We have read it in literature and seen it in movies—love is what keeps a couple together. All the daisies and sunshine, as well as laughter, kisses, and hugs, make people believe in true love. But not everything is not as easy it as seems. Here, experts share their views on love and compatibility to help answer: are we a good match?
What Experts Say About Love and Compatibility
Everybody wants to be accepted, to share laughter with someone who is both a lover and a best friend; someone who will celebrate your success as well as listen to your sadness and fears. In order to remain acquainted and oriented with a lover, one important factor to have, other than love, is compatibility.
Contrary to most people’s point of view, compatibility is not the so-called chemistry that couples have; rather, it’s something they make. Compatibility is a process in which you negotiate your differences and similarities as you go along the relationship. It is the willingness to make the relationship work, an attitude, and a disposition.
So, what do experts say about love and compatibility?
- William Doherty, a professor at the University of Minnesota, views compatibility as an overrated factor in a relationship. To him, the similarities and personalities that couples share and make them attracted to each other are just the surface. They may not keep up over time.
The deeper and more important factors, especially in marriage, are the values about children and money that the couples share.
- Ted Huston, a psychology professor at the University of Texas, says that couples overemphasize the effects of values and personality traits. He believes that there is no difference in the objective level of compatibility between the couples who are unhappy and the couples who are happy.
The unhappy couples assume that they are not compatible with one another, but they fail to recognize the amiable temperaments that help the marriage or the relationship.
- Most people assume that compatibility is the basic requirement in a relationship. For example, the partner should do the things he/she loves or should fit in with the partner’s family and friends. There should be something more and something deeper than this.
According to Nancy Slotnick, a dating coach, a healthy relationship is when both partners respect each other amid their differences and points of view and learn from each other.
How Love and Compatibility Are Not the Same
Experts agree that love and compatibility are not the same things. Love is something that you accidentally find. In order to stay in love, both partners should stay in like. Both partners should agree on the first important thing—that is, the willingness to build and sustain the relationship.
Compatibility does not mean that couples are fundamentally more alike and share the same predisposition to have an easier time to understand each other. According to Diane Sollee, founder and director of Coalition for Marriage, Family, and Couples Education, “There is no such thing as a compatible couple.”
Sollee further explains that all couples disagree about similar things such as money, children, and time. Love, compatibility, and relationship are all about working on each other’s differences. Compatibility is something couple create and workout. Eventually, in 20 years or so, you become soulmates.
Are We a Good Match? Some Tell-tale Signs from Relationship Experts
Love, specifically the romantic one, is a complex matter. In this world where material possessions and professional achievements define happiness and success, love is still the one thing that everybody is longing for (at least on the receiving end).
In love, people find acceptance and meaning through profound human connection. When lovestruck, couples are so wrapped up in the relationship that they often fail to ask if they are a good fit. Because love and relationship are more than a complicated matter, psychologists and relationship experts enumerate some telltale signs that a couple is a good match or not.
However, these are only the surface, and it takes more than these signs to sustain a long-lasting, healthy relationship. The following are some signs of compatibility that are easily perceived by everyone:
- You feel good about yourself when you are with your partner
This should be obvious even in non-romantic personal relationships. You should be with someone who makes you feel good about yourself. It is as though you become your best self when you are with them.
This means that you don’t have to put so much effort to think of topics to talk about or dress up when you are with him or her. It also means that you are comfortable with their friends and family. Otherwise, your relationship will eventually have problems.
- You have the right balance
Relationship experts suggest that most healthy relationships are made by couples who strike the appropriate amount of balance in personality and compromise. What does this mean, exactly?
For instance, one partner is more outgoing and often the life of the party, while the other one is more reserved and supportive. In short, couples with different energy levels tend to complement each other.
- You have common interests
It doesn’t mean that you both like the same art or music. What it means is that you like doing the same activities together. Going out for a walk, hitting the gym, traveling, watching sports, and other activities—couples who share at least two or three things that they enjoy doing together are often seen as a good match.
- You travel the same
Couples who are a good match journey the same way. You both want to take the first class flight, or both of you want to fly on a budget. You both want to hop on an RV, or both of you want to book a hassle-free travel package.
Having the same way of traveling tells a lot about how your relationship will work in the future. One area in life that speaks about this factor is the lifestyle.
If both of you travel the same way, you both have the same lifestyle. It can define the more important decisions in life and relationships such as buying or building a house, the education path for your kids, and more.
The romanticized view of love and compatibility is being debunked by relationship experts. Compatibility is something that couples create, and love is something that they are both willing to sustain and work out.
Answering the question “Are we a good match” takes years to answer because compatibility doesn’t happen at the start of the relationship. As the popular saying goes, “you would never know ‘til you cross the fence.”