On paper and in the stars, my relationship with Chaz was perfectly compatible. I am a Sagittarius, he an Aries. We both loved French literature, eating sushi and reciting lines from Mel Brooks movies. We even looked alike — tall, thin, brunettes. When we started our relationship, our friends practically bought us wedding presents. But our relationship was not compatible and we broke up in less than three months. The truth was, when it came to our relationship, we were not compatible where it counted.
Contrary to what most people think, relationship compatibility is not calculated by whether you both agree that Godfather II is better than The Godfather I or your star signs are perfectly aligned. Relationship compatibility is all about how you make your relationship work together. Here are five areas of relationship compatibility that can help you determine if your relationship is here to last:
Relationship Compatibility Test 1: A pronoun never lies
A recent study done by researchers at UC Berkeley found that couples who used “we” during arguments were more likely to resolve conflict and reported being more satisfied in their relationships. In contrast, couples who used separate pronouns had a harder time ending fights and resolving issues. Listen to how you talk to one another and what you say. Your pronouns will tell you if you are compatible.
Relationship Compatibility Test 2: Personality
It’s easy to assume that you will be most compatible with the person you share the most in common with, but that is not always true. A study done by the University of Iowa in 2015 found that similarity in personality was more important than similarities in values and religion when forming a happy partnership.
Relationship Compatibility Test 3: The big picture
You may not agree on how to get there, but in order to be compatible you need to agree on where you are going. Is your relationship moving toward marriage and kids? Do you both want to pursue your careers and then retire to travel? In order to be truly compatible you have to agree on your goals for your lives and your relationships.
Relationship Compatibility Test 4: Communication
A great indicator of relationship compatibility is communication. How do you talk to one another? Are you open and honest? Or do you hide feelings and emotions from one another? Without communication it’s hard to be compatible.
Relationship Compatibility Test 5: Money matters
It may not seem romantic, but money is the No. 1 reason couples fight, and it is often a huge factor in determining relationship compatibility. So, before you decide that someone is your soul mate size them up financially. Do you disagree with how they spend or save money? Do you both agree on how money should be shared or not shared? It may sound shallow when you are in the throes of love, but money matters when it comes to compatibility.
After Chaz, I realized compatibility was more than just agreeing on movies. And when a guy I would have never considered before (tall, blond, good at sports, basically everything I am not) asked me out, I said yes. As we got to know one another, we learned how compatible we really were and it was a relationship compatibility that counted. Four years after we started dating, we got married.