When you’re looking for a partner for the long haul, one aspect outdoes all others – relationship compatibility. If you’ve been through the wringer of failed relationships in the past, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about. You meet someone. They make your heart skip a zillion beats in an instant. They’re everything you’ve been looking for. Sparks fly. You can’t keep your hands off each other…
You’re high on the dizzy romance sweeping you off your feet. But once this high wears off, you realize you’re as different as chalk and cheese, and there is just no common ground to build a relationship on. Your perfect love story crumbles like a house of cards. That’s why compatibility in relationships is so vital for building an enduring bond with your significant other.
But what is compatibility? Does being compatible mean being on the same page always? Liking the same things as your beau? Finishing each other’s sentences? To bring you the answer, I decode the signs of relationship compatibility in consultation with psychotherapist Sampreeti Das (Master in Clinical Psychology and Ph.D. Researcher), who specializes in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Holistic and Transformational Psychotherapy.
What Does Compatibility In A Relationship Look Like?
Understanding what chemistry and compatibility in relationships truly mean can be a challenge because no two people are exactly the same. Even if you find someone who comes as close as realistically possible to being your perfect match, there are still bound to be differences.
Do these differences mean that you’ve failed the relationship compatibility test? Most certainly not. After all, you’re looking for a partner, not a clone. The essence of relationship compatibility lies in the degree to which your commonalities outweigh the difference and how well you can connect despite the differences. To be more specific, here are 15 signs of compatibility you can’t ignore:
1. Relationship compatibility means you like each other
I like to believe that my husband and I rank fairly well on the compatibility in marriage front. I often get asked by friends and cousins standing at the cusp of long-term commitment, “What keeps you going? What’s the secret?” To which, my reply is, “I like him.”
I like spending time with him and look forward to chilling with him at the end of a long day. Yes, being in love and liking your partner or spouse can be two different things. If you too enjoy your partner’s company, and on most days, feel as if having each other is enough, then you’re faring well in the relationship compatibility test.
Related Reading: Love Maps: How It Helps To Build A Strong Relationship
2. Nothing feels forced
According to Sampreeti one of the early signs of compatibility is that things don’t feel forced on each other. Yes, in the initial stage of the relationship, you may put your best foot forward and go and beyond to make your partner happy but not at the cost of being someone you’re not.
“When there is relationship compatibility neither partner feels forced to do things that don’t come naturally to them. The relationship grows organically, and partners find a rhythm and pace they’re both equally comfortable with,” she adds.
3. No room for doubt
One of the signs of compatibility you can’t ignore is that you’re absolutely sure about the relationship. There are no lingering doubts about whether your partner is right for you or whether your relationship has a future.
You and your partner fit into each other’s lives like perfectly slotted pieces of a jigsaw. There is no back-and-forth, no hot-and-cold dynamics, no unhealthy power struggle that keeps either of you on your toes, guessing what’s in store next. Compatibility in relationships is characterized by a sense of being at perfect ease with your decision of choosing each other.
4. Relationship compatibility makes you thrive
What are the signs she is compatible with you or he is the right match for you? If this question has been on your mind in connection to your SO, pay attention to how they impact your sense of self.
Sampreeti says, “When there is compatibility in relationships, one doesn’t feel robbed of one’s identity. There is enough room for both partners to grow and thrive as individuals. No one pulls the other person down or holds them back. Instead, you support each other in becoming the best versions of yourselves.”
5. You share similar beliefs and values
Of the different types of compatibility in relationships, this one is the most critical for two reasons – one, you either have shared beliefs and values or you don’t. It’s typically not something you can cultivate over time. Second, if you don’t share core values, building a lasting relationship can prove challenging.
Marsha and Dennis found themselves at a crossroads because their visions for the future didn’t align. Marsha wanted to get married and start a family whereas Dennis was more in favor of a childfree, live-in relationship. They spoke about it, and even argued and fought over the issue, but both kept secretly hoping that the other would come around.
After five years together, they realized that neither of them was ready to budge from their stance and they both wanted very different things in life. Despite so much history and love for each other, they failed the relationship compatibility test because their core values didn’t align.
6. A healthy approach to conflict resolution
Compatibility in relationships does not mean that you and your partner agree with each other 100% on all matters big and small, and never have any differences or arguments. Like I said before, your partner is not your clone and so expecting to always agree would be unrealistic.
So, don’t fret over ‘are we failing the relationship compatibility test?’ every time you have a difference of opinion. If you want irrefutable signs of relationship compatibility, look at how you resolve your issues and differences.
If you use healthy conflict resolution strategies such as open and honest communication, active listening, patience and no blame game to work through your issues, rest assured you’re compatible as a couple.
Related Reading: Loving Someone Vs Being In Love – 15 Honest Differences
7. You enjoy commonalities and differences alike
Compatibility in marriage or a relationship means accepting each other as you are. “This means you enjoy not only your commonalities and shared interests but also the aspects of each other’s personalities that may be markedly different from your own,” says Sampreeti.
For instance, my husband is an avid equestrian. He is the happiest in the company of horses. So much so, that on our second date, he took me to the stables and we spent our time together grooming his horse. I, on the other hand, have never ridden a horse in my life.
Yet, every once in a while, I accompany him when he goes riding. Being around the horses brings out a childlike wonder in him, and that has become a source of joy for me.
8. You get and adore each other’s quirks
One of the tell-tale signs of chemistry and compatibility in relationships is that both partners get to be their own person.There is total transparency in the relationship and you don’t feel the need to hide the not-so-pleasant parts of yourselves.
You know what that means – that you get to see each other fully and completely, quirks and all. Not only are you okay with their quirks, but you also get where they’re coming from, and secretly, find them adorable.
You may outwardly roll your eyes because he wants to watch another Godzilla movie on a Sunday afternoon, but on the inside, you’re going ‘awwwww’ watching that wonderstruck look on his face.
9. Relationship compatibility begets a sense of security
Sampreeti says, “When there is compatibility in relationships, there is no room for insecurity or jealousy. There is a sense of security that comes from total acceptance of each other and no worry over a sudden rejection.”
Your partner doesn’t make you feel insecure – neither purposefully nor subconsciously – and vice versa. How do you know whether or not you feel fully secure in your relationship?
Here is a relationship compatibility test for you: let’s say your partner leaves their phone behind while they’re running an errand, working out or taking a shower. What do you do? Do you secretly check your partner’s phone and go through their messages, social media activity, and emails?
Or does that thought not even cross your mind? Not that you think of it and then restrain yourself out of respect for your partner’s privacy but it doesn’t occur to you to check their phone because you just don’t feel the need to. If it’s the latter, you can count it among the signs of compatibility you can’t ignore.
10. There is healthy space in the relationship
Personal space in relationships has been wrongfully demonized. Wanting to take some time to blow off steam, nurture your individual passions or bond with friends and family are not only natural instincts but also healthy for a couple’s bond.
That’s why being comfortable with giving each other space is among the early signs of compatibility between a couple. If neither of you is intent on doing everything ‘together-together’ or one doesn’t sulk when the other wants some ‘me-time’, you’re in a robust, compatible partnership.
11. Trust is a key component of compatibility in relationships
Sampreeti says, “One of the most telling signs of relationship compatibility is trust among partners. This trust is unwavering across a spectrum of behaviors or circumstances, almost to a point of being predictable because you know each other inside out.”
This high level of trust only goes on to deepen your bond. You and your partner hold each other’s hands and stick together through thick and thin not because that’s what is expected of you but because you want to. Thanks to this trust, you’re able to sail through even when it takes a little effort to steer your relationship boat out of rough waters.
Related Reading: 8 Habits Of Couples In Strong And Healthy Relationships
12. You are respectful of each other
Relationship compatibility stems from and fuels a deep sense of mutual respect. Partners who are compatible understand each other well and that’s why they don’t pull each other down. Even when you don’t agree with your partner’s choices or decisions, you don’t disrespect them because you can appreciate the fact that if they’re doing something, it must be important to them.
In short, all the elements of developing respect in a relationship already exist in your bond. Now, this doesn’t mean that you don’t voice your opinions if you don’t agree with your partner’s choices. However, you do it without demeaning or disparaging them.
13. You make an effort for your relationship
Compatibility in marriage or a relationship isn’t a golden ticket that once procured will stand you in good stead for the rest of your time together. Partners who are compatible with each other recognize that fact.
Irrespective of whether you’ve been together for six months or six years, you both make a conscious effort to keep the relationship fresh and the spark alive. From upholding little rituals like giving each other a good night kiss to exploring new activities and interests to bond over, you both take an equal initiative to strengthen your bond.
14. You understand the unsaid
The ability to understand the unsaid is one of the strongest signs of compatibility you can’t ignore. Sampreeti says, “Relationship compatibility means that the non-verbal communication between the partners is always on point.”
You can gauge your partner’s mood from the look on their face the minute they walk through the door at the end of a taxing workday. If something is bothering them, you ask them, “What’s the matter, honey?” without them having to tell you that they had a bad day.
Or say, you’re at a party together and you end up feeling royally bored. One look at your face from across the room is enough for your partner to know that you’re dying to get the hell out of there. Within moments, they make some excuse and whisk you away from the misery of forced socializing.
15. Your sexual chemistry is lit
Sexual chemistry and compatibility in relationships go hand-in-hand. While sex isn’t the only aspect that keeps a romantic partnership ticking, physical and sexual connections are among the most important types of compatibility in relationships.
Being physically affectionate and sexually intimate with your partner are expressions of how much you value and desire each other. These expressions can range from holding hands to kissing to wild, passionate love-making; what’s important is that they exist in some form and degree in your relationship.
To put it simply, compatibility in relationships thrives on a spark between partners. The intensity of this spark may vary in different stages of the relationship, but it’s always there and palpable.
If you see these signs of relationship compatibility in your connection with your partner, know that you’ve found the one. Hold on to each other with everything you’ve got. On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t, take the time to assess whether you can work on fostering relationship compatibility. As long as you have similar outlooks, values, and life goals, you can work toward being more compatible as partners.
While incompatible relationships may work, they seldom bring joy or a sense of fulfillment. If you’re not compatible as partners on a fundamental level, your relationship is likely to be marked by toxic tendencies such as lop-sided power dynamics, paying hot-and-cold, developing cold feet, and displaying classic signs of commitment phobia.
Being compatible in a relationship means that both partners have similar values, life goals, outlooks, likes, and dislikes. At the same time, there is a willingness to accept and embrace each other’s differences without malice or grudge. In such a relationship, both partners grow and thrive, both together and individually.