10 reasons emotionally intelligent people have a hard time finding love

Emotional intelligence is the key to having successful relationships.

It helps us to better understand ourselves and our emotions, as well as other people’s.

It prompts us to adopt constructive and healthy approaches to communication and cooperation.

So far so good.

But despite the fact a high EQ is a wonderful thing, that doesn’t mean you won’t face still face challenges in the love department.

Here are some of the reasons why emotionally intelligent people can sometimes have a hard time finding love.

1) They won’t settle for less

They understand emotions enough to know what’s right and wrong. And they’re not going to put up with other people’s BS.

So sadly, that automatically discounts all of those chancers and losers out there. Similarly, the liars and abusers don’t get a look in.

As I constantly remind my smart and sensitive friends who sometimes feel unlucky in love:

The more you have to offer, unfortunately, the harder it can be to find a partner.

Because understandably you also have higher standards.

You know your worth and you’re not going shopping for a bargain.

You want someone else who is smart and sensitive. And they can feel like they’re in short supply.

2) Modern dating can feel shallow

Let’s face it:

The whole concept of app dating can seem like a bit of a meat market.

We’ve all felt it, right?

You swipe left or right based on the most limited of information.

A lot of the time it’s solely based on looks alone. And that is not enough information to go on.

So you may find yourself matching with the wrong type of person. It can be so time-consuming that it feels like a part-time job.

You put in effort to get very little out. Making conversation with some people is like trying to get blood out of a stone.

The process feels pretty superficial at times. And people with emotional intelligence are usually searching for plenty of depth in their connections.

3) They’re less inclined to play games

Let me be clear:

Playing games in love is always a bad idea. But that doesn’t mean that many people don’t do it. In fact, plenty seem to get a kick out of it.

They play hard to get, they string people along, and they try to make others jealous.

There are so many techniques that people try to use in order to raise their status or get the upper hand.

Sure, it’s all going to end in tears in the end, but a lot of people undeniably enjoy this cat-and-mouse dynamic.

People with high emotional intelligence are more likely to:

  • Be upfront and honest
  • Communicate clearly their wants, needs, and expectations
  • Walk away from bad behavior

When it comes to things like ghosting, breadcrumbing, benching, and situationships, they simply don’t have the time, energy, and inclination for other people’s nonsense.

As we’ll see next…

4) They have clear boundaries and won’t be manipulated

I know, I know…

Surely that’s a good thing, so why would it make finding love harder?

Well, the truth is that being emotionally intelligent is always a good thing. But having high standards doesn’t always make things easier for us.

Because the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily share them.

So when faced with strong boundaries, not everybody likes this.

Because it means they will get called out for their inappropriate behavior. Rather than sweep issues under the rug, you want to address them.  

You aren’t easily twisted around someone’s little finger and you won’t be taken for granted.

That takes a maturity that not everyone can handle.

5) They expect their partner to have the same levels of awareness

Plenty of people are lacking in the self-awareness that those with emotional intelligence have in spades.

And it’s incredibly challenging to be in a relationship with this mismatch.

It might be easy to find someone who they’re attracted to and get along with. But they quite rightly want more from their other half.

They want:

  • Self-responsibility
  • Self-accountability

Otherwise, the burden is always going to fall on them to fix everything.

Rather than being an even dynamic, it becomes a victim-savior or parent-and-child type of setup.

And that’s not sustainable.  

6) They have high levels of emotional independence

That’s not a bad thing either.

Way too many people are going around with the mistaken hope that someone else is going to come along and save them.

They’ve grown up waiting for their Prince or Princess to make everything perfect.

Then they get sorely disheartened when their partner turns out to not be the missing piece of their emotional puzzle.

They don’t make them happy — because that was always an inside job.

But people with emotional intelligence realize that from the start.

They look to themselves for their contentment, rather than go seeking it outside.

Sometimes, that emotional independence can mean they are less desperate and needy about finding love.

It’s not that it’s harder, it’s that they won’t be sold on the first thing to come along.

Neither will they helplessly cling on to a relationship that simply isn’t good for them.

7) They don’t stay in unhappy relationships for the wrong reasons

From the outside looking in, you may assume that others have found lasting love. But it may not be what it seems.

Plenty of people have found lasting co-dependence.

Meaning, that they don’t just want the other person, they feel like they need them.

It feels too scary to be without them or to start again. They may worry that they may never find someone else afterward.

So in a ‘better the devil you know’ type of move, they stay put.

Even when the relationship is no longer meeting their needs, or is downright destructive.

But the more emotional intelligence you have, the harder it is to live like this.

You cannot live in denial and it pains you to sell yourself short.

It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone, right?

8) They have a zero-tolerance approach to abuse of any kind

And that goes for emotional abuse too.

They control their reactions and handle their emotions, and they expect the same from others.

That means they’re not in the market for a partner who:

  • Screams and shouts
  • Guilt trips
  • Is passive-aggressive
  • Lashes out
  • Sulks instead of communicates

Okay, nobody is perfect and we can all let our emotions get the better of us from time to time.

But generally, they’re not going to tolerate big emotional outbursts and tantrums.

9) They can better see their own blindspots and are less likely to fall foul of them

And that means they’re not perpetually wasting their own time chasing the wrong guys or gals.

How many times have you heard someone say something like:

“I always seem to go for the emotionally unavailable men?”

“I always fall for women who mess me around?”

You’ve probably heard the saying:

You can’t help who you love.

But that’s not strictly true. Because here’s the thing:

A lot of what we see as our natural preferences are actually deep wounds we’ve yet to recognize and heal.

You may go for the “wrong types” because you are searching for something you feel is lacking in you. Or you are led by false beliefs about yourself.

You may find yourself in bad relationship after bad relationship because you’ve had a f*cked-up model of what relationships should be — which often comes from our primary caregivers.

The more emotional intelligence you develop, the more you start to notice these things. That way you’re less likely to fall for them, regardless of how tempting it may be.

You can then choose another way…

10) They want to work on themselves first

Some people are born with a high EQ, but that doesn’t mean it’s not earned too.

It’s ultimately a skill that you develop and nurture. And that takes time and effort.

One of the clearest hallmarks of strong emotional intelligence is self-awareness.

That demands gaining deep insights into what makes you tick.

Sometimes we need to step back and stop making it about everyone else and go on a  journey of self-discovery.

I know it sounds sort of cliched, but it’s also true.

That’s one of the reasons why personal development is all the rage these days. Because your life is down to you, and you alone.

So plenty of emotionally intelligent people have made the call to invest their full attention on their own personality, values, beliefs, actions, thoughts, and emotions first.

So it’s not that love is harder for them to find, they are just doing this inner work first.

Emotional intelligence also makes finding love easier in many ways

When it comes to finding love as an emotionally intelligent person…

On balance, the odds are stacked far more in your favor than against you.

Although nothing in life is perfect, least of all love, you have the skills to navigate the ups and downs more than most.

The reality is:

Creating healthy, happy, and long-lasting connections is challenging for everybody.

Being emotionally intelligent you’re more likely to weed out the problems from the get-go. But in doing so you create firmer foundations to rest upon.

Although that can feel like you have a harder or slower start in the beginning, in the long run, it will serve you.

Because remember, building a relationship worth having is definitely a marathon and not a sprint.

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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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