You’ve heard about IQ (which stands for “intelligence quotient”), but what about EQ? EQ measures a person’s emotional intelligence — our ability to understand the feelings and needs of ourselves and others.
“A recent study in the European Journal of Personality suggests that people who have high levels of emotional intelligence tend to be more satisfied with their emotional relationships and have partners who are more satisfied with their relationships than people with low EQ,” explains Patrick Markey, Ph.D., associate editor of the Journal of Personality and a faculty member at Villanova University.
Here, we offer this fun quiz to help you quickly assess your date’s EQ.
1. You introduce your date to a group of your friends, and your date:
A. Feels right at home.
B. Takes a while to ease into the situation, but eventually relaxes into having a good time.
C. Is courteous, but remains stiff and unsure throughout the get-together.
D. Avoids eye contact and doesn’t really participate at all, despite your pals’ best efforts to engage with him or her.
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2. When you reveal that you’ve had an incredibly hard week at work, your date:
A. Meets you for date night with a gift card to the local spa/driving range and a pep talk.
B. Says, “I know how you feel” and then launches into how bad the week was for him/her.
C. Responds with a snarky, “And…?”
D. Changes the subject.
3. You’re nervous about a big event that’s coming up. Your date:
A. Empathizes and makes a sincere effort to help you feel less anxious.
B. Tells you to stop worrying.
C. Agrees that something probably will go wrong.
D. Wants to make sure he/she doesn’t have to be there.
4. When the two of you run into a friend who’s recently experienced a significant loss, your date:
A. Offers sincere words of consolation to your friend, and later asks if you’d like to make a joint memorial gift.
B. Utters a hackneyed response, like: “My thoughts are with you and your family.”
C. Says something like, “Oh, wow,” and then reminds you that the movie’s about to start.
D. Just stands there, looking uncomfortable.
5. Your date is clearly struggling with some emotions. When you ask about it, your date:
A. Speaks openly and honestly about what’s going on.
B. Resists answering your query initially, but eventually lets you know what’s up.
C. Doesn’t want to talk about it.
D. Has no idea what you’re talking about.
If you answered mostly A’s: Your date’s definitely a keeper
“We bond with people over shared emotions, vulnerability, humor and letting our guard down,” says Dr. Reef Karim, an assistant professor at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and coauthor of Why Does He Do That? Why Does She Do That? “Good EQ means having a better understanding of our own emotional needs as well as our partner’s. It’s a healthier way of communicating — and ultimately, a higher chance at a meaningful, long-term relationship.”
If you answered mostly B’s: Your date’s EQ is pretty decent
But here’s the key: Keep reinforcing it! “Be very responsive when your date’s EQ is on display,” suggests Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Romance”), author of Lovestyles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. “Give him or her room to respond emotionally and thoughtfully to you.”
If you answered mostly C’s: Your date’s EQ is a bit low
Even though the score isn’t quite what you’d hoped, it doesn’t mean you should break up if there are other plusses to your relationship. “It can be challenging to have a cooperative, collaborative relationship with [this] person,” says Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., CNN’s human behavior expert and author of The 30-Day Love Detox. “One key to a successful relationship is being able to understand our partners’ flaws and accept them. This relationship could be a great learning opportunity.” If you’re not up for that, it may be time for you two to break up.
If you answered mostly D’s: Your date’s got no detectable EQ
“Having no EQ is brutal,” notes Robin Siebold, Ph.D., life coach and relationship expert. “There are walls that you will not be able to penetrate, and your level of intimacy will thus be limited.” Does this sound like the kind of person you want to be emotionally involved with long-term?
Margot Carmichael Lester is a freelance content producer whose work also appears on Monster.com and in International Cinematographers Guild magazine.