Men can get a bad rap for not always showing or sharing their feelings.
But sadly, many guys still feel the burden of sexist stereotypes that can hold them back. They may not always feel able to open up for fear of being seen as “unmanly”.
Luckily times are changing, and society is increasingly appreciating the value of an emotionally intelligent man who is more in touch with his (and other people’s) feelings.
But how does that all translate into real life?
Here are some strong signs that you’re lucky enough to have a guy with a high EQ.
1) He gets you
Never underestimate how many people are trapped in relationships where they feel like their partner doesn’t understand them.
And it can be very frustrating. We might like to think that love is enough, but it’s not always.
We need to feel like the person we’re with gets us. That’s how we feel seen and heard.
It’s far easier to achieve this when you have a man with strong emotional intelligence.
Because a big part of that is being able to recognize and understand the emotions of others. This is bound to strengthen your bond.
If something is up, he probably senses it.
Ok, he can’t read your mind. Expecting someone to automatically guess what’s wrong is one of those sneaky unfair expectations we can end up having in a relationship.
But when you do open up and tell him how you feel, he acknowledges and empathizes with what you have to say.
And that’s truly what’s important.
2) He is his own man
Here’s where the stereotype about a man who has access to his emotions really gets flipped on its head.
Because far from being “too soft”, his skilled grasp of emotions is what gives him strength.
With that, he is able to instill clear boundaries. Getting respect from his partner is non-negotiable.
He expects to be afforded the independence and autonomy of mind that should come along with all healthy relationships.
He can strike the ideal balance of being assertive but never overbearing.
It’s far harder to wrap an emotionally intelligent man around your little finger because they are able to see straight through the manipulation. And they’re not going to put up with it.
Which is good, because we don’t really want a doormat for a spouse.
The real problem with the “nice guy” persona isn’t that they are too nice. There’s no such thing.
It’s that weakness is often masquerading as niceness.
If your man listens to and caters to your needs but doesn’t neglect his own, it’s sexy as hell.
3) You don’t have to play guessing games over what he is feeling
An emotionally intelligent man is an expressive one.
That doesn’t have to mean he enjoys sitting for hours talking about his emotions (although he might). But he has no problem finding the words to explain himself.
This is huge for your overall communication.
If you ask him what’s going on with him, he’ll tell you, no games. He doesn’t try to change the subject or dismiss his emotions.
He can sit and have a mature conversation about what he is thinking and feeling.
4) He doesn’t fight dirty
Arguments happen. Even the most loving of couples are bound to disagree.
If they never do, they’re either the most in-sync couple in history or they’re not being totally honest with each about their feelings.
And let’s face it, the chances are it’s more likely to be the latter.
So if fallouts or fights are almost inevitable, what matters is how your guy deals with it.
An emotionally intelligent guy is not perfect. EQ is an incredible skill, but you’re still human.
And the reality is that emotions, especially in the heat of the moment can get the better of us.
But it’s a sign of emotional maturity when someone strives to fight fair.
- No name-calling or insults
- He owns his own shit rather than looking for excuses
- He hears you out and actually listens to what you are saying
- He wants to fix things more than he wants to be right
Of course, none of these things are easy. I definitely can’t say I’ve always managed it.
But whenever we seek to punish a partner, get emotional revenge, or refuse to back down — we’re letting our emotional immaturity show.
5) He can say sorry and back down when he’s wrong
Backtracking when you’ve already mounted your high horse is hard enough. But the trickiest part is actually recognizing you’re in the wrong in the first place.
Because without the self-awareness to reflect on your words and actions, it’s pretty impossible to do. And this is one of the key parts of emotional intelligence.
When your man can swallow his pride it’s only because he was able to take a long hard look in the mirror.
He can question himself for long enough to draw more objective conclusions rather than be blinded by his own self-centered perspective.
More than that, he can consider your side of things.
Even when he didn’t intend to do it, he can say sorry (and mean it) when you have been left feeling hurt.
6) He’s smart enough to know when to shut his mouth and just listen
One of the strongest signs of intellect seemingly involves doing very little at all.
Because a lot of the time, we don’t need someone to dazzle us with their sage advice.
We’re not looking for a display of wisdom to come pouring out of their mouths, we just want them to listen.
And it is easier said than done to be a really good listener. Personally, I wish I was better at it.
It requires us to step out of our busy chattering brains and give our full focus to the other person.
It’s an active process, even though we’re not saying anything. We have to show we’re engaged with what we’re hearing.
And we have to resist the urge to dish out unsolicited advice, that can accidentally end up invalidating what the other person is trying to say about how they feel.
For that reason, it’s not just an emotionally intelligent husband that knows when it’s best to keep schtum, it’s an incredibly wise one.
7) He doesn’t expect you to regulate his emotions, he does that himself
Thinking someone else can regulate our feelings in the first place sounds like an odd idea when you think about it.
But the truth is this expectation happens all the time. Especially in relationships.
Couples give responsibility for how they are feeling away to their other half, rather than accept full responsibility for themselves.
“When you did this, it made me feel like that.” These sorts of statements are frequent.
But they turn us into victims. We want our partners to swoop in and make us feel better, rather than see it as our job.
Maybe it’s because we’ve bought into the fairytale that someone else can come along and fix us or make us happy.
But real life doesn’t work like that. Emotionally intelligent people know that what they feel is down to them, and them alone.
So he’s not going to blindly take his bad day at work out on you. Or if he ever does, he’ll notice he’s doing it and quickly make amends.
He isn’t prone to tantrums or outbursts. He is better equipped to stay calm and cool during stressful times.
He can not only recognize his feelings, but he is also much better at knowing how best to keep a lid on them.
8) He’s open to feedback and actually acts on it
Admittedly, we should never get together with someone hoping they will change.
Because it’s an inside job, not something you can impose on someone based on the qualities you’d prefer to see.
Too many people do take on a relationship like it’s a renovation project, hoping to fix it up further down the line.
Needless to say, it always ends in tears.
But relationships do rely on growth, and that will involve a certain amount of change. Cooperation and compromise are impossible without it.
It’s a huge sign of a man’s emotional intelligence when he takes feedback or critique about your relationship on board.
Rather than get defensive, he mulls your words over and makes strides to do things differently when needed.
It’s a reflection not only of his self-awareness but also of his adaptability.
And that’s something couples always need if they are to navigate life’s challenges and pull together, rather than tear apart.
Give me a guy with a high EQ over a high IQ any day
Whilst a high IQ may make you smart, it’s not much use if your man cannot connect with you.
Good relationships rely on emotional awareness, understanding, and consideration.
So if you’ve managed to bag a guy with good emotional intelligence the chances are you can tell by the overall quality of your relationship.