Adapted from Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People
As a psychiatrist and, personally, as an empath, I’ve learned that being in an intimate relationship requires ongoing creative, honest conversations with your mate.
As my Daoist teacher says, “Your soulmate can become your cellmate” if you’re not both dedicated to mutual growth and authenticity. It’s painful to be in a relationship where communication isn’t a priority: the one you love the most can seem like the enemy. Such lack of mutual understanding isn’t viable for empaths if they want to feel well.
A soulmate is a meant-to-be relationship with someone for whom you feel a strong connection. When you meet, something in you awakens. You want to support each other’s souls and be each other’s safe place to land. A soulmate can be a lover, a friend, a co-worker, a teacher, or another pivotal relationship in your life. Whatever the relationship, you can take each other further in your own emotional and spiritual growth than either of you could go alone.
Still, soulmate relationships aren’t always peaceful or without conflicts. When the honeymoon phase ends, suddenly this idealized person may be irritating you and has so many flaws! You mirror each other’s light and dark sides. Your fears, anxieties, and other unresolved emotional triggers surface. It can be overwhelming and make this person seem more like a cellmate during this phase.
Try to embrace your emotional triggers as opportunities for spiritual growth. Your soulmate is not your savior or your therapist, but rather someone whom you can love and learn from. When both partners are on the path to growth, your relationship will be a portal into the mysteries of intimacy. Seeing the union in this way helps you open your hearts even more.
Now, I’m better able to voice my own needs with my partner and he is open to listening. He’s not afraid of my intense emotions, which makes me feel safe. (I was always wary of being “too intense” with men for fear of rejection.)
To be comfortable enough to let go and be real with a soulmate here are some tips:
1. Set healthy boundaries about your time and energy requirements such as “I’d love to go out but only for an hour.”
2. Express your authentic needs such as “I want to take some alone time now” or “I need you to really hear what I’m feeling about__.”
3. To find balance listen to your partner’s emotions with an open heart; and your partner can listen to yours. That’s when real intimacy becomes possible.
In addition, you can utilize the following intention from Thriving as an Empath.
Set your intention. I will have realistic expectations of a soulmate and not think of them as my savior. I will take responsibility for my own growth. I want to heal anything in myself that keeps me from loving. I will try to heal anything that keeps me from loving.
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