Emotional intelligence is integral to a healthy relationship. Having the capacity to understand, manage and verbally express feelings with your partner is invaluable. The good news is these skills can certainly be learned, but if the person you’re with has no interest in gaining emotional intelligence, it may be time to hit the road.
Here are 10 signs your partner isn’t emotionally intelligent enough for you:
1. They know no other feeling words besides “good.”
2. They invalidate your experience — if you seem upset, they say something like, “Be positive,” “don’t cry,” or “it’s not that big of a deal.”
3. They seem uncomfortable around “I feel” conversations.
4. Every second of their time is filled with doing.
5. They seem to have no capacity for empathy.
6. They make generalizing statements about races, genders and religious groups.
7. They have a hard time being alone.
8. They have a hard time expressing how they feel about you and your relationship.
9. They have a history of risky or impulsive behavior (cheating, gambling large amounts of money, illicit drugs, etc.).
10. They have a volatile relationship with drugs or alcohol, and are unwilling to admit that it’s a problem.
Many of us, particularly boys and men, are socialized not to express (let alone acknowledge) emotions. They learn to suppress and avoid the feelings that they judge themselves for having — things like depression, anxiety and rejection.
If your partner acknowledges that they need to develop more emotional intelligence, and they’re willing to use approaches like therapy, meditation and journaling to do so, your relationship will definitely benefit.