EXCERPT: What’s the secret to having a successful relationship? A 2013 study conducted by Robert Epstein of the University of the South Pacific Fiji found it all begins with you. Epstein created a model defining a set of seven basic skills you should already have as an individual in order to have a strong, happy, and fulfilling relationship. In a 2016 replication of the study, Epstein and colleagues found that out of the seven key factors that make a good relationship, two matter the most. Chances are you already know what they are. The seven basic skills are ones you should be pretty familiar with: Communication, Conflict resolution, Knowledge of Partner, Life Skills, Self-management, Sex and Romance, and Stress Management. “From my experience in working with clients over the years, there is a specific basic skill that I have repeatedly found to be the most important one to master,” Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D., a Los Angeles-based psychologist tells Bustle. “It actually impacts the quality of the other basic skills necessary for successful relationships.”
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