People with advanced levels of emotional intelligence rarely make these 8 relationship mistakes

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Every relationship has its ups and downs.

That’s just a fact. It’s practically impossible to be in a couple with someone for years and not get into a disagreement or experience a personality clash at some point.

However, there are generally two kinds of obstacles – those related to clashes, past wounds, miscommunication, or disagreements, and those that have everything to do with emotional immaturity.

The first kind is perfectly manageable.

The latter…  

Well, that’s where things get a little bit more complicated.

Fortunately, people with advanced levels of emotional intelligence rarely make the following 8 relationship mistakes.

1) Running away from problems

When an issue bubbles to the surface in a relationship, the first rule is to face it head-on.

Don’t ignore it. Don’t pretend it’s not there. Don’t let it simmer for ages until it explodes in your face. Don’t run away from it – it will catch up with you eventually anyway.

People who are emotionally intelligent and secure understand this, which is why they make an effort to tackle all problems as soon as possible.

My friend, for example, has weekly check-ins with her fiancé.

Every Sunday, they sit down to discuss their plans for the week ahead, go over their budget, and carve out a bit of space for any complaints or uncomfortable feelings that may have arisen during the week.

Then they talk about it. And by “talk”, I don’t mean “argue”. They both always aim to remain respectful and understanding of the other person’s point of view, which is why their problems rarely escalate into full-on arguments.

In this way, they keep the dynamic between them in check and reconnect with one another on a regular basis.

2) Lashing out when upset

Speaking of the difference between talking and arguing, people with high EQ are known for their excellent self-regulation.

In practice, this means they don’t snicker or snap when they feel irritated or lash out at their partner when emotions get heated.

They say “no” to passive-aggressive behavior and “yes” to calm openness. They know that making mocking remarks or probing their significant other where it hurts isn’t going to make the situation better.

Every day – even when they’re upset – they keep in mind that the goal is to make their relationship a space where both parties can thrive and feel safe, which requires a great deal of respect and empathy.

“And if I do get a bit too angry? What then?”

Excellent question.

According to psychology, it’s a great idea to ask for a “time-out” when you feel yourself getting too irritated or upset. 

Taking a bit of space can help you unpack your feelings, unleash your anger in a healthy way (such as punching your pillows or going for a run) and come back to your partner feeling a bit calmer.

3) Dredging up past mistakes

When something upsetting happens in a relationship, the following events should unfold a bit like this:

  • You have a thorough talk about it
  • Both partners receive the validation, understanding and reassurance they need
  • Both partners feel their emotions dissipate and are eventually able to move on
  • Unless the mistake is repeated again, it’s left in the past where it belongs

Unfortunately, this often isn’t what happens.

Many people have the tendency to dredge up past mistakes during arguments so that they can use the past as a weapon against their partners.

Understandably, this only upsets their partners further because they are now not only fighting about the issue at hand but also about something they have discussed ten times already.

On and on the merry-go-round turns, one fight after another.

An emotionally mature partner, on the other hand, understands the inherent difference between a mistake and a pattern.

Mistakes are to be left in the past if you want to move on and have a flourishing relationship. 

Patterns are a different story – those need to be continually addressed (and if nothing changes, you’re dealing with another problem entirely).

4) Inciting jealousy on purpose

Look, we all want a bit of reassurance from time to time.

We want to know our partners still desire us after all this time; we strive to feel like we’re part of their team, like we’re something cherished and of value.

That’s perfectly normal. However, making your significant other jealous on purpose isn’t the best way to go about receiving the kind of validation you’re looking for.

Why?

Because love should come from a place of positivity and kindness, not simmering rage or jealousy.

Love is something you can ask for and discuss, but it shouldn’t be something you wrench out of your partner with a pair of pliers.

Most of all, it may feel quite validating to see your partner jealous, but I guarantee you the jealous party isn’t sharing your enthusiasm.

Jealousy is a terrible feeling. It eats you alive. Plus, it chips away at a sense of trust between the two of you.

If you wouldn’t want to feel jealous yourself, don’t force it on the person you love. When you miss reassurance or connection, you can bring it up and have a conversation. Flirting with someone else or seeking attention elsewhere isn’t the answer.

5) Centering their universe around their partners

A romantic relationship is a huge deal. There’s no doubt about that.

If you plan on marrying someone, you might spend decades upon decades in one another’s presence, build a family together, and lean on each other through thick and thin.

However, this doesn’t mean that your partner ought to be your whole universe. While the media has led us to believe that our romantic partners are our “other halves”, the key to a healthy long-term relationship is the understanding that you don’t complete each other.

You are two whole individuals who work as a team.

If you focus on your partner a bit too much, it’s possible that the other parts of your life – your friends, hobbies, or even work – may begin to suffer.

Balance is essential.

Your partner is a bright star in your galaxy; they’re not the galaxy itself.

6) Invalidating their own feelings

One of my friends has a bad habit of doubting himself way too much. Every time he enters a new relationship, he automatically assumes every hurdle must be his mistake.

When he’s upset, he immediately apologizes for his feelings.

When he brings up an issue, he thinks he’s being too much of a bother.

When the other person withdraws, he thinks he’s the one who’s pushed them away – even though it’s not necessarily true.

In other words, he constantly invalidates his emotional experiences.

Unfortunately, this kind of behavior only makes dating more difficult for him because the people he dates feel the pressure to provide him with a confidence boost every time he feels down, and what’s more, he continually goes down rabbit holes of excessive worrying.

If you can relate to this, remember that your feelings are valid. If your needs aren’t being met, there’s a huge possibility you aren’t actually “too needy” – you’re just dating someone who doesn’t fulfil your (very reasonable) requirements.

Emotional intelligence isn’t just about the way you express your feelings. It’s also about how you approach them within yourself. And if you want to raise your emotional security, you’ve got to learn to own your experiences.

Claim some space.

7) Refusing to work on their personal issues

No one’s perfect. We all know that.

What many of us don’t realize, however, is that some of our issues shouldn’t be part of our personalities – they should be something we actively work on and try to resolve.

If your partner tells you they find it disrespectful when you’re always late, the mature thing to do is to see where they’re coming from and make an effort to arrive on time.

It’s not to say, “Well, that’s just who I am, take it or leave it!” and expect your significant other to simply settle for this lack of respect.

A relationship only works if both parties put in the effort to work on themselves as individuals, too.

8) Manipulating their partners to get their way

Finally, manipulation of any kind – from gaslighting to guilt-tripping or projecting – is out of the question for emotionally intelligent people.

Manipulation is rooted in a lack of respect, and respect is an integral part of healthy and mature relationships.

If you genuinely love someone, you’re not going to twist their words just to win an argument or gaslight them to avoid taking responsibility for your actions.

On the contrary, you’ll always try to do right by them. Even if it’s hard.

Especially then.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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