Emotional intelligence is one of those terms you’ve probably heard thrown around a lot in the past few years or so. Similar to an Intelligence Quotient (IQ), an Emotional Quotient (EQ) measures how proficient someone is in understanding their own emotions and empathizing with others.
Having an emotionally intelligent romantic partner is something to aspire to, but it can be tough to gauge a person’s EQ. Here are some signs that the guy you’re seeing has a high EQ (and some signs that he might not).
Good Sign: He Responds To Feedback By Asking What He Can Do Better
You mention something he does that bothers you or you say that you feel hurt.
His immediate reaction is to ask what specific behaviors you dislike and asks how he can be a better partner to you.
Bad Sign: He Gets Defensive/Angry When You Give Him Feedback
You mention something he does that bothers you.
His immediate reaction is to get defensive about the action, and he might even get upset with you for “overreacting” to the behavior.
Good Sign: He Apologizes Without Much Prompting
When you mention that he has hurt you, he doesn’t hesitate to put together a genuine apology.
He takes ownership of the thing he did wrong and makes sure to tell you that he’s sorry.
Bad Sign: He Rarely Apologizes Genuinely
He avoids apologizing at all costs, and when he does it, it’s not a real apology.
He says things like, “I’m sorry that you feel that way…” or some similar iteration that keeps him from ever really taking accountability.
Good Sign: He Regulates His Own Feelings
Emotional regulation is a very important sign of emotional intelligence.
He’s able to think through his own feelings, reflect on them, and understand why he might feel a certain way in a healthy manner.
Bad Sign: He Bottles Things Up Until He Explodes
He doesn’t really show signs of any intense emotion on the surface most of the time.
However, every once in a while, he explodes over something small but can’t really pinpoint why he’s so upset about it in the moment.
Good Sign: He Looks At Issues From Others’ Points Of View
He knows that his own experiences only go so far, so he tries to put himself in other people’s shoes.
He’s able to understand how other people in a situation might feel, and he can easily empathize with you.
Bad Sign: He Can’t See Past His Own Perspective
He really struggles to wrap his head around the idea that other people might experience the world differently than he does.
With complex issues, he’s only able to see things from his own point of view, and he rarely understands why you process your feelings in a way that’s different from him.
Good Sign: He Doesn’t Shy Away From Difficult Conversations
Let’s be real: no one really likes to get into deep, messy conversations, but they are a necessity.
He’s ready to have a mature discussion when serious topics are on the table, and he can be vulnerable with you.
Bad Sign: He Only Wants To Talk About Superficial Things
He’s easy to keep up a conversation with when it comes to everyday trivialities, but he shuts down whenever the discussion gets serious.
He avoids difficult conversations at all costs, instead trying to focus on the light things.
Good Sign: He’s An Active Listener
When you’re talking to him, he goes out of his way to ask you to elaborate on certain things or will check to make sure he’s understanding exactly what you’re saying.
He doesn’t just hear—he really listens.
Bad Sign: He Hijacks All Conversations To Be About Him
Whenever you’re talking to him, it seems that he’s only picking up on parts of what you’re saying.
Maybe he’s just inattentive, or maybe he only wants to talk about things that directly relate to him. Either way, it’s a bad sign.
Good Sign: He Respects And Enforces Boundaries
He’s all for both of you having healthy boundaries in your relationship, and he clearly communicates what his own boundaries are.
Even further, when he feels like one of you is breaching a boundary, he’s quick to address it.
Bad Sign: He Constantly Crosses Boundaries
You will put up boundaries in your relationship, but he is regularly inconsiderate of them or will cross them without thinking it’s a big deal.
Alternatively, he’s incredibly stiff about boundaries he has and is never really willing to discuss them with you.
Good Sign: He Tries To Get To Know Your Close Friends/Family
He gets excited by the idea of getting closer to the other people in your life.
When meeting your friends and family, he puts in an obvious effort to get to know them and try to develop a positive relationship with them.
Bad Sign: Your Friends/Family Hate Him
Alternatively, while this isn’t something he personally does, it’s a very clear sign when all of your friends and family dislike your partner.
There’s a high chance that they’re seeing some red flags in him that you’re blind to.
Good Sign: He’s Respectful When You Argue
Arguments are an inevitability in a relationship, but that doesn’t mean they have to be ugly.
When you’re arguing about something, he remains considerate of your feelings and never gets rude toward you.
Bad Sign: He Fights Dirty When He’s Upset
When you get into a fight, he starts to make mean digs at you: he’ll call you stupid or crazy or some other demeaning term.
He might even throw something from your past or one of your insecurities into your face just to be cruel.
Good Sign: He’s Open About His Emotions
He lets you know how he is feeling in most situations and is consistently clear about where you stand with him.
He knows how to talk about his feelings and really understands the root of why he’s feeling a certain way.
Bad Sign: You Can Never Figure Out How He Feels
You’re constantly trying to guess how he feels about you.
When you do ask how he is, he finds a way to deflect the conversation or never gives you a real answer.