We all transfer and translate energy.
However, some people are far more sensitive to the energy that vibrates outside their personal space than others, which causes them to pick up on frequencies from other people and their environment with greater intensity.
Energy flows between two people. For empaths, this can make all types of relationships highly challenging—whether platonic, romantic, familial, or even work-related—because empaths continuously, either consciously or subconsciously, sense other people’s energy states.
An empath is someone who is highly sensitive to the energy and emotions emanating from people, animals, and everything that exists around them. They have the ability to scan other people’s energy fields and intuitively pick up on past, present, and even future thoughts and feelings. They can also quite accurately determine another person’s emotional, mental, and physical state.
When empaths become close to someone and connect with them on a heart level—either during sex or when they are carrying out a healing—they open themselves up and leave their energy fields vulnerable so that the energy of other people can penetrate and blend with their own.
Being so highly attuned to energy can lead to empath-overwhelm, over-stimulation, and chronic fatigue, particularly if they are soaking up the energy of someone they are in close contact with.
This can mean that some empaths find it difficult to stay in a relationship for long periods of time, as they are known to need a great deal of alone time, freedom, and personal space to recharge and rebalance their energy levels.
Ironically, empaths also find themselves deeply entangled within the relationships they do become involved in, as they adore experiencing those deep connections.
Being intimately involved with someone can lead empaths to burn out, as in relationships they are known to give far more of themselves than they should give. If there isn’t an equal energy exchange, they often become emotionally depleted.
There are many reasons for relationships starting or ending. However, when it involves an empath, the chances of them working out long-term seem to be far lower, which is part of the reason a lot of empaths are introverts who choose to stay single.
Empaths have highly attuned antennae that help them figure people out instantly. It also helps them understand the intentions, motivations, and characteristics that people attempt to keep hidden.
Where this can fail for the empath is when they are emotionally invested in someone. Not only do heightened emotions cloud their intuitive abilities, they also push aside their inner knowing (which can happen when they have a strong temptation to energetically dance with someone they are attracted to).
This is part of the reason many empaths are renowned for becoming embroiled in unhealthy and dysfunctional relationship with those who have strong traits associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as they don’t pay close enough attention to what their intuitive senses are warning them about.
Although empaths try to trust their instincts, it isn’t always easy if they are with someone who tries to convince them their suspicions are wrong. With no proof, they may try to accept that their partner is telling the truth, but the friction will constantly linger in the back of the empath’s mind.
If trust is broken, empaths may continue with a relationship and expose themselves to the possibility of further hurt. However, they may begin to build a protective wall around themselves and be tempted to subject their partner to a million and one questions to settle the inner friction that alerted them that something is not right. When trust diminishes, so too will the relationship. The main contributors for empaths ending a relationship are feelings of being unloved or broken trust.
Empaths are highly compassionate souls and their capacity for understanding, acceptance, and forgiveness is immense. The only downfall to this is that it can also put them in great danger as they give people many chances to change and evolve past harmful behavioural patterns.
If this doesn’t happen, they can be subjected to a variety of abuse forms, as some people perceive their forgiving empathic nature for weakness and will try to take advantage of it. In many cases this has led to empaths struggling with anxiety, low self-esteem, and diminished self-worth, as they wrongly believe that the way people treat them mirrors what they deserve.
Empaths often take full responsibility for how others behave toward them and for anything that goes wrong in relationships. They have a great amount of compassion and can clearly see other people’s emotional baggage, so they make many excuses for people’s behaviour and this is often to their own detriment.
Empaths are natural healers, therefore not only do they feel a pull toward those who are emotionally wounded and struggling, but those who desperately need healing of some kind are also drawn toward them.
This sets a rocky foundation for relationships to be built upon, as rather than being a mutual “give-and-take” relationship that is equal, healthy, and balanced, it can result in the empath doing the majority of the giving and the wounded one energetically taking everything the empath has to give. When this happens it doesn’t take long for the empath to become fatigued, emotionally drained, and burnt out.
If empaths take on their partner’s suffering or challenges, they can easily enter into a relationship that is codependent. If an empath’s partner becomes dependent on them to validate them or heal their wounds, while empaths become dependent on the feeling of worthiness they receive when they feel vital for someone’s survival, the relationship can be complicated. This can lead to empaths falling down to the same low frequency at which their partner is vibrating.
It is common for empaths to become so invested in their partner’s well-being that they neglect taking care of themselves. This is particularly true if the person they are in a relationship with is suffering in some way, as empaths empathise to such a degree that they go to all lengths to provide care, even if it means risking their own emotional, mental, or physical health.
It is imperative empaths recognise that their compassion and nurturing abilities can sometimes lead to self-harm, because as the saying goes, “You can’t drink from an empty cup.” It is vital that empaths replenish themselves before they pour their energy into anyone else.
One of the biggest things that impact an empath’s relationships is absorbing the emotions of the person they are closest to.
If an empath is in a relationship with someone who has high anxiety, is suffering with depression, or has abruptly shifting mood swings, it is likely that the empath will become influenced by the low frequency energy and start to feel similarly low themselves. Even the most awakened and advanced empath, who has worked hard at keeping themselves grounded and centred, will find it difficult to deflect all the intense emotional energy.
Empaths are born to sense and feel everything within their environment, mostly so they can transmute energy and transform negative vibrations into positive ones. Therefore, even if they are adept at recognising when they are in the company of someone who has volatile or heavy emotions, they will still absorb some of that energy, even if only subtly and temporarily.
It can be extremely challenging for an empath to keep lifting their vibration when someone around them is intentionally or unintentionally lowering it. The most concerning part of this is that empaths experience emotions intensely, so when they feel love their hearts feel fit to burst and when they feel anger or sadness it can pull their energy so low that they may become demotivated and fuelled with resentment and rage.
Soaking up the emotional energy around them can also cause empaths to appear to fall into what may feel like “love” extremely quickly. Just as empaths absorb low vibrational emotions, they can also be dramatically affected by the high vibrational ones that resonate from those close to them. This can cause empaths to form connections that develop quickly, are extremely intense, and possibly overwhelming.
Feeling the love that exists in someone else’s energy field can also mean that empaths disconnect from the emotions as soon as they have left that person’s company. Depending on how strong the connection is, they may lose the bonding feeling the moment they part ways. This can mean empaths feel as though they are in love with someone for just a few hours and then walk away and feel no emotion whatsoever.
This may feel bewildering and may seem heartless, although it is totally unintentional, and something not all empaths are aware of. However, it is one of the reasons it is essential to remain grounded and aware of how influential and contagious energy is and how powerful and intoxicating it can be.
Another issue for empaths is dealing with people who enjoy playing mind games. Empaths tend to be straight talkers and can become confused as to why some people want to engage in psychological games. They aren’t likely to play along with this, as the rules will be too complicated for empaths to figure out. Plus, they will likely see through these types of games and will perceive the person as inauthentic.
Empaths have the capacity to see beyond the masks people wear and to sense when someone isn’t genuine or acting with integrity, and so it doesn’t take long for them to become disappointed and frustrated if they perceive the person they are with to be untrustworthy, unfaithful, or disloyal.
Empaths are human lie detectors and, as the majority of people tell lies—both white and black—from time to time, it can be immensely infuriating and challenging for both involved when every day there are interrogations.
Empaths are generally vulnerable creatures who would be happy to wear their heart on their sleeve and be open, raw, and brutally honest when sharing their deepest, darkest feelings. However, not everyone is comfortable with this level of depth, and not everyone knows how to communicate in this way. And so, it doesn’t take long for empaths to withdraw and keep their emotions and thoughts to themselves.
This leads to many empaths becoming disheartened and disillusioned with relationships, and many lose the hope of ever sharing a genuine, soul-deep connection with someone who holds the same values, and sees, senses, and feels the world in the same unique way.
However, if empaths are fortunate enough to find someone who is respectful, compassionate, caring, and empathetic, the most loving, loyal, and rewarding relationships can be formed
When empaths protect themselves by becoming consciously aware of how outside energy penetrates them, the painful and toxic energies are far less likely to be absorbed within their energy field.
It helps if empaths try to surround themselves with others whose energies vibrate at a similar frequency so they are not vulnerable and exposed to energy that can cause them harm.
Self-protection is vital, and keeping energy levels high by refusing to take on, or absorb, anything that lowers our vibration is the simplest, harmonious, and healthiest way for empaths to exist, whether single or within mutually flowing and soul-fulfilling relationships.
Writing: Alex Myles
Main Image: unsplash Priscilla Du Preez