Compatibility is not what we think it is.
If I’ve learned anything after 15 years of coaching and 11 years of marriage, that’s one of the big ones.
Most people think compatibility is having things in common:
“I’m Catholic. He’s Catholic. We must be a great cultural fit based on our backgrounds.”
“I have a Masters Degree. He should have one, too. Only men with advanced degrees can understand me and men without it will be intimidated.”
“I like skiing. He should like skiing. What, am I supposed to go the rest of my life without a husband who likes skiing?”
On the surface, this sounds like compatibility. In practice, it is nothing of the sort.
Imagine the opposite sex version of yourself (admit it: that’s what you’re attracted to).
Have you dated someone like this before? What happened to the relationship?
You broke up, of course.
You broke up over money. You broke up over honesty. You broke up over sexual incompatibility. You broke up over selfishness and poor communication.
Compatibility isn’t about what you have in common; it’s whether you work well together as a couple.
The fact that you were both Catholics with Masters Degrees who like skiing didn’t give you a happy marriage. Compatibility isn’t about what you have in common; it’s whether you work well together as a couple. Full stop.
For years, people have been trying to find a short-cut to compatibility. OkCupid thinks that your feelings about horror films are telling (they’re not). eHarmony has a 436 question personality test to gauge compatibility (which, unfortunately, leaves out chemistry). And, of course, there are personality tests like Myers-Briggs.
Today’s article is a New York Times Modern Love column about a woman who sees all relationships through the lens of the MBTI.
As I hope you can see, it’s pretty limited – more of a footnote to explain how people think and act – as opposed to an actual test of relationship compatibility.
My test for relationship compatibility inside Love U is far simpler: how do you feel in your relationship on a day to day basis, year after year? If it’s good, don’t worry about whether you’re an INTJ or whether he makes as much money as you.
Your feelings about your relationship reveal your actual compatibility.
Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.