Whether you’ve been with your love for a few weeks or a few decades, you may wonder if you and your beloved are truly compatible. When the sun is in Libra (September 24 – October 23), it’s a good time to weigh the pros and cons of romantic relationships – as Libra is ruled by loving Venus.
The question of compatibility isn’t as simple as it seems. One reason so many personal ads proclaim “seeks same” is that many people assume they will be most compatible with a partner who is practically a twin. Of course, partners need to have basic values in common, but you don’t have to watch all the same movies or drink the same brand of soda to be compatible.
Carlie Anders, a licensed clinical social worker who counsels couples in Oakland, California, says compatibility is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. “You may have two people who, on paper, have almost nothing in common – and yet they have all kinds of fun together, or they feel really understood by each other. I think it’s a shame when couples get caught up in thinking that they have to share every hobby or activity.”
The real question, then, is not whether you and your partner are similar, but whether your personalities and needs complement each other. “At a basic level,” Anders explains, “partners need to meet each other’s needs – for conversation, companionship, sex. Some couples are raising kids, so they need to be compatible as parents. Others run a business together, so that’s another set of needs.”
If you mostly like to chat and your partner usually prefers to listen, for example, you may have a winning combination. If you were to hook up with another talker, the two of you might fight for the floor instead of enjoying a mellow give-and-take.
“My boyfriend hates taking out the garbage but doesn’t mind laundry. I hate washing clothes, but the garbage doesn’t bother me at all,” says history teacher Mark Wyre. “The best part is, we both feel like we’re getting away with something by not having to do the thing we just loathe.” That’s true compatibility. If determining compatibility isn’t a matter of just listing what you and your partner have in common, how can you tell if the two of you are in sync? Ask yourself these questions:
1) How do you usually feel after spending time with your partner? Content? Angry? Dissatisfied? Happy?
2) When you have an evening alone together, can you easily find activities you’ll both enjoy, or do you often end up compromising?
3) Does one of you almost always follow the other’s wishes?
4) Do you mostly agree or disagree with your partner’s decisions?
If you find that spending time with your partner leaves you longing for more, or you can’t find anything to do together, the two of you may not be compatible. And if one of you always bosses the other around or you can’t agree on major decisions, your relationship is most likely in for some serious difficulties.
But if you and your significant other like one another, meet each other’s most important needs and have a good time together, don’t worry about the details. A couple lucky enough to meet that criterion is compatible enough.
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