“Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.” ~Swami Vivekananda
Highly sensitive people naturally bring some really beautiful, love-promoting qualities to their romantic partnerships. But these same qualities can sometimes end up undermining the strength of their relationships. This was true for me in my first marriage and led, in part, to it ending in divorce.
We HSPs are known for our caring, conscientious, and considerate natures. It matters deeply to us that we do our best to be loyal and caring in our relationships.
And because we tend to have high …
“Sometimes you’ve got to look straight into the tired eyes of the woman staring back at you in the mirror and tell her that she deserves the best kind of love, the best kind of life, and devote yourself to giving it to her all over again.” ~S.C. Lourie
I learned the hard way that in order to have an intimate relationship (and life) that feels deeply satisfying, nourishing, and fulfilling, highly sensitive people (HSPs) need to attend more to their emotional well-being than non-HSPs.
Before I knew I was highly sensitive (which is a normal trait …
“The truth is that the way other people see us isn’t about us—it’s about them and their own struggles, insecurities, and limitations. You don’t have to allow their judgment to become your truth.” ~Daniell Koepke
As a child growing up with a highly sensitive mom, I often noticed her go quiet at the dinner table after my stepfather would make some little comment. Looking back, I know he was just tired and a bit grouchy from a long day at work, but my mom felt hurt by his words.
Over the years, the comments didn’t lessen, but I noticed …
“If you don’t love yourself, you’ll always be looking for someone else to fill the void inside you, but no one will ever be able to do it.” ~Lori Deschene
Two years ago, I sat in my basement with tears streaming down my face. I had just found a copy of an old letter I’d written to an old boyfriend years before. In it, I was practically begging for his love, and also complaining and even shaming him for not loving me well.
As I read, I was overcome by three insights, all of which brought up big emotions:
“Our relationships are a reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves.” ~Iyanla Vanzant
Looking back at my life I see that all of my romantic relationships up until now suffered because I didn’t recognize or value my sensitivity.
For much of my life I thought there was something wrong with me. I was too quiet, too shy, not interesting enough in group settings, too easily hurt, too easily overwhelmed and stressed. I judged myself for being irritable when I didn’t feel rested. I was easily bored with surface conversation and craved deep intimacy, but thought maybe that was …
“Today I want you to think about all that you are instead of all that you are not.” ~Unknown
If you are a sensitive person like me, you may think being sensitive is problematic. Especially when it comes to love and relationships.
Maybe you’ve been called “too sensitive” by your partner or a parent. Maybe you feel overly emotional or have strong reactions to things or take things personally that don’t bother your partner, or you are easily irritated or get cranky all too often, or you feel the urge to be alone a lot more than you …
“You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.” ~Guy Finley
I used to be married to a very kind man with similar values and goals in life. So why did we end up divorced?
In one word? Communication.
Like so many other highly sensitive people (HSPs) I thrived on meaningful, deep communication. I lived for it. I sought it out. And, when at ease, I was good at it.
Unless he wasn’t. Which was often. When he was shut down, couldn’t articulate what was going on for him, or had nothing to say …
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” ~Sam Keen
When we fall in love, we feel excited to experience some of the most joyful moments of our lives. Because love is supposed to be the source of the best feelings, right? But what about when that relationship churns up some hard stuff and leaves you feeling hurt, annoyed, sad, and irate?
For many of us, especially deep-feelers like me, when we start to experience these inevitable lows in our relationship, we may conclude that something is inherently wrong …
“By letting our deep longing for love and connectedness be exposed…[we are] opening up the channel through which love can enter.” ~John Welwood
When we feel disconnected from our romantic partner what we often want most is to genuinely feel their love again, to feel connected. And yet, it can be so difficult to simply share that longing.
So instead of explaining or asking for what we want in a loving way, we complain about what is wrong, about how our partner isn’t showing up for us. Or we simply withdraw.
This is especially true for sensitive souls like …
“Who is it that’s unhappy? The one who finds fault.” ~Anonymous
If you are anything like me, you yearn to know in your bones that you are showing up in your primary relationship as your best self. You want to be loving, kind, and supportive (and to reap the gifts those qualities sow in your love life). But certain habits of interaction get in the way, making you feel inept and ashamed.
Like many of us, I grew up in a family that was steeped in criticism and blame. Though I rebelled against this behavior intellectually, it found its way …