You have met someone and have been dating for a couple of months. Both of you would like to advance the relationship to the next level, so you are talking about moving in together.
Part of you is excited at the thought of sharing a home with this wonderful guy. And part of you is wondering ‘are we compatible’ so that you can continue to enjoy a happy relationship once you are under the same roof.
But why is compatibility important in a relationship? Because compatibility issues in relationships can gradually deteriorate the love you have for each other cause the both of you a lot of emotional pain.
Thus, finding the signs of compatibility in a relationship is the key to knowing if you should be moving forward or not.
So what makes a couple compatible, or what are some of the ways you can judge your relationship compatibility?
What is compatibility in a relationship
Relationship compatibility is not black or white. “We love all the same things!” does not necessarily mean that you and your partner are meant for each other.
On the contrary, happy couples report that they enjoy diversity in their separate hobbies, tastes, and professional pursuits.
So when we say it is important for a couple to be compatible, what we mean is that they should share several compatible points on the compatibility spectrum.
Basic core values
Basic core values are values that have been instilled in you since you were young. They are moral and ethical codes that you implement for living.
Core values are influenced by your social and economic background, your birth culture, as well as the culture where you grew up if you did not grow up in your birth culture.
They can also be influenced by your peer group as you move through young adolescence into early adulthood. By the time you are in your early twenties, your core values have stabilized and are not likely to change.
This is important to remember if you find that you and your partner do not share core values, but you are hoping he will change once you start living together (he won’t).
How you view the use of substances such as alcohol or marijuana
The role of religion in one’s personal life and in society
Gun control, gun usage
Politics, the role of government in a society
Money and how it should be saved/spent
Gender roles in the home and in the workplace
There are hundreds of other points that can be examined when trying to identify common areas of compatibility in couples, with many online companies offering tests you can take for a fee.
What you want to be looking for is not 100% dating compatibility on all points, but on the values that you both consider to be non-negotiable.
If you are a person who abstains from alcohol and your partner’s idea of a great Friday evening is to down a couple of six-packs, this is a clear example of incompatibility, no matter how great your partner is in all other aspects of his life.
If you were to move forward with the relationship, you could be assured that things will eventually unravel, because not drinking is one of your important core values. You need to be with someone who shares this core value as well.
Do this separately, so you don’t influence each other, then sit down and share your lists. Points can range from the general to the specific.
Here’s an example of a list from the woman in the relationship:
I want to get married before I am 30.
I would like two children after I am married.
I use and support the use of birth control.
I will continue to work fulltime after we have children.
I am a strong supporter of public schools and want to live in a good school district so my children can attend a public school
I am pro-gun control and do not want guns in the house.
Let’s imagine that the man in the relationship has a list that includes the following points:
I don’t want to ever get married. I’m fine with living together, though
I’d like children but want to have them later in life.
I support birth control, but it’s the woman’s responsibility
Both partners should work
The children’s education is the woman’s decision
I believe in guns and want them in the house for self-defense purposes.
You can see in these two lists that this couple shares almost no points of compatibility.
No matter how much attraction they feel towards each other now, they would be ill-advised to move in together as their core values are not overlapping.
Less specific areas of compatibility
We’ve examined some concrete points of intellectual compatibility in a relationship. Let’s talk about the more personality-based points that can indicate whether or not you have relationship compatibility.
Before moving in together, you and your partner will want to talk through some of the following points to judge your relationship compatibility and figure out the chances of maintaining a happy relationship when you move in together:
Is one of you an early riser, and one of you someone who has difficulty getting up, hitting the snooze button five times before getting out of bed?
What are your bedtime habits? Lights off at 11:00 pm, or read/play games on your cell phone in bed until you fall asleep?
What constitutes a great weekend for you? Doing nothing but staying in your pajamas, binge-watching the latest series on Netflix? Socializing with your friends? Hiking, traveling, shopping?
Are you more of a cook-at-home person, or do you prefer to order in? How important is eating healthfully to you?
Are you a spender or a saver? What are your long term goals in the areas of homeownership, saving for the children’s college fund, retirement savings?
Conflict resolution: what are your problem-solving techniques?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.