16 signs you’re in an emotionally intelligent relationship

We’ve all heard of IQ, but what about EQ?

Our emotional intelligence is how well we perceive, understand and manage emotions.

So it’s easy to see why this is such a vital skill to have when it comes to creating happy and healthy relationships.

How do you know if you’re in an emotionally intelligent relationship?

Check out the following signs.

1) You let one another know how you’re feeling

We’ve all heard 1000 times how a relationship lives or dies by its communication skills. But that doesn’t make it any easier to do.

The thing is that having truly honest and open conversations can be uncomfortable — even with someone we feel close to. In fact, especially with someone we feel close to!

But if you can share your needs and wants with one another, it’s thanks to your emotional intelligence.

You can tell each other not only the good things but also the bad. All emotions are welcomed and up for discussion.

2) You don’t brush problems under the rug

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in past relationships was trying to avoid conflict at all costs.

Like many people I’m guessing, I don’t particularly enjoy falling out. But unfortunately, if you want to have truth and honesty, then disagreement is inevitable.

The only other option is to keep things to yourself and sit on your problems.

**Spoiler alert**

That always comes back to bite you in the ass.

Emotionally intelligent couples deal with their issues rather than gloss over them or hide from them.

And, as we’ll see next when conflict does inevitably arise, they deal with it in a respectful way.

3) You fight fair

So if arguments are a given in any relationship, the focus isn’t on totally avoiding them it’s on handling them with as much grace as possible.

Obviously, in the heat of the moment, that’s no easy feat.

But if you fight fair you:

  • Hear each other out
  • Don’t resort to name calling
  • Stick to the issue at hand (and don’t bring up past problems)
  • Care more about resolving an argument than winning it
  • Take full responsibility for your own feelings, words, and actions
  • Look for common ground

Having healthy disagreements is going to be easier for you if you are already good at the next sign on our list…

4) You’re able to see things from each other’s side

Empathy, open-mindedness, and adaptability are all important qualities we need to possess if we’re to take on another perspective.

And luckily, these are all traits of someone with high EQ.

Being able to put yourself in your partner’s shoes allows you to approach them with greater compassion and understanding.

This does wonders for your bond because it allows us to feel seen and heard by our other half.

5) You feel understood

Whenever someone just “gets us” that’s their emotional intelligence at work.

Because our EQ is what allows us to read other people, tune into their emotions and respond appropriately.

Sure, part of it is that you’re a good match and on the same wavelength. It’s always easier when we share similar values and beliefs.

But being empathetic to your partner is what helps us to tap into and relate to how they’re feeling. And that strengthens your connection.

We all want to be recognized and accepted, and it’s our EQ that makes this possible.

6) You have realistic expectations from one another and your relationship

People with a high EQ are analytical thinkers with the self-awareness to set realistic expectations of others.

That goes for their romantic relationships too.

There’s a trap that way too many of us are lured into:

We want the happily ever after that we were promised in the movies. And when it doesn’t arrive (because real life doesn’t work like that) we feel resentment.

The better we recognize and handle our emotions the less we expect others to be responsible for how we feel.

7) You both take responsibility for your own happiness

This next sign goes hand in hand with our previous one.

Because one of those impossibly high expectations that we can end up demanding from our partner is that they “make us happy”.

But emotionally intelligent couples aren’t waiting to be saved by a romantic relationship.

They already know that how they feel is always an inside job and 100% down to them.

8) You’re together because you want to be, not because you need to be

Codependent couples end up in toxic situations because they don’t know how to self-regulate their own emotions.

That’s why they rely on each other in unhealthy ways.

Sadly it means they will sometimes stay in destructive and damaging relationships because they fear being alone.

When you’ve mastered self-reliance you can be with someone because you want to be with them. They enrich your life.

You’re not there because you feel like you need them.

9) You can see when you’re in the wrong and make amends

Have you ever gotten into a disagreement with someone who refused to back down, even though you can clearly see they were in the wrong?

It’s super frustrating, right?

The problem is that even though it was obvious to you, they lacked the self-awareness to spot it.

Getting them to understand feels like hitting your head against a brick wall.

When we are blind to our own failings and mistakes we’re unlikely to apologize for them — and that destroys relationships.

10) You enjoy time together but also time apart

Freedom and autonomy are an important part of a healthy relationship.

For starters, it’s vital for desire. As psychologist Esther Perel points out, independence is key to keeping the spark alive:

“Love rests on two pillars: surrender and autonomy. Our need for togetherness exists alongside our need for separateness. One does not exist without the other.”

Respecting each other’s need for space as well as intimacy is a reflection of your emotional intelligence.

11) You’re willing to ride out the rough patches

Resilience and perseverance are characteristics of people with high EQ. In times of stress, you have the emotional tools to deal with it. 

Of course, that’s not to say you will stay in a miserable relationship. But you do have the grit to stay the course through a few bumps in the road.

You recognize that the path of true love never did run smoothly.

You don’t break up after every little fight. You both feel secure in your relationship, even during the rough patches. 

12) You don’t air your dirty laundry in public

We’ve all been around those couples that put each other down, bicker, or even full-blown fight in public.

It doesn’t seem to phase them that everyone is watching. Neither do they seem to see how it makes everyone else squirm to be caught in the middle.

Social awareness is yet another side of emotional intelligence. As a couple, you know what to keep private. You recognize that there is a time and a place for everything.

And undermining your partner is a big no-no for you…

13) You act like a team

When I say undermine, I don’t mean you can’t disagree. But like we just highlighted above, there are respectful ways to go about it.

Because at the end of the day, your partner is your teammate. And your goal is to support one another and be a united front.

Cooperation and support are important aspects of a successful relationship.

From pulling your weight with the household chores to providing a shoulder to cry on after a hard day — things run more smoothly because you’ve got each other’s back.

14) You encourage each other to grow

Rather than put you down, discourage you, or hold you back your partner feels like your number one fan.

You are both motivated individuals who want to learn, expand and succeed in life. And you share your enthusiasm.

You believe in one another and you would never want to stifle each other’s dreams and goals.

15) Your relationship has healthy boundaries

You know your relationship do’s and don’ts and you both stick to them.

You may have discussed them explicitly and agreed on the ground rules. Or they may be implicitly based on the basics of trust, respect, and kindness.

Either way, there isn’t a power struggle because you both know what is expected of you.

16) You don’t take each other for granted

When you see someone day in and day out, it’s easy to stop noticing what is right there in front of you.

Especially when life gets busy or stressed, that care and attention for one another can slip.

But you and your partner remind yourselves and each other how grateful you are for what you have.

You show your appreciation through your words and actions — whether it’s a loving compliment or a thoughtful gesture.

Final thoughts: An emotionally intelligent relationship isn’t a perfect one

Emotional intelligence in a relationship can help you navigate problems more successfully. But it doesn’t make you immune to them.

Every relationship has its ups and downs.

Your EQ is a skill to be learned, not an innate trait. Strengthening it can lead to more harmonious and happy connections.

Louise Jackson

My passion in life is communication in all its many forms. I enjoy nothing more than deep chats about life, love and the Universe. With a masters degree in Journalism, I’m a former BBC news reporter and newsreader. But around 8 years ago I swapped the studio for a life on the open road. Lisbon, Portugal is currently where I call home. My personal development articles have featured in Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, Thrive Global and more.

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