When I ran into my friend Kalia the other day, I was amazed at how relaxed and happy she looked.
Her hair was styled in the same light brown bob as always, and she was casually dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, but she looked like she’d stepped straight off the plane from some tropical island vacation.
As we chatted, I found out why. She’d met someone. They’d been together three months, and everything was going swimmingly.
“When can I meet him?” I asked.
She hesitated. Her mood changed before my eyes. Then she grabbed my arm and said, “James, we have to talk. Do you have time?”
Over the next half hour, I found out what was troubling her. She didn’t know if she had a long-term future with this guy.
Even though she’d never been in a relationship this good, and even though their chemistry and connection were undeniable, they weren’t anything alike. He liked mud truck racing; she liked the theater. He liked country music; she liked pop.
“We just aren’t compatible, James,” she said with a sigh. “I feel like I’m leading him on. I love being with him, but I can’t see a future for us.”
Kalia was surprised to learn that I hear this kind of thing all the time. (I even wrote a mini-report about it…which is free to those of you in my Irresistible Insiders program.)
A LOT of women fall in love with men who aren’t exactly what they expected.
So how important is compatibility?
Even more important, what does it even mean to be compatible with someone? Does it mean you like the same hobbies, same foods, same music?
I’m excited to share the latest research with you, especially as it seems to contradict much of what we’ve been taught. Hopefully it will reassure you as much as it did Kalia!
Compatibility Fact #1.
Happy couples aren’t necessarily similar.
One of the most surprising research findings is that happy couples don’t always have as much in common as you’d think. They often have different interests and spend time apart doing their own thing.
A longitudinal study of long-term married couples found that happy couples recognize that the quality of their relationship comes down to the work they put in, not how much they’re alike.
Unhappy couples, on the other hand, blame incompatibility for their relationship dissatisfaction. They put a high premium on similarity, as if being more alike could fix their troubles.
Dr. Ted Hudson of the University of Texas put these couples to the test. Were the happy couples blessed with compatibility? Were the unhappy couples too dissimilar to be happy? Here’s his conclusion:
“My research shows that there is no difference in the objective compatibility between those couples who are unhappy and those who are happy.”
So it’s not how alike you are that matters. It’s how you treat one another.
Surprising Compatibility Fact #2.
Having similar tastes doesn’t necessarily make you compatible.