There are some obvious reasons why having a lot of EI might make you a more pleasant person to date: EI usually corresponds with good communication skills because having this kind of heightened emotional awareness can make it easier to explain to someone exactly how you’re feeling or what’s bothering you. EI also often comes with empathy; the heightened sensitivity to others’ emotions can make it easier to recognize the underlying feelings driving another person’s actions, relate to them, and treat them with kindness and compassion rather than contempt, confusion, or carelessness.
“Emotionally intelligent couples are able to maintain a deep respect for one another, communicate their emotions effectively, read their partner’s emotions accurately, and hold healthy boundaries,” relationship psychologists Simone Humphrey, Psy.D., and Signe Simon, Ph.D., write at mbg. “Rather than shared interests or attractiveness levels, research consistently points to [these] relationship qualities as predictors of relationship satisfaction.”
According to the current study, EI was specifically associated with couples handling stress a lot better. People with EI tended to be really good at supporting their partner through problems, doing things like attending to their partner’s negative emotions, taking on extra responsibilities to relieve their partner’s stress, and finding ways to jointly problem-solve to tackle issues together. This ability to be supportive and collaborative in these stressful situations (known as dyadic coping in psychology speak) was understandably associated with more satisfying relationships for both partners.
People with EI were also less likely to do things like dismiss their partner’s negative emotions or leave them to deal with their stress on their own. This was also associated with more satisfying relationships for both partners, for similarly obvious reasons.