How romantic competence helps to have healthy relationship

Psychologist Joanne Davila from the University of Stony‑Brooke, New York, studies romantic competence and healthy relationship functioning. Romantic competence is the ability to act effectively at all stages of a relationship: understand your needs, choose the right partner, build a strong bond, and stop unhealthy interactions.

Three key skills of romantic competence

1. Analysis

Analysis of the situation allows to understand what is happening, and learn a lesson for ourselves. We understand our needs and desires, and the reasons for our actions.

Let’s say you’ve been constantly annoyed with your partner lately. But after analysis, you see, it’s not his behavior, just you have serious stress at work. So, now you need not to argue, but to find a way to relax, so that the working tension does not flow into your personal life.

Develop this skill to anticipate the positive and negative consequences of your actions, understand your partner and respond appropriately to his actions. The analysis skill will protect you from unnecessary worries.

2. Ability to talk about needs

You both have needs and they are all important. Learn to speak clearly about your own and listen to others.
It will lead to you both being satisfied. Let’s say you need to meet with relatives with whom you have a strained relationship, and you want your partner to go with you. Don’t expect a loved one to guess, tell them directly: “It will be very stressful for me. It would help me a lot if you were around. Will be able to go out with me?»
Remember, when you value each other’s needs and don’t hesitate to talk about them, quarrels and misunderstandings become less.

3. Regulating emotions

This helps to keep calm in stressful situations and soberly assess the situation. For example, you are waiting for a partner to respond to your message. Time passes, and he is silent. You start getting angry, checking your phone every minute. But you better say to yourself: “Calm down. There’s no point in looking at the phone every five seconds. I’ll put it aside and do other things.”
The ability to cope with emotions helps to survive unpleasant feelings, while maintaining self-esteem.