Long lasting relationships depend on compatibility, but the concept can be elusive. Magazine quizzes and dating sites promise to help you find your soulmate, but relationships are more complicated in the real world.
Your date’s profile may be a 100% match, but you struggle to make dinner conversation. You may meet someone you’re wild about, but they’re missing most of the qualities on your wish list.
The truth is that it takes effort and flexibility to nurture a relationship. Still, you’re more likely to succeed if you’re fundamentally compatible. Use this list to make your romantic life more harmonious.
Values are basic and fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate attitudes or actions. They help us to determine what is important to us and describe the personal qualities we choose to embody to guide our actions; the sort of person we want to be; the manner in which we treat ourselves and others, and our interaction with the world around us. Values alignment is a top priority because they shape identity and guide actions; you’re more likely to grow in the same direction if you share similar beliefs.
Try these techniques to explore if you have compatible values:
Make a list. How much do you know about your own values? Spend time thinking about what matters to you and how you define a meaningful life. Your core values might include respect, kindness, integrity, and achievement.
Express your needs. Sometimes we try to conceal what we need in order to seem more agreeable in the early days of dating. Be fair to others and yourself by being honest from the start.
Practice your faith or spirituality. Marriages between people of different spiritual orientations can work out. However, it’s important for you and your partner to be able to respect each other’s commitments and feel authentic following your own path.
Support each other. Your values will be tested and you will run into challenges. Working as a team and empathizing with each other can keep you united.
On a practical level, you’ll probably have fewer conflicts if you can accommodate each other’s daily routines without major compromises. That can make the remaining give and take easier.
Consider these ideas:
Define your relationship. Are you hoping to get married or would you be happy living together long term? Do you envision an equal partnership or another arrangement? Are you looking for a monogamous relationship or some other relationship or sexual configuration? Ensure that your relationship goals are aligned.
Discuss family planning. It will be difficult to stay together if there are major differences in your views about parenting. It also helps to have a cordial relationship with your future in-laws or potential step-kids.
Manage your money. The way you handle your finances will have a major impact on your future. Before making a commitment, share your financial history and your philosophy about spending, saving, and earning.
Channel your ambitions. Having a similar work ethic is an area that’s often overlooked. Otherwise, you might argue about who is lazy and who spends too much time at the office.
Keep house. Chores are often an issue for anyone living under the same roof. Can you share responsibility and find a respectful middle ground if your cleaning standards are worlds apart?
Are different tastes in music really a deal breaker? You might want a partner who loves opera, or you may be able to work around that. Decide which lifestyle aspects are the most important to you.
Keep these ideas in mind:
Spend time together. Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish. Enjoying the same activities can reinforce your friendship and create shared memories. However, you can enjoy each other’s company even when you’re working on different projects.
Share goals & hobbies. Hobbies and activities like raising money for charity or learning new dance steps can draw you closer together too. Also, identify if you're aligned as far as where you want to live, if you want to travel, and what all that might look like.
Nurture friendships. You’ll be happier and stronger as a couple if you maintain your connection with other family members and friends. It can be exhausting to rely on your spouse for all your needs.
Remember that you deserve love and happiness. There are many singles who could be compatible partners for you if you clarify your expectations and keep an open mind.