Sigmund Freud seemed to get the concept of love correct when he theorized the notion that it is a touchstone of our humanity. We long for this deep human contact, for love is the only thing that protects us enough to allow for growth and change. Yet, increasingly through time, it is the sole aspect that seems to be fleeting from our lives. From family researchers to noted psychologists, each has observed as countless couples draw together and pull apart. Afterwards, each came up with the same conclusion: We're looking at love all wrong.
Compatibility does not rely on some personal inventory of traits. Compatibility is not something you have, like a specific hair color; It's something you make. Compatibility is a process that you negotiate as you go along. This process is renewed again and again; it's a habitual inclination, an attitude, a willingness to work. Ted Huston, psychology professor at the University of Texas, states, "My research shows that there is no difference in the objective level of compatibility between those couples who are unhappy and those who are happy." Many people use the idea of compatibility as a a baseline or excuse for the real fearful, insecure, confused and combative nature of themselves behind the scenes.
Psychologist, Nancy Slotnick, says, " 'I want him to fit in with my family and do all the things I love to do—and he should be sexy, and he should take me out to cool places.' I think you can have an even more fulfilling relationship if you respect each other's worlds, and learn a little bit from each other. I always think of the phrase, 'You've met your match.' You really do want someone who challenges and spars with you."
At times, especially after years and several incidences where potential damage could have been done, people choose to push the feelings of love so far down, that they "feel" as if they're no longer in existence. The truth is that every great thing comes with challenges and a times, can turn from easy into a constant battle or job. It's easier to give up, succumb to old habits and idealize new possibilities. However, if you see yourself involved in a constant revolving cycle, it may be time to evaluate how you play a part in this simulation. There may be some soul-searching and repairing that needs to be done within yourself before you can handle any type of relationship permanently. Take it upon yourself to come to terms with your bad habits in life and relationships; come to terms with your past, present and potential future.
The truth behind compatibility is that there is no such thing as a compatible couple; anyone can be compatible. Every couple will have the same disagreements, nagging tendencies and expectations. Every relationship will eventually move past the honeymoon and into reality; it's important to make sure that you're ready to handle the reality by managing your differences and focusing on the bond that brought you together in the first place.
"But, really, you create compatibility. And then, eventually, maybe in 25 years, you will become soul mates." - Diane Sollee, founder of the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education.