Today I’m honored to have a guest post by Dr. Deborah Sandell. She is an award-winning psychotherapist, university professor, and the originator of the groundbreaking RIM Method, which is a heavily-backed neuroscience tool for reducing stress and improving the quality of life.
What’s your couple emotional intelligence? After all—isn’t emotion the glue that brought you together? Notice what’s the first word to spontaneously pop into your mind as your partner comes to mind? No cheating—allow whatever comes whether you like it or not. Close, distant, loving, irritated, committed, cautious? Roget’s Thesaurus includes more than 3,000 words related to feelings and when you multiply that by two you get a many possibilities. And when you factor in the number of years and various stages of life together—our emotional nature as a couple is mind-boggling.
Navigate Your Feelings
Given all the feelings we must navigate together and separately, it seems a bit of a miracle that we ever get together or stay together. Remember the time when you weren’t ready for a serious relationship and then the moment a special someone stepped into your life and tipeds your bar in his/her favor. Yes, there are an infinite number of feelings we juggle through all our numerous moments as a couple.
How does ones’ emotional intelligence individually and combined with a partner influence the longevity of their relationship? Brackett, Warner and Bosco studied 86 heterosexual couples in a university setting and found that female partners were significantly higher in emotional intelligence (EI) than the male partners. As predicted, couples where both partners had low EI had the lowest scores on depth, support and positive relationship qualities and the highest conflict and negative relationship qualities making them most likely to separate.
Unexpectedly, couples with mutually high EI scores did not have any greater positive scores than those relationships where only one person was high in EI. In other words, all it takes to sustain a positive relationship is one high EI person. We don’t have to be a perfect!
Take the Quiz
Interested in finding out how you and your partner score? I’ve created a brief quiz that gives you individual feedback as to how effectively you’re using your emotional operating system (EOS) resources. In a matter of minutes, you and your partner can get your individual scores. We can make a pretty good guess as to which partner/s will be interested—ones with high EI, of course!
Take the Free EOS Quiz on http://www.riminstitute.com/eos-quiz-mb/
Relationships begin with the biochemistry of intense excitement or infatuation. This elevated mood brings forth our best self. Eventually, our biochemistry shifts to the comfort of a committed relationship. We trade excitement for comfort and commitment. After thirty-seven years of marriage to the same man, there are times, it seems like there’s nothing for us to talk about. Resting in the comfort of long-term love, we can still evoke excitement; it now takes intention and attention.
Emotional self-disclosure frequently helps rev up juicy intimacy between new or long-term couples when we look with new eyes. My husband and I once went on a date where we pretended we were single and dating. Interestingly, we both played it as if we were divorced from each other and beginning to date. I was touched when I heard him speak about his daughter, I could hear his sensitivity in a new way because I wasn’t evaluating whether I agreed with his assessment of “our” daughter. I fell in love with him all over again. It’s been said that a good relationship means falling in love with the same person again and again and again. I agree.
Reach a Deeper Level
Just for fun, stir them at a deeper level—go on a date where each of you share what you learned about your emotional IQ. Your partner probably won’t be surprised by which feelings are your toughest or vice versa. We see in each other what we aren’t always willing to see in ourselves. However, to intimately share with someone you love from your vulnerable self is juicy!
Dr. Deborah Sandella is an award-winning psychotherapist, university professor, and the originator of the groundbreaking RIM Method, which is a heavily-backed neuroscience tool for reducing stress and improving the quality of life. She has been called a “master healer,” and has been helping thousands of people find themselves over the past 40 years.
Dr. Sandella has frequently shared the stage with Jack Canfield, originator of the Chicken Soup For the Soul series and, with him, she has co-authored Awakening Power, a guided meditation program and instruction booklet. She has been acknowledged with numerous professional awards, including Outstanding Clinical Specialist, Research Excellence, and an EVVY Best Personal Growth Book Award.
Learn more about Dr. Sandella at www.RIMinstitute.com and www.GoodbyeHurtandPain.com. Connect on @drdebsandella and Facebook. Goodbye, Hurt & Pain: 7 Simple Steps to Health, Love and Success is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and will be available through all major booksellers on September 1, 2016
Volume 12, Issue 2, pages 197–212, June 2005
Emotional intelligence and relationship quality among couples by Marc A. Brackett, a Rebecca M. Warner and Jennifer S. Bosco