Passionate vs intense – yeah, there’s a difference


A long time ago – when I was still a teenager – I went out on a few dates with a pretty boy. He wasn’t my type at all: blond hair, blue eyes, very preppy – he was doing a baccalauréat in maths and sciences while mine was literature and languages.

The Literature and Maths groups didn’t really mix – it was all very cliquey – but we used to meet in the corridors on the way to class and this particular boy and I exchanged the kind of looks understood by teenagers the world over.

Even back then I was into personality rather than into looks, but this boy proved to be one of the few exceptions I made in my life, because there really was nothing to recommend him to my attention apart from the fact he was extremely good looking in that unique way that people couldn’t help but stare.

But I don’t think I would ever have gone on a date with him if it wasn’t for the fact that on the day he asked me out I saw him cross the grand courtyard on his way to me, pass the fountain and promptly stumble on… nothing whatsoever. He stumbled, faltered but quickly regained his composure and I thought the whole thing was just so cute. Okay, I admit you had to be there – but it really was cute.

My best friend Valérie was crushing badly on some other pretty boy called Fabrice who belonged to the local football team. He didn’t go to our grammar school, was doing some apprenticeship at a college. I knew him a little as I knew most of the football team since my dad was the coach.

One day, I met Fabrice in the street when I was on my way to join Valérie in the town’s library. After some small talk he mentioned her and I immediately seized my chance to play matchmaker.

“Why don’t you come with me, I’m meeting her now.”

He agreed readily but as we approached the library he said: “wait…is she in there?”

“Well, yes. Why?”

“I’m not going in there. It’s…the…library.”

“And? You’re allergic to them? You’ve got a moral objection to them? What exactly is the problem?!”

“It’s just not my scene.”


“Right. It’s not your scene, fair enough. But can’t you just, you know, pass through the door? Just once?”

“I’ll wait outside – if you get her, we can go and grab some coffee.”


So I went in and found her buried in some research for an essay she was writing. I quickly explained that Fabrice was outside, waiting to take her for coffee.

She got all excited and then nervous and started to gather her things.

“There’s something you should know though, he had the strangest reaction when I said you were in here.”


“…and it strikes me that not only is he the kind of guy who’s never read a book in his life, but he might also regard those who read as…weird.”

“What?! I DON’T CARE!”

“Oh. Ok then. I was just saying, because I personally find that really off-putting.” 

“I like him! I don’t care if he burns books in his spare time!”

Well, I had to laugh – teenagers were always ruled by their hormones.

Off she went to meet him and by the end of the day they were an item.

The next day, I went on my third date with my pretty boy. I had a feeling it would be the last because we were – predictably enough – very different people and we hadn’t gelled at all on our previous meetings. I wasn’t sure why he kept asking me out to be honest.

This third date was as boring as the other two…until he asked me what book I’d last read and I revived like a parched flower that’s finally been watered. My latest book was “Tristessa” by Jack Kerouac and I proceeded to explain at length why I had loved it. At some point I realised there was a really long monologue going on…and he was looking at me kind of funny.


“Nothing. It’s just…you’re very…intense.”

I was silent for a few seconds as I processed this.

“Intense?! What do you mean by that? Intense…Because I loved a book?! Are you serious?

Well, I’m sorry I like to read and I like to feel things…except I’m not, am I!!”

I got more and more pissed off as the reality of what he’d said hit home. Even with my limited experience, I was well aware that being called intense was not a good thing. In fact, it was a bloody awful thing…and there I was proving him right by freaking out.

I looked at him and all I saw was that amazingly pretty face that suddenly didn’t look so pretty anymore. He was bland, we had nothing in common and what the fuck was I doing here? I’d gone out with him because of his arresting looks. He’d gone out with me because even back then I was into style and fashion and it had blinded him to my bookworm nature. It was all a huge mistake.

That was the end of pretty boy and I. But it was an important lesson because that’s when I first realised this is how it goes:

if a guy likes you: you’re ‘passionate.’
If a guy is not that into you: you’re ‘intense.’

I’ve been called passionate far more often than intense over the years, thank fuck.

I never again made the mistake of dating someone who was just pretty. It was never who I am but I guess you have to try everything (most things anyway) at least once.

As for Valérie and her own pretty boy, they lasted exactly 2 and a half weeks – at least he never did tell her she was intense.

*Pics from last Tuesday when I was in a Charlie’s angels kind of mood*



164 thoughts on “Passionate vs intense – yeah, there’s a difference

  1. I have just GOT to say…

    that First picture…

    and THOSE boots…




    ( I like to live dangerously!) 😉

    Now i need to have a long lie down (after a cold shower!) 🙂

    ‘Nightie-night, Nat.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I called them boots, didn’t i??? – I’m putting that down to the devastating effect your chemise had on my higher ferebro-cortical cunctioning – er, Cerebro-cortical Functioning!! 😉 (Dang! it’s still doing it.)

        The night WAS good (very good) thanks, but lets just say i had a hard time getting off
        to sleep. 🙂

        I’m certain something was ‘pricking’ at my heels.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Leonardo probably would not have believed the number of people who a simple portrait of a patron’s smiling wife could be aroused into such discussion and intrigue after 400 years.

        Never underestimate the Power (on a man) of a portrait (or 6!) of a beautiful woman! 😉

        Particularly when she’s looking hot enough to melt Titanium!

        And that is definitely not ‘flattery’, not even imho exaggeration. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m adding “hot enough to melt titanium” to my bio 😁
        Seriously though, I don’t know what to say apart from the fact this is a (dangerous) boost to my ego – thank f**k I’m (generally) down to Earth & I should actually be OKAY – haha
        Hope your morning is going well – it’s off to bed for me (late, so late!)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Adding it to your Bio?? By all means! 🙂
        If ever you need a reference… I’m good for it! 😉

        I could be incredibly shallow (if the boot fits!…) and say when you look like you do in these photos who needs to say Anything!?

        Mere words would be superfluous. 😉

        If you know me for long enough you will find i have a ‘thing’ about egos – mine in particular: I’m trying to eliminate it – it accumulates and builds up over time such as to make it difficult for a person to pay full attention to our Soul and what it wants us to experience and learn through this life.

        So anything that boosts our own ego is antithetical to our best interest, as i see it.
        Dangerous – as you rightly said! 😉

        That’s enough esoteria for now. 🙂

        You strike me as someone who would not let a few fawning comments turn your head unduly – i trust you are more than ‘OKAY’ (with who you are). 😉

        But having said that i cannot promise i will not say more things with the potential to massively boost your ego for as long as you post photos with such an alluring subject! 🙂

        I hope that be a very long time indeed.

        “Time be thine,
        And thy best graces spend it at thy will.” WS

        I hope your sleep was sound and saw you rise refreshed and rosy cheeked.

        Now There’s a mental image i’m keeping for a time! 😉

        See Ya, Night Owl ! xo

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Haha, brilliant. You are right, it would take more than that to inflate my head 😉
        So by all means, keep the compliments coming 😁
        Great quote by the way – I can see you can be relied on to always have one to produce on demand 😉
        Hope you had a lovely Sunday!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’ll do my best! 😉

        Just read ‘Lonely In Paris’… Loved it – Beautifully, if tragically, circular.

        Not a night to be walking the streets in Paris now! 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I don’t write very much fiction. I was trained as a journalist and just finished my Creative Writing Master’s specialising in nonfiction – Sorry!
        Talking of which I’m getting the result on my 15,000 words (dissertation) on Tuesday and I’m TERRIFIED.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. “Unintended pain ‘ perhaps?? 😉

        To quote the brilliant Aussie group ‘The Di-vinyls’… and the sadly missed Chrissie Amphlett:
        “It’s a fine line between pleasure and pain…”


      1. Hi Nathalie, I stayed home to rest tomorrow starts another Monday boring. I hope yours is better than mine, best regards, a hug, Soul. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was going to leave a long, thoughtful response until I encountered that last photo. The untied top, the sitting position, and THE SHOES😍. My thoughts were flushed and replaced by a wonderful image. I’ll try to compose myself and return with something more …omg the photo😘

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Never missed an episode – that was a good fun show! Such a long time ago I can barely remember, I know there was a guy who always sat in shadow, smoking a cigar, not sure if that was Boswell, or Charlie himself!?!


  3. A very sweet and passionate tale of youth. I quite like it, and I quite, quite like your selfies! Loooooking good! Hey, neat, nasty heels. I’ve got a pair of stilettos, and the heels twirl off leaving a nasty spikey screw. You can’t walk on the screw, but then again, I don’t think you’re supposed to! 🧐😏

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I only drink red wine, but I can drink 1 – 2 bottles. Lol! I believe I am much older than you, but I believe that is not an issue between us! 🙃

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A passionate text. And photos. I’m always curious at the art you have on your wall. (I have paintings inside closets because I don’t have space left on my walls). So, curious. What art hangs on your walls? When it’s not blurred.
    Bonne semaine.


  5. Purpleanais really interesting writing and great photos, you certainly write from the heart and the way u see it that’s really good straight forward and with humour and interest.
    Thank you for following me i appreciate that and i can learn how to express the way you see it.
    Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. passionate v intense –

    When I’m passionate about something I get really into it. Arms flailing. Volume raised. Eyes large. Voice can even quiver depending on how deep the passion is. I can totally see how someone would consider that intense 🙂
    I’ve never thought of that word as a negative though, but I can see how it could be taken that way. Although the idea of loving something so deeply that I would be considered intense when describing that is kind of appealing.

    Loved the anecdote though. The “not my scene” guy seemed like a freak if he wouldn’t even step foot in a library for fear of his brain melting from all of the books imposing their pressure on him (or whatever less silly reason he had) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ever so much for reading and taking the time to add your thoughts – you’re right, I make no apology for being intense. And yes, that guy was really kind of sad – fancy refusing to enter a library! #Crazy

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! Embrace your intensity. Let it run rampant and burn down anything in your way 🙂

        When reading that I was imagining that he was some kind of demon, fearing he’d burn up entering the church.

        Glad to, always!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The book thing. Somehow I’d gotten to my thirties without realising my eighteen months younger brother didn’t read. For someone who who has read at least two books per month, for life, it came as a bombshell. I mean, we aren’t alike in either looks or attitudes, etc, but still. He’s a huge football fan, supporting our local team Manchester City. I had an autobiography of their former striker Shaun Goater, and attempted to pass it on to him. “No it’s okay, I won’t read it.” I was flummoxed. “It’s the Goat. You know-Shaun Goater?” “I know.” “From City?” “I don’t read.” “AT ALL?” I can still recall my shocked reaction 🙈 He’d apparently never read a book since he left school at 16. Twenty years of total waste!!! I mean, ?I share blood with this guy.
    I won’t bother trying to set you both up!
    By the way, I know you’ve been following and liking my blog for a while, and shamefully I’ve only just visited your great blog. That’s been to my detriment. I’ve followed you and look forward to your future posts. Best wishes from a cold UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you can’t force people to read, can you? Even if they are missing out in ways they can’t even imagine! My sister doesn’t read either and to this day I don’t understand how she can live without books whilst she tuts every time she find me engrossed in a book.
      Thanks for following, and best wishes from a cold UK too (yep, I’m here also)

      Liked by 1 person

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