Things are great in the land of love. You’re in a relationship that works. There’s give and take, you have fun being together, and you’re totally satisfied with the intimate moments. If someone asked whether you and your mate are compatible, you would respond with an unequivocal “yes.”
Then again, maybe you’re not so sure you’re hitched up with the perfect mate. You’ve had some rough patches, certain problems reoccur, your mate is obstinate about matters that make you want to pull out your hair, that loving feeling comes around less than before. These are just examples; you can think of others that make little red flags pop up.
Do You Have to Try Hard?
Aside from some bumps in the road at times, some happy couples say their relationship with their significant other is easy; others say they have to work at it. What does that say about their relationship? What does that say about their compatibility? If you and your sweetie are truly compatible, should you have to deliberately make it so or should it come naturally with little effort? If you find yourself tolerating the actions of your mate, is that part of the compatibility deal? Perhaps compatibility is different for different couples?
Or, is compatibility having a set of commonalities in place that will minimize the chance that the relationship won’t work? Have you ever compared zodiac signs when you meet someone new? Whether you consider astrology and zodiac signs are hogwash, comparing signs is one way to get you thinking about what rings true and what doesn’t. It can open up the conversation about who you are, who your mate is, and where you “connect.”
I like to say there is no such thing as incompatibity, only degrees of compatibility. I think this belief is helpful when you’re analyzing your relationship. If you and your mate have incompatible signs or indicators, it doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed. It just means you need to do more work. Couples may just have some challenges and conflicts to overcome. If your analysis shows you’re highly compatible, where you share a deep understanding of one another, maybe that assures you both that you can get through the rocky times and come out the other side with a stronger relationship.
If you look at compatibility as sliding scale, break it down item by item separately, you should be able to get a handle on how well you and your mate get along, based on those separate indicators. You could rate them. The ratings can be helpful in determining what areas look great and what areas need work. So rather than seeing a relationship as a lost cause because you see major differences in some areas, you would see the relationship as hopeful with some tweaking here and there.
Consider these compatibility indicators and rate you and your mate’s compatibility based on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being you slightly agree and 5 being you strongly agree. Each of you can fill out the inventory separately and then compare your answers:
· You share many common interests and beliefs.
· You have a shared work ethic.
· You share or accept the way your mate spends, invests, saves, and feels about money.
· You are both comfortable with the amount of money each has and feel no threat, inferiority, or superiority with regard to each other’s financial status.
· You come from similar socio-economic backgrounds.
· You are similar in age.
· You’re physically attracted to each other; You’ve been thinking about touching him/her all day.
· You look at your mate and feel deep love and affection, even after the newness and excitement of the new relationship are over.
· You express interest in what your mate is interested in, even though sometimes it’s not your cup of tea.
· You can be yourself around your mate; You don’t have to walk on eggshells on any topic.
· You forgive your mate for his/her shortcomings, mistakes, bad judgment, indiscretions.
· You can both feel comfortable saying “I’m sorry.”
· You don’t hold on to hurt feelings or harbor resentment.
· You can laugh at one other and yourselves without either taking offense.
· You don’t belittle your mate either in private or public.
· You accept their quirks, even if you don’t always understand them or find them annoying.
· You don’t have the urge to tune-out your mate when s/he is talking, or if you do, it’s not often.
· You each listen to what your partner is saying and understand its meaning; when you don’t you ask for clarification.
· You both like to quickly settle disagreements and arguments and come to resolutions.
· You know his/her beliefs about sex, religion, careers, politics, health, food, housework, children, money, and life in general.
· You have the same expectations of the relationship (You are in agreement about kids or no kids, where you want to live, retire, how to spend downtime).
· You know what their “favorites” are: movies, music, food, activities …
· You often know what your mate is thinking and sense what they are feeling and vice versa.
· You feel comfortable together in silence.
· You get along with each other’s friends and family.
· You like their pets (and their pets like you) and vice versa.
· You know each other’s secrets and they don’t diminish the love you feel.
· You don’t keep important things from each other; If you want to say something, you say it; You’re not afraid what the other will think or how they will react.
· You feel secure in the relationship and so does s/he. You don’t feel threatened if your mate talks to someone of the opposite sex.
· You each try to learn from the mistakes of the relationship and try to keep them from reoccurring.
· You support one another in life, career, and challenging situations; You want the best for each other.
· You are truly happy when something good happens to your mate, even though it has no connection to you. You want the best for them and vice versa.
· You make time to help or listen to one another, even when it’s not convenient.
It’s good from time-to-time to focus on what’s good about the relationship and where your relationship is coming up short. Maybe then, you both can have a sense of relief about the good stuff and get to work on the shortcomings. By putting a magnifying glass to the relationship you can gain insights, reassess, make sure there are enough positive indicators showing your togetherness is “in the cards.”