Many single men and women believe that having common interests with the person they’re dating makes them a great match. Often this means neglecting their most important needs in order to satisfy the desire for an activity buddy. The truth is, people have the wrong idea about what makes two people truly compatible. So, let’s remedy this.
“If he’s not a skier, I can’t date him.”
“She has to be committed to her gym routine because I’m in the gym every day.”
“He must want to visit museums and art galleries with me and love the theater.”
We hear declarations like this in our office all the time. I won’t argue that shared interests don’t make life and relationships a lot more fun. Of course, they do. But they aren’t NECESSARY for a lasting, beautiful relationship.
My husband and I share very few interests or hobbies. I’m not a big sports fan and I couldn’t care less about Sunday football, but he LOVES it. He doesn’t share my love of music, art, and theater. But what we do share (and I know I talk about this a lot) are our core values, and along with this, a desire and willingness to share in each other’s joys and passions. To spend time together, we become willing participants in the other’s hobbies.
So, can shared interests be a great starting point for dating, or a relationship? Yes. But true compatibility is so much deeper than your mutual love of goat yoga and kelp smoothies. I promise. With deep compatibility, comes deeper chemistry, attraction, and romance.
10 Things You Need For Relationship Compatibility (part 1)
1. You want the same things at the same time
We’ve all been in a relationship with someone that we knew wasn’t in the same place that we were. But we loved them, and so we rationalized the relationship… “one day he’ll want marriage”, or “someday she’ll realize she wants babies, too”. This is aspirational dating, and always leaves someone unsatisfied, unhappy or worse. Relationships don’t require both parties to be perfect human beings but the couples that go the distance always involve two people moving in the same direction, toward the same goals, at the same time. Otherwise, you’ll spend too much of your valuable time pulling your partner along and that’s just not fun for anyone.
2. You share the same core values
You need to know what your core values are before you start dating. Your core values permeate every area of your life. Without this self-knowledge, it will be impossible to date effectively, as you won’t be able to recognize them in the people you’re dating. You don’t need to have the same interests, hobbies, activities, in order to have a happy relationship, but you do need to share the same core values. Discover what these are and seek them out in people you meet.
3. You trust one another
There is no such thing as a healthy relationship without mutual trust. But, the key to trusting someone you’re dating begins with trusting yourself first. This means that you have the confidence to trust your intuition, choices and feelings. You already have a good track record of solid decision making so therefore, if an alarm bell goes off in your head about someone, you trust it. However, what if your partner isn’t doing anything wrong and yet you still have trust issues? This could be post-relationship residue and you’ll need to fix this right away before you hurt your chances at a great relationship. Recognize if your partner is exhibiting behavior that’s bringing out your insecurity or if it’s just you who doesn’t trust easily. On the same hand, if you’re with someone who doesn’t trust you and you’ve done nothing to warrant the mistrust, consider getting out of the relationship as this very rarely results in a lasting, healthy relationship.
4. You LIKE one another (not just love)
Ask yourself, ‘would I be friends with this person if we weren’t dating?’ When the initial hot and heavy chemistry begins to evolve into a deeper connection, what remains is the friendship. You have to like someone before you love them. Some things to consider: Do they fit in with my friend group? Do I like myself when I’m with them? Can I see this person at the family dinner table? Do I like the way they live their life and do I admire and respect who they are? Think of “like” as the foundation upon which you build lasting love, chemistry and romance.
5. You celebrate life the same way
The way you celebrate life goes back to your core values! This includes your traditions, your faith, the way you celebrate holidays, vacations, friendships, job promotions, life’s big (and small) moments. This is one of the biggest traits that singles overlook when they first start dating someone new. How do you learn how one celebrates life? Ask! Remember, you don’t ask to qualify but rather to learn. Be inquisitive, not interrogative and you’ll get the answers that will be the most truthful and authentic.