Romantic competence can predict who is good at, and who sucks at, giving and asking for support. Those with more romantic competence (explained more below) use more positivity and less negativity when it comes to supporting their partner and asking for support.
Which of the examples sounds more like you?
There are 3 skills or thought patterns within romantic competence:
1. Insight/Learning - Can we learn from previous relationships and within our current relationships? When we can think about what went right and wrong, we can improve ourselves and be better partners. The more insight/learning you have, the more romantically competent you are.
2. Mutuality - Can we remember that it takes TWO to be in a successful relationship? If we can respect ourselves and our own goals while also remembering and respecting that our partners also have goals, we have higher romantic competence.
3. Emotion Regulation - Are you able to deal with your own emotions and prevent them from inappropriately leaking over onto your partner or into your interactions (e.g., if you had a bad day, your partner shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of it)? Then you are able to regulate your emotions and you are more romantically competent.
We don’t know which of these is most important for support just yet or what the full process is, but we do know romantic competence and support are linked.
Citation: Zhou, J., Bhatia, V., Luginbuehl, T., & Davila, J. (2021). The association between romantic competence and couple support behaviors in emerging adult couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38(3), 1015-1034. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407520980533