Empath Meaning 101: Are You Dating an Empath?

Written by on June 30, 2021 in Relationships & Sex with 0 Comments

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You’re probably familiar with the term “empathy,” right? Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to other people’s feelings. (Putting yourself in their shoes.)  Most people have the ability to be empathetic (or show empathy) towards others, especially people that they care about and relate to—and that brings us to empaths.

An empath is a person who has an extreme amount of empathy for others, to the point that they are able to feel the emotions of others as if they were experiencing the emotions themselves. Empaths are highly sensitive and in tune with other people’s emotions.

Here’s a deeper dive into the empath meaning and some signs you might be in a relationship with one:

They Take On the Emotion of Others

The signature characteristic of an empath is someone that is able to take on the emotions of others. Ultimately, this means that when a friend of a loved one is sad or upset, an empath may mirror these emotions and experience them as well because they are so in tune with what the other person is feeling.

Tend to Avoid Large Gatherings

Because empaths take on the emotions of those around them, they tend to get a little overwhelmed at large gatherings. They are sensitive to both positive and negative emotions, and large groups of people can amplify that. Typically, they avoid crowds altogether in order to save themselves all that emotional energy.

Tend to Be Introverted

In most cases, empaths are more introverted and require some time to recharge. While they may seem extroverted because of their ability to connect so deeply with others, they actually need time alone to re-energize themselves after a lot of social interactions. That said, being introverted does not mean anti-social, it just means you need a little time to recharge your batteries when you’re alone, whereas extroverts get their energy from socializing.

Love Nature

A lot of empaths find solace in nature, especially when it’s an escape from overwhelming social situations. If your partner takes long walks in the woods to help them bounce back from a stressful social situation, or if they like spending time in the garden just to relax, then this could be a sign that they are an empath.

Have a Calming Effect on People

Because of their ability to connect with and understand others so deeply, they usually have a calming effect on people. They allow others to let their guards down. They can also help someone feel better just by talking to them because of the way they absorb emotions.

So, if you think you’re dating an empath, here are some tips for making the relationship work:

Give Them Alone Time

Empaths need their alone time to recharge. Make it okay for your partner to disappear into the woods, spend time out in nature, or curl up with a book by themselves. Doing so shows that you support them, and it will not only help their mental health, but will also energize your relationship.

Be Honest

Empaths are able to read people very well, which means that they have a low tolerance for B.S. They can sense when people are being dishonest, which can cause them to become wary of certain people. Honesty should be the baseline of any healthy relationship, but it’s especially important if you’re dating an empath—they’ll know you’re lying the minute you open your mouth!

Be Supportive

Empaths will often become deeply invested in trying to support those around them or fix all of their problems, causing them to overlook their own needs. This can cause them to overlook their own needs while trying to be in service to others. This is emotionally draining! Make sure they are taking care of themselves, ask if they need time or space to recharge, or help by taking things off their plate.

Listen to Them/Intuition

Empaths have an excellent sense of intuition. If your empath partner ever shares something with you, based on their intuition, it’s important to really listen to them. Being truly heard by your partner is super validating, and it will show your partner that you support them and trust their intuition.

Let Them Feel Their Emotions

Whether the emotions are positive or negative, it’s important to allow your empath partner to feel them. They won’t always be pleasant, but they’re valid and deserve to be felt. They’re sensitive to emotions, and telling them to “get over it” can make them feel uneasy in the relationship.

Don’t Force Them to Socialize

Empaths have different needs and aren’t typically fond of too much socializing, so it’s important to respect that. If you are more of a social butterfly, then go out and socialize without them! Doing things apart is a way to meet both of your needs, which is incredibly necessary for a healthy relationship.

Make Them Laugh

Help lighten the mood! Empaths tend to get very into their heads, and as their partner, you can relieve some of the emotional burdens they feel. Tell a joke, act silly, put on a funny movie—whatever gets them smiling.

Be a Good Listener

Empaths are usually the ones listening in conversations, so give them a chance to do the talking! Even if it may feel more natural for them to play the listening role in a conversation, encourage them to speak their mind, and make sure that you actively listen to them.


Empath or not, there is no such thing as a mind-reader. It’s important to communicate your emotions openly and honestly so that your partner can support you. They may be intuitive, but you shouldn’t expect them to know what’s going on in your mind at all times.

Let Them Be Themselves

It can be difficult to be the partner of an empath, especially when you see how much of a toll their extreme empathy can take on their own mental health. That said, you should never try and prevent them from showing empathy, which is the core of their personality. Instead, embrace it!

Empaths are wonderful and intuitive partners, so count yourself lucky if you are with one! While there are a lot of redeeming things about dating an empath, it is important to understand their unique sensitivities so that you can be a loving and supportive partner, just as they are to you.

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