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26 Signs of Relationship Compatibility: What It Is, How to Know If You Have It & Ways to Improve It

Whether you are already in a relationship or not, you need to know the signs of relationship compatibility. This will save you a lot of heartaches. 

signs of relationship compatibility

Thinking about the signs of relationship compatibility and if you and your partner are truly meant to be together isn’t an exciting topic to think about. It can get pretty difficult, especially if you conclude that you’re not as compatible as you once thought.

But, at the same time, no one said this relationship would last forever. It could be a short-term relationship until you’re ready to move on.

It’s the truth, we’re all in this for self-interest. However, if you really like this person, start looking at the relationship seriously and figure out if you are actually compatible and not just in extreme heat for each other. 

What does being compatible mean?

Compatibility can come in different forms. It can mean you have things in common. Or it can mean you view the world the same way. Or perhaps, it can mean you have similar goals. [Read: The 12 different types of relationship compatibility you should understand]

Although the word compatible is so basically defined, it is not that cut and dry regarding relationships. A relationship isn’t simply compatible or not. No one is 100% compatible. A couple can be compatible in some respects and not in others. 

You can be compatible with your interests, for example. You and your partner may prefer similar TV shows and movies. This means your tastes and preferences for entertainment align.

You likely won’t fight over what movie to see or even what activities to do. But that is a small portion of your relationship. [Read: Committed relationship rules to making your love last a lifetime]

Being compatible can also mean sharing values and beliefs. It is easier on some levels to be in a relationship with someone that shares your views of the world, politics, and religion. But that doesn’t mean couples that aren’t compatible in these things are doomed. 

Compatibility takes on many forms. As compatible as you are in some respects, you may be light years apart in others. You may share your religious views but differ when it comes to the time you spend together. 

You may need more attention or feel your relationship deserves dedicated focus like a date night while your partner thinks you spend plenty of time together simply because you live together. This can cause strain. [Read: 7 rules for true happy in a relationship]

Although you may not fight about what religion to raise your children or what to watch on TV, your priorities are not always going to align.

Being compatible can also affect your intimacy. One partner may have a high libido while the other doesn’t. Or perhaps you have different preferences in the bedroom. If both partners aren’t on the same page, it can cause friction when it comes to mutual pleasure.

Along with sex, money is another place where a lack of compatibility can become an issue. If you are on a budget and good at saving while your partner is a spender, it can create a lot of frustration.

This could be an area of the relationship that you need to focus on. [Read: How to create sexual chemistry and make it stay]

Other topics like raising kids, relationships with extended family, and stress can be areas where compatibility is important. One parent may be more relaxed while the other is more disciplined. One of you may want to involve the whole family in events while the other is more private.

These are all situations that are made easier when you are compatible. But they are not things that need to cause strife in a relationship.

Even if you’re not compatible, you can work through these disagreements by accepting your differences and finding a middle ground.

Being compatible doesn’t mean you are perfect for each other. It simply means you sync up on certain topics. [Read: Understanding what makes a good relationship good]

Chemistry vs. compatibility

When you first meet someone, there is usually a lot of chemistry, but there are different types. First, you have sexual chemistry. That’s what most people think of when they hear the word “chemistry.” 

You might be very different people, but you could be wildly attracted to one another on a physical level. That’s great, but it only goes so far.

The feeling of ecstasy in that department will eventually wane a bit. When that happens, you need different types of chemistry to hold the relationship together.

You also need things like personality, mental, emotional, and intellectual chemistry too. Just because you want to have sex with this person 24/7 doesn’t mean that you connect on any of those levels.

So, that’s why it’s important to keep in mind these differences. People can be blinded to the red flags of incompatibility when they are physically attracted to someone on a deep level. [Read: How to tell if there’s no chemistry while dating and you should stop trying]

Why is compatibility important in a relationship?

We have all heard the term “opposites attract,” but is that really true? And just because opposite people attract each other, does that mean they are compatible? Definitely not.

The thing about being the opposite of someone is that you and your partner have complementary characteristics. For example, if one is dominant and one is submissive *and they like it that way*, then there is a balance of power. 

If both people were dominant, they would butt heads all the time. And if they were both submissive, then nothing would get accomplished. [Read: Dominant girlfriend – the pros and cons of dating a woman in control and how to handle it]

In that situation, it might work. But another problematic scenario is an extrovert in a relationship with an introvert who is a homebody. The extrovert wants to go out and socialize on a regular basis, and the introvert wants to stay at home.

In this case, they are not compatible. 

So, to answer the question – yes, compatibility is important in a relationship. If you don’t have it, then you don’t understand each other which can lead to problems between the two of you. 

When you don’t understand your partner’s personality, values, morals, or anything else about them, then this could lead to the demise of the relationship. That’s why it’s so important to find someone that you are compatible with. [Read: Social mores – should you ignore them and challenge the status quo?]

Are you compatible? 

From what we’ve already said, you may know if you and your partner are compatible, but if not, it’s okay. 

Being compatible is not a simple thing. There is no, yes, we’re compatible, or no, we’re not. Almost every couple on the planet has moments where they are compatible and moments where they aren’t.

Some couples clash when they have the slightest disagreement because one gets angry while the other recedes. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship and not feel like you’ve lost out]

 Being compatible may mean you exist together without conflict in a certain scenario, but it can also mean you exist together by smoothing conflicts.

You may differ in many ways, but if you can come together for your biggest commonality – your desire to be together – you can find compatibility in most situations. 

The thing about compatibility is that it isn’t about falling together into a perfect rhythm. It is about working together to make your incompatibility work for you. [Read: How to deal with arguments in a relationship]

Arguably, most couples aren’t compatible in most situations, yet they take what they do share and focus on finding solutions to those problems. It isn’t the incompatibility that breaks a relationship, but the effort it takes to work on it that keeps a relationship going. 

So, are you compatible? As important as that seems and how much ease it may bring you, it doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re both willing to put in the effort.

Factors that impact relationship compatibility 

There are a lot of factors that impact how compatible you are with another person. Sadly, most people don’t really think about these things. That’s why they find themselves with an incompatible partner. Here are the signs of relationship compatibility that you should look for.

1. Emotional compatibility

You need to connect emotionally with your partner. In other words, your partner should acknowledge your feelings and thoughts and always be there for you.

And you need to do the same as well. If there is no emotional connection like this, then that is not a good sign. [Read: Emotional attraction – 22 signs you have it and why it’s essential]

2. Physical compatibility

You click sexually, and you have the same needs. For example, both of you are vanilla or both of you are wild and adventurous in bed.

You also need to be in sync about the frequency of sex too. If one person wants to have sex twice a day and the other one wants it twice a month, then that won’t work.

3. Monetary compatibility

You also need to agree on how to handle money. Maybe one of you is a spender and the other is a saver. That is not compatible.

If one of you is good with handling money and making it grow but the other isn’t, this will cause problems. Sometimes even things like income gaps can make people incompatible too.

4. Future goals compatibility 

Both of you also need to understand each other’s perspectives when it comes to career aspirations, travel plans, housing wants, children, and more. If one of you has their future all planned out and the other doesn’t think past the present moment, then you are not a good match at all. [Read: How to experience a long-term relationship that lasts]

5. Life philosophy compatibility

Being on the same page with your outlooks on life and values is important too. Religion/spirituality, interpretation of love and gratitude, and a general sense of what life means need to be shared.

They may not be identical, but they should be at least similar enough to be able to understand each other’s worldviews.

How to tell you have the signs of relationship compatibility 

You’ve been dating your partner for some time. Yes, you’re head over heels, but you haven’t really spent much time thinking about the actual relationship. 

And sure, you’re in love, you’re not really focusing on tiny red flags or thinking about the future. You’re living in the moment. [Read: The 12 qualities in a relationship that keep couples together happily]

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but it’s time to be thinking about these things. Because if you’re that much in love, the odds are you will be together for a decent amount of time. 

But you don’t necessarily have to wait three years to figure out if this person is someone you want to be with in your future.

It’s time to think like an adult about your relationship and if you have these signs of relationship compatibility in your romance. [Read: 16 clear signs you’re not ready for a serious relationship]

1. You have the same flow

Of course, someone may have more energy than the other person, but you both share the same idea of how you want your lifestyle to look. You share the same priorities and dreams for your future.

For example, if you love working 12 hours a day, is your partner someone who’s going to be okay with that type of lifestyle?

2. Bills, bills, bills

One of the reasons why couples break up is money. It’s easy to argue about finances, especially when you have a partner that loves to spend money when you’re a saver.

You and your partner cannot be uncomfortable talking about money or else you’ll have problems. [Read: The truth you need to understand about true love]

If you know who’s a spender and a saver, work out a financial plan to keep everything in line. Be on the same page when it comes to money.

3. You sexually match

Sex isn’t supposed to be important, but let’s get real, sex is important. In fact, it’s really the only thing that divides you from being friends. Aside from sex, intimacy, in general, is something that you need to click on. [Read: All the signs you’re actually experiencing lust and not love]

Now, it doesn’t mean that there’s an immediate click, everyone shows intimacy in different ways. But what makes you compatible is that you’re working on pleasing each other. [Read: Scary signs of sexual incompatibility and how to beat it together]

4. You communicate

Ah, yes, communication, this is one of the biggest signs of relationship compatibility. Listen, a couple that’s going to stay together is a couple that can talk about their emotions and feelings. 

Without proper communication, your relationship won’t last. Clear and open communication is a great sign a couple is going to make it to the end. [Read: 14 steps to a better love with better communication]

5. You accepted each other’s religious and spiritual beliefs

You can be in a successful relationship with someone of a different faith or spiritual belief. But it does take work and acceptance. 

This is something you should talk about and discuss, especially if you’re planning a future with children together. If not, you’re going to have problems.

6. You have the support of your friends and family

This may not have anything to do with your relationship, but it does. [Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]

Let’s be honest, if your friends and family dislike your partner, what are you going to do? Also, do you like how your partner’s family raised your partner? Does your partner like your family and vice versa?

Though it’s not a direct part of your relationship, it can easily become the main issue. If you have the support of both families, your relationship can pull through.

7. You have the same nutritional feelings

Listen, if you’re into protein shakes and gluten-free bread while your partner loves eating KFC meals, you’re going to have a problem. [Read: 12 Benefits of exercise on your mind, body, and libido]

Sure, this sounds minor, but your choices in food and fitness actually show the values that are important to you. If your partner isn’t on the same page, it’s going to be a huge challenge because eventually, you’re going to have a family together.

8. You spend time on yourself

Yes, you’re in a relationship but you’re also your own person. A true relationship means that you’re able to do things on your own, things that make you happy.

Whether it’s shopping, having a bubble bath, or reading a book, your partner gives you the time you need and vice versa. You both understand each other’s needs and respect them. [Read: Alone time – why you need it, how it helps, and how to make the most of it]

9. You can have constructive fights

Another one of the signs of relationship compatibility is what how you handle and work through conflict. If your fights are physically violent or emotionally abusive, then this isn’t going to last long and you know it. To be honest, you should end it now because it’s only going to get worse.

Anyways, how you fight and makeup are huge indicators of relationship compatibility. Can you sit down and talk about it? 

Are you passive-aggressive and then explode? It’s good to fight and if you can work through your issues, you’ll make it. [Read: 21 big signs of emotional abuse you may be overlooking]

10. You accept their quirks

Everyone does something weird that others don’t understand. But see, a successful relationship is about accepting their quirks.

If you’re being passive-aggressive and making fun of them, it’s not going to work. You’re only knocking down their self-esteem. But a healthy relationship is about understanding why they do the things they do and loving them for it. [Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]

11. You can poop and pee in front of each other

Yes, maybe it’s a little too much information for one day, but if you can go to the bathroom in front of your partner, you’re truly comfortable around them, which is one of the signs of relationship compatibility.

The great part, everyone goes to the bathroom, so it’s not something unusual. But this isn’t about peeing in front of your partner, it’s about being comfortable and being yourself. [Read: 13 weird, unique ways to build intimacy with your partner]

12. You both have your own opinions

And they don’t necessarily agree which is great. Most people assume a successful relationship means you both have the same opinions. That’s wrong.

What makes a relationship successful is that you both have your own opinions, yet respect each other’s differences. You may not agree with their political beliefs but you discuss and accept that they don’t need to agree with you.

13. Similar sense of humor

So important this one, and much underrated as one of the signs of relationship compatibility. You could have the most attractive, erudite, intelligent, well-to-do, and driven partner on the planet earth. [Read: The most important things pointing to relationship compatibility]

But if you find yourself at home having about as much fun as an undertaker with an embarrassing rash, then you’ve obviously missed out on a key relationship ingredient: humor.

Interestingly, both sexes cite humor as one of the most attractive qualities in a potential partner. And there’s a good reason for this. The fact is that life isn’t a bed of roses, no matter what your personal situation, and it frequently throws up tough times to test even the steeliest resolve.

At such times, a good sense of humor and a positive outlook is often the most effective tool we have in restoring psychological order and dealing with the relevant issues.

Having a partner who can lift your mood is an invaluable addition to the whole relationship package. [Read: 12 types of humor and how they affect your relationship]

14. Shared interests

Having shared interests isn’t always a good thing. Depending upon how much personal space each individual in the relationship requires *and some do need a lot more than others* a shared interest could be just another situation from which they can’t escape.

However, a shared interest is usually considered a good thing. It allows the first foot into a conversation at the earlier stages of the relationship and provides an area that can always be dipped into, should the conversation ever fail. 

It also gives you a solid basis from which to build a relationship that extends beyond the short-term borders of the typical date, especially if it’s something that requires a certain amount of time and preparation. [Read: Don’t ignore these important relationship red flags]

Most importantly though, it provides a platform from which to keep developing your relationship in later years, and in avoiding the pitfalls of couch potato syndrome.

15. Aspirations

This is a massive sign of relationship compatibility that many couples experience relating to the last sentence of the previous point – the couch potato syndrome. The fact is, when they get into the routine of being together, some couples simply come to a stop. 

If both are happy with this, then actually, there is an element of compatibility there that needs no further comment. [Read: 21 Secret signs of a bad relationship that signal a bad future ahead]

It is more the case, however, that this syndrome comes into being through the inactions of just one of the couples, and this is where the problems start. It is important early on to have some idea of your potential partner’s life aspirations.

Do they want to climb the African peaks, or are they happy climbing the stairs to bed on an evening? Or maybe they want to progress their career at any cost instead of being happy sitting at the back of the office holding up a tower of pointless paperwork?

Do they have their eyes on a large ten-bedroom mansion in an up-and-coming neighborhood, or have they never looked beyond their mother’s basement? [Read: What every couple needs to talk about to have a happy relationship]

Whatever their life goals may be, if their aspirations don’t match your own, then one of you will probably just get left behind.

16. Cultural considerations

This last point covers so much ground. If someone comes from the same social background, is of the same nationality, same religion, etc., they obviously have compatibility heads up on other dissimilar couples. 

On the other hand, there are also many people who would like to move onwards and upwards out of their current constrictive circumstances. [Read: 10 FYIs for dating someone from a different culture]

The important thing to remember in the latter case, then, is to get a clear understanding of the difference, which you can usually do online, and then make sure you’re happy with how they may affect your relationship. 

If you’re not happy with following some particular belief or practice now, even after trying to make an effort to understand it, then you probably never will. It may even become a point of contention and resentment.

If, however, you are happy with such particularities, and your respective ethical approaches are fairly similar, then your compatibility levels should be very strong indeed. So this is a good sign of relationship compatibility. [Read: 10 important FYIs for dating someone from another culture]

17. You see each other through the trying times

It’s true that it’s the trying times that would truly test your compatibility, not the easy ones. The trying times would show the true test of one’s character. The trying times would show you how you would be able to handle conflicts and difficulties.

Would both of you be able to handle the arguments and still be able to support each other, despite the situation that you’re both in? This is the reason why many relationships don’t last: the tough times that serve to test the strength of the relationship end up breaking it.

18. You don’t question the love in your relationship

When you are secure in your partner’s love, you know that your relationship can do no wrong. When you feel each other’s love despite the fights and the disagreements, then you know that you have found the one that you are compatible with. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for happy love]

19. You know each other’s deepest secrets

Honesty is important in a relationship. Sharing secrets can show you how compatible you are with your partner. Trust and honesty just show how invested you both are in your relationship, despite knowing each other’s darker side.

20. You could spend time in silence without it being awkward

When you spend time with each other, you can do “your own thing” without having to put up with any awkward silence. There is uncomfortable silence where you feel like you have to fill the air with some form of small talk. 

And then there is comforting silence where there’s no pressure to start babbling about anything to stave off the awkwardness. If you have the latter, you can say you’re compatible. [Read: 8 ways to avoid the awkward silences during a date]

21. Your relationship still feels fresh

Being together for a long time can pave the way for monotony and boredom to seep in. However, as time goes by, you can either let your relationship stagnate or let it grow into something more meaningful. 

The feeling that you’re still learning, growing, and enjoying your relationship through the years is a sure sign of compatibility. [Read: 10 steps to ignite the lost spark in a relationship]

22. There is still a mutual attraction

You know that you are compatible with each other when you find that, after all the time you have spent together, you can still find your partner attractive. 

While sex isn’t everything in a relationship, it is important that you and your partner are physically intimate with each other. There should still be a spark that keeps the flame alive! [Read: Why is physical attraction important in a relationship?]

23. You can be your true self around your partner

Some relationships fail because people put up a front to ensure that their partner will still like them. Thus, what happens is that their partner becomes compatible with their mask, and not their true selves.

You should be able to show your partner your silliness, your idiosyncrasies, your weirdness, and your weaknesses without fear that they will no longer love you. And the same should be true for your partner.

If that’s true, then you can then be confident that you and your partner are a great match, and that’s one of the best signs of relationship compatibility.

24. You see a future with each other

You know that you are compatible with your partner when you see a future with each other, settling down, getting married, and having children together.

And you know that it is true compatibility when you see beyond the fantasy wedding that you will have. [Read: 12 Key moments in a relationship that predict your future together]

You plan a life together with them, despite knowing that it won’t always be smooth sailing. And you see yourself growing old with them and supporting each other in your old age.

25. You don’t want to change your partner

They say that people don’t change unless they want to. You know you are compatible with your partner when you respect them as an individual. 

Sure, they might have some quirks which you might find to be immature or annoying, at times.

You might find that the way they dress, sleep, or eat is something that you don’t like, but it’s part of the package, and you wouldn’t change them either way. [Read: How to change for your partner without compromising or losing YOU]

26. Your partner makes you want to bring out the best in you

Couples who are really compatible with each other bring out the best in each other, which is truly one of the best signs of relationship compatibility. They have the drive to push you forward and bring out the best in you. And they support you in good times and in bad times. 

They cheer you on as you work your way through law school or insist on being a stay-at-home parent. And they are your greatest fan, and you know you can always count on them to cheer you on and have your back whenever you are down.

Love is never enough to save a relationship. You might have all the love in the world for each other, but it is never enough to get you through difficult times.

Love can be fickle and will ultimately fly out the window once there are conflicts and arguments that remain unresolved. [Read: 9 ways you and your partner bring out each other’s best]

How to improve compatibility in a relationship

If you feel like you are only partially compatible with your partner, you can try to improve upon it. It’s not easy, but if both people put in the effort, it can be done. Here are some things you can try.

1. Talk to your partner

Your partner may or may not know that you think that the two of you are incompatible. So, you need to start there. 

Tell your partner what areas you think that you could be more in sync with, and get them talking about it. You need to see it from their perspective too and not get defensive if you hear something you don’t like. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship – 16 steps to a better love]

2. Agree on things to change

Now that both of you have talked about where you are incompatible, talk about how you can take some steps toward change. What behaviors can you change and what are non-negotiable? What about your partner?

For example, if one of you is a neat freak and the other is less concerned about tidiness, perhaps you can meet in the middle. The neat freak can stop complaining so much and the other one can promise to put in more effort to keep the house clean.

3. Both people need to compromise

Relationships are a two-way street. If both of you are not on the same page and genuinely want to improve your compatibility, then it will never happen. One person can’t do all the work. [Read: Compromise in a relationship – 17 ways to give and not feel like you lost]

So, make sure that both of you promise to compromise. That is the only way you will be able to be more compatible with your partner. You have to meet in the middle to make it happen.

4. Keep checking in with each other

It’s difficult for most people to change their behaviors. That’s because habits and personality characteristics are pretty set in most adults. But it can be done.

Keep checking in with each other to hold one another accountable for the actions and compromise. You might be doing great for a few months, and then maybe one or both of you gets lazy and starts to slip back into your old ways. [Read: 15 Relationship games for couples to feel more connected]

Can incompatible relationships succeed? 

If you have tried to become more compatible with your partner but you haven’t succeeded, you might wonder about the future of your relationship. Can it survive?

Well, any relationship can continue indefinitely as long as no one calls it quits. But does that mean it’s “successful?” No. It just means that they are still together.

So, on one hand, sure, you can stay in a relationship with a partner who is incompatible with you. But will you be truly happy? Probably not. [Read: Should we break up? 35 signs it’s over and past the point of no return]

It all really comes down to how unhappy both of you are with the incompatibility. If it’s not a problem for either of you, then yes, the relationship can survive. But if one or both of you is annoyed by it, then the relationship is probably doomed.

How to find a compatible partner

If you have read this list, and tried to make you and your partner more compatible, but have concluded that you and your partner are not compatible, how do you find a new one who is? You need to know the signs of relationship compatibility.

Well, the bad news is that no one goes around with a sign around their neck telling you everything about them. That would make life so much easier, wouldn’t it? But it doesn’t work like that. [Read: 50 Warm, feel-good questions to ask a girl to get to know her better]

Instead, you have to invest a lot of time and effort in order to find out whether or not you are compatible with another person. But here are some things you can do to try to make the process easier for you.

1. Know who you are and what you want

You can’t find someone who is compatible with you if you don’t even know who you are yourself. As strange as it sounds, a lot of people don’t really know themselves.

So, take some time to do some self-reflection and figure out what your values and morals are. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Write down who you are as a person so you can share that with a potential partner more accurately. [Read: Deep truths and real questions for how to get to know yourself on a much deeper level]

2. Make a list of qualities of your ideal partner

After you know who you are, then you need to figure out who you are looking for. What does your ideal partner look like? Get as specific as you can. 

Try to focus on deep things like political viewpoints, religious/spiritual beliefs, sexual frequency, introvert/extrovert, ambition, and things like that. Sure, you can also add some more superficial things like height, looks, or age, but those are things that aren’t as important and can be compromised on.

3. Make a list of deal-breakers

Now that you know what you are looking for, it is equally important to write down what your deal-breakers are when you are looking for signs of relationship compatibility.

What won’t you tolerate? Is it someone who smokes and/or does drugs? Is it someone who is an introvert? [Read: Relationship deal breakers you need to look out for]

What a deal-breaker is for you might not be for someone else. And that’s okay. Just figure out what you refuse to put up with in a partner so you can watch for those red flags during the dating process.

4. Determine your top priorities

Now that you have your lists of good qualities and deal-breakers, you should rank your top priorities. For example, you might want to find a partner with a great career who makes more than $100,000 a year, but is that more important than being a kind person? 

The reason you should rank and prioritize is that you probably won’t find a person who meets all of your qualifications. That’s why it’s important for you to know what you can and can’t compromise on. [Read: 25 most common dating deal breakers for women every man must avoid]

5. Ask questions during the dating process

The whole point of doing all of these lists is to make yourself very aware of the signs of relationship compatibility when you are going through the dating process.

For example, if you match with someone on a dating app, ask some of these questions. Do it nicely and in a way that they don’t notice, but it will help you weed out the deal-breaker people.

If you do make it to a first or second date, then continue asking them questions in conversation. You don’t have to be a drill sergeant or sound like you’re interviewing them, but you do want to casually weave these kinds of questions into your dates so you can assess your compatibility.

[Read: 10 signs of a good relationship]

Having a clear understanding of the signs of relationship compatibility can help ensure that you make the right choice when it comes to settling down with a potential lifetime partner. Not every box has to be ticked, but do make sure you’re fine with those few missing ticks.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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