Why Many Empaths Prefer Being Single

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


  1. I have been an empath since I was born there have been times where I wanted to be alone but the thoughts in my head are to unbearable sometimes even though I am a Scorpio I am in love with an Aries that my not always show affection but I know that I can feel it from her. My title is an empathic guardian I am a protector and a care taker I love the feeling I get when I help someone and even the one I love she is very independent but even just a hug when I leave makes me feel so much better about myself and what I am

  2. This article is the MOST comprehensive detail of an Empath, i have ever read…thankyou from my TRUE heart!!💜🌹💜🌹💜..so very right.😉💜🌹

  3. This explains it PERFECTLY! I’m single, divorced 3 years and had 2 failed relationships since. Constantly get clingers who say they “felt a connection” even though I assure them there is nothing romantic. It’s MADDENING. Now, I’m tired and confused and don’t know what I want romantically :(. Oh and I’m a Libra and have completely sworn off Aries men but they are so damn attractive to me….cripes.

    • oh wow u sounded like me, im a libra. been divorced 3 years ago, had failed two relationships as well, im currently seeing someone too but we are 7th week dating. i like him a lot.. but this whole thing driving me crazy constantly getting nervous

  4. Reading this explained so many confusing things in my life. I never really believed I was an empath until now. I, also didn’t realize that most people don’t feel things the way I do. Now I am aware of what I’ve been doing in relationships. At least I can try to make time to recharge my energy, and maybe relationships of any kind won’t completely wipe me out emotionally. Thank you for opening my eyes to whats been happening to me.

  5. This article is SPOT ON. This is why while I acknowledge that is *possible* that I might find someone with whom I am compatible & who meets my very high standards, it is *unlikely* that this will happen & I am 100% okay with that. Protecting my energy, sanity & emotional & mental health & my overall well-being is more important than being able to say that “I am not alone” (as in by myself, when frankly I LOVE & need LOTS of solitude).

  6. I am 54 years old, the mother of three amazing sons, and have had two failed marriages…both to narcissistic men. This article explains SOOOOO MUCH about the way I feel and how I view certain areas of my life! Before reading this just now, I never understood my own self and thought there was something wrong with me. I’m a Capricorn and an INFJ and connect with animals, children, and the elderly more than anyone else. I’ve never understood how I can have deep feelings for someone one minute and absolutely NOTHING the next. I’ve always called it the “Door Slam” but didn’t know why I can actually turn off my feelings like a light switch. Thank you for this profound article. I feel as if today is the first day of my new life!! ❤❤

  7. This is a fabulous article and so spot on. I would like to add that in my experience we are so used to experiencing and seeing all aspects of others that we are not very freaked out by anyone’s shadow and even feel that we might be of assistance, secretly, to help bring that person into the light even a little bit. Which we know is the most valuable and real reason we are here. It is this reason, combined with a deep love from seeing others unique love within (their spirit) that we overlook their darkside and stay longer than is healthy for us. We know, and we still stay sometimes, and, we are always deeply deeply affected by betrayal and the evil of narcissistic personalties who are drawn to us.

  8. Well said. I’m 36 and still single. It’s not that I’m not open to relationships, I’m just cautious and haven’t felt the calm yet. Thank you for the reminders on how to care for ourselves.

  9. My partner is an empath for the last 9 months but we have known each other for 18 years, it didn’t work the first time but we finally found a chance to be together so we did,it can be difficult to be with an empath but we love each other so much and I’m learning every day to understand and sometimes I get it wrong I do get frustrated because I think that i can fix things but I can’t. My partner has let me in very slowly and I am privileged and proud of how she handles life.

  10. Wow. This is so me. I have found myself in most of the situations you’ve highlighted…. Thanks alot for this. Now I know.

  11. One of my friend is an empath living in a metro city of india.she gets drained off .Should she continue living in a metro city of india or shift to smaller city

  12. Oh wow! I never knew I was an empath, but this article is me. I purposely stay away from relationships because no one understands me, hell, I’m just figuring this out now. I have strong attractions to narcissists, so I’m very careful to decipher now and run in the other direction when I meet one. Thank you for all this fascinating information about myself.

  13. I so know what this tells you and experience it all the time . i hate going out, tend to s t ay home a lot. Sucks when in a relationship.

  14. Yes… I relate to this… It can feel unsettling in every day life in relationship as I am constantly attuning to my partner. My goal is to learn how to be together accept their love and keep attuning to myself.

  15. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this. I never thought I would come across anything as this in my 35 years of life. So much made sense. So many “life questions” answered. It’s a gift and a curse but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you 🙏

  16. This is beautifully written. I’m a Virgo empath. Just got out of marriage 3. Abusive narc. I wish it was possible to find a match in love, passion and emotion. But terrible people find me. Much more peaceful to be alone.

  17. Best ever article written defining an empath. I take this as my divine confirmation and I’m printing it out to remind me of my gift as an empath (light worker). Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️.

  18. This is so me. I can never stay in long term relationships with anybody. I always need my space. I’m not a 24/7 person with anybody. I’ve no kids and like being single. I haven’t met anyone that I really liked or connected with in ages!

  19. Wow!!! This explains me to a T!! I’ve been single more time than I have been in a relationship. And the relationships that I have been in have been toxic. My relationships don’t last long.I’ve come to accept and embrace my singleness. Great article!!!

  20. Everything about this article is me! I thank you! I’ve always felt different, and could feel the people around me emotions. After 53 years, I have to continue to learn how to let everything affect me.

  21. I just stumbled upon this page and am so glad I did! I feel you were writing about me, and that nearly all these comments were written by me! I have ended two marriages and an engagement — all to narcissists. I’m now 52 and never dreamed I’d be single. People even tell me they don’t understand why I’m single because I check off all the boxes. So what’s wrong with me, I ask myself? The answer: nothing other than I’m an empath! Every bit of me is described in this article! I wish I’d learned all of this years ago. I’ve wasted so much time in abusive relationships. I thank God I’m finally starting to see my worth, and I thank you for this amazing information that helps me better understand myself!!

  22. This is amazing! I’ve never felt so understood. You’ve helped me answer so many questions about myself. I got divorced 5 years ago and it broke me. I couldn’t understand how he didn’t feel things to the same depth that I did. I mentally and physically don’t think I could survive feeling that kind of betrayal and hurt again. The thought of having a companion sounds nice but the reality is I will never allow myself to be that vulnerable again….and I’m ok with that.

  23. Thank you all! I too just stumbled upon this article and it surely does resonate with me as do many of the comments. Thank you for the insight

  24. A few days ago, a fellow empath suggested I go to Empath Planet’s website, and this is just the second article I’ve read, and I’m amazed at how wonderful and insightful EP’s articles are. Despite how challenging being an empath can be, one benefit is that the creative energy behind empathic ability can help to strengthen relationships. On Sept. 20, 2022, my wife and I were married for 50 years. My wife (who’s not an empath but is very caring, sensitive and intelligent) first noticed my empathic ability a few months after we were married. It was around Christmas of 1972 and I was working as a youth director for the YMCA and was out for an evening meeting. My wife, Annie, was home and had a bad cold. After my meeting, I went to the local pharmacy and picked up some cold medicine. As I was on the way to check out, I passed a shelf of stuffed animals, and a little lamb looked particularly cute. So, I bought it for Annie along with the medicine. When I got home, I found Annie resting in bed and watching TV. I held up the little lamb and said, “Look what I got for you.” She then burst into tears. It turns out she was watching an animated Christmas story about “The Little Drummer Boy.” The boy had had a little pet lamb that had just been run down and killed by a Roman chariot. The Little Drummer Boy had taken the little lamb to a stable and put the little lamb at the feet of the Christ child. Then the boy played his drum for the Christ child, and the little lamb had just come back to life and was now hopping and jumping around the manger. It was at that moment that I’d entered the room and handed Annie the little stuffed lamb. And that’s when she burst into tears. She has kept that little lamb all these years and has it on her vanity table in our spare bedroom. The empathic ability has always been in support of our marriage, and has keep us together throughout all the ups and downs of life. Of course it helps that Annie has a really grounded personality and is a confident, steady person. She also was a theater major in college and was used to creative types. Her father was also one of the two actual geniuses I’ve known in my life. So to say that Annie was raised with creative energy would be an understatement. Her father and mother instilled in their three daughters a faith in themselves which Annie has maintained throughout our 50 years together. Annie also jokes, someone truthfully, that she doesn’t give off any energy. And she pretty much doesn’t. But she does give off steadiness and calmness and has good judgement. So, yes, meeting a non-empath (a muggle like in Harry Potter?) with a background in a creative family was and is the high point of my life. I do have to admit to wondering sometimes what it would be like to experience the rush that two empaths get when they first interact with each other. From what I’ve been told, that can be quite a jolt of energy. However, what is helpful here on EP’s website is that empaths get to share their own experience with other empaths, and it shows me the complexity that it can sometimes seem to involve.

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