For a while, I avoided relationships like the plague. I was the queen of not going further than three dates and being totally happy with summer flings or hook ups abroad. It wasn’t a façade, either. For a while, I was genuinely happy living my life this way – and there’s nothing wrong with it.
As I started getting more in tune with myself and who I was, I realized that although there’s nothing wrong with a lifestyle like I was living, it was wrong for me. You see, I’m what they call an empath and it took me years to embrace being an empath.
Dr. Judith Orloff describes empaths as “highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings.”
For the longest time, this heightened sensitivity terrified me and I did everything in my power to mute it – to the point of becoming emotionally disconnected in almost any encounter I had with the opposite sex. In my mind, if I went through the motions but didn’t let it hit my heart, I was in control.
Here’s a tip for you readers that connect as being an empath, or just being the person who loves more: teaching yourself to disconnect emotionally is not healthy. It might work for a little while, but over time I realized that I wasn’t experiencing the types of relationships I truly cared about. You need to embrace being an empath, to be proud of it.
I didn’t realize this about myself until very recently, when I came out of a relationship with my heart shattered in a million pieces. It was the second relationship that I actually count as a relationship because I was all in. I didn’t hide the sensitive parts of myself, I didn’t shy away from my feelings and he shared them back. Seven months after our relationship ended, I thought I had moved on until I went back to the place where it all began and I found myself sobbing uncontrollably in a bar.
Since then, I’ve done a lot of soul searching. I’ve written, I’ve meditated, I’ve had tears running down my face in the middle of a yoga class – and I’ve come out stronger. I’ve learned that being the person who loves more in a relationship is okay. Being an empath isn’t a negative disorder, it’s a beautiful part of who you are. In fact, I embrace it. I’m proud of being that person because that person isn’t afraid and she doesn’t hide. She’s real, honest and so open that when you find yourself in a relationship with her, your eyes will be opened to an entirely new experience of love.
Being the person who loves more is terrifying, but it is who I am. It means being the person that despite everything that might tell you otherwise, you believe in good. It means being the person that believes that love will, in fact, conquer all and that love is the best way to respond in all encounters. To deny that is to deny yourself of the relationships that will allow you to grow, discover and heal. So, don’t shy away from being the one who loves more in a relationship. Do some soul searching if you need to, but learn to embrace that part of who you are. Embrace being an empath – It’s an admirable, raw quality, to be heart-centered.
A relationship doesn’t work if you only share pieces of yourself and despite the countless heartaches that might come when being the person who loves more, there is an optimism at the end of it that shines through everything else. There’s the self-confidence and love that you deserve only the person who embraces your whole self – and that makes being the one who loves more worth it every time.
You can find my original post on Elite Daily here.