As human beings, we come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and emotional variabilities. It’s one of the most beautiful things about life: variety.
And in this life, we may find friendship and love in a significant other we feel was made to be our counterpart – two halves make a whole, right?
For those of us who found companionship with someone who may be self-described or labeled by others as “sensitive”, there may be quite a few learning curves tossed our way as we attempt to make the relationship a successful and happy one.
Sensitivity doesn’t mean your partner is insecure, necessarily, and it doesn’t mean they need attention all of the time.
Dating a sensitive boyfriend simply means that you’ve found a companion that is in tune with their individuality and open to expressing it.
Believe it or not, this actually makes your job as girlfriend easier, because you will always know how he feels – whether it’s good or bad – and be one step closer to solving relationship problems together.
Here are some pointers in learning how to navigate the complicated world of love with a sensitive partner.
1. Understand What Sensitivity Means
Sensitive individuals are loyal, kind friends and earnest, caring lovers and it’s because of this that they can make the best boyfriends.
But sometimes, sensitivity can translate to modern, negative labels, such as “clingy” or “over-emotional”.
These kinds of labels are hurtful to sensitive people in more ways than one.
It can hurt their feelings for a major characteristic of their personality to be considered a negative attribute. But these negative labels also hurt our society by dismissing sensitive people as unwanted or not ideal significant-others.
Without sensitivity, there could be a lack of caring and consideration of others in the world.
Often a sensitive boyfriend’s main concern is your investment in the relationship. Due to his ability to sense how you feel, he may often question where you’re at in the relationship or view love as a measurable entity rather than something black or white. In other words, the question may not be “Do you love me?” but “How much do you love me?”
Simultaneously, some sensitive individuals may ask themselves these questions in regard to their partner (“How much do I love them?”).
Understanding that sensitivity is actually a power, capable of making a sensitive significant-other a kind of relationship super hero, will help you to comprehend and appreciate the sensitive people in your life more.
2. Take Interest in His Interests
Sensitive individuals have a type of sixth-sense as they are hyper-observant of not only their feelings, but the feelings of those around them.
This ability to observe and perceive emotions is what makes sensitive people significant in our lives; they make the best care-givers, they’re often the friend that asks, “Are you okay?” when no one else has noticed or bothered to ask, and they’re usually the person in your life that can easily tap into their emotions and let you know exactly how they’re feeling.
If your boyfriend is sensitive then it most likely means he will be aware when he feels second-best in your life.
And while he should keep his expectations reasonable, it isn’t unreasonable for him to feel less loved if you don’t actively attempt to learn more about him and his lifestyle.
Knowing he would do the same for you, take an interest in his interests.
You don’t have to love them and he shouldn’t expect you to, but a motivated effort to be more integrated in his life and his passions will show that you care.
3. Ask Questions
If you don’t consider yourself a sensitive person, communicating with a sensitive boyfriend may be more difficult, but it isn’t impossible.
Asking questions during even the most rudimentary conversations can alleviate assumptions, confusion, and therefore, arguments or feelings being hurt.
For example, if your boyfriend does or says something that you don’t completely understand, ask him about it.
It doesn’t have to feel confrontational, especially if you lead up to your question with, “I’m asking because I care about you and I want to understand more about you.”
Great questions in any relationship, regardless of one with a sensitive type, often begin with phrases like: “So what you’re saying is…?”, “How do you feel about…?”, or “What can I do to make you feel…?”
4. Listen Before Speaking
Sometimes all your boyfriend will need is an ear.
Don’t try to solve problems he may come to you with, whether they derive from his job or school or family, unless he asks for help.
Treating a moment of him confiding in you as an opportunity to give advice may make him feel as if you think his problems are simple or that he complains too much.
Simply listening is one of the greatest gifts you can give in love.
5. Learn How He Wants to be Loved
As mentioned earlier, sensitive people may be constantly observant of how others perceive or feel towards them, and as their girlfriend, your opinion and feelings matter the most.
Different people feel loved in different ways. Some may feel adored when they are surprised with gifts or a night out, others feel more loved when it’s expressed to them daily with phrases like “I love you” or “You’re wonderful”.
Discovering how your boyfriend most likes to be loved will help you fulfill his need to be loved and feel secure in the relationship.
6. Practice Apologizing
There’s potential in a relationship with someone sensitive for a lot of misunderstandings.
Maybe you accidentally forget an important date or do something unintentionally that makes your partner feel unloved or disliked.
Apologizing is the key to many successful relationships, because it demonstrates to your boyfriend that his emotions matter more to you than your own pride or need to be right.
7. Be Aware of Tone
A sensitive boyfriend may read between the lines, attempting to sort your emotions from your words.
In most cases, it’s not that they don’t trust you, but that they consider themselves better emotional-interpreters than word-interpreters.
If you’re telling your partner you aren’t mad at them, but saying it in a tone or way that suggests otherwise, don’t be surprised when your partner doesn’t believe you and possibly antagonizes you to sort out the truth.
8. Make Him a Priority
Again, this should be under reasonable expectations.
No one should expect you to put your relationship before your performance in school or the importance of starting a career, unless it’s your personal choice.
Consider how seriously this relationship is and then categorize your life from that scale. Talk with your partner about your hypothetical five-year-plan and express the importance of their role in that plan.
They don’t need to be the most important priority in your life, but as long as they are one of the many important priorities this will make your boyfriend feel secure and thus lead to a happier relationship.
9. Ask How He Is…Often
It sounds simple and in many ways, it is.
Routinely check in with your significant other. This can mean anything from asking them how their day at work or in class went to really looking them in the eye and asking, “How are you feeling?”
Checking in demonstrates that you care about them and can keep your relationship on the right track.
He may even express frustration with how sensitive he can be at times. This is typically self-destructive behavior and shouldn’t be ignored or agreed with.
If you happen to witness him feeling dissatisfied with one of his defining characteristics, tell him something honest and positive.
10. Build His Strengths, Compliment His Weaknesses
Everyone has parts of themselves that they feel insecure about, whether it’s physical features or personality attributes.
Pay attention when your boyfriend says, “I wish I was more…” or they express an insecurity to you.
As their girlfriend, you have the special power of seeing them in the positive light that they may not. Find that angle and help them discover it themselves.
For example, if your boyfriend mentions he wishes he were more assertive, try and find an opportunity in which you can tell him he handled a situation with confidence.
Even something as subtle as telling him you’re proud of him or saying, “I like how you handle that” may help him become more comfortable with his ability to be assertive.
The phrase “Remember when…” will shower you both with a happy memory and therefore highlight his weakness as something you both feel positive about.
Often the words “That’s why I love you” may help re-wire his brain to consider his weaknesses as strengths, because they’re what gave him you.
These ten practices should help you maintain a successful and happy relationship with a sensitive partner.
As with most things in life that matter, practice is key. No relationship is perfect and we are all imperfect individuals.
Keeping realistic expectations in mind and practicing these ten steps should help you treat your sensitive boyfriend the way he deserves.