7 signs your partner is more emotionally intelligent than you realize

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.

When I began dating my partner a few years ago, I was pretty new to the whole personal growth scene. 

Emotional intelligence? I thought it was all about openly showing and talking about your feelings. My partner didn’t really do that much, so I figured he wasn’t very emotionally savvy. 

But boy, was I wrong! As I learned more, I started to see the real signs of his emotional smarts. It wasn’t about big, emotional displays, but in the little things he did that I missed at first. 

Let’s dive into 7 signs that your partner is more emotionally intelligent than you might think.

1) They understand your feelings

There’s a kind of magic in how emotionally intelligent people can understand your feelings, even when they’ve never been in your exact situation. 

Take, for instance, the time I was super stressed about a big presentation at work. My partner works alone and never dealt with presentations, so I didn’t even want to tell him about it, thinking I’d get a casual “You’ll do great” from him. 

But instead, he sat down with me, really listened to my fears, and offered reassurance that felt tailored to my worries. It was like he could almost sense the nervous jitters in my stomach.

And it’s not just with work. Once, I was upset about a falling out with a close friend. Again, he hadn’t experienced anything quite like it, but the way he responded was incredible. 

This ability to understand and relate to my feelings, regardless of his own experiences, is a real sign of emotional intelligence. 

It’s about being able to empathize, to step into someone else’s shoes, and to offer support that’s perfectly attuned to their needs.

2) They listen even if they disagree

When it comes to disagreements, a highly emotionally intelligent partner has this remarkable ability to listen and try to understand where you’re coming from, even if they don’t see eye to eye with you. 

I remember a specific argument where my partner and I had completely different viewpoints. In many relationships, this might have turned into a battle to prove who’s right. 

But with him, it was different. He genuinely listened to my perspective, not just passively, but actively, asking clarifying questions and acknowledging my feelings.

This approach transformed our disagreement. Instead of escalating into a heated argument, it became a constructive conversation

By giving my viewpoint equal validity, he showed a deep level of respect and emotional intelligence. It’s not about winning an argument or proving a point, but about understanding each other’s perspectives.

This ability to listen, even in disagreement, is crucial for truly resolving conflicts. It’s not just about two people stating their cases; it’s about creating a space where different viewpoints can coexist and be valued equally. 

This kind of emotional intelligence is what helps turn potential conflicts into opportunities for deeper understanding and connection.

3) They support you when you’re down

One of the hallmarks of an emotionally intelligent partner is their ability to offer support when you’re feeling down. 

It’s not just about being physically present; it’s about providing the right kind of emotional support that resonates with your needs. 

This involves a deep understanding of what you’re going through and an innate ability to respond in a way that lifts you up.

In my own relationship, I’ve experienced this first-hand. Whenever I find myself overwhelmed by sadness or stress, my partner has a way of being there for me that goes beyond words. 

He doesn’t always try to fix the problem or offer solutions. Sometimes, what I really need is just to be held, to be told that everything will be okay because he’s there and he loves me. 

In these moments, his embrace speaks volumes. It’s a reassurance of his presence and a reminder of the stability and love in our relationship.

4) They’re self-aware

One of the most telling signs of my partner’s emotional intelligence is his self-awareness, especially during arguments. 

I remember times when, in the heat of a disagreement, he’d suddenly say, “I need some time to myself to think about this,” and step away. 

Initially, this left me feeling abandoned – like, why are you walking away from me and our problem? But over time, I realized the wisdom in his actions. 

He recognized when his emotions were running high and knew that taking a moment to cool down was vital for both of us. This prevented him from saying things in anger that might hurt our relationship.

Self-awareness in a partner can manifest in various ways. For instance, they might be upfront about their limitations instead of overpromising and underdelivering. 

This honesty about capacities and boundaries not only prevents future disappointments but also fosters a culture of transparency and trust in the relationship.

It’s about knowing when to step back, when to admit you’re not the best person for a task, and being honest about your emotions and capabilities. 

5) They don’t get sucked into conflicts

It’s natural to feel attacked and respond defensively when someone else is upset. However, an emotionally intelligent person understands the boundary between their emotions and the other person’s. 

They recognize that another person’s feelings and actions are about them, not a reflection or judgment of themselves.

I witnessed this quality in my partner during an incident on a bus. He needed to validate his ticket and accidentally bumped into a man. The man reacted with anger, cursing at him. 

Instinctively, I braced myself to retaliate, but my partner’s response took me by surprise. Instead of snapping back, he calmly and politely apologized to the man. 

His composed demeanor seemed to diffuse the tension, and the man’s attitude shifted, almost embarrassed by his earlier outburst.

This incident highlighted my partner’s emotional intelligence. His ability to stay calm and not internalize the man’s anger showed a clear understanding that the conflict wasn’t about him. 

This skill of maintaining a composed and empathetic stance even in the face of aggression is a powerful aspect of emotional intelligence. 

It not only prevents escalation but can also transform potentially volatile situations into more positive interactions.

6) They acknowledge their mistakes

Before my current relationship, I was used to partners who shied away from accepting blame, seemingly trapped in a mindset where admitting fault was synonymous with weakness. 

So, it was a refreshing change when I experienced a different approach with my current partner.

I can still vividly recall my anxiety the first time when I brought up an issue that upset me. But unlike my past experiences, my partner didn’t immediately go on the defensive. 

Instead, he listened attentively, genuinely considered my feelings, and then acknowledged, “You’re right, I made a mistake,” followed by a sincere apology. 

This behavior is a profound display of emotional intelligence. It involves self-awareness, humility, and the courage to confront one’s imperfections. 

By admitting his mistake, my partner demonstrated a growth mindset – an understanding that making mistakes is a part of being human and an opportunity for learning and improvement. 

This approach not only shows a deep respect for the other person’s feelings but also sets a foundation for trust and open communication in the relationship. 

7) They’re patient and tolerant

Imagine you’re having one of those days where everything feels overwhelming, and you just can’t keep your cool. You’re irritable, maybe even a bit unreasonable. 

It’s in these moments that your partner’s emotional intelligence can truly shine through in their patience and tolerance. 

When I’m upset, my own partner doesn’t push or prod; instead, he offers space with a gentle, “I’m here when you’re ready to talk.” This simple phrase speaks volumes. 

It’s not about ignoring the problem or brushing aside my feelings. It’s about giving me the time I need to process my emotions, to gather my thoughts, and come back ready for a constructive conversation.

This kind of patience is a subtle yet powerful aspect of emotional intelligence. It shows a deep understanding of emotional processes and the recognition that sometimes, we all need a moment to ourselves. 

By allowing this space, it creates a safer environment where emotions can be expressed and dealt with healthily. 

It’s a form of support that acknowledges and respects personal emotional journeys, strengthening the bond and understanding within the relationship.

Unlocking the hidden depths of emotional intelligence

In uncovering these signs of emotional intelligence in a partner, it becomes clear that emotional savvy isn’t always about grand gestures or overt displays. 

It’s often in the quiet, consistent actions – the patient listening, the calm in a storm, the respectful space given during tough times. 

As I’ve journeyed through my own understanding of emotional intelligence, I’ve learned to appreciate the subtle yet profound ways it manifests in my partner. 

Recognizing and valuing these traits can transform how we view our relationships, deepening our connection and appreciation for our partners. 

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

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

If you have these 11 daily habits, you probably lack a purpose in life

8 classic mind games narcissists play in a relationship