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7 Relationship Challenges Faced By Emotionally Intense People

Relationship Challenges Emotionally Intense

Intense & sensitive people see and feel the world differently. Dating an intense person can be emotionally overwhelming because of their heightened sensitivity. Here are some of the obstacles intense people face in intimate relationships or the lack of them.

Dating an intense person and dating as an intense person comes with unique challenges. These relationship struggles may include emotional difficulties, misunderstandings, boredom, and the frustrations that come with not being able to find someone who matches intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.  

One of the biggest and most painful challenges highly sensitive, intense and gifted adults can face is how difficult it is for them to find partners that understand their overexcitability. In this article, you will find eight common highly sensitive, intense, and gifted adults people find in relationships and four pieces of advice on what you can do to deal with them. 

Highly Sensitive Persons, Intense and Gifted People Can Be Out Of Sync

A lot of the sensitive and intense people’s problems stem from the fact that they are out of sync with the rest of the world. From the get-go, these gifted adults see the world and feel the world differently. But being out-of-sync comes with its challenges.

Just as in their childhood as gifted children, sensitive and gifted 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.

As a gifted adult, 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

dating an intense person
Relationship Challenges of Sensitive People

8 Challenges Highly Sensitive, Intense and Gifted Adults Face in Relationships

Here are some of the sensitive gifted adult’s problems found in their intimate relationships or the lack of them:

1. Boredom, Impatience, Loneliness

Intense and gifted 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.

Read: 5 Traits Of An Emotionally Intense Person: Are You One?

Dating as an intense person is difficult as it is challenging for them to find someone that they are romantically or sexually attracted to, who can also connect with them emotionally and intellectually. They are eager in their search for adventure and exploration— physically, psychologically, intellectually, visually, and sensually.

However, their partner may not be able to join them in their ventures. The gifted adults’ partners or potential partners may simply be content with the ‘known’ world and have little curiosity. The partners are unable to keep up with the gifted adults’ speed of processing and do not share their hunger for knowledge.

Thus, the gifted adults are often frustrated with the partners’ lack of curiosity, and the partners feel overwhelmed by the gifted’s enthusiasm. Many gifted adults also feel sick and tired of always having to be the ‘leader’ in the relationship.

Some intense people may try to fill the gap through friendships and acquaintances but remain envious of other couples who seem to be ‘soulmates’. If they find the interaction with their partner increasingly stilted, their frustration may come out as sarcasm, irritation, back-handed criticism, or verbal attacks that they later regret.   

It is in the gifted adults’ nature to want to experiment, to learn, and to improve things for the better; painfully, they may find themselves outgrowing one partner after another.

2. You Carry Past Pain Into The Present

Being gifted and 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.

As a gifted adult, 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.

In a way, the problems you face dating as an intense person share the same root with people who are not gifted. Normally, 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.

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Imi Lo

Imi Lo is a consultant for emotionally intense and highly sensitive people. She is the author of Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity, available in multiple languages, and The Gift of Intensity. Imi is the founder of Eggshell Therapy and Coaching, working with intense people from around the world. Imi has practiced as a social worker and therapist in London (U.K). She has trained in mental health, psychotherapy, art therapy, philosophical counseling, and mindfulness-based modalities. She works holistically, combining psychological insights with Eastern and Western philosophies such as Buddhism. Imi’s credentials include a Master in Mental Health, Master of Buddhist Studies, Graduate Diploma in Psychology, Bachelor of Social Science in Social Work, Certificate in Logic-based Therapy, and an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy. She has received multiple scholarships and awards including the Endeavour Award by the Australian Government. She has been consulted by and appeared in publications such as The Psychologies Magazine, The Telegraph, Marie Claire,and The Daily Mail.View Author posts