Emotional Intensity and Relationships: Sometimes intense is too intense.

Today Christine Fonseca, author of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children is joining us to discuss how emotional intensity can affect relationships. Pull up a comfy chair and let’s chat – and at the end, details on how you can win Christine’s book.


First, I want to thank Jamie for letting me hang out on her blog today as she hosts a leg of my blog tour.

For this post, I wanted to talk about emotional intensity as it applies to relationships – especially love-relationships.

Love relationships are intense by definition. However, the normal emotional intensity present in gifted individuals can take this to a whole new level – causing anyone to redefine what intense may actually mean.

To start, let’s look at a working definition of intensity.

The following poem by Pearl Buck sums it up beautifully:

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:

A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
To him…
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

Pearl Buck

Now, thinking back to emotional intensity and relationships, is it any wonder why a love relationship with an intense person can be so challenging? Even more so if both parties are intense.

Gifted people – both adults and teens – see the world as a series of extremes. The natural ebb and flow of relationships can often be perceived as life altering – a matter of life and death. Maybe even literally.

I always think of Romeo and Juliet when I think of INTENSE relationships. Sure, they were in the throes of first teen love – but even keeping that in mind, their relationship was INTENSE. It burned hot and extinguished too soon.

This is the danger in intense relationships – the intensity itself can cause the relationship to burn-out long before a deeper sense of things can be developed between the partners.

So, the message here – pace yourself. Gifted adults can learn to manage the intensity enough to balance things and not allow the relationship to burnout. But it takes practice. And understanding.

For more information on emotional intensity, check out my newly released book, EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS , the resource for parents and educators working with gifted kids.

Thanks for letting me come by Jamie and talk about emotional intensity in relationships. If anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to come on by and answer them in the comments.

Order Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children on Amazon or get the digital version for your ereader here. Sample the first chapter here .


Thanks so much for that wonderful post, Christine! And I think the warning to pace yourself applies to everyone in relationships, really. Great reminder for us all…

Want to win a copy of Christine’s book? Leave a comment before midnight my time (Mountain Daylight), and I’ll use Random.org to select a winner then. Please make sure you leave a valid email address in the comment form so I can contact you if you win (email addresses are not displayed on the blog). Comments do take a couple minutes to show up here, just so you know. 

Connect with Christine at her website , through her blog , on Facebook and Twitter.

7 comments on “Emotional Intensity and Relationships: Sometimes intense is too intense.

  1. christine fonseca

    Thanks for hosting the last stop on my tour! This has been great fun.

  2. Carol

    Nice to meet you Christine.

    You have some interesting insights on emotional intensity. What a fascinating subject for a book!

    I agree about Romeo and Juliet’s relationship being very intense – I wonder if they’d have been able to sustain it had they lived.

  3. Heidi

    Thanks Christine – this post hit home for me. That poem could be written for me. As a bipolar individual, it took years to be able to understand that my “sensitivity” wasn’t wrong, just different. I will definitely be getting your book, so that I can help my son through his teenage years (when he gets there) so that he won’t have to struggle through them like I did. What a wonderful book to have written. Thank you. And thank you Jamie, for hosting Christine on your blog. 🙂

  4. Brooklyn Ann

    Thanks, Christine. Your book sounds fascinating. I love stories that are able to portray the bad and the good about an emotionally intense relationship. Scarlett and Rhett!

  5. lacorbeau

    Really good interview and content..Good job!!!!

  6. nnsadjwewey

    wltd im uumgx

  7. Nicola

    Dear Christine,

    I was wondering if you had any more info on emotional intensity in romantic relationships- or a book to recommend? I have just come out of one of these relationships. It literally has been the most harrowing experience of my life. It lasted 2 months. It was also exacerbated by his practical circumstances- carer for elderly mother and alcoholic brother, no job, no money, housing situation not great, has a son, ex-wife etc. He basically cannot even afford to take me on a date let alone in any stable way build a future for/with me (live together, marriage, kids). I am 30 years old, so this is something that needs to be considered. Then you add in the intensity. He is more intense than me- more emotional and intelligent- in certain ways anyway. But I can be intensely emotional with things, no matter what they are & am also very intelligent. Put us together bang! But it has completely crashed now, we seem to have this strong ability to hurt each other and we can’t honestly when it comes down to it, build a realistic relationship in the circumstance he is in. He seemed to love me more, but also feels more pain and also can’t handle the relationship- because of this & HIS situation, we just can’t work. We can’t even communicate at the moment- too difficult/painful. Since I believe that due to his situation, our intensity and now because of these our lack of communication and things have turned emotionally controlling & somewhat abusive on his behalf- we just can’t work. God knows I have tried. I just want to know how to get through this pain and to move on??? I have had a similar relationship like this in the past(current one being more intense)- this also crashed. I have had one relationship in my life that has worked and has been very functional and beautiful- because this person was not emotionally intense. This person is still in my life and wants me back. I basically think the Romeo & Juliet love story cannot work for me, at least at this stage in my life when I want to be happy, functional and have a future with kids and a family. Please help!

    Kind Regards,
    Nicola