7 things men do in relationships when they lack emotional intelligence

Do you feel like there’s something lacking in your relationship? Is he able to relate with you on a deeper level, or empathize with your feelings when you’re hurt?

You may find that small conflicts escalate into full-blown arguments. Perhaps you’ve experienced (too many times) situations where you go to him for support, only to leave feeling even worse.

People who are dating emotionally unintelligent people oftentimes find themselves completely alone, even though their partners are physically present.

If you suspect this may be the case, these 7 behaviors may be familiar to you.

1) He dismisses your feelings

Have you ever shared something personal with your partner only for him to dismiss whatever you said entirely? 

Maybe you had a bad day or wanted to get his opinion on something that’s bothering you.

Instead, he responds with these statements:

  • It’s all in your head
  • You’re too sensitive
  • What if you’re the problem? 

Rather than validate your feelings, he chooses to ignore them instead. Sure, a person may not be in the right in all situations, and if this is the case, it’s best to be upfront with them.

However, if he’s constantly shoving your emotions aside and giving half-hearted responses, it shows that he has zero emotional intelligence.  

2) He avoids emotional conversations

Someone with little to no emotional intelligence would usually want to avoid engaging in emotional conversations

This is because they think it’s a waste of time and would prefer not to be vulnerable in front of others.

Granted, people have different comfort levels when it comes to being open with others. But your partner should be able to open up and share what he feels.

If you dig a little deeper, he may avoid this because he doesn’t see you as someone important enough to him. 

He’d rather avoid lowering his guard and discussing what’s on his mind. 

3) He gets defensive

Another characteristic of emotionally unintelligent men is that they get defensive easily.

They may have done something to upset you and after confronting them about it, rather than acknowledge your feelings, they’ll try their best to shift the blame on anyone but themselves. 

Perhaps they’ll try to change the topic, make excuses, accuse you of doing the same thing, or try to justify their actions. 

When emotionally unintelligent people get cornered, their first instinct is to run away.

Part of the reason for this is because they’re…

4) Unable to empathize with you

They’re both unable and unwilling to empathize with you. Granted, not everyone is able to empathize easily with others. But if you’re together with someone, you’d ideally want to learn how to better relate with the other person.

This would mean taking the time to understand what the other person is feeling, and learning how to react or adapt to that. 

When you’re going through a difficult time, someone who is emotionally intelligent would give you the space to let out all your feelings and navigate them with you.

When you’re celebrating an achievement, they’re also happy to experience your win alongside you.

If you feel alone despite your partner being physically near you when you go through both good and bad times, it’s a clear sign that they’re emotionally absent.

This could also reflect in their…

5) Struggle to manage conflict

Have you ever been in an argument but no matter how much you explain yourself, they just will not listen? Even if they’re clearly in the wrong, nothing can go through to them because they’ll try their best to pin the blame on someone else.

They may also avoid the conflict altogether. Whenever you try raising the issue, your partner may change the topic or gloss over the situation.

They may tell you that ‘it’s no big deal’, or that ‘you’re trying to make something out of nothing’. 

Nothing gets resolved in the end because of their unwillingness to resolve the issue. 

Over time, this can strain the relationship because many things end up getting swept under the rug.

They will eventually surface and by then, it may be too late to address the issue.

6) Refuse to acknowledge mistakes

Their inability to empathize can cause them to trivialize issues that you face. They may end up refusing to acknowledge their mistakes because by doing so, they accept that they’re in the wrong. 

And they would do anything just to avoid this situation.

They prioritize their reputation over your feelings and this will ultimately cause you to feel neglected. 

Worse still, they may turn the situation around and point the blame at you – the victim. Watch out for the gaslighting and manipulation (no matter how minor) that will usually accompany the situation. 

7) Maintain emotional distance

The thing is, people may be emotionally unintelligent because they want to. They aren’t keen on pursuing a deeper relationship and that’s why they try maintaining an emotional distance.

Now if you find that your man is doing this to you, please reconsider staying in the relationship. 

They may have emotionally checked out of the relationship and no longer view you as important to them. They aren’t interested to hear about your life and would rather embark on a more exciting project.

If you’re in this situation, you may want to have a talk with your partner. There may be an underlying reason for them withdrawing emotionally, which you should get to the bottom of. 

It goes without saying that prolonged emotional distance can hurt the relationship.


People may not be naturally empathetic, but they can certainly learn how to relate to others on a deeper level, especially if they’re your partner.

When managing conflicts and generally, navigating life, you’d want your partner to be there as your source of support. Life should be done together, not on your own.

So, if your partner ticks all the boxes, consider talking to him and finding out how the both of you can help support each other emotionally. 

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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