What characterizes a healthy relationship? We all can name important things, like intimacy, respect, security, good communication, and a sense of being valued. We also know the things that make relationships unhealthy, like poor conflict resolution, a lack of support, and relationship aggression or violence. Indeed, a large body of research documents the importance of these factors for relationships.
What many people don’t know, however, is how to create the things that lead to healthy relationships and reduce the things that lead to unhealthy ones.
We believe it is necessary for people to understand how to approach relationships with over-arching skills that guide good decisions and healthy behaviors. We want to help people develop romantic competence – that is, learn to engage in the Three Evidence-Based Skills that lead to healthy relationships.
We also want to help people recognize that they can’t be in a healthy relationship unless they have a deep understanding of three things:
- What they want
- Whether the person they’re interested in or in a relationship with has it, and
- Whether they have what that person wants too (as measured by how the person treats them).
These three things form the basis for our Three Conditions for a Healthy Relationship.
When the three conditions are met, and you’re using the three skills, you have the power to create the things that lead to healthy relationships and reduce the things that lead to unhealthy ones.