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What Does Being Compatible Mean in a Relationship? Are You?

Compatibility gets thrown around a lot when when you talk about romantic relationships. Are you compatible? What does being compatible mean?

What Does Being Compatible Mean in a Relationship

You hear the word “compatible” thrown around a lot when discussing relationships. But, what does being compatible really mean?

“Are you compatible?” is a common quiz topic in women’s magazines because it shows a lot about a relationship. A common misconception is that when a couple is compatible, they are more likely to work out. 

But, this term can instigate fear. If you aren’t compatible, are you doomed? No. Compatibility may help you feel secure and stable in a relationship, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in the work. 

Without compatibility, a couple can still work out. They just need to focus on other things to work through their differences. 

[Read: The 12 different types of relationship compatibility you should understand]

So, what does it mean to be compatible? In the simplest words, the ability to exist together without conflict.

Even the happiest relationship will not be this simple. Conflict is present in all relationships. But, compatibility between a couple does make things easier. 

[Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]

What does being compatible mean?

Compatibility can come in different forms. It can mean you have things in common. Or it can mean you view the world the same way. Or perhaps, it can mean you have similar goals. 

Although the word compatible is so basically defined, it is not that cut and dry in regard to relationships. A relationship isn’t simply compatible or not. No one is 100% compatible. A couple can be compatible in some respects and not others. 

You can be compatible with your interests, for example. You and your partner may prefer similar TV shows and movies. This means your tastes and preferences for entertainment align. You likely won’t fight over what movie to see or even what activities to do. But that is a small portion of your relationship. 

[Read: Committed relationship rules to making your love last a lifetime]

Being compatible can also mean sharing values and beliefs. It is easier on some levels to be in a relationship with someone that shares your views of the world, politics, and religion. But that doesn’t mean couples that aren’t compatible in these things are doomed. 

Compatibility takes on many forms. As compatible as you are in some aspects, you may be light years apart in others. You may share your religious views but differ when it comes to the time you spend together. 

You may need more attention or feel your relationship deserves dedicated focus like a date night while your partner thinks your spend plenty of time together simply because you live together. This can cause strain. 

Although you may not fight about what religion to raise your children or what to watch on TV, your priorities are not always going to align.

Being compatible can also affect your intimacy. One partner may have a high libido while the other doesn’t. Or perhaps you have different preferences in the bedroom. If both partners aren’t on the same page it can cause friction when it comes to mutual pleasure.

[Read: Scary signs of sexual incompatibility and how to beat it together]

Along with sex, money is another place where a lack of compatibility can become an issue. If you are on a budget and good at saving while your partner is a spender, it can create a lot of frustration. This could be an area of the relationship that you need to focus on.

Other topics like raising kids, relationships with extended family, and stress can be areas where compatibility is important. One parent may be more relaxed while the other is more disciplined. One of you may want to involve the whole family in events while the other is more private.

These are all situations that are made easier when you are compatible. But they are not things that need to cause strife in a relationship. Even if you’re not compatible, you can work through these disagreements by accepting your differences and finding a middle ground.

Being compatible doesn’t mean you are perfect for each other. It simply means you sync up on certain topics. 

[Read: Understanding what makes a good relationship good]

Are you compatible? 

From what I’ve already said, you may know if you and your partner are compatible, but if not, it’s okay. I’m here to explain.

Being compatible is not a simple thing. There is no, yes, we’re compatible or no, we’re not. Almost every couple on the planet has moments where they are compatible and moments where they aren’t.

If you asked me if my boyfriend and I are compatible I’d say, mostly, yes. 

We click on basic things. We share the same comforts. And we both like a simple life. We don’t feel the need to text all day long and don’t like long phone conversations. In our everyday lives, we just sync.

We would do well living together because we are both relatively calm about small annoyances like dishes and laundry. After more than a year together, we’ve only had one brief argument that we moved on from nicely.

But, we aren’t always compatible. We disagree on government policies. We disagree on how far we are willing to live from our families. 

I’m also much more open when it comes to communication. I want to talk about things like the future regularly while he would rather wait until the time comes. 

These things could cause discomfort for some couples. But, even though we aren’t compatible on every level, because we know that we have these differences we can adjust our methods to make it easier.

[Read: How to compromise in a relationship and not feel like you’ve lost out]

We work to meet in the middle on the things we don’t align on. I don’t push him to talk about the future when I’m antsy because I know plans don’t always work the way you want. Instead, I let him know when there is an important topic I’d like to talk about so he isn’t thrown in the deep end.  

We are lucky that we are compatible when it comes to our arguing style. We are both honest and calm. Neither of us gets angry or out of control, so arguments sort themselves out with relative ease. 

This isn’t always the case. Some couples clash when they have the slightest disagreement because one gets angry while the other recedes.

Being compatible may mean you exist together without conflict in a certain scenario, but it can also mean you exist together by smoothing conflicts.

[Read: How to deal with arguments in a relationship]

You may differ in many ways, but if you can come together for your biggest commonality – your desire to be together – you can find compatibility in most situations. 

The thing about compatibility is that it isn’t about falling together into a perfect rhythm. It is about working together to make your incompatibility work for you. 

Arguably, most couples aren’t compatible in most situations, yet they take what they do share and focus on finding solutions to those problems. It isn’t the incompatibility that breaks a relationship, but the effort it takes to work on it that keeps a relationship going. 

So, are you compatible? As important as that seems and how much ease it may bring you, it doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re both willing to put in the effort.

[Read: The 12 qualities in a relationship that keep couples together happily]

What does being compatible mean? Simply, you can exist together and find peace in all situations. Don’t let the word, compatibility, scare you away from a great partner because of a few differences that don’t come in the way of your love anyways.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...