Are you a single woman who has found yourself over-empathizing with men in the dating process? Do you find yourself tolerating bad behaviors from men or settling for less than you deserve because you feel sorry for the men you’re dating and always find excuses for why a man is behaving badly?
If yes, you’re not alone. Over-empathy can be a common pitfall for single women, but it’s important to recognize it and release it because it can truly hold you back from attracting an empowered, healthy man that is capable of stepping up for you.
What is Over-Empathy?
Over-empathy occurs when you prioritize a man’s feelings and needs over your own to an excessive degree or as the norm in dating. You may feel sorry for the man or want to help him, even when it’s at your own expense. You may even buy into his explanations around his bad behaviors and keep tolerating a less-than experience for yourself.
Over-empathy for men, especially in early dating, when you barely know a man, can lead you to make excuses for his bad behaviors or settle for a lower standard than you deserve. Over time, this pattern can keep you stuck at a low level of dating, wasting time with men who will never meet your standards and never give you the kind of relationship we both know you deserve.
Examples of Over-Empathy in Dating
When women find my work and start working with me in one of my programs, for instance, over-empathy or over-accommodating a man is one of the most common behaviors I experience that hold my clients back from having an amazing dating experience.
For instance, my Leap Into Love client Catherine had a pattern of continuing to see a man who canceled plans last minute or didn’t show up at all at times, because she knew his dad had died recently, so she felt like she had to keep giving him chances.
Another example is my Leap Into Love client Jennifer, who stayed in a relationship with a man for seven years, even though she knew he was emotionally unavailable and had openly told her he would never marry her.
Today, Jennifer is happily married to a man who ADORES HER, thanks to Leap Into Love.
However, back then, she continued to stay in that relationship because she had over-empathy for her partner who was still trying to get his career and finances together. However, she drastically neglected her own need for a full commitment in the relationship. Once Leap Into Love showed her how to honor her OWN needs as well, the game changed for her love life completely.
Finally, to give you yet another example from a real life client, my Leap Into Love client Chikondi used to be ‘understanding’ and offer ‘over-empathy’ when a man she was dating would flirt with his exes or other pretty women because she didn´t want to be a drama woman. It took Chikondi inner work to understand that she gets to speak up when things make her uncomfortable vs. trying to play ‘cool’ girl.
Today Chikondi is a mum and an adored wife and another one of our countless Leap Into Love success stories.
These are just a few examples of over-empathy in dating.
It’s important to recognize when you’re over-empathizing with a man and to take steps to avoid this pattern. This doesn’t mean you should be cold or unfeeling or a completely inflexible dater, but rather that you should prioritize your own needs and standards as well.
Avoiding Over-Empathy in Dating
Some tips to avoid over-empathy in dating include:
- Setting clear boundaries and sticking to them.
- Prioritizing your own needs and standards without feeling guilty or selfish about it.
- Recognizing when a man’s behavior is unacceptable and walking away if necessary without giving too much benefit of doubt all the time.
- Communicating openly and honestly with the men you date.
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