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What Relationship Compatibility Really Means

The following post is written by Jay Hurt. Jay is a Relationship Coach, columnist and author of the book, The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship, for Singles. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and his website.

I am often reminded by my better half how when I listen to the suggestions she makes, things tend to run very smoothly.  She reminds me that she’s a planner and many things run better when we are prepared.  The fact I have her in my life helps me to learn to plan more carefully and more frequently.  I can be very spontaneous, which also has its advantages.  She learns from me how to live in the moment.  Although these traits are different, both add value to our relationship and we are very compatible.

In the beginning of a relationship, attraction will get you there, but compatibility is essential to keep you.  It’s also wise to understand having a lot in common does not necessarily make you compatible.  It is good to have some things in common, but if you both do all of the same things and think the same, where is the opportunity for you to enhance each other’s lives?  There have to be differences in each of us to bring enrichment to the lives of our mates.

Where I am Weak, You are Strong

The people I talk to who have the most interesting and at the same time challenging relationships are the people who have the most differences.  Many couples with differences realize in their own weaknesses, their partner makes them stronger.  This is infinitely valuable to our relationships.  If I can do everything on my own, why do I need someone else?  The fact is neither you nor I can do everything on our own.  When we have someone who fills those deficiencies and teaches us to get better in those deficiencies, this makes us better as individuals and creates strong relationships.

I mentioned these differences in relationships are highly valuable, but they can also be challenging.  When someone has a different background, different thought process, and different upbringing, it’s not always easy to accept.  We have to make the daily effort to understand their perspective and how it is valuable to our relationships.  Keep in mind it’s never about imposing your will; it’s always about what’s best for the two of you.

How We Fit Together 

If you have ever played sports, you know that every center in basketball wants to play point guard and make a flashy pass.  Every offensive lineman would like to run the football at some point.  It’s an interesting thought for a moment until you watch Shaq in an All-Star game play point guard.  It doesn’t work.  He’s operating outside of how he fits within the framework of the team.  The same is true of being compatible in relationships.  We must fit together.  For example, I know a couple where the husband is an executive at work, but when he comes home, his wife is the A-type personality.  He has made decision after decision at work, now he wants to come home and not have to run the ship, so to speak.  This man hasn’t relinquished his status in the household, but he found compatibility in someone who is comfortable making some of the household decisions.

Consider for a moment two people in a relationship where no one can make decisions.  No one really wants to decide what to eat, where to vacation, what church to attend, etc.  There will be times where someone can’t make a decision, but if this is a reoccurring theme with both parties, where is the compatibility?  Knowing how we fit reminds us we each have a part to play in our relationships and no matter how we look at our roles, we each bring value that an individual cannot accomplish alone.

Tom Cruise lied to You

Cruise’s character in the movie Jerry Maguire said, “You complete me.”  That’s a lie.  You should be a complete person when you enter the relationship.  If you’re not complete, you’re not ready for a relationship.  Your mate doesn’t complete you, but your mate should make you better.  You must learn different perspectives and methodologies from your mate.  Knowing and seeing your compatibility in action breeds confidence in your mate.  How we enhance each other’s lives doesn’t complete us, but it definitely makes us better.

Compatibility is really chemistry; the difference is compatibility is tangible.  Compatibility is vital to having a great relationship.  Contrary to popular opinion, satisfying the need for something superficial is no comparison to a loving, compatible mate.

For Discussion: What does compatibility mean to you?


Paul C. Brunson

Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share