Is Compatibility All That Matters?
Most people think searching for the most compatible partner is the key to having a successful relationship. I had this mindset for a long time, which probably contributed a lot to my “player” attitude. I would base what you would call compatibility on a lot of factors like common interests, status, level of maturity etc.
While embracing this frame of mind isn’t bad at all (everyone has to have a baseline, a standard that they refer to when searching for “the one”)… I realize now that REAL, long-term compatibility needs more than a few similarities and great rapport initially. In fact, if we’re going to be technical about it, we can say that real, long-term compatibility might not even exit. At all.
The reason I think so is this… people grow.
We evolve and we develop, whether we’re inside the relationship or not. And the couples who can’t deal with these CHANGES in each other end up thinking they’re “incompatible”, or that they made the wrong choice. How many times have you thought “this isn’t the guy I fell in love with” or “you’re like a stranger to me” when thinking of your partner (during a fight, or while you’re feeling emotional)?
It’s easy to say that your partner might have kept his true self hidden all the while, which will result to your feeling betrayed whenever you see traits or characteristics that he hasn’t shown in the past. But, it could also be that those traits were developed, or may have even resulted from the kind of environment he has been exposed to during the time you were together and elsewhere (in his workplace etc.). Regardless of where these “strange” behavior came from, you have to adjust to whatever changes… and embrace your OWN changes.
So who’s going to compromise more? Should it ALWAYS be you? Nope. It should be a joint effort. As long as you both understand that real compatibility is all about dealing with changes in personality and lifestyle, you should be ok.
Think of it as “tandem swimming” (or swimming with your hands linked together)… you either keep each other afloat or moving forward by working together to be really COMPATIBLE, or you pull each other down with your REFUSAL to be compatible. That is, your refusal to accept that your partner (and you) can “change” at any point in your relationship.