This week's question comes from Lacie:
“Dear Orna and Matthew,
When someone asks, “Are we compatible?” is it a sign the relationship is going someplace or headed for a breakup?
I’m dating this guy and I don’t know how I feel about him. He’s really nice and we get along well, but I’m not feeling the excitement that I want to feel. He seems obsessed with our compatibility. He keeps going on about how much alike we are.
I don’t know what to think. How do I know if this relationship is going someplace or if we are headed for a breakup?
I look forward to your advice.”
Thanks for reaching out to us. We understand that you are confused about your current situation and looking for advice about compatibility and whether or not your relationship is going somewhere.
It is common to want to know where a relationship is going before you commit yourself too deeply. Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball that you could consult that would give you the answers you seek?
Unfortunately, there are no crystal balls that predict relationship success. However, there are a few ways that you can get some clarity about your situation and make some decisions moving forward.
Asking, “Are we compatible?” isn’t the only question, and it may not even be one of the more important questions to ask. But it is a great place to start when looking at what it takes to create lasting love.
First, let’s take a look at compatibility and whether or not it is a sign that love can last.
Are Love And Compatibility The Same Thing?
When it comes to lasting love, it helps if you are compatible with the person you choose to partner up with. Having similar interests and values can help keep the day-to-day friendship of your relationship thriving.
Compatibility is about your education level, your personal interests and hobbies, and your temperament. You probably share strong compatibility with most of your friends. It is part of the glue that keeps the friendship going.
But compatibility itself is not enough for romantic love to last. You need to have chemistry and attraction as well. And chemistry and attraction are not about your similarities, instead chemistry and attraction are created from the differences between the two of you.
Your Differences Are Like A Magnet Drawing You Together
Ironically, it is your differences that create the magnetic pull of attraction. Ultimately, you want to be with someone who complements your strengths and weaknesses. Nature assures not only the survival of the species but also helps us evolve by bringing us together with someone who is different from us.
There is a reason that opposites attract. If you are both so similar you will have the ingredients for a great friendship, but a friendship is not enough for a relationship to last. It is chemistry that creates the emotional bond and chemical high of the Romance Stage of relationship. It is chemistry that gives you the fuel to navigate conflict and want to create a deeper connection.
You probably won’t have a lot of conflict with your best friend. But you also won’t have all the attraction and desire to create the intimacy that is necessary in a relationship.
Wondering are we compatible while focused on how alike the two of you are may not be the ideal questions to ponder if you’re looking for love to last. Ultimately you need differences between you to create the spark you are looking for.
It is the spark of attraction that makes a platonic relationship different from a romantic one.
What Are The Differences That Create Attraction?
Some differences are helpful in creating attraction and others will get in the way of the two of you even connecting in the first place. For example, lifestyle differences create a lack of compatibility and don’t add to chemistry or attraction.
Having completely different socio-economic backgrounds and relationships to money and work will make it hard for the two of you to be on the same page together. An ambitious professional with an advanced degree is going to have very different life goals than someone whose interest in work is only about how it funds their weekend hobbies. But if you both share a desire to spend your life traveling or gardening on the weekends, then what you do for employment won’t be an issue.
You will probably end up with someone who has a similar background and lifestyle as your own. However, there are energetic and personality differences that actually fuel chemistry and attraction.
Differences In Personality And Level Of Extroversion Fuel Chemistry
Here is where you can begin to see how your differences are complimentary. Two partners who are both laid back and easy going may get along well but they won’t have the passion needed to grow together. And two passionate people can find themselves clashing too often and ultimately exhaust the relationship.
However, when you put someone easy-going together with someone who is passionate and fiery, then you can see how these qualities complement each other. The passionate partner brings the fire and drive to the relationship while the easy-going partner tempers the conflicts.
Introverts can find extroverts exciting and can be drawn out of their shell when they are together. Extroverts find introverts fascinating and deep and want to know more about what is going on inside.
Wanting to know are we compatible shows a desire to understand if your personalities complement each other or create disharmony.
The Dance Of The Masculine And The Feminine
Every individual has both masculine and feminine energy, no matter their gender. You can draw on your masculine side or your feminine side depending on what is needed in a particular situation.
In a romantic relationship, there needs to be a balance of masculine and feminine energy in order for the spark of chemistry to be present.
Two masculine energies together create the spirit of competition. Masculine energy is active and focused and the presence of another masculine energy in a relationship will create a competitive dynamic meant to challenge each other.
Two feminine energies are reciprocal. The feminine is responsive and reactive and is also about creating community. The presence of two feminine energies in a relationship creates a reciprocal friendship where the expectation is that each partner will share duties and responsibilities.
Attraction and chemistry come from opposing masculine and feminine energies. This dance of the masculine and feminine is an interchange between the strengths of both energies. Wondering are we compatible doesn't take into account your natural energetic differences.
Your Heart Archetype™ And Attraction
There is a line in the palm of your hand that reveals what you require to feel fulfilled in your intimate relationship. This is something that you cannot sacrifice in order for your relationship to be satisfying. Scientific, non-predictive palmistry examines the map of your neurological pathways and patterns revealed through the lines in the palm of your hand.
The heart line in your palm gives a trained Hand Analyst insight into your non-negotiable need in relationship. Whether you require personal freedom or emotional connection, passion or meaning, you will most likely end up in relationship with a partner who requires something different than you.
Hand Analysis utilizes the four Greek elements: fire, water, earth, and air to describe the four heart archetypes. Common combinations that create attraction are a fire heart line and an air heart line. The intellectual air quality feeds the passionate fire heart and fuels the passion in the relationship. The emotional water heart archetype softens the independent solid earth heart archetype to create a deep emotional connection.
A deeper understanding of compatibility comes from an examination of Your Heart Archetype™ alongside your partner’s. Asking, “Are we compatible?” is a surface level question when there is so much depth to your heart.
Shared Values Is The Real Key To Relationship Longevity
For a relationship to stand the test of time it is imperative that the two of you share values. Unlike hobbies or interests that you can just ask about, discovering another person’s values only happens over time.
Couples who stay together through the inevitable challenges that show up can repair, reconnect, and strengthen their love because they can get behind a common goal and a shared vision they have created. Getting back on the same page is possible because they both value the same things.
Many relationships end in divorce because the partners don’t share the same values about money, or career goals, or the desire to raise a family. Through the dating process you’ll want to take your time, even when the chemistry is strong, to figure out if the two of you share the same values before making a commitment.
The most important time to ask, “Are we compatible?” is when you are discovering each other’s values.
Mutual Respect For Your Differences Is The Key To Lasting Love
Ultimately, you want to appreciate compatibility, and respect the differences in your romantic relationship. When there isn’t respect for your differences then there will be conflict and a possible never-ending power struggle between the two of you.
Respect for your differences allows you to defer to one another’s strengths in the relationship. One of you might be better at managing money and the other might be more creative and fun. Or maybe one partner is great at organizing the home while the other is more inclined to raising the children.
However your differences in strategy or style manifest themselves, make an effort to respect those differences and defer to the partner who is best suited for the task. This will create a mutual love and respect that will only deepen over time.
Instead of just focusing on the question: are we compatible, take your time through the dating process to see if there is something worth exploring long-term. It’s much more important to evaluate if the two of you share values and if there is chemistry and attraction that bonds you together. Are you both able to navigate through conflict together by respecting and celebrating your differences?
If you are looking for more tools and resources to create the lasting love you desire, join us in our private Facebook group, Common Sense About Love. There you will find a supportive community and access to what you need for long-lasting, soul-satisfying love.
Orna and Matthew Walters are TV’s favorite dating and relationship experts. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.