Emotional Intelligence In Dating: Why It Matters and How to Grow It
Are you single and looking for love in all the right places? If so, it all starts with you. As a life coach for entrepreneurs, I want you to be successful in all areas of your life, and yes, that includes your romantic life.
In this article, we will discuss how to improve your emotional intelligence so that you can avoid dating unqualified or emotionally unavailable people.
Where to find a quality partner
Before we delve into this article, I would like to confess that I am not a dating coach, nor do I pretend to be one. However, dating encompasses various life issues, so it is my responsibility to provide advice for clients that will keep them emotionally, physically, and financially secure.
The most frequent questions I receive are:
- Where do I find a high-earning person?
- What are the signs of someone being successful?
- How can I make sure they love me and not my money?
As a leader and business owner, I understand that you have certain standards, and you want to date successfully. However, just having a checklist of wants is not enough.
The most important thing to know when searching for a partner is how to keep yourself safe. That is the only way you can keep your heart and wallet whole while waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right. And what better way than to share a story of a fiery train wreck of a relationship that started on a completely wrong foot?
Warning: This story contains all the things you should avoid doing if you want to meet a quality partner and have a long-term healthy relationship.
Reality TV. Lust and Pro-Ball
I have a confession. I spent way too many hours in my younger years watching reality television shows. This was when the Real Housewives Franchise just started to gain attention. I had an affinity to watch the Atlanta installment.
The other day, I read a story of one of the women involved in the show. She is in the midst of an extremely bitter and acrimonious divorce with a former pro-football player.
And before I continue on, no, I am not saying the name because that is not relevant to this story. This is about emotional intelligence, not celebrity gossip. But for purposes of this article, let’s call her, “Mandy.”
A Diva’s Life
Mandy’s whole life was set on:
- Partying (She made a song that literally was about partying)
- Looking good (Her wig collection was absolutely epic)
- Being seen (Anytime there was an event in Atlanta, you could trust she was there).
After the partying storm
As the show progressed, she met and married a professional football player, had many more children, and seemed to settle down into a normal, stable family life.
However, years later, while scrolling through the internet, I discovered that she has a gambling addiction, accused of spousal abuse and is in the midst of an acrimonious custody battle. Mandy no longer has a show or anything to support her ego or extravagant lifestyle.
While reading the article, I saw pictures of her scantily clad with her family. It is sad to see that even 20 years later, she hasn’t evolved since then. Although she is no longer in the party mode, the partying is still inside her.
You might be thinking, “Okay, what is the point of Denise talking about a washed-up reality TV star and her divorce?” That’s a great question! Next, let’s discuss why seeking financial security can be prioritized over emotional intelligence.
Counterfeits to love
Often times, people who fail to find and keep a romantic partner do so due to low emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence goes beyond cognition (understanding) or regulation of one’s emotions. It is the ability to recognize how your thoughts lead to actions or inactions, and how that behavior can lead you to happiness or misery.
I highly recommend the books “Social Intelligence” and “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman if you are interested in how your behavior impacts yourself and others.
When you have low emotional intelligence, you are susceptible to confuse healthy love with counterfeit or fake love. Next, we will talk about the most common types of fake love.
Counterfeit Love #1: Confusing love with lust
Love can be confused with lust. When you are lusting after someone, it may feel like love, but it is actually covering up deep fears and insecurities. This is where you objectify a person as a sex object, rather than seeing them as a flawed and imperfect human being.
Those under the cloud of lust are very mesmerized by its power. Lust makes you feel obsessed, validated and alive.
But lust is a con. It destroys, invades, and devalues.
Trying to place lust in the same category, or even bracket, as love is suspect. Too many people have fallen for this concept and have wondered why they feel hollow, empty, and afraid of being vulnerable.
Counterfeit Love #2: Thinking money or power can pay for love
Another common trap is thinking that you need a certain amount of wealth to find a romantic partner. The only problem with that logic is that their love is directly tired to the number of zeros in your bank account.
It doesn’t really matter how much money is in your pocketbook (or your lovers) if you nor they have an unhealthy relationship dynamic. It is like trying to pour a scant amount of water from one bottle into an empty bottle. Both people will end up feeling thirsty and depleted.
If you want to have a quality relationship, it start with you. And the first step is addressing your insecurities.
Addressing your insecurities
Many people try to use money or lust to avoid real human connections. However, if you want to increase your emotional intelligence, you must understand your own inner fears and insecurities. You cannot mask or cover up these issues. The aroma of insecurity will linger like cheap perfume in a crowded room. Even if your ideal partner has money or a great body, a long-term relationship based solely on superficial features is impossible.
In addition, sex and money symbolize status and power. If a relationship is founded on this principle, each individual will continue to feed off one another’s need for control. The relationship will inevitably fall apart, especially if the sexual attraction dwindles or money becomes scarce.
As part of understanding your needs and finding a healthy partner, it’s essential to identify signs of insecurities or character flaws. As you read through this list, be mindful of areas that may need improvement for yourself.
Signs of an unhealthy personality
Signs of an unhealthy personality can vary depending on the specific personality traits and behaviors involved. However, here are some common indicators of an unhealthy personality:
1. Manipulative behavior
We all want to see things done in a way that pleases us. However, there is behavior that clearly shows an inability to have a healthy relationship with another person. Using guilt trips, shaming, or engaging in deceitful tactics are signs of manipulative behavior.
2. Lack of empathy
We are human. As such, we make mistakes as we learn and grow emotionally. Empathy is a sign that we recognize that nobody is perfect. However, if someone shows little to no concern for the feelings or needs of others, or being unable to understand or connect with their emotions – that is a huge red flag.
3. Controlling tendencies
The idea of “It’s my way or the highway” is extremely immature and tiring. This person wants less of a partner and more of an obedient and docile slave. Beware of those who display authoritarian behavior or are overly demanding.
I have had too many conversations with strong and powerful women about this issue: “I cannot find a strong man.”
And I understand. If you are used to being in control, handling things and holding it down, it’s pretty darn hard to let loose and let someone else take care of things.
So, the only individuals available and willing to be dominated are emotionally compromised men who do not mind being told what to do and how to do it. If you desire to be the leader in a relationship, then these men are perfect for you.
If you seek a strong man, be prepared to have him speak up and share his voice. Emotionally resilient men do not tolerate mistreatment, and if they do, they will not stay forever.
This does not excuse the behavior of men who lie, cheat, or do not fulfill their promises. It is only an explanation of why it may be challenging to find a man who is strong emotionally and intellectually.
Below is a message I wrote about the consequences of trying to control another human being.
Too many women have been stuck helping men afflicted with the "Peter Pan Syndrome."— Denise Lee (@DeniseGLee) August 2, 2023
The man-boy who never wanted responsibility, so he looks to a strong, masculine woman to help him:
-pay his bills
-take care of his affairs
It never ends well.
"Peter" finds a new…
4. Chronic lying
Sometimes it is hard to speak your needs due to the fear of rejection. However, habitually deceiving others, fabricating stories, or distorting the truth to manipulate situations or people is a sign that they cannot be trusted.
5. Malignant narcissism
Having a healthy sense of self is good. However, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others is a sign that they care more about themselves above all.
6. Explosive anger
To the rageaholic, minor infractions are cause for arguments at best, and physical violence at worst. Frequent and intense outbursts of anger, often disproportionate to the situation at hand. They need a 12-step support group, not your love.
7. Poor impulse control
This can be as mild as saying anything that pops up in their mind to a shopping addiction. Acting impulsively without considering the consequences, engaging in risky behavior, or having difficulty delaying gratification.
8. Chronic negativity
There are some people who couldn’t say anything positive about themselves or others if their lives depended on it. Chronic negatively is when you consistently display a pessimistic and negative outlook on life, focusing on faults and failures rather than positive aspects.
9. Lack of personal responsibility
Shifting the blame onto others will make you safe emotionally but it shows extreme immaturity. Avoiding taking responsibility for one’s actions, frequently blaming others, and refusing to acknowledge personal mistakes or faults.
10. Difficulty creating and maintaining healthy relationships
If your date is over the age of 30 and has never had a relationship longer than 4 months, that is a bad sign. People who struggle to form and sustain meaningful connections frequently experience conflicts or unstable interpersonal dynamics.
Nobody is perfect, but if you can identify with one or more of the traits listed above, it might be worth your time to examine how these traits have negatively impacted your past or present relationships.
How to increase your emotional intelligence
If you want a rich and emotionally mature partner, it starts with being an emotionally rich person yourself.
Below are some tips to help you improve your emotional intelligence:
- Be happy about yourself and your life
- Work on improving your emotional flaws (see the list above)
- Maintain an optimistic attitude
- Be empathetic towards everyone, not just those who please you
And the biggest one of them all: Accept your partner as he or she is, not as who you want them to be.
The best way to love someone is to accept them, flaws and all. If your partner or date isn’t up to your standards, keep your chin high and find someone who is worthy of you.
Money, power or status is a moot topic if their character is lacking.
Next, I will share my final thoughts about emotional intelligence and how to keep you safe while dating.
We are all works in progress and are working to improve our emotional intelligence, myself included. Learn from others’ mistakes, see what they did wrong, and learn how you can do better in your next relationship.
Before entering your next relationship, it is essential to understand if you have any insecurities that may inadvertently attract an unhealthy partner.
Remember: healthy individuals do not spend time with unhealthy individuals in a futile attempt to change them.
If you need assistance not only managing your business but also improving all aspects of your life, please contact me, and let’s create a tailored plan that works for you.
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE
The information in this article is for informational purposes only. No material in this article or website is to be a substitute for professional medical and/or mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read from me or anyone else online.
Also, this article is not designed to diagnose or treat you or anyone with a suspected mental health illness. Please, if you need help, seek appropriate help from a lawyer, health care provider or law enforcement officer.