For empaths, relationships can be cruel.
Haven’t we all experienced love’s twisting fingers choke the life out of us at some point in our lives? As we grasp for air, every breath we attempt to take becomes a challenge, and our mental capacity tries to figure out if we even want to breathe.
I guess I’ve gone through life wanting other people to be happy, and not caring much about my own happiness, blinded by the sheer lustful joy of seeing another person revel in the fields of dreams I bring them. But at the same unfortunate time, I’ve been blind to see that it hasn’t been reciprocated at all. Yet you imagine it has been. Was that smile a thank you? I don’t remember hearing the words though.
Time after time, I’ve reached deep within myself to really understand what another person’s needs are and to give them all I can. Isn’t giving what life is all about? At least, that’s what I thought for many years until a series of relationships broke my soul and shattered my beliefs forever.
I’ve always cared too much, loved without truly loving, and stayed without really wanting to stay. I’ve always seen people, maybe even been attracted to those whom I’ve felt, from deep within, needed help to find some happiness, even if for a moment.
I don’t know what it is, but something about the way they came across—the subtle tones of their voices, the slight giveaways of their expressions, or the pain hidden in their eyes—I don’t know. But I do know now that this is the wrong reason to be in a relationship. It’s always going to end in tears.
You start something and you don’t even know why. I guess empathy replicates love over time, and you find yourself ignoring the red flags. The feelings aren’t given back in return but you still concentrate on making sure the other person finds solace in the comfort of what you can bring them emotionally.
It is wrong, I know this now as it’s led to my own personal heartache. You give and give again until the point where it starts to become expected, and before you know it, you are trapped, caught in an emotional drain of giving daily to the point of exhaustion, and, in return, you feel nothing but the blackest of holes. You then realize you’re being used for your kindness and mental support.
You watch the other person grow stronger as you grow weaker. They start to siphon your shine and glow brightly as you settle to do the washing up again—same as every night.
You start to get lost in the expected routines you have created to make the other person’s life easier. “I’ll do this for you today. You settle down, chill, and relax,” seems to be the common phrase in everyday life. But your ears are void to any slight loving returns that would lift your spirits—even for that brief beautiful moment. Not even a thank you.
You start to become blind that the new shining soul you have polished with obsessive intent is attracting moths. They spend more and more time on their phones as the days tick on. You catch them smiling at the screen more often than not, but you are so busy making sure they are comfortable that the signs of impending pain glide past you with wistful delight. Obliviously, you are being mocked.
You continue your life—days working hard, nights working even harder until you finally get to relax. Damn, it feels so good to sit down. So you sit on the couch next to the person you’ve spent what seems like an eternity with, doing every little thing they’ve asked of you and so much more. But as you gaze at them, still connected to their phone, you feel sadness as you realize, in actual fact, that you are so alone.
You water the seed of doubt you planted in the fertile soil of truth with your own tears, realizing that you’ve been used for emotional balance, whilst your own spirit has been firmly tipped over. You feel your own pain as they continue on a daily basis to be attracted to the light on the screen of another reality.
What have I received in return over these many years? The answer, if I am being honest with my own reflection, is nothing. I know this sounds incredibly sad, but empaths and people who just strive to make other people happy tend to lose track of themselves in the blink of an eye, because their sole focus is on making the other person the happiest they could ever be.
Ultimately, you need to receive as much as you give. This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I gave so much of myself to my past relationships and got so burnt out physically and emotionally, and I still wasn’t enough. They sought solitude in other people because I wasn’t what they really wanted; I was just what they needed at that point in time when I had met them, and I gave them what they craved, which was emotional stability.
Being in a relationship, especially for anyone of a sensitive disposition, has to be a give and take at the most basic levels. You need to feel the effort being reciprocated by the person you are giving your heart to, and in return, you’ll give them the very best you have to offer. And if the very best you have to offer still isn’t good enough, then cut your losses and walk away.
Please don’t get caught, as I did, in the monotonous trap of loving to not be loved in return. Instead, please, live to be loved by a person who, no matter what the f*ck it takes, will want you for who you are. A person who will love you and want nothing ever in return.