We all love those adorable couples that have spent a lifetime together and are still happy. I think of my grandparents as an example of a couple that enjoyed forever happiness. They seemed like relationship superheroes! By staying together, they beat the odds, silenced the naysayers and defeated every challenge that came their way.
So how do the superhero couples do it? How do they stay together and enjoy continued love, passion and connection? They do it by creating their happiness with emotional intelligence. Whether you know it or not, emotional intelligence plays a role in who you love and the quality of your relationships. In fact, emotional intelligence shapes the overall happiness you have in life. My personal journey in learning to manage depression began with increasing my emotional intelligence. I picked up tools along the way that decreased my feelings of depression and increased my enjoyment in everyday life.
Emotional intelligence is rooted in awareness. Being aware of your emotions, fully experiencing them, and having empathy for your partner are the building blocks of healthy relationships. I love awareness because it reminds us that we chose our happiness. No one controls when we are sad or angry unless we let them. Sometimes we do let them because we care and want to be connected. We also become more resilient and develop empathy. We learn, firsthand, what our partners experience when we engage in certain behaviors.
Imagine the transformation you can make when you use emotional intelligence to nurture the connection you have with your partner! Below are some tips for getting started in your relationship.
Tips For Using Emotional Intelligence in Your Relationship:
- Move your relationship in a positive direction. Relationships are always growing, changing and adapting. They are living, breathing things that can inspire and motivate us to be better people. If we aren’t careful, relationships can also bring out the worst. Use awareness to direct your relationship towards positive growth. Instead of taking a wait-and-see approach to your relationship, set goals that help you and your partner grow closer. Learn new skills, travel, grow financially, get healthy and have great adventures TOGETHER. Shared experiences and accomplishments feed great relationships!
- Laugh together. This is about more than just laughing—every relationship experiences challenging times. Stress can cause us to turn on our partners by starting fights and pulling away emotionally. When you use awareness to understand the role your emotions play, you can take a different approach. Challenging times are opportunities to connect with your partner as a source of support. Find reasons to laugh together. Break the tension caused by stress with a joke or flirty gesture. Smile, dance and watch funny movies. Embracing love and connection is a wonderful way to reduce stress.
- Use Your Words. Communication is key. The way you communicate is even more important than what you say. Be aware of body language and tone. Be gentle and patient. I’ve learned a lot about how my feelings impact the way I communicate with my husband. When I am managing my thoughts and feeling good, communication is easy. However, when I lose that awareness, negative emotions come out as harsh words. Frequently, when we are unkind to the people we love, it is because we are unkind to ourselves. Change the critical thoughts in your head to kind ones and watch how it changes the words you use in your relationship.
- Forgive, forgive and forgive again. During the course of your relationship, your partner will hurt your feelings. You will hurt your partner. Occasional hurt feelings are part of the process. Holding on to those feelings, building resentment or seeking revenge only ends in more pain. Love is about forgiveness. Talk it out, and then let it go.
Emotional intelligence is the key to creating a forever relationship. Invest time finding fun ways to increase your emotional intelligence with your partner!