Various Levels of Compatibility in Relationships

by Craig Mercier
(Lewiston, ME)

Author Craig Mercier

Author Craig Mercier

A friend once told me that "Compatibility on many levels (physical, mental, emotional, lifestyle, goals, etc.) is more likely to create a lasting relationship than compatibility on only a few levels." I want to thank that friend for saying this and influencing this new blog post. I will not say her name as I have not asked to use her name, therefore she will remain anonymous. No truer words could have been said though to begin this new topic that may get turned into a Craigism Theory.

Everyday millions of people join OkCupid, Plenty of Fish,, Zoosk, eHarmony all of which are dating sights. Some of these sights build in user profiles and surveys that allow the users to measure themselves against other users to see what compatibility level they fall on. The one thing all these sights fail to do is judge the credibility of the answers each user gives. How do we know if the person answering the questions did it with honesty? We live in a society today where many people rely on computer generated compatibility tests to determine how compatible we are with people. These computations have taken the guessing game out of dating but in reality have created segregation between interactive bonding and social networking. Now, what did I just say in so few words? In a nutshell we rely too heavily on computer interaction that we fail to create a compatibility factor based on actual human interaction. While I am all for electronic networking and computing I do find this as a major downfall in the electronic world when it comes to developing human relationships.

I myself have been on some of these dating sights and each time I walk away with some friends, enemies and people who I have taken the time to meet who just didn't match up to what they said in their profiles. This makes me ponder the question of "Do we provide honest answers on these dating websites or do we find ourselves answering the questions anticipating how others might answer themselves?" Do we treat dating like a game of chess where we anticipate a person's move before we make a decision? Is this a true test of our ability to develop feelings or emotions in the hope of finding true love? Do you notice how the dating world has more questions then it does answers? Take a moment and look back on all the years you signed up, browsed and prayed someone would contact you on dating website. Compare those who responded to your profile or ad and did those people actually have something in common or was their focus on your photos and your willingness to take a chance? I bet some of you don't even remember what you put on your profile but you remember the ones you did meet or talk to on the phone who either disgusted you, sparked your interest for a short period, or just creeped you out based on the emails or text you two exchanged.

Now that I have beaten the dating websites with a two-by-four let’s talk about what levels of compatibility that exist. The ones that stand out to me are: physical attraction, mental acuity, emotional sensitivity, lifestyles, goals, and if I can think of another I will mention it below.

Most of our parents raise us to look beyond a person's physical appearance and get to know them from the inside. This may seem old fashion but it has a history of working. Can we establish a relationship based solely on the personality of a person knowing we have no physical attraction to them? In most cases this occurs through online relationships we no physical interaction occurs and the person falls in love with who they believe is the person they say they are. I do not know the numbers but how many people change their minds when they meet that person and realize they don't look like the pictures that were exchanged? I would guess that 75% of those people walk away.

Mental acuity and emotional sensitivity compliment one another in a way that creates the personality that defines us. How our minds compute the various aspects of life and our emotional response to it helps others to gauge their perception. When someone says perception is everything they are not kidding because what may be acceptable by some would not be by others. Now is there really such thing as person who is overly sensitive or emotional? Does a guy who claims absolute masculinity who cries during the Princess Diaries have a chance at defending himself in this case? I will let you be the judge of that as I can't speak for woman nor would I attempt it. Some people are good at hiding their emotions and to some that bothers them. All I can tell you is just be yourself and if you are too sensitive or not sensitive enough than you can't help who you are. If you change yourself to be attractive to someone you will only find yourself struggling to maintain a character that you are not use to playing.

Lifestyles and goals also compliment one another, as without goals you can't determine the type of lifestyle that you want to live. Based on a struggling economy and an increase in overall debt some of us don't have the luxury of choosing what lifestyle we want but we make the best of what we have. We all tend to lean towards fame and fortune but after sitting down and watching the news I can do without the fame but I still want the fortune. Those who adapt to societal standards and current situations have a better grasp of recovering from a downfall. Having the ability to recover is what makes the person stronger and willing to go the extra mile. Those who choose not to have goals and live each day one at a time will find themselves one step behind the curve and playing catch up once they realized where they were heading. In most instances you can't backtrack from a situation that has already happened because if we could Marty McFly would be knocking at our door quite regularly.

So you see that we live a life that encompasses us with decisions that affect that we are as person and how others see us. We find ourselves physically attracted to someone much quicker than mentally. We set goals in the hopes of achieving each one but we let our own life's decisions dictate when those goals are met. To some this whole process of determining compatibility on several different levels is just too difficult to think about so they limit themselves to only a few and we all know where that gets them. Take a moment and think about the qualities that you want in a person and list them. Does the next person have to meet all 7 of them or can they have 5 and still be considered date worthy? The one big advice I can give to anyone is this: You are who you are because that is who you chose to be, so why change to make someone like you when you can keep looking to find someone that is like you. Good luck.

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