred sleep style

Traditionally, partners sleep in the same bed. However, some empaths never get used to this, no matter how caring a mate. Nothing personal; they just like their own sleep space. Speak up about your preferences.

Feeling trapped in bed with someone, not getting a good night’s rest, is torture. Energy fields blend during sleep, which can overstimulate empaths. So, discuss options with your mate. Because non-empaths may feel lonely sleeping alone, make compromises when possible.


Tip 3. Negotiate your square footage needs

You may be thrilled about your beloved until you live together. Experiment with creative living conditions so your home isn’t a prison. Breathing room is mandatory. Ask yourself, “What space arrangements are optimal?”

Recommended: 11 Grounding Techniques For Empaths to Avoid Apathy and Depression

Having an area to retreat to, even if it’s a closet? A room divider? Separate bathrooms? Separate houses? I prefer having my own bedroom/office to retreat to.


Tip 4. Travel wisely

Traveling with someone, you may want to have separate space too. If sharing a room is the only option, hanging a sheet as a room divider will help. “Out of sight” may make the heart grow fonder.


Tip 5. Take regular mini-breaks

Empaths require private downtime to regroup. Even a brief escape prevents emotional overload. Retreat for five minutes into the bathroom with the door shut. Take a stroll around the block. Read in a separate room.

Recommended: The Dark Side of Being an Empath That You Rarely See

In my medical practice, I’ve seen this creative approach to relationships save marriages and make ongoing intimacies feel safe, even for emotional empaths (of all ages) who’ve been lonely and haven’t had a long-term partner before. Once you’re able to articulate your needs, emotional freedom in your relationships is possible.


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Author: Judith Orloff MD is author of the New York Times bestseller Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life now available in paperback and upon which this article is based. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition and energy medicine.

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2 Responses

  1. Rylan Mims says:

    agree with most of this…

    i consider myself an emotional empath, started maybe when i was very young, i had a period of severe eat infections at the time language skills tend to be in their peak development stage, and this seems to have had a long term effect…

    in kindergarten i rejected gender role training, then on i studied it to learn what to avoid, around age 20, i accepted that the macro social worldview was mostly bogus…

    for me, the cool thing about being this way is that i can think like in patterns where i can see the patterns in the complexity, like i can use the same emotional awareness pathways and with them have created a persona of awareness separate from the persona of awareness that seems to allow for the experience of word knowledge, land of label boxes and the rules that govern label boxes…

    because for me sometimes all the words go away, sure way more often they just play hide and seek type games, but still, the first is interesting but yes also real scary and the second is an irritation that makes normal life difficult in that when i get all stressed out i more have this issue…

    so work for me has been a real hard road, being able to support myself has been an issue, it destroyed my first marriage, 5 acres the house paid for, money in investments, no bills, yet not enough, the self employment i was doing was never enough, had to get a real job, she would say something like, your in a boy suit so you have the advantage of being a man so you should be able to do better than me in girl-suit, she was a master level social worker and had a good job, she found a new boyfriend and i left…

    now, i am, if anything, worse off on my second try, like last night, step daughter is here, i am really bothered by TV’s that are left on all the time, she tends to site on the couch by the wood stove, which is near Mom’s work desk and its right beside the kitchen, and tends to watch on her laptop high drama fear centered type of video like none stop for hours…

    so i can hardly stand to be in the kitchen when she is here, i go without eating to avoid it, she just finished college with a degree in art and minor in psychology, and the job she found starts late summer…

    but it is and has been the case since starting this second relationship, that everyone treats me like i am being all controlling about this and the family including mother-in -law have had a totally flippant response to my need to avoid this…

    so yesterday i was done, told partner i was sleeping apart, needed some space, she told me i was using passive aggression to be cruel to her, okay stop, enough personal but you get the point, i agree being an empath makes relations real hard…

    so seems like, if money was not an issue, i would be able to find a nice match, being around people who are not lost in a fear dominate mindset, i enjoy being around, it is just they are somewhat rare, but still they are out there so the main rub is that the nice match likely has a similar issues with making money, so this becomes a pragmatic issue of not being able to make the finance side work…


  2. Francois says:

    Empath stand for emotion path ,emotional connection etc. there is no need to add emotional before empath the word stand on its own. Loneliness isnt the empath problem .they are always connected to others around them. They just closectheir eyes and are in contact with a world of people. The problem is the quality of emotions received by the others that are problematic. Physical isolation isnt a problem for us,but the lack of ,is.
    People carry a whole bunch of emo-garbage on a regular basis.most dont even realize how much they are screwed-up.
    As we get involve in a relationship,the emotional bond intensifies .if the partner is just a regular joe or mary then the empath is in trouble and facing all the inner life of the other. That can be quite difficult .the partner has no clue that his or her inner tantrum and spike of emotion what ever they are are felt like stabs in the chess. Best thing is find a partner for wich you have no em- connection. Strangely the relationship can become a sanctuary of tranquility ,resting away from all the conflictual noise of the outside world.
    And sometimes it may be necessary to wait for hormones to go down to hedge off the emotional connection of the empath. Or simply take tylanol . Crazy idea you ll say but tylanol is known to reduce the ability to have compassion. Great when you’re going to crowded place.

What do you think?