The Love Hunt

Compatibility Isn’t Everything: What Really Makes a Relationship Work

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According to a study reviewed in Psychology Today called The Truth About Compatibility: Expert opinions on love and compatibility, and the interaction between biology and behavior (Hara Estroff Marano and Carlin Flora, 2004) examined relationships relative to compatibility and found that compatibility actually doesn’t revolve around a list of traits one has or doesn’t have, rather, compatibility is a process and something that one builds in their relationship. The study found that compatibility between a couple lies within the negotiating process within the relationship that is made up of one’s willingness to work together and both parties’ attitudes and dispositions.

The reasoning behind these results is that love is a complex and multi-level thing that actually operates between biology and behavior but ultimately succeeds when there is a certain attitude applied towards the relationship, the mindset of applying to your relationship a dominant attitude of positivity and good will (for the better good of the relationship)

So compatibility isn’t everything, what really makes a relationship work is not this magical idea which is much too overused and relied upon in examining and approaching a relationship (Compatibility denotes chemistry which is an overused way to examine the approaching a relationship) what really makes a relationship work is not this secret magic ingredient we call compatibility or chemistry, what really makes a relationship work is the attitude which those in the relationship take on, it rests in both individual’s ability to unwaveringly and continuously see one another in a positive light that promotes mutual respect and love on a human level. The authors claim that the reasoning behind the obsoleteness of compatibility is the fact that we as human beings change so much overtime and that what first attracted two individuals together or their ‘compatibility’ will change and not stay in tact overtime. If you must look at compatibility to measure a relationship look at the compatibility between key and fundamental values such as money and children rather than shared hobbies or interests which in the end actually do not matter.

What really makes a relationship work is the attitude which those in the relationship take on, it rests in both individual’s ability to unwaveringly and continuously see one another in a positive light that promotes mutual respect and love on a human level.

According to psychology professor Ted Huston at the University of Texas who studied married couples found that, “there is no difference in the objective level of compatibility between those couples who are unhappy and those who are happy. But the unhappy ones think compatibility is important to a good marriage—but don’t think they have it. When people say, ‘We’re incompatible,’ that usually means, ‘We don’t get along very well.’ People overemphasize the effect of personality or values. And they underemphasize the extent to which easy, congenial temperaments aid marriages.”

Society holds compatibility as a prerequisite to any relationship and we hold onto ideas of compatibility (and chemistry) so strongly that we fail to look at the more important factors of a relationship such as genuine respect, love and dedication to one another- the ability and attitude to want to evolve and grow together is the secret sauce to any relationship, not the details of compatibility, such as having to be the same religion or liking the same hobbies. The test of a strong relationship and a happy couple is not in their ability to have a lot in common but in their ability to respect each other’s words and grow from one another while growing with each other- according to the research of this article, couples need to feel they are building something together that has meaning. The real mark of a happy or ‘perfect match’ in a couple is their ability to stay emotionally connected, their responsiveness to one another’s needs in an equal fashion which involves the consistent asking of questions to tap into your partner’s psyche and making sure you are up to date on one another. According to Raoul Helder, a divorce lawyer claims that the main reason for divorce is due to growing apart. The degree in which couples stay emotionally connected holds much more weight than compatibility ever will.

The test of a strong relationship and a happy couple is not in their ability to have a lot in common but in their ability to respect each other’s words and grow from one another while growing with each other

Ultimately, when trying to find your ‘soul mate’ and the ‘perfect match’ who has ‘all the perfect qualities you ever dreamed of’ keep in mind that personality traits and qualities, although can help a couple get along and connect, is not a good indicator of whether or not a couple is good together due to the fact that personality is so particular and random. We can like opposite personalities and we can like similar personalities, it really has no grounds in telling of a relationship’s strength. What really should be the determining factor of a couple’s strength are their shared relationship skills, which have nothing to do with personality. Truly any two personalities can be together no matter how different they really are, and the most random and ‘incompatible’ personalities can be together if they have good relationship skills.

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