Signs Of Incompatibility In A Relationship

My Questions and Answers | | Expert Author , Mental Health & Relationship Counselor
Updated On: March 30, 2024
signs of incompatibility
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When the signs of incompatibility in a relationship start creeping in or revealing themselves, it might feel like a breakdown of your bond is imminent. Suddenly, those ice cream dates aren’t as fun anymore because you realized you two do not have the same world-view on animal rights. Or you two just recently moved in together and learned that you have vastly different opinions about how to run a house.

These blaring realities might cause a panic inside you and make you question the relationship entirely. “Am I really in love with this person?” “Are we really going to have a future together?” These are some of the questions you might even repeatedly ask yourself. One of our readers was caught in the throes of similar panic and came to us with an important question on incompatibility in a relationship. Counseling psychologist and certified life-skills trainer Deepak Kashyap (Masters in Psychology of Education), who specializes in a range of mental health issues, including LGBTQ and closeted counseling, offers insights on how to deal with such a situation.

Not Compatible With Husband, What Should I Do?

Q. I am 31 years old, and my husband and I have been married for 1.5 years now. Even though we are happy on the face of it, there are a lot of discontentment and unresolved issues between the two of us, which keep cropping up every few weeks. That leads to a lot of long-drawn-out fights spanning three to four days of not even talking to each other. We have brought up the topic of divorce in the middle of our fights almost every single time, even though none of us really took it forward. We don’t talk about our lives together – whether it involves kids, finances, or ambitions. We hardly ever have sex. As individuals, we are successful in our respective lives but in our marriage, not so much.

We are simply not compatible with each other. Together, we are just two people in the same house, with more bad days than good, and I hardly feel any connection with him anymore. I know we still love each other, but I have no idea how to get past all these issues. Are we just plain incompatible and have we made a mistake in even getting married in the first place?

Related Reading: 9 Things To Be Mindful Of When Arguing With A Narcissistic Husband

From the expert:

I will never be tired of repeating that love is essential but not enough to sustain a relationship. It cannot be a license alone to stay in a relationship that you think is not meant for you. However, love does give us enough motivation to try everything to the best of our abilities and intentions, before we gratefully accept, “We are good people indeed. Just not good together.”

Communication becomes really difficult for a lot of people when there are constant conflicts or relationship arguments. Constant conflict is usually the product of poor communication, among other major things. It’s hard to break the vicious cycle all on our own. Most marriages will hit a rough patch; however, one needs to be able to identify a “patch” from a “path.” If a relationship seems to be heading down a path of conflict, disrespect, and outright emotional abuse, then we need to consider and question the basics of it all. Make a list of the things that you struggle with, then honestly think about the way you have contributed to those conflicts.

compatibility in relationships
Incompatibility in relationships can be addressed

I repeat, be honest but also be just to yourself. Develop an alternative interpretation of the things that bother you and decide on an alternative response both in terms of words and actions when addressing them with your husband. Encourage him to do the same. I realize that this is phenomenally easier said than done. Hence I highly recommend couples therapy to deal with the signs of incompatibility in your relationship. All the very best.

The Signs Of Incompatibility In A Relationship

It is important to notice and understand the signs you are incompatible with your partner in order to tread on a path of recovery. When both partners behave stubbornly in a relationship, there can be plenty of scope for disagreements. It is natural for two people to not agree on all the same things but that does not mean that one should not identify the signs and then try to work on them.

If you two have been fighting a lot lately, can barely sit in the same room together anymore, or are constantly giving each other the silent treatment, you are probably going through this rough phase or these could be the signs of incompatibility in a relationship. Now that we have the expert’s view on the issue, Bonobology is here to offer you some more insights into this niggling problem that can be potentially detrimental to your bond. Here are the major signs of incompatibility in a relationship.

1. There is no intellectual intimacy

Does he never understand or even try to listen to all the feminist rants you go on? Or does she often drift off and zone out when you discuss something philosophical you read in a book the other day? Clearly, you two are on different wavelengths and don’t share a great deal of intellectual intimacy. It is okay to not be interested in all the same topics of conversation but it is the effort that counts.

One should try to put in the effort to understand, listen to the other person, and gauge what they are trying to say. If they roll their eyes or start scrolling on their phone every time you bring something up, you two are definitely in an incompatible relationship.

Related Reading: 12 Ways To Build Intellectual Intimacy In A Relationship

2. You feel like you can’t be yourself around them

You’re afraid to tell them that you want to take them on a fishing trip because you know they’ll say no. Or that if you ask them to go on a double date with you and your work friends, you know they’ll complain about it the whole ride back home. Anything you want to do or you suggest is met with a “No, I’d rather not.”

This is one of the signs of incompatibility in a relationship that is not only going to make you feel sidelined, but also make you feel like you can never be yourself around them. They don’t indulge you or your interests ever and this can become very distressing for you.

3. Your sense of humor just doesn’t match

Whether it’s dark, lame, or just as plain as it can be, any time you try to be funny with your partner, it probably feels like they never get you. Most of your jokes are responded to with a “Huh, what?” because they always seem to miss the point. Humor and laughter are an important part of any good relationship and without them, things can start feeling glum very soon.

If they never make you laugh or you always feel like you two never laugh at the same thing together, it almost might feel like a dead-end relationship.

4. Lack of good, sexual energy

Quickies in the middle of the day, knowing how to turn each other on, playing around with sex toys that you both enjoy, these are all things that can make sex an incredibly fun activity. But if your sexual energy and vibe are completely different, there is nothing more obvious to tell you that you two are in an incompatible relationship.

When your sex drive and ways of pleasing each other are different and out of sync, a relationship can go downhill very quickly. Very few people can be in a sexless relationship for very long. So if the sex is bad, know that your relationship is definitely suffering.

More on dysfunctional relationship

5. Your general outlooks on life differ

One of the signs you are not compatible with your partner is when your outlook on life is completely different. If he’s a chronic pessimist and you’re an optimist, your world views will hardly ever have a chance to converge. For how long can such a relationship really go on? Unless one person is willing to see things from the other’s perspective, we highly doubt things will change any time soon.

It’s clear that you two will have a very hard time agreeing on things and when you see things that differently, how will you ever advise or help each other out in tough situations?

These signs of incompatibility are not here to tell you that you need to walk out of your relationship immediately. These are only indicators that tell you it is time to reconsider, rethink and perhaps talk to your partner about what you can do differently. Give this relationship a solid shot before you pull any plugs but don’t kid yourself. Lack of compatibility in relationships can indeed be dealt with over time but brushing things under the carpet does not help.


1. Can incompatible relationships work?

Yes. If you recognize that it’s an incompatible relationship and try to work on it and consciously change things, it sure can. However, for that, you need to put a lot of effort into the relationship.

2. Is compatibility more important than love?

Not more, but it is just as important. Love is not enough in any relationship, compatibility plays a great role too.

3. What are compatibility issues in a relationship?

Disagreements, two stubborn partners, refusing to change for the other person, different worldviews and ethical values are all basically compatibility issues in a relationship.

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