For female empaths, relationships can be an incredibly rewarding (and potentially damaging) experience. Those who feel deeply also love deeply, and this comes with its own benefits and risks. Here’s what you need to know about women with an overwhelming amount of empathy for people, particularly their partners.
What is an empath?
“An empath describes a person who is high in emotional empathy, or the ability to be highly attuned to or feel what someone else is feeling,” clinical psychologist Alice Hua tells Bolde. “This ability can be influenced by biological and environmental factors.” While many people are born highly sensitive, others develop their abilities to relate to and understand others through experience over the years.
Empaths pick up on the emotions of others easily, so much so that they often feel other people’s feelings as if they were their own. Needless to say, this can be an overwhelming experience for both parties.
What are female empaths like in relationships?
- They love intensely. Needless to say, empaths feel things deeply. That means that when they love someone, they do it with their whole selves. When you’re dating one, you’ll feel like every other relationship you’ve had paled in comparison to the amount of affection you receive from her.
- They’re incredibly supportive. In relationships of all kinds, female empaths are your biggest cheerleaders. They truly believe that people can do anything they set their minds to and will go out of their way to remind people of their potential even when they forget it. It’s uplifting, encouraging, and inspiring.
- They’re understanding and non-judgmental. This ultimately leads to greater relationship satisfaction, according to Hua. “People who are perceived by others to be empaths are sought out for trust and support, and those considered to be highly empathic have greater well-being compared to those who are thought to be less empathic. Patients who perceive their doctors or therapists to be empathic experience greater satisfaction and health outcomes.”
- They’re very in tune with their partners. While they haven’t experienced everything in the world, they are able to put themselves in other people’s shoes. As a result, they’re able to get on the same wavelength as their partners and understand where they’re coming from. Oftentimes in relationships, female empaths can communicate wordlessly with their partners. They just get it.
- They go out of their way to make their partners happy. Because empaths understand the value of positive emotions, they always work to keep a smile on their partners’ faces. They want the people they love to feel the warmth and protection of that feeling, and they won’t stop until they’re sure they’re successful.
- They always want to help. Empaths are also deeply connected to their feelings and emotions, especially when it comes to how they relate to their relationships. Don’t be surprised if they suggest ways to solve issues or problems you have because they hate seeing the people they love struggling. They mean well.
- They’re incredibly loyal. Heartbreak hurts for female empaths perhaps more than anyone else, so they take their relationships seriously. As a result, they would never cheat or do anything to hurt their partners. If they do inadvertently cause someone pain, it destroys them inside.
- They don’t give up easily. You’ll never catch them walking away from a person or a relationship unless absolutely necessary. They love hard and fiercely, and they’re not about to throw that away without good reason.
Challenges that come along with being an empath
- They can be too accepting of unacceptable behavior. No one enters a relationship wanting to be manipulated or taken advantage of, but this happens a lot with female empaths in relationships. “Female empaths are usually very
compassionate and caring people, which can make them easy targets for manipulative or narcissistic partners,” explains psychologist, coach, and BPTLAB COO Sarah Watson. “These types of partners may exploit the empath’s good nature and use them for their own gain. It is, therefore, important for female empaths to be aware of this possibility and to choose their partners carefully.”
- They prioritize their partner’s needs over their own. This is a serious concern. Because they’re so connected to their partners, female empaths often go to great lengths to make their partners happy and end up forgetting about themselves. Without close attention being paid to their well-being, it can become a problem.
- They sometimes lack boundaries. Boundaries are important in all relationships, especially romantic ones. However, because empaths tend to become so emotionally invested in and connected with partners, those boundaries can sometimes be blurred. This isn’t always toxic, but it can become so if they’re with the wrong person.
- They sometimes struggle to navigate normal ups and downs. Feeling things so intensely often means female empaths struggle to roll with the normal ebb and flow of relationships. They think something’s seriously wrong even when it’s not a big deal. A little perspective goes a long way.
- They take on their partner’s feelings as their own. “It is very easy for not only empaths but anyone to be negatively affected by a partner’s energy in a relationship,” spiritual healer and psychic reader Jusstine Kaye tells Bolde. “You are sharing your energy, your aura, even taking on that person’s energy. One must be very careful that they don’t take on the other person’s problems or even negative karma as their own.”
- They struggle to find the level of support they need. Empaths provide others with a lot of support but they don’t always get the same in return. They can often be seen as clingy or needy when in reality, they simply need more support. As a result, when that doesn’t happen, there can be a lot of tension.
- They’re easily overwhelmed. Feeling so much and so intensely isn’t easy, and female empaths often end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted in relationships. It’s not their partners’ fault, but it is a very real concern. Burnout is very real for women like this.
- They stay past a relationship’s sell-by date. Their unwillingness to give up easily can be a good thing, but it can also be a negative, especially if the relationship is toxic and clearly needs to end. It takes a lot of discipline and willpower to walk away, and they may need the help of a professional therapist to help them develop the skills needed to do so.
How can empaths protect themselves in relationships?
While empathy is a wonderful quality for partners of any gender to have, it can make one vulnerable, as well. That’s why it’s important that empaths take measures to protect themselves in relationships. Taking measures to protect yourself will go a long way in ensuring you’re not negatively affected by a bad relationship or toxic partner.
As Kaye explains: “You must become the strongest energy in your own life so that you’re not negatively affected by others. You don’t need to bend to the will of what someone else’s wants and desires if you don’t want that. You must find a way that truly works to protect your energy so you can be in the relationship and not be so affected. The more aware you are of this very thing, the more you can start to help this.”