It’s safe to say that one of the biggest challenges with dating is truly knowing where we’re at. We get confused by what we’re feeling, thinking, hearing and experiencing and so even though we may not have known someone for very long, we might be experiencing the interaction at such an intensity that it feels like we’ve known them for much longer or that our relationship is further along than it is. Conversely, we may have known someone for a longer period of time and so have it in our head that we’ve been together X months or Y years so this should mean such-and-such, but in reality when we examine the content of the relationship or the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual depth to the relationship, we could be for all intents and purposes, in the early weeks or months.
We feel intensely but we don’t necessarily have the relationship to match our hopes and desires.
I’ve had a lot of intense involvements and funny enough these all coincided with that chunk of my life where I had little self-trust, self-awareness or self-knowledge. Due diligence, what due diligence? If it (the relationship) or I felt intense, that for me was all I needed to proceed, even if on some level my mind, body and even my soul were screaming, “Natalie, you’re in danger girl!” or “Run, Natalie, RUN!”.
Intensity can describe extreme force or strength, or it can be a catch-all for the acute, all-consuming feelings, thoughts and actions that we might bag and tag as “passion” or “chemistry” or “connection” even though the latter three might look and feel like something else altogether in a different context. Intensity makes everything seem heightened and it can also include putting on rose-tinted glasses and the fur coat of denial.
It’s safe to say that things are intense when we are moving too fast in some way and blurring boundaries.
It might be emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually, or all of these, but whichever way we slice it, we’re moving too fast. We might see it as the other person doing it and in order to match their intensity and not ‘scare them off’ or offend, we are ‘forced’ to keep up, or it might be that we have certain habits that we’re unaware of how they equate to speeding us up so that we’re unable to discern what we truly feel, think, need, want and expect.
Relying on intensity can cause us to mistake control and pain for love and care, when in fact, they’re control and pain.
I break relationships into 5 stages:
Stage 0 is where we’ve been introduced online but haven’t met and been on that first date yet or where we have met and/or interacted to a degree but haven’t gone on that first date yet. This is the preamble phase and things need to be pretty light here.
Stage 1 is dating and what I call discovery phase part 1. This phase is about having fun getting to know each other and discerning whether we get on beyond superficially. We might pick up some initial indicators about core values.