Incompatibility is cited as the most common factor responsible for a relationship distress or breakup. Couples simply claim to be incompatible when it comes to any relationship malfunction. It is very easy to blame it on this very noun, but is the problem actually a result of incompatibility or an outcome of something else, is always difficult to gauge. Compatibility encompasses a wide range of feelings and characteristics, absolutely necessary for a healthy, happy and meaningful relationship. These range from like-mindedness, empathy, friendship, intelligence quotient, rapport, respect etc. Because of the multitude of these characteristics, many a time, some other factors are misinterpreted as incompatibility. Many couples feel they are incompatible, only to learn their past created a pattern that was structured to protect them at that point without being aware that the same pattern was the perpetrator of what the couple now perceived as an incompatible relationship. The issue here is not incompatibility, but past acting on the present. Similarly, there can many such external factors, not always responsible for incompatibility between couples.
Are you one of those who feels your compatibility is under question? Are you worried about your future as a result of the same? Along with its multiple attributes, incompatibility comes in various forms and can be very challenging to a couple equation. Here are but a few pointers which could help you understand your compatibility quotient better:
- Life goals – purpose of life, mission, ambition, e.g. parenting style and geographical preferences
- Life philosophies – core values, beliefs and needs
- Sexual alignment – attraction, frequency, openness and adventure
- Relationship dynamics – expectations vs reality
- Experience vs outlook – experience based future projections
- Intelligence quotient – major differences in intellect baseline
- Emotional quotient – childhood and past experiences, inherent nature to deal with emotions of others as well as oneself.
A couple is never expected to be on the same page with each other from day one, as far as these pointers are concerned. Two individuals enter a relationship with different sets of ideologies, thoughts and principles. Hence the differences are always challenging to be settled. But gradually they need to be worked upon and reduced if not removed completely. Stark differences in these indicators can be a sign of red flagged relationship. Incompatibility at work!!
A relationship goes through a cyclical pattern of association, interaction, attraction, familiarization and adaptation. The last two phases are always dicey as far as maintaining healthy compatibility is concerned. These are also the best times to test the waters of your relationship compatibility. There comes a stage in a relationship, where because of unresolved conflicts, one or both partners feel the need to protect themselves from the other. If the couple’s equation is incompatible, it will take the form of defensiveness, withdrawal, contempt or criticism. Compatible couples will have no problems to weather a rocky relationship phase.
Most of the couples are never prepared to face the turmoil when things go wrong. The sad part is, most of them don’t even realise the need of developing a relationship success model. Theoretical as it may sound, basic skills like trust, understanding, clarity, care, needs, intent et al. enveloped in a model can help deal with almost all kinds of compatibility issues. Prudence lies in being astute about your relationship instead of turning a blind eye to the negatives. ‘What counts in making a happy relationship is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility’. After all, relationship compatibility can be a liability…