The Key to Successful RelationshipsPeople commonly think that the secret to a great relationship is communication... but it isn't. It's Compatibility.
I can prove it. Imagine a couple who wakes up in the morning, shares a kiss, eats breakfast quietly while each reads a novel or newspaper, kisses goodbye, goes to work, returns home, eats dinner, watches TV, shares a goodnight kiss and goes to bed. They have done very little communicating because neither of them are big talkers. But they both value stability and companionship and they are deeply in love. I wouldn't want to my marriage to be so bland. But they are Compatible. Not with me and maybe not with you... but they were made for each other.
Verbal communication is unimportant except for those of us who value verbal communication. Compatibility is the key.
It's the neglected issue behind every successful and unsuccessful relationship.
I know a couple who, after 10 years of marriage, still made love at least once per day. I've also known couples who haven't had sex in 10+ years. Neither of these extremes is a problem until someone who wants sex daily marries someone who thinks once every ten years is plenty. That's where we get into trouble.
We fail to consider compatibility when choosing a partner. We become intimate with someone who has several qualities that we enjoy and assume everything else will just fall into place or work itself out. Then we find ourselves committed to someone who wants to stay home every night while we want to go out. Or someone who likes spending the money we are obsessed with saving. You get the idea.
Compatibility goes even deeper. We each have personal flaws. Our emotional or personality challenges. But while my flaws may seem like terrible "dealbreakers" to some, others may find them merely inconvenient, cute or even endearing.
For example, if I had a problem with my temper, it would be less of a problem with someone who was able to tune me out and ignore me than it would with someone overly sensitive, or with an abuse history, or with their own temper problem.
I knew a guy with a temper problem. He would start criticizing his wife, in an unconscious attempt to pick a fight, and she would give him a kiss (and sometimes a tickle!) and tell him to "stop being cranky." And it actually worked! He was lucky enough to find someone who could easily handle his temper. That's compatibility!
Compare that to the couple who would immediately be yelling, blaming, name-calling and door-slamming.
There is an unspoken agreement in every successful relationship: "I'm not perfect and you're not perfect. I can ignore your imperfections if you can ignore mine. I choose to spend my life in your company."
Of course the beauty of this is that many of our imperfections are emotional defenses which can fade away when we're loved in spite of them.
But let's also be honest. Some imperfections are easier for us to ignore than others.
Some compatibility issues can work themselves out over time. We can learn to compromise to an extent. We can bargain: "I'll agree to do this for you if you'll agree to do that for me." We can take turns winning: "It's your turn to pick the restaurant/movie/TV show/vacation."
People need to consider compatibility in their relationships. In what areas are we or aren't we compatible? Can it be changed or worked around? Am I ignoring major compatibility issues?
Some food for thought.