Can Being Too Sensitive Ruin A Relationship?

Too Much Sensitivity Ruining Your Relationship

“Is my partner mean or am I too sensitive?” 

If this question has been bothering you lately, it’s time to discover the truth. 

Dating a highly sensitive person comes with its challenges. Do you think you are highly sensitive? Or does your partner lack the skills to meet the emotional needs of a sensitive person?

Is being too sensitive a bad thing in a relationship?

Understanding what the other feels and expressing yourself appropriately is the meaning of being in a sensitive relationship. By that logic, sensitivity should be considered a virtue. But too much of anything is usually associated with vice. So can dating a highly sensitive woman or man lead to a bad relationship? It depends on how the “sensitive” person copes with their sensitivity. Highly sensitive people experience life through a magnifying lens. Pleasure or pain, they feel sensations on a heightened level. There could be a genetic component involved. These people can’t help feeling the way they do at their roots. However, they can learn how to work with their emotions and keep realistic expectations from their partners.

Are you confused and wondering, “Is my boyfriend/ girlfriend/ partner mean or am I too sensitive?”

Traits of a highly sensitive person

To find out whether your partner is mean or you are too sensitive, please answer these questions:

  • Are you strongly affected by environmental triggers?
  • Do you tend to be more emotionally and physiologically reactive to novel experiences?
  • Do you experience strong positive and negative emotions?
  • Are you very nervous in stressful conditions or situations?
  • Do you have a low threshold for pain?
  • Are you very perceptive of even the subtlest of differences?

If you said “yes” to most of these questions, you are likely a bit too sensitive. But is it bad to be a highly sensitive person?

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Do highly sensitive people struggle in relationships?

So you find out your partner isn’t mean, it is you who is just too sensitive. An important thing to note here is that sensitivity is not an emotional weakness

Yes, high sensitivity could negatively affect your relationship. But that doesn’t mean being highly sensitive is a problem.

According to research by Dr. Elaine Aron, 15 to 20 percent of people are born with this trait. 

Turns out, highly sensitive people have some strengths too, such as: 

  • Empathy: High sensitivity means you are also sensitive to the moods and emotions of others. This gives you insights into their inclinations and motivations as well.
  • Observation: You tend to notice more details in your environment. This is beneficial as being more observant makes you alert to even the smallest of changes.
  • Social skills: Since you are observant and care about the feelings of others, you can learn to notice subtle cues in speech and body language. This allows you to understand people more quickly than others. 

As you can see, having empathy, good observation, and social skills can add meaning to a sensitive relationship. 

But too much of sensitivity is a double-edged sword. It may harm the relationship in different ways: 

Relationships require a lot of work, but one thing matters the most!

Expecting too much

Just because you are interested in your partner’s ups and downs, their highs and lows, doesn’t mean they share the same curiosity.

Of course, if they love you they will care about how you feel, but maybe not with the same intensity. 

Expecting your not-highly-sensitive partner to mirror your level of concern can leave you feeling dissatisfied with the relationship. 


Well, I don’t believe sensitive people “over” react. I think they react to the intensity to which they feel. And so their reaction is appropriate for how they’re feeling.

For your partner though, this might be hard to understand.

By the way, if you’ve ever felt like you’re maybe not “normal,” please consider reading Gabor Maté’s The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness & Healing in a Toxic Culture (amazon affiliate link) where he challenges our understanding of “normal” and offers a compassionate guide for health and healing.

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You recently brought a cute puppy home, just like you and your partner wanted. While they might be happy about the decision, you are perhaps swirling with ecstasy!

What about during your lows?

A small argument may seem like the end of the relationship to you. Your partner may have to reassure you a lot, provided you haven’t already apologized to them 50 times!

Or, maybe you don’t feel reassured until he apologizes to you 50 times!

In the long run, your partner could grow tired of what might feel like “drama” to them because remember they don’t experience emotions like you.

Being ingenuine

Too much sensitivity could lead to a vivid imagination. Since things are so stimulating to you, your mind is frequently thinking about something.

So when your partner spends too much time away, you could easily get jealous. And because you are sensitive to their emotions too, you wouldn’t want to confront them about it and hurt their sentiments. 

Instead, you may choose to be overly nice to them, and drop your plans for them, hoping they would spend more time with you.

Sometimes, you might even pretend to be happy to match their mood.

Not being yourself will take a toll on you eventually.

It’s important to learn how to manage these emotional triggers.

How do you deal with someone who is too sensitive?

Are you the partner who’s dating a highly sensitive person? 

I understand it’s hard sometimes. But aren’t there days when you feel loved and cherished, perhaps more than you could imagine? You do, I know.

No relationship is perfect. Now that you know how your partner is, try to work with the good and the bad.

You can add meaning to your sensitive relationship by keeping your home as stress-free as possible.

Highly sensitive people respond to most stimuli, so keep your space clutter-free. Instead, try doing something simple together.

Respect their boundaries and space. Highly sensitive people need quiet time to relax their overthinking minds. Don’t get in their way of finding peace.

When you see your partner in a busy situation, come to their aid. Situations where too much is happening can be oversimulating for highly sensitive people. 

But please remember…

It’s NOT your work.

While you can definitely support them in figuring out how to process their emotions by doing your inner work, learning how to communicate well during conflicts, drawing boundaries, etc…

At the end of the day, their inner work is their work.

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How to stop being overly sensitive in a relationship?

While your partner is doing their bit, you may also get started on how to stop being overly sensitive in a relationship.

First, identify what you are sensitive to. It could be a sensory stimulus, like sound, or a social stimulus, like interacting with a lot of people.

Or it could be specific actions your partner does, or things they say, that are totally innocent, but for your own reasons trigger you.

When you know what triggers you, think about the ways to resolve it. For example, you could get noise-cancelling headphones to block sound, or work on past relational traumas.

What is the most powerful emotion you feel when triggered? Think about whether your reaction to the trigger is justified. Do you need to act out the strong feeling? Or can you uncover & process it?

Allow your partner to help you here. They will let you know when your emotional response is too much.

Eventually, you will come to rely on their feedback, and your relationship will grow stronger. 

No matter how meaningful your sensitive relationship is, there are things it cannot solve. That would require deep inner work. 

What if you had ALL the necessary skills to heal yourself? Imagine creating an emotionally happy, healthy, and fulfilling relationship – with yourself, with others, and with your work – that is deeply aligned with your core.

If you’re looking to heal and grow and learn the most effective skills and strategies to support your emotional and relational healing, Learn-Heal-Grow School – is for you!


  • What does dating a highly sensitive person feel like: You may feel your partner responds too much to environmental stimuli or gets too worried after arguments. 
  • Is my boyfriend mean or am I too sensitive: If you experience emotions very intensely and get easily affected by stimulation, you could be highly sensitive. 
  • How to stop being overly sensitive in a relationship: Don’t expect your partner to be as empathetic as you are, and think about whether your strong emotional reactions make sense in a given context.

Hope this article supported your understanding of whether being too sensitive can ruin a relationship.    

Are you dating a highly sensitive partner? What is the strongest emotion they experience according to you?

I’d love to hear your take in the comments below!

P.S. Sensitive people tend to experience emotions more intensely. But can they rely on those emotions? Find out in Can You Trust Your Emotions?

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  1. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this like you wrote the book in it or something – this is a fantastic blog, an excellent read I will certainly be back

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