10 characteristics of emotionally intelligent people in relationships

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Did you know that there are different kinds of intelligence?

That’s right, intelligence isn’t just about being good at logic or maths, there’s also musical intelligence, spatial intelligence, linguistic intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, naturalistic intelligence, and interpersonal intelligence – or as it’s often referred to – emotional intelligence.

Emotionally intelligent people are able to understand and manage their emotions, as well as recognize other people’s emotions and respond to them in the best way possible.

So even if someone’s not great at mathematical equations or gifted at learning languages, they could excel at relationships thanks to their emotional intelligence.

Let’s take a look at what makes them so good at that. Here are 10 characteristics of emotionally intelligent people in relationships.

1) Empathy

Empathy is all about being able to see things from another person’s perspective and to feel how they feel in that moment. 

The truth is that without empathy, you’re gonna have a hard time maintaining a relationship.

That’s why emotionally intelligent people do so well in all their relationships, whether they be personal, professional, or romantic.

You see, because an emotionally intelligent person is able to put themselves in their partner’s shoes, they have insight into their partner’s emotions and can react appropriately.

For example, if they see that their partner is upset for some reason, they can offer comfort and support instead of being oblivious and talking about their own issues.

2) Good communication skills

What makes a relationship work?

Communication, of course! And emotionally intelligent people know that.

Good communication is all about letting your partner know what you think and feel. It’s about letting them know what you need and want out of your relationship and life in general.

If you don’t, if you keep all that information to yourself, you’re most probably going to be disappointed quite a lot.


Because your partner can’t read your mind (unless they’re psychic or something)!

They can’t know that you expect them to vacuum the house if you don’t tell them. They can’t know that you hate pasta if you never say it.

But wait, there’s more…

Good communication is also about being diplomatic.

That means thinking before you speak and not blurting out something that could hurt or anger your partner. It also means being a good listener and giving your partner a chance to speak and express their views.

3) Self-awareness

Did you know that one of the keys to a successful relationship is self-awareness?

If you’re self-aware, it basically means that you recognize and understand your emotions, as well as how they might impact your relationships with other people and how they can be managed effectively (see self-regulation).

It also means being able to identify your emotional triggers and behavior patterns.

And why is that good?

Because once you know what sets you off, you can work to keep your feelings in check and not let your emotions cloud your judgment. It means you can come up with a constructive response in most situations and avoid unnecessary conflict.

Turns out that a lot of relationships suffer because one or both partners lack self-awareness. And what that means is that the relationships they have with themselves need some work.

It’s only once they get in touch with their core selves and become self-aware that they can look forward to a healthy and happy relationship with someone else.

There’s actually a very good masterclass by world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê that deals with exactly this topic.

In this mind-blowing free video, Rudá explains why a lot of relationships turn into co-dependent, toxic nightmares.

He offers practical solutions that will help you achieve self-awareness and emotional intelligence with the goal of finally having a relationship that thrives!

Now, I could spend the whole article writing about his Love and Intimacy masterclass but I think it’s best to hear it from the shaman himself.

Check out the free video here.

4) Self-regulation

Self-awareness is all very well, but without self-regulation, it’s not all that useful when it comes to cultivating a healthy relationship. 

Once you know what triggers your various emotional responses, be they positive or negative, you need to use that information to stay on top of the situation (especially when it comes to negative emotions).

For example, if you know that a certain topic usually makes you angry, you need to work out why and find a way of dealing with that anger that doesn’t involve lashing out at your partner.

If you want to become emotionally intelligent yourself, you need to find a way to use words constructively to express what you think and feel.

Does that make sense?

In short, self-regulation is basically all about ruling your emotions instead of letting them rule you.

5) Flexibility

Another characteristic of emotionally intelligent people in relationships is flexibility.

You see, it’s great when someone can adapt to changing circumstances and be open to compromise.

And while I understand that some people like to have a plan and stick to it, it’s important to understand that things change and that sometimes it’s best to go with the flow for the sake of the relationship.

For example, maybe you were set on having a nice romantic dinner with your boo when their best friend comes over unannounced. Sure, you could sulk and give them the stink eye the whole evening, or, you could accept that there’s been a change in plans and try to relax and have a good time.

You can always move your romantic dinner to another time, it’s not worth making your partner’s friend feel bad or getting into a fight, right?

6) Trustworthiness

Emotionally intelligent people know just how important it is to be able to trust the person you’re with. That’s why they make sure that when they say they’re going to do something, they really do it!

I don’t think I could be in a relationship with someone who kept making promises and never delivered. Could you?

I mean, I get upset when someone shows up late, I don’t know how I’d react if they flaked out on me! I guess that it’s a good thing that I’m with someone trustworthy.

And do you know what the best part is? Emotionally intelligent people are super reliable. You know that they’ll always have your back.

7) Positive attitude

What good ever came out of a negative attitude?

The answer: none.

That’s because when we’re pessimistic, grumpy, and generally moody, not only do we radiate negative energy and send people running in the other direction, but we also cause unnecessary emotional harm to ourselves.

The solution? Turn your frown upside down and adopt a positive attitude! 🙂

Emotionally intelligent people thrive in relationships as well as other areas of life for that very reason.

Their positive attitude means that they’re more approachable, friendly, and empathetic. It also means that it feels good to be in their company.

And do you know what?

A positive attitude also contributes to improved health and well-being because it reduces stress, anxiety, and depression and is linked to feelings of happiness and contentment.

8) Patience

Another characteristic of emotionally intelligent people in relationships is their endless patience.

So, what exactly does it mean to be patient in this context?

Well, it means being able to work through various difficulties and challenges without getting frustrated and giving up.

It means being willing to give your partner the time and space they need to work on their issues.

What’s more, being patient often prevents misunderstandings. That’s because when we lack patience, we tend to act impulsively in the moment and make rash decisions or judgments.

By being patient, we take the time to process all the information that is coming our way and to really hear what our partner is saying and consider their point of view.

All in all, in a long-term relationship, everyone is bound to make mistakes and come across all sorts of challenges along the way, but if we can just remember to be patient, we’d have a much easier time getting through it all.

9) Compassion

Here’s the thing:

Compassion is important because it helps us connect with our partners on a deep and intimate level.

It helps create emotional intimacy, fosters forgiveness, promotes growth, and reduces the chances of getting into a fight.

For example, let’s say your partner’s had a hard day at work. They’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed and when they come home, they start to vent to you about everything that’s going on instead of helping you make dinner.

Now, maybe you’ve had a hard day too, but instead of telling them to “Get over it,” you respond with compassion.

You listen attentively and validate their feelings by saying things like, “That sounds tough. I’d be stressed in your shoes too.”

And maybe you offer words of encouragement, such as, “Don’t worry, it’s hard now but it’s gonna get better” or even some advice on what they can do to make things easier.


Thus, by being compassionate you’re showing your partner how much they mean to you and how much you care about their well-being and happiness.

Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you.

10) Sense of humor

Finally, I’d like to end by mentioning the importance of humor!

Look, life’s hard enough as it is without us going around being serious all the time.

And emotionally intelligent people in relationships get that. They know just what to say to their partner to make them laugh after a tough day. They know how to laugh at themselves and even how to find something to laugh about during the darkest of times (have you ever laughed at a funeral?)

And that’s a very important characteristic because when someone has a sense of humor it makes people feel good and relaxed in their presence.

So if you wanna improve your emotional intelligence, loosen up, watch some stand-up, and come up with a few jokes of your own.

Sounds good? Alright then!

Related: 10 reasons emotionally intelligent people have a hard time finding love

Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

8 strategies for setting healthy boundaries in relationships

10 things only passionate people understand about love