Most people walk into a marriage and relationships blindly as if the single life were a disability; they arrive only to discover after the initial burst of excitement, that it takes more than emotions to sustain love. Many more individuals enter into relationships with false expectations hoping that their partner is the solution to the enormous amount of personal problems they have had. Only after a while will they discover their object of desire brings along his/her own challenges. These realities present itself with a nagging question that may threaten the future of the relationship – are we compatible?
Compatibility is vital, yet it is one factor that has been responsible for the high rate of a lot of relation-ship wrecks around. But really, the true test of a relationship/marriage questions the ability and the willingness to overcome difficulties and differences and to grow better from every challenge.
Though conflicts are not strange to relationships, it becomes challenging when issues continually arise and compromise is almost impossible to attain. But all that began when love and romance was allowed to be the anchor of the relationship. There is a high probability that the emotions and attraction you feel to your partner will probably drop in half by the seventh month of initiating the relationship. The only thing that will sustain the flow is your companionship.
Getting into a relationship with or marrying your true friend is one of the major factors that can abate the potential problems of compatibility. Friendships that evolve into relationships are long lasting and blissful. The individuals have already established a bond and have come to know each other. This is important because we tend to show our friends our true self faster than we would someone pursuing us for a relationship. (You know, no “forming”). Our friends see our weaknesses and faults, as well as our strengths and virtues and they are willing to love us that way and help us get better. Friends know our background and the reason we may behave a certain way and will stand up for us against outside attacks. Though friends fight as in relationships, but the foundation of love, trust, commitment and understanding are not likely to be threatened. Despite the fact that a relationship cannot survive without passion (chemistry of attraction), the aspects of intimacy and commitment needs to be entrenched in any love life. Unions of this kind will enjoy a life-long love that endures many tests.
Another of those factors is empathy, the ability to see from the other person’s perspective. Even for friends of over 10 years who finally get married, it is practically impossible to like to like everything your mate does, though too many different interests and tastes weaken the bond. The ability to see and understand the other person before reacting is important in the success or failure of any courtship. If a couple do not train themselves in understanding first, before being understood, it will not be long before they find themselves consulting friends and in counselling centres over issues.
When coming into a relationship, we come from different backgrounds, experiences and interests and temperaments. We must understand that these aspects are like sunglasses through which we see others, things and situations. A red-tinted eyeglass sees things tilted towards red coloration, even if the object is white. We do not see things the way they are, we see them from where we are standing through the eyeglasses of our background and experiences. When I was an undergraduate, I once saw a guy beat a lady silly, even to the extent of tearing her clothes in a male hostel, only for me to see the lady the next day with a bruised face taking food to the guy’s room. On asking questions later, she didn’t see anything wrong with it since her dad does the same to her mum (talk about perspective).
Though it demands being selfless, we should consider the other person carefully before reacting to issues and things. Listen to the person’s reason and defence before being angry and refusing to yell at every trace of misunderstanding.
Understand his love language. My cap in hand for Gary Chapman, the man who first popularized this concept of love languages. He proffered that everyone has a language through which they communicate and appreciate love to and from other people. Problem arises when we do not understand this and believe our partner does not value and appreciate us. He enumerated the love languages as words of affirmation, touch, acts of service, gifts and spending quality time.
A lady whose love language is acts of service would rather her husband help her in the kitchen than hear the words ‘I love you’ ten times a day. She will therefore appreciate her co-worker who helps her out more than the fiancée who prefers to say I love you. For a basic relationship to work, each individual should speak in the dialect ( language ) of the other person. This lack of understanding has also led to infidelity. Not being able or feeling uncomfortable with finding comfort in your partner will end in seeking comfort elsewhere. This has been responsible for secretaries becoming second wives and lovers feeling their lovers do not understand them. Discover how he expresses love to you the most; it is likely he will hit the roof if you do the same to him.
The question of compatibility sadly is usually considered well after a relationship has gotten underway. For a relationship that has already started, patiently consider these points and watch your relationship grow. Before you embark on a new relationship be patient and consider your intending partner, ask your friends, understand his family ( yes!), take your time… if you are planning to spend your life with another person, there is no need to rush into it, while making millions of mistakes.