As a matchmaker, people often ask me what to consider when searching for a compatible partner. Looks may catch your eyes, or perhaps it’s a baritone voice that sets the heart fluttering. I believe it’s helpful when establishing initial contact to share a common interest or two, perhaps even beneficial to come from a similar background or have congruent intelligence levels (IQ). However, a recent study showed that more than this – what really affects the success of a relationship is emotional intelligence (EQ).
What is EQ?
Howard Gardner, an influential Harvard theorist, states “Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them.” EQ is about having good social skills, being well-versed in how to communicate effectively and understanding why others might do as they do.
This all seems pretty straightforward, and you may already unconsciously be looking for these characteristics in a potential pairing. As a matchmaker, I see the benefit of continually looking to improve oneself – it’s not solely your prospective partner you should focus on if you want a successful relationship. It’s equally vital to improve your own EQ.
How can we improve our EQ?
Paula Durlofsky, PhD, writes about four areas in which you might give consideration when looking at how to increase EQ. These areas are:
- Self-awareness: Do you understand your emotions? Do you give yourself time to work out what your feelings are and how they’re affecting behavior is key in this area.
- Emotional regulation: Learning to pause, to reflect on how you feel instead of acting impulsively, perhaps sitting with negative emotions and learning to take the time to act on them from an objective point of view.
- Empathy: Understanding how someone else might feel and why.
- Social skills: The ability to communicate clearly and effectively, giving consideration to the above three points.
Why does this matter?
Having a high EQ is paramount to enjoying a successful relationship. If you’re not tuned into your feelings, or if you don’t have time to consider why your partner may act as they do, you might not be that easy to get along with. However, if you can focus on improving your social skills by not shying away from uncomfortable feelings – instead taking the time to understand why you feel as you do and honing your ability to better communicate this, I believe you will create the footing for an emotionally open and honest pairing.
As a matchmaker, I see the sizable and multitudinous benefits of working on our EQ and a recent study indeed proved that partners who both score highly in EQ, reported greater satisfaction in their relationship than those with lower EQs.
Emotional intelligence, the ability to understand your feelings and the feelings of others, is a key concept in the foundation of a successful relationship. When dating, it’s crucial to feel you’re meeting with someone who not only is emotionally intelligent but also whose values align with your own, who has similar goals and ambitions for the partnership. At Maclynn International, we can help find this. Contact us today and discover how our trusted matchmakers work to find you a well-matched companion and set you up for an emotionally intelligent relationship.