Deciding to look for a life partner is a big deal. It can be daunting — how can you know if you want to be with someone for the rest of your life? What if you don’t have the same taste in music? Or they put the toilet paper roll on the wrong way? What if they despise brunch?
All of that is pretty inconsequential, though. No one is going to be perfect; you need to accept that. Nor can you ever know what your ideal partner looks like until you experience it. Sure, you can have a vague idea, but growing as individuals together rides on more than attractiveness or whether they think Stranger Things is cinematic genius (it is).
After going through a few too many men, I realized I dated for the wrong reasons. My insecurities ran rampant as I committed to men that lacked an essential quality that I need from my romantic partner.
Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, is the quality I didn’t realize I needed from someone until I had it.
EQ is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions. It’s also the ability to realize your impact on others. Instead of bottling up or being completely unaware of what you’re feeling, you have the words and awareness to express your emotions.
You can spot someone with high emotional intelligence by noticing the following:
- They pause and think before they say
- They don’t lash out
- They can admit when they’re wrong
- They give genuine praise/compliments
- They keep commitments
- They don’t make empty promises
- They don’t play games
Communication and expression of feelings are cited as the number one reason for divorce. Couples aren’t communicating well. They’re not expressing their needs. They’re creating rifts and emotional barriers that ultimately ruin their marriage.
There’s a lot of qualities that I looked for in a partner that never included their ability to communicate about emotions. I sought looks, success, exciting hobbies, how cool my friends would think they are. But then I went on a one-year dating hiatus. I decided to readjust what it was I wanted from a partner.
Then I met my current boyfriend. We set aside a time every week to check-in with each other. We express how we feel with no judgment or animosity. His high emotional intelligence helps me raise mine. And things are fucking great.
If you’re lucky enough to find someone with a high EQ, appreciate them. In today’s technology-heavy society, genuine communication isn’t prioritized.
But if you find someone to be in an emotionally intelligent relationship with, you can enjoy:
- Shared empathy
- Critical communication without heated arguments
- Space to express how you feel
- A safe person to be vulnerable with
- Shorter arguments
- Less doubt about the relationship
- And plenty more healthy behaviors
Because when you can communicate well, you’re going to be able to ride out the roller coaster of life/your relationship together. A horrible fight won’t be an end-all (they may even happen a whole lot less). Any significant life changes will be discussed and handled healthily.
When you’re looking for someone to be with for decades to come, this is one of the most important things to look for. You’ll feel supported, loved, and, most importantly, understood. And, if you also possess a high level of emotional intelligence, you’ll be able to do the same for your partner.
A life partner is a big decision. Life gets difficult; obstacles are inevitable. Don’t choose to ride the roller coaster with someone who’s going to go to bed angry.