Yes, I’m Intense — If You Can’t Handle That, Bye

When some people think of the word “intense,” the word “crazy” also comes to mind, but that’s a little unfair. Being intense isn’t something I aim to do, it’s just who I am. I’m not interested in changing, nor do I think I could be any different even if I wanted to be. In fact, I celebrate my intensity and I won’t tone it down on the off chance that a guy can’t handle it.

I’m an empath/highly sensitive person. I can’t help my intensity. As an empath, I’m hard-wired to experience life fully. I’m highly sensitive on an emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual level. I feel everything deeply from the adoration for Shawn Mendes to my concern for my baby sister. Feelings flow through me like Niagra Falls and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m intense all the time. My intensity isn’t reserved for romantic relationships. When I love something, I love it with all that I have. I treat my hobbies like mistresses. I dive into my work like my life depends on it. I treat my friends like the princesses they are. I eat mac and cheese as if it’s my last day on earth. I’m psyched about life and my experiences; I refuse to dim that excitement for anyone.

I expect to be met with the same level of excitement. Ever heard of the law of “hell yes or no?” It states that both people must be totally enthusiastic about pursuing a relationship with one another. Not wishy-washy, sort of excited, or one is pumped and the other is neutral. Both people must feel they’ve hit the lottery. I implement this rule in my dating life. As I’m so intense, I’m just as thrilled spending time with a stranger’s dog as I am with a lover. I find so much joy in my daily life that I will only share my time with someone I absolutely adore… and who absolutely adores me.

I’m not afraid to be me. You can’t be intense and a chameleon. It doesn’t work. I’m intense because I am authentically and unapologetically myself. You better believe that I had a half shaved pink head and a middle finger feminist tattoo before I met you. I’m the same person when I’m alone and when I’m in a relationship, so the options are for someone to accept (and celebrate) me for who I am or GTFO.

I flip gender roles on their heads. I hit on dudes. I ask them out and I pay for dinner if the date was at my request. Sometimes I’m the big spoon, sometimes I love to be the little spoon. I also date trans people, non-binary folks, and women. Gender roles don’t matter because gender is a social construct, anyway.

There are no guessing games with me. If I like you, it will be crystal clear. As I’m so intense, I totally wear my heart on my sleeve. There is no hiding how I feel, nor do I even try. When I like someone, I make sure they know. In relationships, if I’m upset, I make it known. Perhaps I do so imperfectly and sometimes in a bratty way, but at least I’m honest.

I like to spend a lot of time with my partner. When I’m dating someone, seeing them once or twice a week isn’t enough. Just like how I write every single day because I absolutely adore it, I’d like to see my partner at least half of the days of the week because if I’m choosing to be with them, I adore them. This doesn’t make me co-dependent, needy, or crazy, and if anyone thinks that, they aren’t the partner for me.

I practice being present every day. Being wildly intense means that I’m a total dreamer. I’m always pursuing a million things at once and dreaming about my next adventure. This is my greatest asset and biggest downfall. It becomes an issue when I can’t live in the present moment because I think that the future will always be better than right now. To appreciate what I have in my life right now, I practice meditation, mindfulness, and presence.

Small talk drains me; I need to talk about existential things. I once had a partner tell me, “Ginelle, no one likes to talk about existential things all the time.” Turns out we were totally incompatible because I actually thrive on only talking about existential things much of the time. Small talk about favorite colors or movies drains me. Instead, let’s talk about what associations you have with your favorite color and what underlying life lesson was in your favorite movie. As the lovely author Anaïs Nin said: “I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”

I have to carefully walk the line between codependency and healthy love. Because my intensity is off the charts, I have to be very careful. I sometimes mistake endorphins for love and can get deeply consumed in someone, becoming ready to throw my life away and fall off the face of the earth with them. I can become addicted to the way the endorphins make me feel and I loose my grip on reality. It’s been an important lesson for me to continue to learn the difference between a lustful chemistry and genuine healthy connection. I’ve been learning to pursue the latter.

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