While we all strive for the sometimes elusive ideal of intense, passionate love, in reality, it’s compatibility that makes a relationship work.
The success of a marriage is usually measured by its duration, and couples that have been together for a long time are considered the best examples of a good marriage.
While initially, it’s love that unites a couple, it’s actually compatibility that holds them together, day after day, year after year.
We all know the scenario.
Two people meet, fall passionately in love, and then real-life sets in.
The relationship is filled with explosive fights and periodic separations or, at other times, intense love and affection.
When asked why they stay together, each person responds that they love the other too much to leave.
Eventually, many will leave, although the divorce rate is not the 50% commonly quoted.
Of course, love alone does not keep couples together.
Over time, without some level of compatibility, some way of reconciling differences, and living a harmonious life together, love will inevitably disappear.
While compatibility can foster love, love doesn’t necessarily bring compatibility.
Compatibility can mean many things to different people, but the basic elements include values, ideas, habits, preferences, interpersonal and communication styles that have a lot in common.
Compatibility doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing on everything all the time, but simply being able to work well together.
Compatible couples can and will argue and fight, but the difference between compatible and love/hate marriages is that compatible couples can often find ways to reconcile differences, agree to disagree or compromise.
A Team Effort
In the workplace, we tend to have a more tolerant definition of compatibility.
Two team members working together on a project would consider each other compatible not because each of their contributions was exactly the same, but because what each offered the final product was complementary to what the other produced.
It’s the same at a wedding.
We don’t need to be carbon copies of our spouses to be compatible.
This would likely end up being tiring and uninteresting.
Instead, a strong marriage is one where each partner, just like in the workplace, brings something unique and valuable to the relationship and home.
But What About Love?
There’s no greater feeling than joining forces with the person you’ve chosen to spend your life with to face life’s frustrations and challenges, whether it’s buying a house, raising a child, or simply shopping for groceries for the week.
On the other hand, having someone to share life’s joys and sorrows with, even when that person doesn’t see them quite as you do, is equally meaningful.
It’s hard not to feel love for a person who is your ally in life, your rock of support, your protection zone from the outside world, your teacher and mentor, and ultimately your best friend.
Seek true compatibility and love will follow you without question.