Things You Need to Know Before Getting Into a Relationship With a Highly Sensitive Man

1. They may not admit they are “sensitive.”

Even though you are, in part, attracted to this person because of his sensitivity, he may not realize he is sensitive. And, if he does realize it, he may be ashamed of his sensitivity and trying to hide it.

If you are a highly sensitive female you may understand this, intuitively. But being sensitive can be even more difficult for guys because of cultural norms. Highly sensitive men can feel even more “different” than our peers, and even more isolated and alone.

Being a highly sensitive man can be difficult, because society — and even parents of highly sensitive children — seem to celebrate hard, “tough,” emotionless men of action. I should know. My name is Thomas, and I am a highly sensitive male.

As science demonstrates, I have been from birth due to certain sets of genes. But I did not fully embrace my sensitive nature — without shame — until I was in my late 40s. Sometimes I act more macho than I feel on the inside, but it’s only a shield. If you can forgive my brief indiscretions, you can easily melt my Sylvester Stallone facade and expose my inner Ryan Gosling (so to speak).

Full disclosure: I have been in the same amazing romantic relationship since I was 17 years old. Although I am highly sensitive, compared to my wife, Jenny, I am insensitive. She scores off the charts on sensitivity tests and is a full-blown emotional empath. If I’ve had a bad day at work, she knows it as soon as I open the front door. I don’t have to say a word, and she doesn’t even need to be in the room with me.

Yet my form of sensitivity is different from hers. I am not, like her, highly tuned to the emotions of people around me. Rather, I contemplate things very deeply, even things others would consider very everyday and mundane. For example, I can see eternity in my wife’s eyes, and infinity in a blade of grass.

2. They desire innocence and will likely gravitate toward sensitive souls more so than others.

If you are with, or seeking to attract, a highly sensitive man, forget about the tropes you see in most romantic movies, like all the guys drooling over the bombshell blonde who walks into the room with her cleavage and midriff exposed from above and below her skintight tank top. Those drooling guys are not the highly sensitives in the room. For us highly sensitive men, that woman tends to overstimulate us.

Suffice it to say, highly sensitive men aren’t enraptured with the bombshell, voluptuous leading lady. We are more intrigued by the sweet, innocent, girl-next-door supporting actress. We aren’t looking for our own Marilyn Monroe; we fantasize about finding our own Meg Ryan.

I first met Jenny, for instance, when we were in the eighth grade. We started dating when we were high school seniors. She was one of the, statistically, less than 30 highly sensitive females in my small high school. In hindsight, though, she was probably the most highly sensitive person I knew, as she is still one of the most highly sensitive people I have encountered in my lifetime (which I love).

Her freshman year, Jenny was voted the friendliest person in the entire school. She was sweet and innocent — the Meg Ryan of my earliest romantic fantasies. We were, I could feel it, kindred spirits. We were two highly sensitive people in a sea of much less sensitive people. For me, it was love at first sight.

So see who you gravitate toward…

3. They crave consistency and permanence.

Testing the waters with a highly sensitive man may be a challenge because, I assure you, from the first date, he will likely be contemplating forever with you. How will you look and act when you are 60? When you are 80? Be warned — he will look for every inconsistency in your actions, and every flaw may be magnified by his ability to project them out over the many decades he imagines with you.

But, have heart: As a highly sensitive person, he will easily forgive minor flaws and inconsistencies, even attributing them to your unique beauty as a person. And, rest assured, if he wishes to continue the relationship beyond a few dates, it means you have passed his forever test.

I knew I wanted to marry Jenny long before I asked her for a first date. Call us crazy, but highly sensitive men think like this. One day in freshman algebra class, a few of my much less sensitive male classmates started talking about her. At one point, their opinions about her upset me, and feeling the need to defend her, I blurted out, “She isn’t the kind of girl you date in high school. She is the type of girl you marry.”

I was 14 years old when I said that. From that moment to today, nearly 40 years later, I never, even in my wildest imagination, ever once dreamed about the many conquests (and the many intimate relationships) I would have in my lifetime. I only dreamed about one relationship. One permanent partner. One best friend. One love affair that lasted forever.

So if you’re looking for a committed, lifelong mate, consider a highly sensitive man.

4. They have high standards and seek transcendence.

For a highly sensitive man, his lover is a doorway to Heaven, or to nirvana, or to whatever it is that awaits us in the afterlife. This is why we can get way too intense, perhaps way too soon, in a relationship.

Right or wrong, if you are in a long-lasting relationship with a highly sensitive man, you will, in many ways, be a goddess or god to him. A positive of this: He will revere you and treat you well. A negative: Human beings tend to set very high standards for our gods, standards of which any mortal will surely fall short. If you are the love interest of a highly sensitive man, you may often be compared to his image of perfection.

I am a person of faith, so my transcendental wonderings take a traditional Judeo-Christian form. But that is unique to me. The point is that I often contemplate what eternity with my spouse will be like. When I gave Jenny a copy of my senior photos, weeks after we started dating, I wrote on the back of them that in my mind I pictured our relationship as being much nearer its beginning than its end. After more than 30 years of marriage, I still feel that way. On my deathbed, I will still feel that way.