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empaths and dating problems

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I’m a super empath and it caused me a lot of pain in my earlier years of dating. Empathy is an important and wonderful thing to be able to feel and express. Nobody can conduct a healthy relationship—of any kind—without it. But, in life and love, finding happiness will be about finding that balance between caring for others while still caring for yourself, showing patience with others without getting walked all over, sympathizing with where someone is coming from while still recognizing that perhaps that person isn’t the best for you, and generally learning how to maintain your empathy while still putting up some healthy boundaries.

If I may be so bold to make this sweeping statement, I think that, early in their lives, most people fall far on one side of the spectrum or the other: they either aren’t empathetic at all, and need to work on that before any romantic relationship works out, or, they are all empathy, all of the time, and it gets them hurt and mistreated. The latter group need to learn that being understanding and compassionate doesn’t have to mean giving up your own needs, and letting people take advantage of you. You can be sweet with boundaries. You can be tough and tender.

You should also know that often, those in that first category I described—those who lack empathy—seek out those who are all empathy. Super empaths are a big target for those with no empathy. Those without empathy love to take advantage of others, and just generally take, and take, and take. Extreme empaths need to be careful out there in the dating world. Your empathy is a gift and a curse. Here are dating downfalls empaths need to look out for.

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You want to cheer up the sad

You meet someone who is clearly depressed. Really, he probably isn’t in any condition to date right now. His outlook on life is very dark, and what he really needs—more than a girlfriend or a date—is a therapist. But you can’t just ignore someone who is down, and you take it upon yourself to try to date a sad man, to make him happy, and it brings you down.

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You want to befriend the lonely

The lonely guy. Maybe he just moved to town or he is divorced so he is reconfiguring his friend circle. It’s nice that you want to make him company, but, it’s best that someone form their social circle before trying to date. Or else their romantic partner carries too much of the burden to be that person’s whole social life.

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You’ll be an emotional punching bag

You may find guys who can be a bit rude when they’ve had bad days. They can say nasty things that they don’t mean. They can be critical. They can just generally be mean after a tough day at work, and take that out on their partners. And you may just take it because you tell yourself, “He doesn’t mean it. He had a bad day.” That doesn’t change the fact that it hurts you.

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You’re too good of a listener

You’re way too good of a listener. You value good listeners, and you want to be one, so you’ll lend an ear for as long as your date needs. This means you wind up on a lot of dates where the other person just talks the entire time. Of course, he thinks that date went great, and wants to see you again…so he can talk some more.

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You excuse ex obsession

Your date sure does talk a lot about his ex. Well, you tell yourself that, it sounds like it was a serious relationship and they were together for a while, so it’s only normal he’d still have feelings and thoughts about it. Eh. Not so fast. If he’s really over her, he doesn’t need to be talking about her to you.

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You excuse tardiness

Your date is late for the first date. Then the second. Then the third. There is always something. Traffic. A meeting ran late. He helped his buddy with something. Once is one thing, but when it becomes a pattern, you can’t just take all the excuses. This guy just disrespects your time, and you don’t need to empathize with that.

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You dismiss first impressions

You go on dates where the guy makes a terrible first impression. He’s rude to the server. He’s overpowering in conversation. He’s negative. But, you try to tell yourself that maybe you caught him on an off day. You hope someone would give you the benefit of the doubt if they caught you on an off day. Meh…adults should have enough control of their emotions to pull it together to behave well on a first date.

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You give too many second chances

You know you shouldn’t go out with a guy again because you just don’t feel the spark, but he begs you. He makes a compelling argument. He really wants another chance, so you give him one, because you empathize with his need for love and his belief that there may be something there. And there…isn’t.

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You aren’t judgmental enough

You let just about everybody through the online filter. Sure, this person sounds a little angry in his bio, and this guy is all shirtless pics, and this guy seems weird. But, maybe they just aren’t good at the Internet? You don’t want to be too judgmental, so you just aren’t judgmental at all.

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You stay in it, to avoid hurting someone

You’ve dated guys for a long time—long after you stopped liking them—because you didn’t want to hurt them. The idea of the pain they’d feel after you dumped them made you feel so guilty, that you just stuck around. Of course, the longer you wait to end it, the more it hurts them when you do.

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You don’t get mad when you should

You generally don’t get angry when you are, well, angry. You try to think of where the other person is coming from, even if he wronged you. You try to remind yourself that everybody is fighting a battle out there, and can’t always be perfect. So, for this reason, you don’t speak up when you’re pissed off.

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You always find the silver lining

You look for the silver lining in every situation. Maybe a guy invited you to a party, and then he spent much of the night talking to other women, but…he did get you a drink and gave you a ride home. So, that’s nice, right? Come on. Stop giving him points for doing the most basic of decent things.

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Everyone thinks you’re into them

Every guy you meet thinks you’re into him because you are a good listener, you are very kind, you are generous, and you seem open to something. You can’t count the number of times a guy you were just being nice to asked you on a date and made a move on you.

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You attract the clingy

Clingy guys—maybe ones who are looking for their mommy—cling to you. You don’t ask them to be tougher. You won’t tell them you need space. You don’t want to hurt their very delicate feelings. They love how much you never ask for your needs, and are just there to fulfill theirs.

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And the controlling

You also attract domineering, controlling types. You’re not sure why, because that’s not you, at all. Well those who like to control look for empaths, because empaths will think, “He just has a funny way of showing me he loves me.” So you find yourself with men who try to change who you are.

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