What is the measure to judge if you’re compatible with someone?
I was quite surprised when I discovered by experience that you can have so many similarities and similar interests with someone and still not be compatible for marriage.
This was my experience with a female friend who I would spend hours talking to and not get bored because it seemed everything that excited me excited her as well.
But as I started to become intentional about the relationship, seeing if it could lead to marriage, some previously “unexistent” issues began to come up.
I’ve since learned that there are 3 pillars to marital compatibility.
1. You like their personality
2. You support their values
3. You can commit to their goals.
Whenever you see a couple that has gotten to a point where they realise that they are truly not meant for each other, it is one of these 3 pillars that is missing.
The reason why this is so is that Personality, Value System and Goals (dream lifestyle) are constructs that we do not easily change.
They form our identities.
Any bad habit that you don’t like about a person but is not tied to these 3 constructs can easily be changed. So you guys can adapt to each other.
But if the cause of your disagreements is rooted in any of these, it is either you choose to tolerate them (quite risky) or you start planning your exit.
Kate is naturally introverted and conservative. She meets Charles who gets frustrated when he spends more than 2 hours indoors.
Other than that, they like everything about themselves.
Kate gets irritated by the fact that they constantly have to go out but Charles isn’t understanding. “If she loves me, she should make adjustments for me.”
Now she’s fed up because every day she feels disconnected from her true self.
Let’s even forget about Charles’ wrong approach for now. Truly, love demands adjustments but adjustment of PERSONALITY is difficult.
No matter how Kate tries, she can’t get energized by going out. She’s not being wicked— that’s her personality.
Value System & Goals talk about the intrinsic set of rules and projections for the future we have for our lives.
Nathaniel has “sworn” that his wife must never work because he believes a wife who works is a disgrace to her husband’s ability to provide.
He goes on to marry Sandra who believes in female independence and has lofty career goals.
That is a combination of conflicting Value Systems and Goals.
Trying to force one person to change for the other will be quite frustrating for whoever succumbs as long it is rooted in the Value System and Dream Life Projection
Summary: I’m not saying different personalities can’t work. Read it again.
You are compatible when you can truthfully say,
1. You LIKE their personality (even if different from yours)
2. You ACCEPT their values (even if different from yours)
3. You can COMMIT to helping them reach their goals (even if different from yours).
PS: It is not enough to be okay with their goals; you must be committed to helping them reach there.
Once these 3 things are in place ON BOTH SIDES you are compatible.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.