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 wishlist.
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 a top priority because they shape your identity and guide your actions. You’re more likely to grow in the same direction if you share similar beliefs.
Try these techniques for 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.
- Acknowledge the role your faith may have in your life. Interreligious marriages 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 evolve and 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 any 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? 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 becoming a parent.
- It also helps to have a cordial relationship with your future in-laws.
- 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? How would you like to share chores and responsibilities?
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:
- How will you 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. What are activities that you are open to learning? What are activities you refuse to spend time doing? Which are negotiable?
- Share goals. Achievements like raising money for charity or learning new dance steps can draw you closer together too. Find something you both can enjoy. Do you care if you achieve? Is it ok with you just to participate? Do you want to lead?
- Call and spend time with your friends. You’ll be happier and stronger as a couple if you maintain your connection with other family and friends. It can be exhausting to rely on your spouse for all your needs. It rarely is successful. Share your opera subscription with another aficionado.
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.
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