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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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. 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. Tracy said:

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

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