Being emotionally stable is key to playing a strong role in your relationship. And emotional stability comes from emotional intelligence, which goes two ways.
First, having high emotional intelligence means that you’re able to understand and calmly and wisely express your own feelings, thoughts and emotions. Second, you are able to understand and perceive the feelings and emotions of others. Furthermore, you can help others work through their emotions in a sensible and caring manner so that you both end up better than before.
Unfortunately, not everyone has solid emotional intelligence, and we call these people emotionally unstable. Being with an emotionally unstable individual is, of course, not what you want to be doing.
So here’s how to spot someone who could mean trouble in this way. If you notice any of these warning signs, either address the problem or consider getting out of this potentially toxic relationship.
Signs of Emotional Instability in a Partner
- They’re Way Too Sensitive
If you can’t tell them you need a little more space or you’re too tired for sex one night in a polite way without them bursting into tears or flying into a rage, how are you going to have more serious discussions? How are you ever going to feel comfortable voicing your own opinion even if it contradicts theirs?
- They Said “I Love You” Way Too Fast
These magic words are sacred, and they shouldn’t be uttered when you’re still in the “getting to know you” phase. The longer you wait to say “I love you,” the more you know it’s probably really real and not just talk.
- They Speak Terribly of All Their Exes
It’s tough to trust someone who has never had a good relationship before. We’re adults here. All of your exes can’t be horrible bleepity-bleeps. What would they say about you if you broke up?
- They Talk About Trouble With the Law or at Work and Always Insist They’re the Victim
Red flag alert. Ok, everyone’s gotten a traffic ticket. We’ve all had tough experiences at work, and yeah, some of us have been fired for something that is way far from terrible. But if this person is listing off problems with the law, work, ex-friends, family members, etc. and saying that everything was the other party’s fault … you can pretty much guess for certain that the opposite is true.
- You’ve Seen Them Blow Up at Someone Else
Even if they’ve never blown up for something you’ve said or done, if you see them get crazy over a fight or disagreement with someone else, don’t assume that energy won’t be shown to you someday … probably for something you don’t deserve.
- They’ve Blown Up at You
If they have a loud, aggressive overreaction to you, cut and run now. A fight is one thing. Even some light yelling back and forth can be a healthy disagreement in the heat of the moment. But if you ever feel threatened, scared or like this person has lost all control, you should take note and take off.
- They Ask for Money and It’s Not an “Appropriate Ask”
If you’ve been dating for, say, a few years and they ask to borrow $100 for the first time to pay a traffic ticket that’s due before pay day … that’s pretty normal. If you’ve been dating for a few weeks or even months and they ask for a few thousand dollars that they “will pay back so fast!” … that’s inappropriate, and you should politely decline.
- They Say Things Like “I Need You” or “I Can’t Live Without You”
This is begging, and even in a relationship for 10 years, these phrases shouldn’t be uttered. Relationships are partnerships. They’re not unions where one person is hanging on for dear life to the other. A person who says these things can’t hold their own, and you don’t want that.
- They’re Struggling With Substance Abuse
Substance abuse and addiction are serious issues. Full-blown addiction is a disease. If you can, help someone who has these problems by connecting them with a rehab center. But do not feel inclined to continue dating them if their substance abuse is causing you serious pain and suffering. Sadly, it can take years for individuals to finally get sober, and sometimes, addicts never fully kick their habits. Even if you really like the person, you should seriously consider whether or not you want to live with someone in this position.
Other Serious Warning Signs
- They’ve made threats to you or others.
- They’ve snooped through your things.
- They are extremely jealous.
- They constantly belittle you or others.
Anything you read in this article applies to you and others. For example, if your partner has never exactly called you out on something but they are constantly raging about other people and talking about them behind their backs, this is not a sign of emotional stability. You have to imagine that they might be doing the same thing about you when you’re not around.
This is a trap that individuals often fall into. They have a partner who treats them fairly well or who is actually extremely devoted almost to a frightening extent, but that same person is constantly angry, cruel and volatile with other people.
Remember the waiter rule: When someone you’re dining with treats the waiter at a restaurant with disrespect, even if they treat you nicely, you’re seeing a side of this person that reveals a part of their inner personality.
Take these warning signs seriously, and if you see several of many of them in the person you are with right now, have a long conversation with yourself about whether this person is truly right for you and the life you want to lead. Good luck.