Love and compatibility are two different things. Love is the emotion that draws us together while compatibly is one of the vital elements that allow relationships to survive and prosper.
You can love someone and yet be so incompatible that your relationship is doomed to one of argument, discord, discomfort and, ultimately, dissolution.
How do you know if you are compatible with someone you love?
It takes more than feelings of love and a desire to be together forever to build a relationship that will actually last. The first step is to actually find someone with whom you are compatible. Failing compatibility will lead to a “relationship failure.” It is better to love yourself and someone enough to know when to say goodbye than to enter into a long-term relationship that will inevitably fail.
Here are ten points of compatibility to look for in a relationship:
- You both agree on important issues of morals, principles and values
- You both listen to each other with respect
- You both consider what the other person has to say and value their judgment
- Well-being and self-development is mutually important
- You both have adequate self-esteem such that you are capable of independent living even though you may choose to share life together
- You both have enough maturity to make good decisions
- You have life goals in common and are willing to work toward those goals
- You share similar lifestyles and spending habits that are compatible with your life goals
- You do not fight or argue excessively especially over trivialities
- You have adequate relationship skills in communication and problem solving
It is not uncommon for couples to have problems in some of these areas but if you have good communication skills you should be able to work through these issues in a constructive manner. When problems result in heated arguments, one of the couple retreating and resentment building it is time to reevaluate the relationship. This is the time for both to learn how to communicate reasonably and make cool-headed decisions about the future.
Consider the following request for advice as an example of a love relationship that is showing signs of incompatibility.
“Me and my girlfriend have arguments everyday that we are together. I love her very much and I want to marry her some day. How do I fix our arguments problem? I think communication is a problem because we never have much to talk about. Our arguments are about a lot of different things that happen at any given moment. I would like to better my communication with my girlfriend of 2 years and not fight with her everyday and make her mad with a silly fight that shouldn’t have happened. Please help me.” Signed Brian 6618
First of all, we commend the writer for having the wisdom to recognize that things have to change. Further, we recommend that this couple invest the time and effort to learn how to communicate with one another before they even think about getting married.
The constant arguments are possibly the signs of underlying problems perhaps relating to the ten points of compatibility listed above. Take your time and do a personal and relationship inventory to see where you two do and do not fit together.
The Positive Way site has many resources for communication skills, fighting fair techniques and problem solving skills. Please take the time to read through them, study them and practice them. We also recommend that you undertake premarital counseling before you get engaged.
You should also take the time to understand what divorce risk factors your relationship has. This will give you key areas to work on to find or build a relationship that has a better chance of avoiding divorce. From the tone of your question if you were to get married tomorrow you would most probably be divorced within 36 months or so unhappy you wished you were. Take action today and change your odds.
The good news is that you are young and motivated to change. Take advantage of your discomfort with the current relationship and take positive steps such as developing better communication skills to create a better one.