12 signs you’re dating someone with genuine emotional intelligence

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In my experience, finding a partner with genuine emotional intelligence is like finding a needle in a haystack!

Dating hardly ever resembles a rom-com and if you’re fortunate enough to be dating someone with genuine emotional intelligence, consider yourself lucky!

But how can you tell? How can you be sure they’re not just faking it?

Because I’m going to share the telltale signs that the person you’re dating is the real deal.

From being an active listener to knowing the importance of self-care, here are 12 signs you’re dating someone with genuine emotional intelligence.

1) Active listening

Wanna know if your partner has emotional intelligence?

Start by asking yourself, “Do they really listen to me when I speak?”

You see, a lot of the time, the person you’re dating only pretends to listen to you – they go through the motions of being a sympathetic listener – nodding their head and going “mmm hmm”.

But really? They’re waiting for you to finish so that:

  1. They can talk about themselves or something they find interesting, or
  2. You can make out and they can invite you over for “coffee” – if you get what I mean.

So how can you tell someone is really listening?

Because once you’re done speaking, they’ll either have some follow-up questions or they’ll have some relevant feedback.

They won’t just move on to the next thing as if you didn’t say anything – they’re genuinely interested in what you have to say because they have emotional intelligence.

2) Empathy

Technically, we should all have empathy, right? It’s what makes us human.

But people today seem to be “immune” to other people’s emotions. That doesn’t mean they don’t feel for them, it’s just that it’s not as easy to feel empathy as it once was.

Maybe it’s because of all the horrible stuff people are exposed to on TV (and now social media) from a very young age – wars, famine, children with swollen bellies…

It would be too emotionally draining to feel full of empathy every single time, right? Like the way doctors can’t afford to get emotional with every patient.

Yet people with emotional intelligence often have a hard time shaking off their empathy. I mean, they cry when they see puppies and babies in commercials, and don’t get me started on the news!

In short: Whether you’re happy or sad, you can rely on them to share your feelings.

3) Emotional awareness

The great thing about people with emotional intelligence is that you don’t have to worry about them suppressing their feelings or being oblivious to how their emotions affect their behavior.

If you’re dating someone with emotional awareness, it means that they have a high level of self-awareness and they know what their emotional triggers are and how they could affect their behavior.

You see, people who don’t have a lot of emotional awareness will be triggered by something – for example a situation at work – and they’ll become irritable or angry. But because they’re not in touch with their emotions, they won’t know what caused them and that means they could end up getting angry at their partner.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about that when you’re dating someone with emotional intelligence because they know the exact source of their emotions… But that’s not all.

4) Emotional regulation

Not only are they aware of their emotions, but they’re also able to regulate them!

That’s right, when they get upset, emotionally intelligent people don’t just snap at whoever is closest.

They don’t sulk. They don’t get into random arguments with their partners.

Whenever any negative and unsettling emotions come up, they deal with them in a healthy way.

This could be going for a jog, meditating, writing in their journal, cooking, or talking to their therapist.

Whatever it is, they’ve found what works for them.

5) Open communication

Another way to know you’re dating someone with emotional intelligence is that they’re not afraid to “talk about their feelings”.

It seems like such a cliché but there are so many people out there who run from their emotions! They’re total emotional wrecks and would rather do anything than talk about their feelings.

So, if your partner is comfortable talking about their feelings with you and encourages you to do the same, you’ve hit the jackpot.

Open communication is vital for a healthy and happy relationship because it creates a safe space where you can be open and vulnerable without worrying about being judged or your feelings being ignored.

6) Respect for boundaries

So, you may have noticed that I often write about boundaries. That’s because I think they’re super important for our emotional well-being.

We should have boundaries in all our relationships, not just the romantic ones.

The problem is that some people have no notion of boundaries – they have no personal boundaries and they ignore those of other people.

Luckily, folks with emotional intelligence know just how important boundaries are which is why they’re careful not to cross any of yours. That means they’ll give you your space and they’d never push you to do anything you’re uncomfortable with.

7) Conflict resolution skills

The great thing about people with emotional intelligence is that they’re so good at making peace.

And I don’t just mean making up after a fight with their partners.

You see, when their friends aren’t speaking to each other, they’re the only ones who can make them talk things out and make up.

The same thing goes for work, if there’s some kind of conflict, everyone expects them to find a solution.

All-in-all, they approach disputes with a calm and rational mindset and are usually able to find solutions that benefit everyone and avoid unnecessary drama.

Does that sound like the person you’re dating?

8) Non-judgmental attitude

Here’s the deal, people with emotional intelligence are well aware of the fact that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, they know that nobody is perfect – least of all them.

That’s why they make a practice of refraining from judgment and criticism.

Now, if the person you’re dating thinks they can do no wrong and they never have a positive thing to say about anything or anyone, chances are they’re not emotionally intelligent.

On the other hand, if they’re always trying to understand other people’s behavior and looking for ways to explain or even excuse it, then you rest assured that they’re emotionally intelligent.

9) Validation

In my experience, having your emotions dismissed can make you feel pretty small and insignificant, not to mention shi**y.

People without emotional intelligence will say stuff like, “You’re so dramatic” or, “You’re being silly” or even, “Why can’t you just be happy?”

So if you’re with someone who acknowledges and validates your emotions, who makes you feel both heard and understood, then you’re really lucky because that’s another sign that you’re with an emotionally intelligent person.

10) Emotional support

Need a shoulder to cry on? No problem.

How about someone to listen to you? Sure thing.

What about advice? They’ve got it.

And comfort and support? They’re here for you.

No matter how busy they are or how many things they have going on in their lives, if you need them, emotionally intelligent people will be there for you.

And the best part?

You probably won’t even have to ask, they’ll just “know”.

11) Self-reflection

What came first, self-reflection or emotional intelligence?

I’ve no idea but they sure go together like peas in a pod.

Turns out that emotionally intelligent people like to spend a significant amount of time thinking about life, about their goals and dreams, about what they’ve achieved, about where they see themselves in 10 years…

They also like to check in and make sure that they’re being true to themselves and living their best lives.

The bottom line: Don’t worry if the person you’re dating needs some alone time every now and then, they need it for self-reflection.

12) Self-care

A lot of people neglect self-care. Some think that they’re being martyrs for always thinking of others instead of themselves.

But guess what – if you neglect your emotional and physical well-being, you won’t be able to help others with theirs.

Think about it:

It’s kind of like how on an airplane you’re supposed to put the oxygen mask on yourself before putting it on the child. Well, the same goes for taking care of others – you need to take care of yourself first in order to be able to take care of others.

And emotionally intelligent people get this.

In short: By understanding the importance of self-care and setting boundaries for themselves, emotionally intelligent people are able to stay strong and healthy and be there for others.

Final thoughts

I just want to mention that emotional intelligence isn’t always something someone is born with, sometimes it comes with experience.

So, if you’re with someone great who makes you happy and who you’re really into, but they’re not the most emotionally intelligent person on the planet, don’t let that scare you away.

Give them a chance, guide them in the right direction, and see what happens.

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.

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