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Skye Thomas
There are many different forms of communication styles. Some people are verbal in their ability to express their love, others are more touch-oriented in how they communicate, and some like to show their love through actions and deeds. Incompatibility in this area will eventually cause you to feel alienated within the partnership. Quite often in couples counseling, it is the communication methods that end up being worked on. It is not too difficult to take the time to really study and understand your partner, get to know how they personally need to receive the love and appreciation message from you, and then make a special effort to deliver the information to them in that manner. So often, we give to others what we personally would like to receive and unless you both have the exact same types of communication needs, that isnt going to work.

Extended Family Many beautiful relationships were destroyed by annoying interfering relatives and close friends. Romeo and Juliet is a classic story of just such an example. As much as they loved each other, their families refused to get along. Compatibility in this area is not about finding someone with a perfect family, but finding someone who shares a similar belief about how much outside friends and family will be allowed to influence your time together. If one of you enjoys being part of a large family with a lot of interaction and the other prefers to have limited contact with extended family, then you could have some serious problems. Neither of you should ever have to turn your backs on your family and close friends because your spouse just doesnt want them around, but also if you really dislike a lot of people coming and going all of the time, you shouldnt have to be forced to live within a lot of commotion and interference either. This is a tough area to navigate, but it can be worked out if you are both really sensitive to the deeper needs of the other.

Lifestyle For the sake of simplification, well keep lifestyle down to just the day to day patterns of life. Some are morning people and some are not. Some are really into sports and outdoors activities and others would rather sit indoors and discuss philosophies of life. Some are very go-go-go action-oriented and others are quite laid back and relaxed. Some like to have lots of friends over and back yard barbeques while others prefer that their home be a quiet place of contemplation an oasis away from the daily grind. If the two of you are not too different, then this is an area of compatibility that can be worked on and common ground can be found.

Romance This is a mixed area. On the one hand you shared some level of romance during the courtship, but on the other hand how you continue the romance after you are married can change drastically. Some folks love cute little nicknames like sweetie pie and sugar dumpling while others hate it and think that its annoyingly sappy. Some like lots of hugs and kisses while others prefer the words I love you or I appreciate all that you do for me instead. This is a lot like the communications area and you can definitely feel unloved and like the spark has gone out of your relationship when you are not compatible in this area. Again, we often give that which we would like to receive instead of learning what the other person needs to receive from us.

Children and Parenting The desire to have children is extremely powerful in some people and completely missing in others. This is not an area of compatibility that can be compromised on. You either have children or you dont. Plenty of couples have broken up over this issue. You cannot go into a marriage assuming that youll change the other persons mind. Its rare that someone successfully changes someone elses mind about having children. Even after agreeing to have children, couples disagree about how many they want to have and how they want to raise them. A lot of couples do not have compatible views about parenting. One may feel that the other is too strict, too controlling, or too demanding while the other feels that their partner is too accommodating, not involved enough, or too relaxed with the rules. However, parenting styles is an area that can be negotiated and worked on.

Leisure Activities All too often, first dates are dinner and a movie, going out dancing, or a romantic stroll on the beach. These are perfectly lovely first dates, but they often center around the courtship rituals instead of what the couple will really do together when they are married. While some love to camp, hike, and go beach combing others prefer wine tasting, coffee houses, and Broadway plays. With an open mind and a loving heart, this is definitely an area where compatibility can be created.

Sense of Humor Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter is one of the best ways to end conflict and tension. A couple that laughs together and finds themselves easily smiling within each others company has a far greater chance of staying together until death do us part. If one finds burping and farting to be extremely funny while the other thinks its tacky and disgusting, then you are going to have problems. Some love a dry intellectual wit, others prefer practical jokes that involving a lot of humiliation and embarrassment. This is a difficult area to change because its a lot like sexuality, it works for you or it doesnt. What one person finds funny isnt necessarily something you can fix or manipulate into matching what another person enjoys. A Good Sense of Humor is one of the top things on everyones list of ideal partners. Defining what that means to each of you is the key.

Work Ethic This is an obvious one. If someone is lazy and someone else is a workaholic, then there will be compatibility issues. It is something that can be worked on together, but if one of you really wants to live the pampered life and the other disagrees, then there isnt a lot you can do about it. It will eat at the relationship causing anger and resentment.

Ability to Compromise You would be amazed at how many people find it sexy that someone always sticks to their guns. On the other hand, others really value the ability to work as a team member and to be able to make decisions from a joint perspective. Its going to depend on leadership skills, whether or not one or both of you believes in dominance and submission, self-esteem, and other dynamics. This is a hard area to change. If you are both really at peace with the idea that one of you will make all of the decisions and will control everything, then you are compatible in this area. However, if one of you wants to have that situation but the other seriously wants to be equals making joint decisions and no one person being more right or more wrong then the other, than you are not going to be very compatible in this aspect. If both of you agree that one should dominate the relationship, however you cannot agree as to who is in charge, then your inability to compromise will be a disaster. If you are not compatible in your ability to compromise, then you really cant fix the other disagreements can you?

Skye Thomas

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