Relationship Compatibility 101 - How To Win a Man's Heart

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August 9, 2014

Relationship Compatibility 101

What is Relationship Compatibility?

“Some people enter our lives and leave almost instantly. Others stay, can forge such an impression on our heart and soul, we are changed forever.” – Unknown

Relationship Compatibility is a complex, non–linear, subjective concept. And, within each relationship, it is dynamic.

Compatibility evolves over time – in both directions. The world is changing, you are changing, and your partner is changing.

Your relationship is also changing. You can count on it.

Nothing stays the same for very long where relationships are concerned. They usually are growing substantially stronger or getting progressively weaker.

In the courtship phase we tend to overlook what seem to be subtle differences, when later on we might find these exact same traits as annoying or irritating.

This is because over time, our filters have changed – they have become more discerning as the initial glow of the relationship begins to fade.

We are starting to settle in.

Getting to the essence of relationship compatibility is important within the first six months of a new relationship.

After we get settled in it becomes more difficult to move on – even if the relationship is clearly not working.

It gets more difficult to leave as each month passes. You owe it to yourself and to your date to explore this.

You can detect this insidious erosion when your self–talk begins to change to:

❖ Well, we’re not really an item

❖ We’re just good friends after all

❖ Things are going along OK, I guess

❖ This was never meant to be the “one”

❖ We’re merely companions, you know

❖ We just like to hang out and have fun together

❖ He’s separated but he will schedule the divorce soon.

Now, there is nothing wrong per se with any of those arrangements as long as you are not deluding yourself.

If that is what you want, then great. You’ve got it. If you are drifting on purpose, that is no big deal.

But please be honest. Be considerate of the goals of your date as well as your own.

However, if you want more from a relationship, if you’re looking for a true soul mate, there is work to be done.

So if you are indeed looking for a soul mate, then please don’t waste your precious time on dead–end relationships.

There is no future there.

It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to them if you are not honest about it. Go to work on it, prepare for a healthy relationship, in earnest.

When you achieve a solid combination of compatible factors as a couple, then you have a chance at a long–lasting relationship of fun and love.

“Soul mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you.” – Unknown

Why Is Relationship Compatibility So Important?

Why all this talk about relationship compatibility?

If we love each other and fully commit to one another, isn’t that enough to have happiness in a relationship?

In a word, no.

It’s not enough for a long–term committed relationship that you both will enjoy and in which you will be empowered and fulfilled.

I am talking about true soul mates here where you live and breathe the same air – you say the same things at the same time – you laugh at inside jokes – you two are in harmony; where peace is the norm.

True compatibility at a deeper level is the key to a satisfying long–term relationship. Physical attraction can only go so far.

It is easy to get caught up in the early days of visions and dreams and fantasies due to physical attraction, but it does not last.

In the early days it is easy to overlook your date’s “flaws” – because alas, they are just so darn cute.

And you might be thinking that you can “help” them to change their offending behaviors later. Oh, oh; sound the warning bells on that thought.

“Before you try to change others, remember how hard it is to change yourself.” – Bill Bluestein

What good is it if your date is drop–dead gorgeous but you can’t carry on a decent conversation?

What if you don’t agree on anything? Perhaps you can’t seem to have a meaningful dialogue about things that are important to you.

How long do you think that will last?

Sure, your relationship can drift well beyond its natural expiration date, but that is another matter entirely and the subject of another book.

The Early Days

In the early days, you need to be more selective, not less. Often we are so excited to go from being alone to dating that we are not as discerning as we should be.

Set up your essential criteria in advance so that you are more analytical about your prospects.

There is no need to latch on to the first person who crosses your path. Increase your self–respect and your self– esteem and it will make a big difference in how you perceive your potential dates.

When your self–worth is firmly established, you will be a much better evaluator of dates and mates.

When you are happy as you are, everything changes. You deserve a good match. Notice that I did not say perfect, I said a good match.

When we define what we are looking for in too much detail things can go awry.

You can shoot yourself in the foot; this clearly can go too far when the men are looking only for Angelina Jolie–types and the women are looking only for George Clooney–types.

It just ain’t gonna happen!

A better course is to set high, yet realistic expectations. So get real, and then get hopping.

Remember that a person is a bundle of traits. Some attributes could be in perfect alignment with yours while others clearly are not.

Look at all of the traits in combination, look at the big picture. Then weigh the advantages and disadvantages and make your decision with your head and your heart.

Has the Relationship Been Tested Yet?

Many relationships can work great for six months where you are simply going out to dinner, to the movies, dancing, to sporting events, and other fun activities.

There is little opportunity for disagreement. You can drift along this way for a long time without connecting emotionally and getting to know each other at a deeper level.

On the surface it might appear to be a good fit, a healthy relationship. And it could be fine to be simply companions – for a while.

But when one of you wants more, the trouble soon begins.

A key message for singles and couples alike: Not addressing an issue does not signify agreement; it only delays the discussion until there is much more at stake.

If I had room, I’d repeat that. Wait a minute – I have all the room in the world. So here goes.

Not addressing an issue does not signify agreement; it only delays the discussion until there is much more at stake.

There, I’ve said it again.

How Do You Assess Relationship Compatibility?

If there is initial attraction, it is time to progress to assessing basic relationship compatibility. This can be accomplished in many ways that build upon and reinforce each other.

A few possible ways are to:

❖ First, screen out incompatibilities and show stoppers (e.g., faith, smoking).

❖ Observe everyday situations and real–life interactions in the world.

a. How do they treat those who can do nothing for them?

b. Listen to their beliefs and generalizations: “all cabbies are____”.

❖ Gently guide the conversation toward what you want to know.

a. Don’t tip your hand too much: “I love cats, don’t you?”

b. Over time, ask specific questions to get at key issues.

❖ Ask their opinions on items in the news to reveal more insights.

Systematically assessing relationship compatibility only happens when you make it happen – believe me, it does not happen by chance. In fact, the world is conspiring against you.

In the courtship phase we are so busy making it work that we fail to observe the obvious.

Wouldn’t you rather know early on?

Really? Yes, you would, believe me.

You could miss key signs and signals and important attributes early in dating because few test situations arise when all you do is go out to dinner, the movies, and have fun.

You will need to set up situations and conversations that explore the full dimensions of relationship compatibility that are important to you in a soul mate.

You can try to convince yourself otherwise, but it is a fool’s game. Perhaps the core issue is that you are afraid to be alone.

It’s important to know why you do what you do and why you don’t want to know where you might be incompatible.

A personal development plan can set you on your way to clarity.

Ask Open–Ended Questions

It is critical when asking questions that you don’t reveal everything that you are looking for yourself. If you give some people (e.g., needy, controlling) a full template, they will give you back the answers that you want to hear.

It is called mirroring. Then you will wrongly assume that you are compatible, when in reality, you are not.

A better course of action is to ask their opinion while you remain non–committal.

Remember you are trying to uncover how they really think and how they really feel – without courtship behavior muddying the waters. As they say, keep some of your cards close to the vest.

Or else your date might mirror you and you’ll only find out many months later that you are really incompatible.

After the whirlwind romance begins to fade, there you are – just the two of you. Now what?

When you no longer hang on to each other’s every word and you aren’t fascinated by the same stories – over and over – that is when you need relationship compatibility.

Big time.

This is Only the Beginning

As you get settled in, this is when the core of a relationship – the close friendship – begins to emerge as the glue to keeping you together.

The love. The mutual respect.

Genuinely enjoying each other’s company. Sharing. Laughing. Listening. Kindness. Empathy.

Participating in activities that you both enjoy. Cutting each other some slack. Giving each other the benefit of the doubt.

These are essential components of relationship compatibility – for the long haul. To be soul mates. To be real.

As the relationship evolves out of the initial courtship phase there are many opportunities to explore possibilities of deeper compatibility.

“The value of a relationship is in direct proportion to the time that you invest in the relationship.” – Brian Tracy

Things can be going along quite fine. When an issue comes up, a couple that is relatively compatible can deal with it without an argument or a skirmish.

The more compatible you are as a couple, the faster problems can be solved and the more you grow together.

But for a couple that is relatively incompatible, it could mean a big deal and a big argument. Perhaps, not for the first time.

Because the underlying issue is unresolved and remains unresolved. When the couple is not highly compatible, the issue can remain in perpetuity. You know the issues that keep surfacing after years – same old, same old – over and over.

It never ends because you will never agree. It just stays there festering; growing.

The biggest issue in relationship disagreements is that you cover the same tired, worn out ground over and over – the underlying issue is lurking there and will stay there forever unless it is attacked head on.

Many of these issues can be traced back to a fundamental lack of compatibility right at the beginning of the relationship.

According to my research, the four biggest reasons for serious relationship incompatibility are: sex, money, parenting, and division of household responsibilities.

These and other issues can drive a permanent wedge between the couple. Someone’s important needs continue to be unmet and that often leads to resentment. Without an escape valve in a healthy relationship, things will reach the boiling point.

So, it is clear that the bottom line is to select and screen your partner for compatibility early in the relationship so that you can be happier and reduce potential conflicts in your life.

What’s not to love about that?

So whether you are an unattached single, in a new relationship, or even in an on–going long–term relationship, it is important to explore essential relationship compatibility issues. After all, better late than never.

Why Does This Work to Your Advantage?

Unattached singles, you can stop wasting your time on dead– end relationships and save perhaps months, maybe even years.

When you identify areas of relationship compatibility that are important to you at the outset, you can and will screen potential dates better.

In the future, you can avoid the pain of getting overly involved with the wrong person only to come crashing down when a fundamental relationship compatibility issue surfaces later on.

“Sometimes you have to get to know someone really well to recognize you’re really strangers.” – Mary Tyler Moore

You will have better skills to avoid one–sided relationships altogether where you’re all in and they are not because you will raise issues and look for evidence early in the relationship.

Wouldn’t you want to know sooner rather than later if your relationship is headed down the tubes? Sure you would; I know you would.

You will be more attuned to the signals when you discover what makes you happy in a relationship. You want a strong, healthy relationship – not just any relationship.

Believe me on that one.

If you are currently in a relationship, you can begin to make changes – some subtle, some not so subtle in yourself.

You can become more aligned with your own core values.

The first step always begins with you.

About the author

Donna Marie Thompson

Donna lost her mother, her man, her money and health, all within months of each other.

Having experienced devastating loss – the kind that would knock most folks down permanently – Donna Marie Thompson, PhD can declare she’s a survivor.

Through reliance on her faith, friends and core values, she was able to once again find happiness, joy and hope and is now living an extraordinarily happy life.

More importantly, Donna wants to share with you how to survive and recover from loss, and move forward into a more fulfilling and happier life.

To know more about Donna, visit www.bouncingbacknow.com.




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