Being out of sync. From the get-go, intense people see the world and feel the world differently. Being out-of-sync comes with its challenges. Here are some of the obstacles intense people face in intimate relationships or the lack of them.
Just as in childhood, intense adults feel alone in the world. As you are wired differently, true peers have always been hard to come by. You have a lifelong yearning for a soulmate. A romantic partner may seem like an ‘obvious’ answer to the gaping hole in your soul, but the reality might leave you disappointed. Even if you have met someone or made a friend with whom you have a reciprocal connection, you find yourself outgrowing them.
The best scenario would be to have a committed partner who can grow with you, but not all of us are fortunate enough to have found such a person.
You are not the only one who struggles with romantic relationships in our fast-moving world. Being intense and sensitive, however, means you are more likely to face the following challenges.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” ― Stephen Hawking
Here Are 7 Relationship Challenges Faced By Emotionally Intense And Sensitive People
1. Boredom, impatience and loneliness.
Intense people often feel bored and impatient in a relationship. If your partner does not meet your intellectual rigor and emotional depth, you end up feeling under-stimulated and alone, even when you are with someone. You are not only sensitive but also enthusiastic, excitable, and multi-passionate. You bring a lot of energy and ideas into a relationship, but you may not feel your input is reciprocated.
It is difficult for you to find someone that you are romantically or sexually attracted to, who can also connect with you emotionally and intellectually. You are eager in your search for adventure and exploration— physically, psychologically, intellectually, visually, and sensually. However, your partner may not be able to join you in your ventures.
They may simply be content with the ‘known’ world and have little curiosity. They are unable to keep up with your speed of processing and do not share your hunger for knowledge. You are frustrated with their lack of curiosity, and they feel overwhelmed by your enthusiasm. You may feel sick and tired of always having to be the ‘leader’ in the relationship.
You may try to fill the gap through friendships and acquaintances but remain envious of other couples who seem to be ‘soulmates’. If you find the interaction with your partner increasingly stilted, your frustration may come out as sarcasm, irritation, back-handed criticism, or verbal attacks that you later regret. It is in your nature to want to experiment, to learn, and to improve things for the better; painfully, you may find yourself outgrowing one partner after another.
2. You carry your past trauma to the present.
Being intense might have led to a whole life experience of being misunderstood, judged, called too idealistic, too sensitive, too serious, too much, too impatient… You might have been bullied in school and have internalized the feeling that the world is not safe. Perhaps you were trapped in some unhealthy family dynamics that afflict empathic and sensitive children— such as being parentified, scapegoated, or attacked. These childhood traumas leave scars that do not disappear with time.
You are empathic, self-aware, and have a deep capacity to love and care. Yet your sensitivity is also why your painful past can traumatize you for life. If you blame yourself for what happened, you also carry toxic shame and have low self-esteem.
An intimate relationship is where all our old wounds and needs surface. As we get close to someone and feel safe, our inner child feels that they could, at long last, get their needs met. All our hunger for love, attention, understanding, and all the things that we needed but were never there— surge up. However unconsciously, we hope our current partner can plug the gap left by our childhood.
This results in us carrying our past into the present. We may overreact to small cues of being left, dismissed, or humiliated. When we are triggered, we regress to feeling and behaving like a little child. We become desperate, demand unreasonably, or throw a tantrum, only to regret it moments later when we are back in our adult mode.
In a previous article, we discussed the three types of longing we project onto our relationships: the need for mirroring/attention, idealization, and twinship. If you find yourself triggered continuously by seemingly small events, or overreact to things your partner says or does, you may find the information in the article useful.