What it would be like to date someone who’s not just sensitive, but very sensitive? Opinion time: I think it might be the best relationship decision you’ll ever make.
That’s because “sensitive” doesn’t always mean what we think it means. Roughly 1 in 5 people are born with the genes to be a highly sensitive person (HSP), which means they’re very, very tuned in to everything around them — from their environment to the people they’re with to what everyone is feeling. HSPs tend to be extremely creative, insightful, empathetic, and caring, but they can get stressed or overstimulated easily in hectic situations.
And I’m just going to say it: I think highly sensitive people make exceptional partners.
Why? Well, every HSP is different, so these points won’t apply to them all equally, but here are 12 reasons I think everyone should try dating a highly sensitive person.
12 Reasons to Date a Highly Sensitive Person
1. They’re perceptive about your feelings — and they “get” you.
Ever feel off, or even bothered about something, and you just wish someone would notice (and care)? Your HSP won’t miss it — not a chance! They’ll pick up on how you’re feeling, and more importantly, what matters to you will matter to them. If you’re sad, they’ll sit with you rather than try to “fix” you. If you prefer to process it on your own, tell them and they’ll understand… but they’ll still be a little extra nice to you while they give you space.
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2. They have big reactions to things — and frankly, it’s fun.
Give them a bunch of flowers? They’ll squeal with joy. Cook them their favorite dinner? They won’t take it for granted. And yes, when they walk past a gallery and see a breathtaking piece of art in the window, they really will stop to stare at it for a moment of awe.
Highly sensitive people tend to feel everything in their hearts — even the simple things. It’s not that they’re drama queens, kings, or otherwise, just that they feel so deeply and are usually very expressive of those feelings. They have a hard time containing them! This can be very cute and fun — it makes for great birthdays, holidays, and just everyday events.
3. They’re able (and willing) to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability is one of those things you don’t realize you were missing in your relationships until you finally experience it. It breeds true connection. If someone can open up and let the other person in, you have a chance at feeling really tapped into your partner.
I won’t lie. Vulnerability can be a scary thing, it isn’t easy, but it’s totally worth it. Because it creates this beautiful cycle: The HSP is willing to take a leap to expose themselves to being hurt, and that gives you the chance to show them that you aren’t there to inflict pain, only to love. This sort of exchange is what lifetime partnerships are made of.
4. They aren’t afraid to cry.
News flash: Stuffing feelings down does nothing positive for anyone. Many HSPs understand that crying is often healthy, and they aren’t afraid to let it out, even if that means some snot and ugly crying. (Yes, we HSPs can contain it in professional situations — usually — though expect us to need extra time afterward.)
They know that crying is cleansing the soul, and it’s a crucial part of being who you are. This also means they have tons of compassion when it’s your turn to cry. They’d never judge you or think less of you; if anything, they’d respect you more. Which all goes back to the beautiful power of being vulnerable. Go figure, right?
5. They’re terrible liars.
Nothing dissolves an otherwise-happy relationship faster than lying. Honesty is a building block in a relationship, and it’s impossible to feel good about even small, everyday things if you know your partner has been deceiving you.
But here’s the thing. It’s very difficult for an HSP to lie. If they try, it’s written all over their face. They just aren’t good at it. And not only does that mean they’ll likely be truthful to you, it also means they’ll tend to favor healthier methods of handling conflict or disagreement, rather than just covering it up. (You might even find it humorous when they try to lie about something small like how you look in a certain shirt. It’s like watching a ballet dancer try to play football.)
6. They’re a great judge of character.
Just as HSPs tend not to lie, they can also see through the facades put on by others. HSPs really do notice the little things, and that includes all the secret giveaways, the momentary facial expressions, the “tells” that reveal what someone is truly thinking.
If you meet someone who’s kind of, shall we say, grimey, your HSP will likely be able to tell — and will know not to fall for whatever they’re selling. In many ways, this ability to read people is a superpower, and that’s good news for you; you may learn to turn to your partner as a sort of “truth detector” and get their gut reaction.
7. They listen well — even when you don’t know you need it.
You don’t have to worry about your HSP spacing out or just flat-out not listening. They’ll be cued into what you’re saying, improving your overall relationship. It’s so hard to come by people who are genuinely good listeners, but you’ve found one in this person; they’re likely processing what you’re saying at a million miles an hour and trying to make sense of it all. As a result, they’ll often put their finger on something you weren’t quite seeing yourself — even when you didn’t realize you needed a sounding board.
8. They’re very connected to their body.
HSPs have a connection to their gut and to the rest of their body. Their intuition is physical as well as spiritual and mental; they have to lean into their bodies to hear it. They also know what it takes to please them and they can usually communicate that to you — they have a sense of what makes their body feel good (and, as they get to know you, what makes your body feel good, too). For HSPs, physical intimacy can be very much a form of mutual exploration, and they’re very intentional and intense. If you can let go of yourself and go with it, there will be sparks.
9. They understand when someone needs time alone.
Most of us aren’t looking for someone who absolutely has to be with their partner 24/7. Being able to do things separately is a healthy trait, and can even be strengthening for the relationship. And taking some alone time isn’t just restorative, it’s actually good for you.
HSPs understand that. They get overstimulated easily, especially in social circumstances, so it’s totally natural for them to want to retreat for a little while. When it’s your turn to need some solitude, they will give you your space and time to breathe.
10. Their love is intense.
They’ll love you to pieces, that’s for sure. Don’t expect anything less than super-duper-intense from them. It may drive you crazy sometimes, but more often than not, you’ll absolutely love it. You won’t have to question their love; it’ll be very clear.
11. They remember (almost) everything.
Many HSPs have a great memory. They’ll remember all the little things about you, like if you prefer ice in your water or not. As a result, they’re very thoughtful — and at times, almost a mind reader. You’ll be surprised when you start telling a story and they seem to already know exactly what you’re talking about. (This memory for details also means they’re capable of giving the greatest gifts).
12. They’re deep thinkers.
They’ll certainly keep you on your toes with their knowledge of the world and beyond. They’re smart people, and they’re committed to learning new things — with a tendency to see connections where others miss them, or take the things they’ve learned in new, creative directions.
If the chemistry is there, and you want a partner you can grow with, you’ve found them — it will be a lifelong journey of learning and creativity. Not to mention how totally sexy it is that they have so much going on in their mind!
That’s what I love about my fellow highly sensitive people. But I’m just one person. What other benefits are there in dating an HSP? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.