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One empath-patient told me, “It helps explain why at thirty-two I’ve only had two serious relationships, each lasting less than a year.” Once we empaths learn to set boundaries and negotiate our energetic preferences, intimacy becomes possible.For emotional empaths to be at ease in a relationship, the traditional paradigm for coupling must be redefined. But why it hangs on isn’t always apparent when read by traditional medical eyes.As a psychiatrist in Los Angeles and in my workshops I’ve been struck by how many sensitive, empathic people who I call “emotional empaths” come to me, lonely, wanting a romantic partner, yet remaining single for years.Then intimacy can flourish, even if you’ve felt suffocated before.

and predictably, it makes for rather arresting reading.Your space needs can vary with your situation, upbringing, and culture.My ideal distance to keep in public is at least an arm’s length. Sometimes it’s rapture being wrapped in his arms; later I may need to be in a room of my own, shut away.If you’re an empath or if the ordinary expectations of coupledom don’t jibe with you, practice the following tips. Tips for empaths to feel at ease in a relationship: Tip 1. As you’re getting to know someone, share that you’re a sensitive person, that you periodically need quiet time. Nothing personal; they just like their own sleep space. Feeling trapped in bed with someone, not getting a good night’s rest, is torture. Even if my partner’s vibes are sublime, sometimes I’d rather not sense them even if they’re only hovering near me. Traveling with someone, you may want to have separate space too. ___ Judith Orloff MD is author of the New York Times Bestseller (Three Rivers Press, 2011), upon which this excerpt is based.The right partner will be understanding; the wrong person will put you down for being “overly sensitive,” won’t respect your need. Energy fields blend during sleep, which can overstimulate empaths. I’m not just being finicky; it’s about maintaining well-being if I live with someone. Whether my companion is romantic or not, I’ll always have adjoining rooms with my own bathroom. An Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry UCLA, Dr.

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