We’re not always delighted by the discoveries we make about the person we love, but when it comes to emotions, it’s necessary to accept them all. Being in love doesn’t mean never feeling angry, disappointed, hurt, or jealous. How you act on your emotions is up to you; what’s important is that you actually feel them. Many relationships have been ruined by blame, and millions of couples have missed out on deep intimacy because of shame. Both are cruel remainders of unfelt anger, fear, and anxiety. If you’ve done the work of building EQ, you’ll experience the emotions and get on with your life together.
To avoid intellectualizing emotions you, need acceptance, and a big part of your acceptance comes from laughter. Lovers who can’t laugh together about themselves probably aren’t very accepting of their relationships. They may not be able to tolerate its unique flaws and inevitable stumbles, any more than they can put up with their own. They’re also less likely to be open to a relationship’s most pleasant surprises. Your high EQ, in contrast, means you can keep improving your relationship, but you’ll never get trapped by intolerant expectations of perfection.
Pay attention to how you feel when your lover is not around
Fortunately, you have a flawless way of monitoring exactly how your relationship is going: Use the three gauges instabang of well-being to figure out how the rest of your life is going. Are you feeling restless or irritable in general? Do you drag through your day at the office or school after a night of ily and friends even though the two of you are spending every available minute alone together? Love never benefits from tunnel vision. If you don’t feel energetic, clear headed, and benevolent all the time, it doesn’t really matter whether you coo like doves when you’re together. If the sex couldn’t be better but you’re slipping at work, if you feel safe and cozy hearing “Hi, honey” when you come home at night but are having trouble getting up in the morning, something’s not right-even though everything feels warm and fuzzy in the castle.
When this happens, all the information about you, your lover, and your relationship that your emotions and your intellect have gathered will steer you to the best solution.
10 Ways to Love Smart
If you’re new to love or new to EQ, your course will be surer if you remember to stick to these tips:
- Let the three gauges of well-being inform you about the romantic choices you make. If you feel energized, mentally clear, and more loving generally, you’re in a relationship with a future.
- Let your lover know what you feel. If you’re going to communicate anything, express what you feel-as it defines who you are. If you pretend to be someone or something you’re not, you’ll never feel loved.
- Listen from emotional experience. Attune to your lover’s feelings as you listen to his or her words.
- Show the support and love that your lover needs. One person may find a suggestion or a helping hand useful or comforting; another person e action intrusive. Not everyone likes to be touched in the same way, enjoys being affectionate in public, or responds the same way to receiving gifts. Let empathy guide you.
- When in doubt, ask. Love doesn’t grant that you’ll know everything. If you don’t ask how your lover feels about something, you’ll never know.
- Be prepared to work at the relationship. Why do so many people believe their work is done once they’ve found true love? Relationships grow and thrive with attention, or wither and die of neglect.