The 6 levels of compatibility. How does your relationship measure up?
Updated: May 29
As a relationship coach and professional matchmaker, I get asked questions about compatibility all the time. Compatibility within a relationship is often a misunderstood concept. Compatibility is not the same as chemistry nor is it the same as similarity. Compatibility refers to the ease in which two people communicate and relate to each other. I like to think of compatibility as how two people’s energy combine and naturally flow. Sometimes compatibility comes with shared viewpoints, interests and life style choices and other times compatibility stems from differences that create balance in the relationship.
Compatibility is also often falsely thought of as an all or nothing concept...as in we are either compatible or we are not. The fact is, compatibility in a relationship is not a simple yes or no, but rather something that should be looked at on a spectrum. A couple may rank high in compatibility in some areas and low in others. What really matters is determining what areas of compatibility are most important to you and what areas allow for some wiggle room.
As you read through these 6 levels of compatibility notice where your relationship would fall on each level.
1. Sexual Compatibility: This includes mutual levels of physical attraction towards each other, as well as factors around sex and physical intimacy. Some topics of discussion would include frequency of sex, duration, style, who initiates physical intimacy and levels of experimentation and kink. Understanding your ideal sex life and discussing how it compares with your partner’s ideal sex life should give you both a good idea of your sexual compatibility.
2. Emotional Compatibility: This refers to one’s general personality, demeanor and way of relating to the world. How do you and your partner react to stress and conflict, what are your communication and attachment styles, how about your energy levels and sense of humor? Do you find that you vibe well with your partner in emotional compatibility or is this an area that causes discord and unease?
3. Intellectual Compatibility: This area includes education level and career goals, but also digs deeper into things like political affiliations, open-mindedness, one’s motivation to seek out knowledge and general curiosity about the world. Simply put, are you a thinker?
4. Spiritual Compatibility: Faith, spirituality and religion mean different things to different people and to many people having shared values around faith is very important and to others, it is not an area of concern. How do your spiritual and/or religious values mesh with your partners?
5. Financial Compatibility: Some people proudly call themselves “savers” and feel most at ease when they have a monetary safety net. These people love a good bargain and may feel discomfort spending money. On the other end, we have the outspoken “spenders” who believe you only live once. This can be a tricky area and financial stress is a common conflict in relationships. Some relationships do great with having both a spender and a saver to balance things out and some couples work better by keeping their money separate. However you approach this topic, it is one that definitely deserves some attention.
6. Well Being Compatibility: This area refers to overall general health and physical fitness and includes areas like exercise, eating habits, nutrition and thoughts on preventative care.
About the author:
Michelle Fraley, MA, WPCC is a relationship coach and professional matchmaker and founder and owner of Spark Matchmaking & Relationship Coaching, LLC. Her mission to help people connect and maintain healthy, satisfying relationships using mindfulness and intentional love. She lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and 4 furry children.
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