Compatibility in a relationship is when both partners relate to each other on more than one level, have similar interests, have fun together and enjoy spending time with each other.
According to Robert Taibbi from Psychology Today, being compatible with your partner requires you to look at different factors and the perspective you both have on them. Here is a list to consider before deciding if you are compatible
It’s important that you have a core of activities, even if small, that you both honestly enjoy doing together and that these activities don’t cost a bazillion dollars or require you to be in an altered state of mind. These are the glue that can hold the relationship together over the long haul.
- Handling each other’s stress
This is about compassion and stepping up for the big stuff, not taking things personally or falling into a tit-for-tat kind of situation. Do you each know your partner’s signs of stress? Can you handle it without taking it personally?
- Handling conflict
Couples may disagree—that’s fine. But can you both speak up, or is one or both of you conflict-avoidant and always biting your tongue? This is where couples can get stuck. They sweep things under the rug, or they argue, make-up (I’m sorry), and sweep things under the rug but never resolve the root of the problem.
- Supporting each other’s dreams
The notion here is when a partner commits to the other party in a deep way where they say: I want to help you be happy, live the life you want to live, and know that I always got your back.
- Feeling safe
Without safety the power in the relationship is unbalanced.
Feeling safe is ultimately what all these other issues come down to: both partners being able to say what they think and want without fear and without holding back. Psychologist and author of Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships, Dr. Lisa Firestone, says compatibility is important because people are simply not happy when they’re with someone they’re not compatible with.
To avoid choosing partners for the wrong reasons, our quest for a compatible relationship should never be a search for our “missing piece.” When we seek out someone who “completes” us, we might limit ourselves and our personal growth. Instead, we should pick people who challenge us and help us evolve.
What goes wrong when you have gone through the list, read all compatibility advice and ticked off all the boxes but your relationship still suffers a break up? Registered counsellor, Phumzile Ndlovu gives us 10 possible reasons your compatible relationship ended:
- A change in various aspects such as behaviour, lifestyle, morals, and values.
- Individual growth
- Unresolved conflict
- Change of priorities
- Losing connection with what connected you
- A lack of communication
- External family members and friends interfering
- Trust issues
- A lack of intimacy
- Financial issues
- Comfortability (not making the same effort as when the relationship started)
Are you and your partner compatible? Share your story with us here.
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