Is He Emotionally Intelligent? 10 Questions To Ask To Find Out

Emotional intelligence or “EQ” is a really big deal. It’s all about a person’s awareness of his or her own feelings, being able to read others, and expressing yourself with empathy and an open mind. I don’t know about you, but emotional intelligence is something I need in a boyfriend. It shows maturity, emotional capacity, and self-awareness. Not sure if your guy is up to par? Ask these questions to a potential boyfriend to find out if he is emotionally intelligent.

  1. Why is your best friend your best friend? This is an important question. Learning out about the person he trusts the most in this world and why that relationship is important to him will help you determine what he values in other people. Also, pay attention the way he talks about this person. You’ll determine how thoughtful he is toward the most important people in his life. Run if he just says something like, “Oh, we’ve just been friends for years.” If he can’t articulate then his emotional intelligence may be stunted.
  2. What could you have done better in your last relationship? If he can own up to his own flaws and admit his role in the failure of his last relationship, then he probably has the EQ you need in a partner. It’s so hard for anyone to own up to being a poor communicator or self-absorbed, but if he can talk about these things and own up to them, it shows that he has a level of self-awareness and maturity that might make him a great boyfriend.
  3. How have you changed since your last relationship? Don’t be afraid to follow up and ask him how he’s changed! Finding out if he’s taken steps to be a better person after a failed relationship means that maybe you won’t have to deal with those things in a relationship with him. A major plus if he can articulate what those changes are. Again, shows self-awareness.
  4. When was the last time you cried and why? You want to ask this question because you want to know about the source of his emotions. Did something happen to a family friend or loved one? Was he moved by something that happened in the world recently? Did a book or movie catch him in his feelings? Was it recent enough that he’s clearly and obviously not a sociopath? All of this is important to gauge because it will tell you about what makes him emotional, how often he expresses himself and if he’s in tune with his sensitive side.
  5. What do you look for in a life partner? I know this is kind of a ballsy question, especially if you ask it during a first or second date. But knowing what he wants in a life partner clues you into his EQ too. If he’s just looking for someone to hang on his arm then maybe he hasn’t thought deeply enough about what kind of woman he wants in his life, and that shows a lack of EQ.
  6. How do you feel about open relationships? Whether he is or isn’t into open relationships and whether you are or not isn’t the point of this question. You want to know about his thought process and the way he approaches taboo or controversial subjects. Pay attention to how he answers the question. Even if he’s staunchly against open relationships, a guy that can articulate himself shows a lot more EQ than a guy who can’t.
  7. What were you like in high school? Was he a nerd? A jock or in the glee club? High school was a super formative time in pretty much everyone’s lives. For most of us, it was the first time that we were siloed into groups, dealt with peer pressure, felt feelings for someone romantically, etc. If he can reflect on who he was in high school, it’s a really good sign that his EQ is strong.
  8. What are your biggest fears? This is such a boring question, I know, but knowing about his fears will help you measure his capacity to feel. Fear can be hard to admit because so many people see fear as a weakness. If he can talk about his fears, then he’s mature enough to know that a fearful person isn’t a necessarily weak person.
  9. What was the hardest day of your life? Again, maybe wait for a few dates to ask this question, but make sure you do! Obviously, whether you’re satisfied with the answer is probably affected by your own experience. Someone though who has dealt with tragedy and loss and can talk about it probably has a strong EQ. Alternatively, someone who can admit that they’ve been fortunate to miss out on tragedy or loss might also have strong EQ because they’re aware of their experience relative to other people.
  10. What do you want to be known for after you’re gone? I like this question because it will help you find out if he measures up to your expectations beyond just his EQ. The person that he wants to be in the future is someone he has to work to become right now and possibly during a relationship with you. A forward-thinking guy with high EQ will know who he wants to be and have an idea about how to get there.
Marie is an ambitious millennial woman, leading a corporate life by day and doing her best to live, laugh and love.