Bon: I like to call this emotional agility…
The Surprising Key Element in Happy Couples
Have you ever wondered if you and the guy you just started dating will make it long term? Or are you about to get married, and wish you could really predict if it will last? Do you ever wonder if you and your wife’s relationship is as happy as it can be? What do you think accounts for those who seem madly in love, versus couples who don’t make it or seem miserable together?
Most of us can think of all sorts of elements that might make a happy couple. But there’s one key factor that almost everyone overlooks: Emotional Intelligence (EI). In fact, a new research meta-analysis shows a significant association between Emotional Intelligence and relationship satisfaction. This means that couples with high Emotional Intelligence tend to be happier in their love life together. This finding was true for both men and women.
What is Emotional Intelligence, exactly? Your level of EI is defined by how effectively you perceive and relate to your emotions. With high EI, there are four main components at play:
- Emotional Awareness: You’re consciously aware of your own emotions, and are able to monitor and understand your own feelings. Rather than push your emotions away, you experience and examine them.
- Regulating Emotions: You have the ability to manage your emotions, such as being able to calm down quickly or self soothe when you’re upset. Emotions don’t overwhelm you, even the more difficult emotions such as fear, sadness, anxiety or anger.
- Harnessing Emotions: You’re able to harness your emotions in a helpful way: to achieve goals, solve problems or generally better your situation.
- Highly Perceptive: You’re sensitive to the feelings of others. You’re able to tune into how others are feeling, and are engaged in the process of listening, showing empathy, and attending to other’s emotional states.
We know that couples where both people have high levels of Emotional Intelligence are closer, are more committed to one another, and are more satisfied in their relationships.