by: E.B. Johnson
Some of us fall in and out of love faster than we can choose a favorite flavor of ice cream. We flit back and forth from one person to the next, looking for “the one” but never quite finding them. More often than not, this inability to settle down comes from a complete breakdown in the way we see compatibility. Rather than looking for someone with similar interests or the right looks, we have to build relationships in which our values and our goals are truly aligned.
Let go of the constant chase and rebuild your perception of ultimate compatibility. Know what signs to look for, and understand when you’re dealing with simple chemistry, versus a very real and meaningful connection with someone. When we begin to look for these true signs of love and companionship, we can start to build partnerships that bring our lives support and fulfillment. To be compatible is to love with purpose, and that’s a super power everyone couple could benefit from.
Getting together is the easy part.
When it comes to building fulfilling relationships of any type of stature, simply finding one another is the easy part. Getting together comes naturally and takes very little effort emotionally or physically from any party involved. It’s the staying together that’s the real challenge, and learning how to lean into one another when things get challenging, or life throws a few extra hurdles your way.
Compatibility is far more than simply liking the same TV shows and the same music. True compatibility occurs across a number of different planes, and across an array of topics and experiences. It’s an alliance of values, but also of ideas, goals, and even hopes. It’s crucial if you want to build a relationship that lasts, yet so many of us fail to build truly compatible partnerships.
Once we discover what it means to be truly aligned with someone, it’s hard to go back. Rather than settling for the superficial connections that get us through the day, we can learn how to match our values and our objectives in ways that keep us in love even through the hard times. Being compatible doesn’t mean that everything comes easily. It simply means that you have to the same futures in mind. Work towards those futures by working hard to build a better understanding of who you each are and what you really want.
Why compatibility matters so much.
Compatibility is a major sticking point when it comes to building effective and equitable partnerships. True compatibility means being on the same page, but it also means honest communication and managing adversity through a focused and mutually aligned future. When we’re compatible we’re focused, but we’re also comfortable in knowing the other person has our back.
When you are truly compatible, it’s easier to communicate honestly and openly with one another — without fear of judgement or needing to change the way you express yourself. As you become easier in each other’s company, you open up naturally and find yourselves sharing things like your plans for the future and how you envision your life and your relationships. This both brings you closer together and reveals important truths.
Compatibility is crucial to trust, as it makes us more at ease with our partners. The more aligned we are in values or behaviors, the easier it becomes to know (inherently) what they are doing or how they will react. There’s a certain level of predictability in compatibility that is comforting and stabilizing; two elements that are very important in any serious partnership.
Did you know that couples with higher levels of core compatibility are better able to manage adversity throughout their relationships? This is because of higher levels of trust, but also due to the deeper understanding and connection that results from our compatibility. Even when life gets challenging, it’s relatively easy to stay focused on our love for one another when we better understand where each party is coming from as an individual.
Establishing long-term support
Long-term support is one of the ultimate aims of serious coupledom, but few of us get into partnerships knowing how to establish this type of support. Rather than settling for a few short term shows of assistance, we have to commit to helping one another across the bigger picture. This, however, requires that we know we are working toward the same aims, or the same objectives in life and in love.
It’s easier to be vulnerable and open with someone when you know where they’re coming from. That’s where compatibility comes into play, and the crucial aspects of aligning things like values, physical needs, and even attachment styles. Vulnerability allows us to see one another as we are and let down the walls of our painful pasts. We have to know that the person we’re sharing with understands, though, and that they have the ability to see things from our point-of-view.
The fundamental signs of true compatibility.
Think you and your partner are compatible? These are the signs of true and deep compatibility that you should be looking for in a partner, and in your relationship.
Can you trust your partner? Do you know that they’ll be faithful? Or that they’ll show up when you ask them to (and even when you don’t)? Absolute trust in our partners, especially in moments of hardship or adversity. When you and your partner are compatible on a meaningful level, you’ll often notice that there’s an impenetrable sense of trust that comes naturally while being reinforced with very little effort. This is because you allow one another to be yourselves, and there’s little pressure to act out of character.
How easy is it for you and your partner to open up to one another? Do you regularly have conversations about things that matter? Or are things kept pretty superficial? Compatibility makes it easier to be vulnerable with one another because of the trust that is perpetuated between both parties. Because we know we can trust the other person, we begin to shed the weight of our heavy “courtly facade”. This can lead to big boosts in your relationship and even increased intimacy in your love life.
Many of us think that compatibility is a matter of finding someone who likes the same football team, or a similar type of night out. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Superficial interests mean little in the scope of a serious relationship. Those things — like everything else superficial in our lives — change with time. What truly indicates compatibility and relationship that can stand the test of time is an alignment of goals. Do you want the same things from life? Only when you have the same destinations in mind can the journey become a successful one.
Compatibility is not indicated by the level at which you are able to lose yourselves in one another. Truly happy partnerships are those in which all parties are allowed to maintain their individuality and their unique perspectives, even while compromising to build a life with someone else. If you are able to (and encouraged to) maintain your individuality, and those parts of yourself which are unique, authentic, and independent of the partnership — then you have a partner who sees you for who you are, and values that experience.
A few common interests
Sure, superficial interests can’t stabilize an entire relationship…but they can help add a little joy to it. While you should align your relationship by core goals, it never hurt a couple to share a few common interests. This is especially helpful when it comes to spending time together, or taking action to create memories and bonding experiences. Compromise on things that don’t matter, but celebrate the things that do. Being compatible on a superficial level is a part of the bigger picture.
Committed to communication
How committed to communicating are you and your partner? Do you speak regularly? Are you able to express yourselves freely when your feelings are hurt, or something is going wrong? When we are committed to communicating with one another, we are committed to building a life that works. Easy communication can also indicate that you’re highly compatible in the way in which you share with one another. That’s not always an easy feat to manage when it comes to balancing two perspectives.
Making big plans
When we’re compatible with our partners and want the same things from life, it’s hard not to make plans together. We get excited about the idea of having someone beside us, who can see us for who we are, and support us when we fall short. It’s having a help-meet, but also a security blanket. More than that, though, our partners can be motivators and major sources of inspiration that empower us to move onward and upward. Are you and your partner coming up with lots of exciting plans together? It could be a sign you’re compatible where it counts.
Same physical plane
It’s important that we want the same things and enjoy things, but in order to build fulfilling romantic relationships — it’s also crucial that we explore our sexual compatibility. This element is physical intimacy, can be extremely crucial, and can tie into everything from how we see ourselves to how we express our love. To be truly compatible you have to have the same goals, but you also have to be on the same page mentally, emotionally and physically.
Figuring out your compatibility the right way.
Don’t dawdle on figuring out your compatibility. Take action now to discover if the person that you care for is the right person for tomorrow. You alone have the power to decide, and you alone have to power to figure out whether they are truly the one for you.
1. Pinpoint your hot points
Before you can uncover your compatibility with someone, you have to know yourself as a partner inside and out. This requires that you get clear on what you want for yourself and the life ahead of you; it also means, though, that you get clarity on both need and want from a relationship and a partner. Once you have pinpointed these hot points, you can communicate them in another person and look out for the signs of ultimate compatibility.
Actually spend some time figuring out what’s important to you in life and love before involving someone else. Don’t drag someone else into a mess that you haven’t even assess yet. Be brutally honest and write it down in a journal if you need to. Be explicit and be clear. Who are you? And who do you want standing next to you 20 or 30 years from now?
The more certain you are about your needs and your goals, the easier it becomes to identify those things in others. You can see their drive, their commitment, and their dreams only when you’ve cleared the smoke enough to see your own. Don’t waste time jumping into commitment you aren’t sure about, with people who don’t feel right. Know what you want. Know who you are. Be clear about the type of person that you want to start building a serious life with.
2. Learn how to observe
What are your observation skills? Look back over some of your past relationships or friendships. Did you find yourself in big blowups that seemed to blindside you every time? Did you end up getting stabbed in the back, despite missing every single warning sign? Observation is an important part of relationship building, but we can often force ourselves to see what we want to see, rather than reality. To overcome this, we have to learn how to observe our partners (and potential partners) the right way.
Look for signs of compatibility without verbalizing your efforts, and without forcing yourself to see only what you want to see. If family is important to you, watch how the other person interacts with their own family. Listen — without judgement or comment — when they talk about (or stay silent on) things like having children or putting together a household.
We often learn much more about our significant others and new loves by watching, rather than just sharing. In these early days we want to impress and we want to say and do the right things. Our actions, though, are always subconsciously aligned with our where true intentions lie. Look for the truth in the way they interact with you and others. Look for it in the discussions that you have, and the way they carry themselves through life.
3. Communicate more honestly
Though observing your partner and the way they move through life is important, it cannot always reveal the full extent of their compatibility. We have to have conversations, and we have them frequently and candidly. The more honest and upfront with are with one another, the more heartbreak and disappointment we can save ourselves.
Talk to your partner about what means the most to you. Talk to them about your dreams, and what your plans for the future are. Don’t hold back. Share all the big stuff and the little stuff too. If you don’t feel safe or comfortable enough to do that with the other person — put a check in the “non-compatible” box.
Allow them too to share themselves. You don’t have to rush these conversations, or have them all at once, but you should leave space for one another to regularly talk about important and meaningful things. Couples need to know where one another lie, and this includes topics like family, politics, careers, and even ideal living locations. If it’s something that you want or need, learn to talk about it.
4. Set boundaries for one another
Setting boundaries for one another is a great way to test compatibility and discover whether you are truly meant to be. Boundaries are a core component of any solid partnership, and they allow us to communicate our expectations as well as our needs in a really clear way. The easier it is to respect one another’s boundaries and limitations, the more compatible you are.
Set some boundaries for yourself. What do those boundaries look like? Think about the behaviors you want your partner to display and consider too how you want them to treat you. Refer to your standards and your values, then draw the line around the deal breakers that are unacceptable for you.
You have to allow your partner to do the same, though. Ask them where their boundary lines lie and be clear on what’s expected from you and the way you treat them as a spouse or an equal-half. Be clear and never allow either party to compromise on something that really means a lot. Our boundaries form a cornerstone, but they also serve as a great testing ground too. Do you have what it takes to respect one another — even in the hard times?
5. Test the waters intentionally
There is this extremely toxic idea that good relationships just happen by magic. We imagine that there is little work involved, and that that parties engaged must stay together easily. Nothing could be further from the truth, though, as good relationships require work. And more than that, they require us to test them (and ourselves) early on and regularly throughout.
Intentionally go out of your way to test one another in different scenarios. If you want children — but they aren’t sold — babysit your best friend’s kid, or see if you can volunteer for a program like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.
Likewise, you have to test things like your physical compatibility, your support levels, and even the confidence and trust we place in one another. This is not to say that you play mind games. Just as you take a new car out on a test drive, your relationships have to be tested within new and challenging experiences that allow us to identify our similarities and our differences. Don’t just assume you know who you are as a couple. Test the waters and do it intentionally and regularly.
Putting it all together…
Lasting relationships are built on compatibility, but that’s not something that can (or should) be faked or forced. When we’re truly compatible with someone, we align with them across values, goals, and so many other planes. Discovering that deeper compatibility, however, requires us to open up and ask some serious questions of both ourselves and those we love.
Pinpoint your hot-points and get explicitly clear on what means the most to you in this life. Before you can figure out if someone is compatible with you, you need to know who you are and what you want inside and out. Learn how to observe their behavior and the way they interact with the world around them. You can learn a lot about a person’s values and their level of compatibility by watching them, but you need to communicate too. Open up to one another and share those goals and hopes which are most important for your futures. Don’t hold back and don’t allow your needs to be shaped by theirs. Be candid and share the boundaries and limitations which safeguard your happiness. Building better relationships doesn’t have to be hard, but it does need to be honest. Test the waters of your relationship intentionally and regularly to ensure a watertight compatibility that will float you through the good times and the bad.