Lack of Compatibility
In Relationships

A Reason Or An Excuse?

Compatibility is a grossly overrated factor in the success or failure of any relationship. 

It may contribute to getting along smoothly, but it doesn't necessarily foster the kinds of accommodations, learning, and personal growth that can come from an active, alive, interplay between two people who have been raised in different families and perhaps different cultures who are forging their owns ways of being together.

In the worst case, claiming that the two of you are simply not made to be together provides a seemingly logical explanation for your unwillingness or inability to truly be together in a loving, respectful way.

What can you do about your ideas of compatibility in relationships?

If this is one of your "go-to" excuses for not being the partner, lover, friend that you would like to be, go over  logic involved in taking the position that how much we have in common makes relationships succeed or fail. 

Excuses may make it easier to cope with difficult challenges with the other person, but they also make it less likely that you will be able to find key underlying interests and to solve your solve our real problems.

You might find it helpful to:

  • Notice couples you know who aren't alike at all, but have positive, loving relationships. How do they account for differences and disagreements without rancor?

  • Notice couples who appear to have a great deal in common, but either have split up or are having a rough time together.

  • Analyze your thinking on the subject using the cognitive techniques described here.
    Which ones seem to apply most closely to your possible beliefs about compatibility?

  • Remember how you felt about your differences when you were courting and first together.  What's changed?

  • Decide that when you are feeling basically "out of sync" with your partner in the future that you will remind yourself that this is a sign that you are not feeling close, not that your relationship is not meant to be.

  • Put your attention on doing and saying things that have brought the two of you together before you consider changing anything or making any requests, suggestions, or demands.

Remind yourself that the notion of compatibility is most often a stumbling block when it comes to moving in a positive direction and that the real issue is to identify shared underlying interests and to put your focus on moving toward those.  You can read a short article on this topic by clicking HERE.

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