Are You Right for Each Other? The One True Test of Relationship Compatibility

relationship compatibility

When I was in high school, there was a girl named Stephanie who had it all. She was tall with a pretty face and a nice figure.

Her dad was one of the richest guys in town and gave her the choice of any brand-new car she wanted for her sixteenth birthday. Nearly all the popular guys in our school stood in line for their turn to date her.

I did not stand in line.

If you asked me if she was an attractive person, I would have said “yes” without a second thought. However, I was not attracted to the idea of myself in her presence. She was taller than me by a good inch. She wore clothes that made mine look shabby.

And the worst thing was her silly way of interacting with people. I was very serious during my high school years, and I took pride in the accomplishments I was already pursuing at that early age.

Stephanie liked to engage people with as much silly banter as she could. It’s not that I couldn’t see the value of that playful style of interaction; it’s just that it didn’t play to my strong suit.

I could imagine myself feeling awkward and unlikable compared to her when trying to interact with her friends. In contrast, my friends looked up to me for my tendency to deeply consider questions before responding. I had my silly side too, but I wouldn’t want to be that version of myself twenty-four-seven.

Here’s what I’m getting at…

When I am attracted to you, it means I want more of you in my life. Even beyond that though, attraction means I enjoy being me when I am in your presence.

I don’t know if you have noticed this, but you change depending on who you are spending time with.

Some people draw out one facet of your personality while other people pull for another facet of your personality. Like a diamond with many facets carved into the stone, the light you reflect back at others changes depending on your surroundings.

“Some people are so much sunshine per square inch.” That’s a quote from Walt Whitman. His statement captures so much truth. I personally like myself better when I am in the company of people who have that special “sunshine” quality.

The sunshine quality is very different than the silly quality. You can be reserved in your demeanor yet beaming with sunshine as someone approaches you to strike up a conversation.

It’s not that I like a sunny kind of person more than I like a sad person. I love them both; but I like myself better when I spend time with a woman who has that special sort of “sunshine” quality.

“Live life as a monument to your soul.”

Ayn Rand

relationship compatibilityHere’s the number-one reason why I think you should consider how a potential partner brings out various facets of your own personality. My reasoning is reflected in the quote above. I want my soul to shine as I live my life. Therefore, I want to choose a partner who will help my soul to genuinely shine.

Does this make sense to you? Do you only look at the qualities and characteristics of a potential partner, or do you consider how they magnify or dull the radiance of your own best qualities?

Always on your side,


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106 thoughts on “Are You Right for Each Other? The One True Test of Relationship Compatibility

  1. Pam said:

    I’m fairly new to all of this. I was a little worried that this was a scam and a waste of money that I can’t afford, but now I have hope that it will be valuable. I look forward to more information like this. I’ve not had much success in relationships and thought, well, maybe this will help me to understand what is wrong with me, or the way I do things.
    Thanks for the sharing and the hope,

  2. Tess said:

    Hi James, I recently discovered your work and I am currently in the middle of reading His Secret Obsession. Your insights and wisdom are just wonderful! The great questions you ask in your book inspire me to go deeper into myself, and what you explore helps me understand men (and myself) better, as well as human nature and how to develop healthy relationships where both partners can grow.

    I also enjoy reading your articles and newsletters very much, and I especially like the sunshine test to see if there’s relationship compatibility. I am intrigued! Is this similar to two people sharing a special chemistry or being on the same wavelength? And if I meet someone I feel a strong attraction and chemistry with and that he brings out the best in me, how do I know if it’s mutual and if I’m bringing out the best in him? I would also love to know some ways how two people can help each other’s soul shine in a relationship and how to keep that sunshine ever present (despite grey or rainy days!), or do you think that’s something that comes naturally (like chemistry)?

    Thank you so much for your great work and words of wisdom, James!

    • James Bauer said:

      Wow, Tess, those are great questions. I appreciate readers like you who think deeply on subjects like this.

      You know, I would say this is different than chemistry. Because chemistry has more to do with physical attraction and sexual compatibility for procreation. This tendency for some people to bring out the best in you is even a little different than being on the same wavelength because sometimes a person brings out the best in you because of the way they are different rather than because of the ways they think the same.

      Regarding your question about how to know whether you’re bringing out the best in him, I think it’s really difficult to tell. But by stating your intention to do so, you become more likely to find ways to accomplish that beautiful sort of magic. It also makes it more likely that you will continue to value that special quality as a couple and build it into the fabric of your relationship foundation.

      • Tess said:

        Many thanks for your much-appreciated insights and advice, James! I very much like your suggestion to state my intention to bring out the best in him and finding ways to accomplish that special magical quality as a couple. And that’s very interesting the differences between chemistry, being on the same wavelength, and someone bringing out the best in another person (the “sunshine” factor). I wonder if it’s possible to experience all three of those elements in a relationship?? Seems like that would be a kind of soulmate connection!

  3. Diane Myers Pederson said:

    Hi James. I have been reading your book along with others about men and what they want. Now, at 78 years of age, I finally have found out what I did wrong repeatedly;why the relationships disappeared. At this age, my chances of finding another man are slim to none. I still have dark hair, am a bit overweight but my mind is still sharp and I still have desires that need to be met. Solo pleasuring is what I do now but I miss the arms and cuddling, etc. It is critical that people on both sides speak up. I never did; my bad. By telling or showing what I wanted I could have been much happier and by exposing my own embarrassment and discomfort, I might have encouraged him to speak up and tell me or show me. Sex may need to be withheld in the early parts of a relationship, but it is the glue that holds a good relationship together. And there are so many options if there can be no penis in vagina intercourse. And even more important, it is a team sport. Both partners need to participate. Easily said I know, but it is true. So thanks for letting me share and learn what seemed to be instinctive for other women..

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Diane. I’m glad to have you as a valued member of our learning community. Thanks for your encouraging words.


  4. Eva Bratt said:

    Thank you, dear James, for your emails every day! I have been looked for on the internet by a man I have never met but we have been chatting for over two months now … talking about everything and we feel so much for each other and for the first time in my 70-years Im treated like a queen. I do use many of your tips so I feel now that I am growing up in the relationship and as he lives on the other side of the globe it may take a time before we will be able to meet.
    So I send to you my gratitude for your emails that have given me so much advice!
    With a loving heart, Eva

  5. clo said:

    Hi James, I love reading your articles….I have become to realise the mistakes I’ve been making all my life, and always ending up being a doormat! Married to a man who put me down for 30 years, I am divorcing at last. The fact that I was diagnosed with parkinsons made me realise that I couldn’t go on living in the same house, sharing nothing, feeling anxious, depressed but not having the guts to do anything about it. I don’t know what the futur holds for me, as no one knows how this illness affects each person. At the moment, the visible symptoms are very discrete, but alot of pain, stiffness, lack of coordination, dexterity and my main problem, dystonia in my right leg and foot…thats just to say that I thought I would never meet someone, at 53 with parkinsons…who would want me? But I did, and to start off with it was amazing and he treated me like a princess. I realise now though that I made the mistake (again)of wanting to be perfect for him, be as he wanted me to be, and so on. He started to become distant, and the more distant he was, the more groveling I bacame. (Pathetic, I know!) What you re saying about attraction is so true….He once said that when I was sad, it made him nervous and he didn’t like it, but he was the one making me sad in the first place and he couldn’t understand this, for some reason, and certainly would do nothing to reassure me. He started backing off even more, to the point where he was always online with someone, or more than one women. I always assumed that it was my fault (after 30 years of someone telling you that, you believe it), so always saying sorry for something I hadn’t done, and he became more , what’s the word (sorry, i’ve been in France for 30 years and my English is going!), well unpleasant. Gone was the gentleman, the affection, tenderness, ..he just seemed to despise me. Well, maybe because I despised myself.! It’s over now, and I really don’t know why I put up with it, why I wanted someone who could treat me like that !! Because I’d never experienced being with somone who was so loving (in the beginning) and I’d become desperate to have that feeling back. And I suppose thinking that I’d never find someone else….Better off alone than unhappy with someone, I understand that now.
    But I admitted that I was putting too much pressure on him, and that you cant rely on someone else for your happiness, but why is it that they, not all men but certainly the ones I attract, never question their actions, never try to make things better, and always blame me?
    Sorry I go on too much…Thanks for sharing your views with us, It makes me feel that I’m not alone.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Clo. Everyone’s situation is unique, of course, but as I read your message here, I find myself wondering if the answer to your question is actually the very thing you pointed out. An excessive need to conform and please the other person creates a relationship dynamic that is unhealthy for both of you.

      I suggest you read the book, Not Nice by psychologist, Aziz Gazipura. It explains why relationships actually get healthier when those of us who are overly nice become a bit more assertive, honest about things we don’t like, and even a bit more demanding.

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Hi Clo, also, question whether this man is a narcissist. I have been reading a lot about this personality defect lately, and it seems to me he fits the bill here – “love-bombing” you in the beginning, humiliating you and lack of empathy and understanding. There seems to be a lot of them about these days (female as well as male) from talking to friends and reading articles. They tend to choose partners they know they can control and keep down and humiliate. That is not your fault, just that he may have targetted you for his own reasons initially. You are probably too nice. However, you are slowly learning, as I’m sure most of us who read James’ aticles are doing, and knowledge is now power for you. However, don’t let it change your loving, kind, gentle personality – just be more careful in the future!! And don’t put yourself down for wanting a loving relationship – we all do, I’m sure. Finding fulfilling hobbies and helping other people can go a long way to filling the void. Best of luck for the future!! With love and hugs. Lorna

      • Pam said:

        I’m replying for the first time and Clo relationship with that man is all too familiar to me. I see where I do that and people often accuse me of being “too nice.” I really want to get that book that James recommended. I know I’m happier when I have a balanced relationship. It’s also interesting what Lorna said. Some men who are narcissists look for women who are nice and vulnerable. I still want to be nice, but not a doormat.

  6. Susie said:

    James, I could relate to this as the guy I really like at work seems to sparkle in my company sometimes and I feel like I shine in his. I know I am still being myself as I feel like me but it’s me at my best; at my most alive. That’s why I want him to be in my life more. I think it would be so good for both of us. Thank you for writing about what attraction means to you. It’s a difficult thing to put into words sometimes but what you said struck such a chord. Susie

  7. Mamye Hacker said:

    I became a widow June 21, 2017, after 42+ years of marriage. Any love I had for him died in 2004, when he told me my body was repulsive. We had not been intimate for years. Yes, I was morbidly obease, over 300 pounds. I lost my brother November 2017.
    I had gastric bypass in 2012, I am down to 228, from a high of 365#. Not for him, but me.
    I moved from Texas to North Carolina in April of this year, my sister in law and I will live together to share expenses.
    I have just begun reading your information. At first I thought I had fallen for a big snow balling scam, “teasers” to get me to spend more money.
    How wrong I was. I am learning something about me with every word I read.
    I am beginning to realize I was very much a part of the problem. I take ownership in my dysfunctional behaviors. I once heard “…you are treated the way you teach others to treat you”.
    I joined a dating site and have been scammed 4 times. The first man broke my heart, but he did “awaken” passion and desire I never thought I would feel again.
    James, thank you for writing every word, for helping this 66 year young woman learn real love is out there….if I put in the work to learn how to become a real woman and embrace your teachings.

    • James Bauer said:


      Thank you for sharing a bit of your story with us. And thanks too for your encouraging words. It means a lot to me. I’m so glad to hear that you are still learning and growing and opening up to the beauty life still holds for you. May you find a man worthy of your caring heart.

      • Mamye Hacker said:

        I appreciate your response, James. I actually have found a gentleman online. I want to share something in hopes it will help others using online sites.
        After being played 4 times, never having a response from handsome, attractive men, I decided to be more selective. I started reading profiles first to see if all areas were addressed, looked for more than head shots, and only if within 50 miles of my location. I wanted to see pictures that showed him in day to day life, and really looked at his face….did his smile go to his eyes, was he groomed. I then sent a message thanking him for viewing my profile, and added a genuine compliment on a picture. I let him know I was interested in chatting. Then I waited, and that is how I found my gentleman.
        He is kind, considerate, treats me like a lady and tells me I am beautiful. He is no “Ken”, and I am no “Barbie”. He is handsome in my eyes, and I am proud to be by his side.
        I am still reading your information, beginning to use what I am learning from you. I am not placing any expectations, taking it a day at a time, but I have hope this will be “the” man.
        I have not lowered my standards, just adjusted how I looked for a man to meet my criteria.
        I will continue to seek guidance from your information, to continue to grow in this new chapter of my life.

  8. LG Gaabinelwe said:

    James, You change thoughts and make some of us take stock of our selves, how to value ourselves. the quote: LIVE LIFE AS A MONUMENT TO YOUR SOUL. said it all. A diamond should always shine even if its not polished that is how it is discovered. You are such a genius. thank you very much.

  9. klmk said:

    Thanks James,

    I met my husband of 30+ yrs on the first day of college fall semester, first class. I was head over heels for all the right reasons personally, but now I realize that while he enjoyed and needed being with and in my sunshine, he wanted to be someone entirely different. I suppose he wasn’t fully fulfilled and feeling good about himself as you describe. And so my giver personality has allowed too many roller coaster events, tolerating for others through our entire marriage and raising 2 daughters, his cyclical pull always and needs to be absent and thirst for losing himself in the aloof, look but don’t touch, rolling stone persona. Thank you for your encouragement as I try to part friends and live the last 20 – 25 years of my life surrounded by the love and attention I truly deserve.

    • James Bauer said:

      May the coming years be the best and most beautiful you have ever experienced. Glad to have you as a reader.

  10. L.A said:

    Wonderful points just because you love someone doesn’t mean you belong with them

    Thank you

    • B said:

      I am struggling with accepting that as a truism some 50 years later.:We met in 1967. He can still transform my evening into a magical experience soon after the vulnerability the
      invisible is erected.

  11. EVE said:

    Thank you James> I have had supressed feelings of need, for the past 20 yrs., due to the only one caring for 3 ill people over the years, and now that I am free of that responsibility, I am a feeling person and they are rising to the top.
    I am able to feel again and your insight has helped me greatly.Eve

  12. Sheila said:

    I appreciate all of your advice. I hurt my friend deeply when I told him to forget about me. I apologized over and over. He totally ignores me now..even applying your methods. I truly think he’s gone for good. I am hurting…

    • EVE said:

      Let it be, and in time, if it was meant to be, he will see and come back to you, hopefully, or otherwise it was not meant to be.

      • Sheila said:

        Thank you Eve. I have let it go.

  13. Carolyn Morrison said:

    I am grateful that you have shared what you’ve learned and experienced. Your words and writings were the beginning of my quest to uncover the parts of my heart and soul that have been missing in action, it seems, throughout my life. I have been on a 2 month journey of reading, writing, practicing, and questioning my besties. I always return to your emails for your next words of wisdom, my next improvement quest, and links to the writings of others in your field of expertise.
    One of the best things I’ve heard from my male and my female best friends is that they have noted changes, good ones. I didn’t even have to ask. I was told I’ve come a long way in a short span of time, how my voice has actually changed, how well I handle controversial conversation, as well as how I seem to have a well-grounded understanding about myself and the possible meaning of declarations and responses of others.
    I ‘see’ more people I want to talk with and I DO talk with more people than I had in the past.
    I love going out socially, where in the past, I dreaded it. I go places alone and with confidence and the knowing that I will bring a good quality of light-hearted conversation and good “vibes” along with me.
    “Be Irresistable” are the favorites I look for in my emails. The subject sometime ‘startles’ me into an “I knew that” why don’t I do that? state of consciousness.
    This one is special and very true. I will pay much better attention to the sunshine that another brings out in me from here on in.
    Thank you so very much, James Bauer!

    • James Bauer said:

      I appreciate your encouraging words, Carolyn. You just made my day!

  14. Marie-Anne Lutchmaya said:

    Dear James, I will from now on, have your thoughts engraved in golden letters on my heart. A person falls in love with another only because he or she feels wonderfully uplifted in this person’s presence. It has changed my mindset forever. Thank you.

    • James Bauer said:

      It’s always a pleasure to encounter someone who takes these words to heart. 🙂

  15. Donna said:

    Dear James, I loved the parts that said when I am attracted to you it means I want more of you in my life and I enjoy being me when I am in your presence.” That spoke to me. I think that is how you know if someone is right. Thank you for putting into words what I feel. I just want to say to you James that your blessing at the end of your tip section is beautiful. I call it a blessing because it makes me feel that you care about my happiness and love. Thank you.

  16. Tracy said:

    That last paragraph hits me hard as I contemplate my current relationship. Thank you for this.

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