What Makes A Couple Compatible? Here’s What Experts Have To Say
Just because you and your bae have the same taste in music and really fun sex, doesn't necessarily mean you're compatible. But what are some signs that you are a good romantic fit? Whether you're still in the "talking" stage or have officially defined the relationship, you might be curious about what makes a couple compatible. Well, there is no one answer. The key is finding a partner whose personality and essence match up with yours. And, when there are areas where you and your partner's personalities and habits diverge — say, you're a homebody but your partner is an avid club-goer, or the two of you have different dietary restrictions due to your different religions — hopefully you're both willing to make a few compromises.
Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of podcast The Kurre and Klapow Show, defines romantic compatibility as "the degree to which each person’s view of love, intimacy, and attraction (and the expression of these experiences) work together for mutual benefit." Likewise, Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, says romantic compatibility happens when two people are "equally attracted to each other." But more than feeling butterflies and being emotionally intimate, romantic compatibility happens when you're both "on the same page about where you want the relationship to go," Trombetti explains.
Here are some more things to keep in mind if you're trying to make sure you and your boo are romantically compatible.
Factors Of Compatibility
Having the same sexual desires and romantic expectations can be super important. This means that your sex drives are aligned and if not, you're both devoted to finding solutions to address that. If one partner is interested in kink, hopefully the other is, too (or at least willing to try).
When it comes to romance, it's all about the little things, like doing activities you two can enjoy together. This gets to the heart of romantic compatibility the way Jessmina "Minaa B." Archbold, psychotherapist, social worker, and author of Rivers Are Coming: Essays and Poems on Healing, defines it. For Archbold, romantic compatibility is when two partners respect each other and have an interest in learning more about each other. "You don’t necessarily have to share the same interests," Archbold tells Elite Daily. "But it means caring enough to learn about each other in order to strengthen the relationship bond, while also learning about each other’s needs."
Romantic compatibility also goes hand-in-hand with bigger decisions, like whether you're trying to be boo'd up indefinitely or just want someone to keep you warm during cuffing season. "You both are in agreement on what you are looking for out of your relationship," says Trombetti. Openness and transparency go a long way here.
There are several factors of emotional compatibility, and they're not black and white. For example, you might be compatible if you have similar religious, political and social views. "How you see the world drives how you act in the world. The more compatible your views, the more likely you are to be compatible," Klapow says. Trombetti echoes this, saying, "People say, 'opposites attract,' but really they don't. They might be different on the outside, but they share the same set of values."
That's not to say that opposites can't attract. If you're, say, really interested in theater and the arts, and your partner is really interested in sports and fitness, that doesn't mean that you can't be in a healthy, happy relationship. Opposites on the outside can attract, yes, but similarities in values and morals on the inside are essential to finding a good match.
If you and your partner share similar mannerisms or lifestyles, that's another sign of compatibility. This includes things like being a neat freak versus being someone who lives in curated chaos. Does bae like to dress up no matter where they're going, or do they keep their 'fits casual? Do you two care about appearances the same amount? As Klapow explains, "The more you are aligned in grooming and social behaviors, the greater the chance of compatibility."
What are our routines like? If they're similar, that's another way in which you might be compatible. "What our partner prefers in their daily routine tells us much about how they are going to be most days," Klapow says. This includes things like whether you and bae are night owls or morning birds. How does your SO feel about unwinding with TV, versus social media scrolling, versus reading a book? What time do they like to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner? If these aspects of your lives match up, they're all signs of compatibility.
And last but not least, what do your life goals look like? Do you and bae have the same academic and career ambitions? Plans for your future? And if they're vastly different, is your partner the type of person to support you, anyway? The more compatibility you have in this area, Klapow says, the easier the long run will be.
What Romantic Compatibility Feels Like
Sure, if you wanted, you could make a spreadsheet with all these categories and assess them one-by-one to measure you and your partner's compatibility. It could give you peace of mind, or it could stress you TF out. There's a good chance you already know whether you're compatible, because sometimes you can just feel it.
"When we are compatible with our partner, we feel free to be ourselves. And yet at the same time," Klapow says. "We feel that our authentic feelings and actions are pleasing and acceptable to our partner. While a compatible relationship is not entirely effortless, it does feel 'easy.'"
Trombetti is on the same exact page. "Being compatible with your partner should feel very easy. Some couples will say things like, 'It's hard work!' and it shouldn't be this difficult. That's when you aren't compatible," Trombetti reveals. "When you are compatible together, there is such an ease that you don't need to think about it or second-guess anything. It all just happens very naturally."
What To Do If You Suspect You & Bae Are Incompatible
If there are some areas of incompatibility in your relationship, it doesn't mean your relationship is doomed. If you two are equally committed to each other and improving your bond, theres a good chance you can work things out. However, Archbold says, you need to ask yourself how much you're willing to put up with if your relationship isn't working out.
"If you notice upfront that a person is not compatible with you, then you have to ask yourself why you are sticking around. What’s keeping you there? What’s stopping you from ending things?" Archbold says. She also brings up the concept of finding your other half, and how it can put undue pressure on relationships. "I encourage folks to be willing to do the work that they need to on themselves, so that they don’t feel like the person they meet has to 'complete' them — which is a common issue when it comes to dating," Archbold explains. "When we seek our 'other half' in order to feel complete, it places expectations on a person to fulfill certain issues that they are not responsible for."
If you have a gut feeling that the person you're dating isn't a good fit for you, trust it, Archbold says. If you're still on the fence, Trombetti advises taking three months maximum to figure out whether you and your bae are compatible. "You have to give it a chance and not give up too soon. But at the same time, don't spend too much time trying to mold someone into something they aren't and never will be. In other words, don't try to change anyone."