My Self-Match Journey or Who is Your Favorite Beatle

We met when we were sixteen in a chemistry class. He was very good at chemistry. He would turn around after finishing calculating the molecular mass and stare at me with a triumphant smile obviously enjoying the sight of my struggle. I hated those moments but I knew I could gladly drown in those deep brown eyes that made my cheeks turn red and fill my stomach with butterflies. Ironically, a strong chemical reaction started between us in a chemistry class and never stopped.

I am very blessed. Almost forty years later, butterflies still fill my stomach every time I see my husband after being apart for a few days or weeks. I love waking up next to him in the morning. I look forward coming home after work, sharing our dinner and a cup of evening tea on the back porch while making plans for our next vacation.

Looking back at our youth, I must confess that our love story was not perfect all the time. Occasionally, I felt attracted to other men. A few times, when those brown eyes were not watching me, I thought I had fallen in love with someone else. What saved me from drifting away was the rational part of my brain. ‘Think!’, I would tell myself, “What do you and this new guy have in common?” I couldn’t think of much; it was just chemistry. “Now think what you and Alex have in common!”, I would command myself.

The list would usually start with — we both liked the Beatles, especially Paul, so we both liked the Wings even more than the Beatles. (You will understand if you are Paul’s fan). Our fathers served in the military and even had the same military rank. Our mothers both had college degrees and worked while raising a family. We each had one sibling: I had one sister and he had one brother. We both liked playing volleyball and ping-pong. Traveling was our passion. Even when we were broke college students we managed to go on short trips around the country at least twice a year. I loved the fact that he handled the money while we were travelling. We laughed at each other’s jokes. We both were night owls staying up until 1 AM, waking up tired and grumpy only to stay up again the following night with the hope of sleeping in on a Saturday. This thought process would always straighten me up and redirect my attention to the one man that I’ve decided to spend my life with. Miraculously, it always worked. My self-matching exercise (surely I didn’t call it that then) would make my short-lived infatuations go away and draw me back to my high school sweetheart.

The years passed by and most of my friends, my sister, and my cousins got divorced, remarried, and got divorced again. Their children got married and divorced. Our own children went through a few unsuccessful relationships and remained single. Looking around, I couldn’t but notice that Alex and I were a minority in this land of divorced couples and failed relationships…a lucky minority.

For a long time, I could not answer the question of why our relationship survived while everyone else’s seemed to be crumbling down. Then the answer suddenly came to me. A very simple answer: we were compatible. Was compatibility equal to love? No, but it had something to do with love; I was sure of that. I continued thinking through our relationship and developed my own theory on love that I would like to share with you.

LOVE is CHEMISTRY based on COMPATIBILITY and supported by effective COMMUNICATION.

I call it my Triple C Recipe for LOVE that Endures. I figured that the problem with most relationships is that they begin with CHEMISTRY and are followed by the exploration of COMPATIBILITY. This exploration may take a few months or years and may go two ways: 1) partners turn out to be compatible (they manage to live together without much conflict) or 2) partners turn out to be incompatible (they live in conflict often or most of the time). Effective communication strengthens scenario number 1 or prolongs scenario number two. The lack of effective communication brings scenario number 2 to an end faster.

I became quite upset realizing that any time people fall in love, it becomes a gamble: will they turn out to be compatible or not? Will their relationship survive or not? Will they stay married or will they divorce? People would not have to gamble, I thought, if they could explore compatibility before falling in love. But how can you do something like that? How do you explore compatibility with a stranger? Who would want to do that?

These were tough questions without the possibility of finding answers or a solution that would make sense. Looking around at the modern dating trends I could not dismiss the efforts of online dating to bring compatible partners together. All dating sites offer some sort of matching mechanisms helping people find “compatible” partners. Do they work? Are partners that are “matched” truly compatible? With all due respect, I find it hard to believe. Compatibility is a very subjective thing. One couple is compatible because both partners like to cook and love doing it together. The other couple is compatible because one partner likes to cook and is happy that the other partner stays away from the kitchen but loves the food that is prepared in it. No algorithms can take into consideration hundreds of nuances that make two unique individuals compatible. Only the individuals themselves can make this call.

The Self-Match idea was the result of the nagging thought: I want to give people tools to explore compatibility on their own terms. I WANT PEOPLE TO SELF-MATCH. If I am looking for a compatible partner, I want to be able to ask all kinds of questions, see what we have in common, notice the differences and red flags, make compatibility decisions, and do all of it objectively without the influence of chemistry. This is what is all about.

Who is your favorite Beatle? A. John B. Paul C. Ringo D. George. I know that my compatible partner will choose B. What about you?

******************************************************************* Going against hundreds of years of traditional dating and making the world a better place one relationship at a time. Help me spread the word.