11 signs of emotional intelligence in a romantic partner

Want a partner who understands and supports you emotionally? Find out how to spot emotional intelligence in your significant other.

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The secret to a successful relationship is knowing how to deal with emotions – yours and those of other people. Being able to identify and understand the emotions of others, as well as your own, is a sign of great emotional intelligence. 1

Emotional intelligence is key in any relationship, as it helps create trust, understanding, and empathy. Discover the clear signs that show your partner has great emotional intelligence and why it is essential in a strong relationship. 2

Are communication problems getting in the way of your relationship? Learn how effective communication can help create and maintain a strong bond with your partner.

Why emotional intelligence is important

Why emotional intelligence is important

Relationships need emotional intelligence to thrive. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and regulate emotions — and positively apply them in all aspects of life. 3

This intelligence is related but different from general intelligence. A person can be self-aware and reflective and understand how other people think and feel when interacting with them. 4

Essentially, having emotional intelligence involves managing our emotions and those of others. It is an essential tool for building trust and respect and developing strategies for dealing with difficult relationships. 5

Emotionally intelligent people are better equipped to form and maintain strong relationships as they are aware of the feelings and needs of their partner. Because they are better equipped to deal with emotions, they are also more resilient during stress or change.

Of course, this doesn’t mean they are constantly compliant or sensitive to the other person’s needs. It just means they are more self-aware and able to respect their partner’s boundaries and understand when it’s time to take a break from the situation.

Build lasting love with emotional intelligence. Discover its vital role in nurturing understanding, trust, and a stronger bond.

11 Clear signs that your partner is emotionally intelligent

11 Clear signs that your partner is emotionally intelligent

Emotional intelligence is an important part of any relationship. Here are 11 clear signs that your partner has strong emotional intelligence:

1. They are open about their feelings

An emotionally intelligent partner will demonstrate an ability to express and communicate their emotions with you openly. This includes sharing their joys, fears, frustrations, and vulnerabilities, creating an environment of emotional safety and trust in the relationship.

Even when dealing with difficult emotions, like anger or sadness, you’ll notice they don’t bottle their feelings up. Instead, they can express how they feel healthily — by talking about it or finding a more creative outlet for their emotions. 6

Strengthen your emotional well-being and mental health by engaging in open conversations with your partner. Explore the positive impact of sharing your thoughts, feelings, and concerns, and how it can alleviate stress and promote overall relationship satisfaction. Head over to this article to find out the benefits of talking openly with your partner.

2. They handle stress and conflicts calmly

An emotionally intelligent partner possesses the ability to handle stress and conflicts in a calm and composed manner. And if they do get upset or angry, they take the time to pause and think before responding.

Individuals with high emotional intelligence typically demonstrate better stress management skills and problem-solving techniques than those with lower emotional intelligence. They are less likely to do or say something they will later regret. 7

3. They listen and empathize

When your partner is emotionally intelligent, they listen to you without judgment. They will be patient and understanding, actively listening to what you have to say.

In addition, they can empathize with your feelings, whether the emotion is joy or distress. They can put themselves in your shoes and truly understand where you’re coming from. 8

Discover the transformative power of active listening in your personal and professional interactions. Explore effective strategies to truly understand others, build trust, and foster meaningful connections.

4. They avoid impulsive reactions

An emotionally intelligent partner recognizes their feelings and the emotions of others. They take time to really think about how they react and avoid making rash decisions or impulsive statements.

Your partner understands that their actions have consequences, so they take the time to carefully think through their choices and be mindful of the feelings of others. They don’t just act on impulse when in the heat of the moment.

5. They set goals and work toward them

Goal-setting is an important part of emotional intelligence. Your partner knows their limits and strengths, setting realistic goals to work towards. They strive to better themselves to be healthier and happier — mentally and physically.

Emotionally intelligent people often possess a strong sense of purpose and engage in goal-directed behavior that aligns with their values and aspirations. They want to grow and develop in life, understanding that it requires hard work and dedication. 9

6. They bounce back from setbacks

Emotionally intelligent people are resilient. They understand that it’s natural to have setbacks and disappointments, but they don’t let them define who they are or keep them from striving for their goals.

When your partner has emotional intelligence, they can dust themselves off and keep going even when faced with challenging circumstances. They learn from their mistakes and move forward with greater wisdom.

7. They are grateful

Expressing gratitude is one of the hallmarks of being emotionally intelligent. Your partner will be grateful for small things, recognizing how these moments make life meaningful and enjoyable.

You’ll notice that they take the time to appreciate the people around them and express thanks for nice gestures or experiences. They don’t take things for granted and always look on life’s bright side.

8. They regulate their emotions

Emotional intelligence also includes being able to manage our own emotions effectively. When your partner is emotionally intelligent, you’ll notice they don’t get overwhelmed by their feelings or those of others.

Instead, they handle difficult emotions like anger and fear healthily. They won’t be afraid to express their feelings but can pause and think before responding when necessary.

9. They are effective communicators

Your partner will be an effective communicator when they have emotional intelligence. They understand how to convey their message without appearing aggressive or condescending.

You’ll recognize that they are skilled at finding the right words to express their feelings and thoughts and understand what other people are saying. This makes it easier for both of you to engage in meaningful conversations.

10. They are patient and understanding

Being emotionally intelligent also means having the capacity for patience and understanding. Your partner will know how to remain calm in difficult situations or when faced with an opposing opinion.

You’ll notice that they don’t rush into decisions but take their time to think things through before making a move. They can step back and think logically even when emotions are running high.

Want to enhance your emotional intelligence? Discover effective strategies and practical exercises to develop self-awareness, empathy, and better manage your emotions.

11. They demonstrate understanding and compassion

An emotionally intelligent partner will be able to show understanding and compassion. They don’t just listen to what you have to say, but they also understand where your feelings are coming from and why that matters.

Because of this, they will be able to show you the respect and care that you deserve. They are there for you in the good times and during moments of difficulty or sorrow.

These 11 signs show that your partner has a high emotional intelligence, which can help foster better communication and understanding in the relationship. Having an emotionally intelligent partner can make for a stronger, healthier bond between you both. Learn how other effective communication strategies can strengthen bonds and foster deeper connections with your partner.

  1. Sels, L., Ceulemans, E., Bulteel, K., & Kuppens, P. (2016). Emotional Interdependence and Well-Being in Close Relationships. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. ↩︎

  2. Papp, L. M., Pendry, P., Simon, C. D., and Adam, E. K. (2013). Spouses’ cortisol associations and moderators: testing physiological synchrony and connectedness in everyday life. Fam. Process 52, 284–298. doi ↩︎

  3. Mayer, J. D., Roberts, R. D., & Barsade, S. G. (2008). Human abilities: Emotional intelligence. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 59, 507-536. ↩︎

  4. Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., Caruso, D. R., & Sitarenios, G. (2003). Measuring emotional intelligence with the MSCEIT V2. 0. Emotion, 3(1), 97. ↩︎

  5. Cordova, J. V., Gee, C. B., & Warren, L. Z. (2005). Emotional Skillfulness in Marriage: Intimacy As a Mediator of the Relationship Between Emotional Skillfulness and Marital Satisfaction. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24(2), 218–235. doi.org ↩︎

  6. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Bantam Books. ↩︎

  7. Giluk, T. L. (2009). Mindfulness, Big Five personality, and affect: A meta-analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(8), 805–811. doi.org ↩︎

  8. Brown, C. L., West, T. V., Sanchez, A. H., & Mendes, W. B. (2021). Emotional Empathy in the Social Regulation of Distress: A Dyadic Approach. Personality & social psychology bulletin, 47(6), 1004–1019. ↩︎

  9. Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart. ↩︎

Author picture of Amy Clark
Relationship Expert

Amy Clark

Amy Clark is a freelance writer who writes about relationships, marriage, and family. She has been happily married for over ten years and loves her husband and three kids. Before …

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