People talk a lot about how crucial compatibility is for a relationship, but not everyone agrees on what that means. Similar hobbies? A shared love of Stranger Things? Or is it something different—and maybe even something that evolves over time? Here, spiritual empowerment coach and Well+Good Council member Kelsey Patel dives into this important (and sometimes misunderstood) concept.
It’s not always easy to know if “the one” for you is really, truly, deeply the one. Making it trickier: Many people have at least a few different partners they may have loved and shared deep life moments with along the way. While some may say they just know their partner is the one for them, others may need to take more time (and get really comfortable with their truth and their needs) to make a partnership work.
After all, even the strongest of relationships can be put to the test during any life journey. When the seas get stormy, some may come out soaring and growing even deeper in their relationship, while others may find they begin to drift apart. Neither is better. Each of these times in a partnership is an opportunity to see where you’re really connected, what each of you values the most in life, and how you show up for yourself and for one another.
To get even more clear and to perhaps get started on finding some of the most compatible elements between you and your partner, it’s first most important to know who you are, what you need, what you want in your life and what you are willing to give to your partner.
Scroll down for an exercise to help check in with yourself—and with your partner.
A practice for better understanding compatibility
Make a list of all the things you value in life, your life now and the life you hope to create in the future.
Next, write out which qualities and values you feel are most important for your partner (or future partner) to possess.
Are there any items you believe are non-negotiable in a partnership? Sometimes the universe will present us with that which we believe is not acceptable. It’s not out of punishment, but simply to help you open and grow to the possibilities of even more love, forgiveness, and acceptance.
Lastly, when it comes to the following categories, write a few words about what is most important to you in these areas of your life. Do it annually. Share them with your partner or simply notice if they align as you discuss your yearly intentions, goals, and ideas. It can be helpful to see these every few weeks to stay connected to yourself and your desires, while also watching your partner stay committed to theirs and to support each other’s highest good.
- Relationships (family, friends, colleagues)
What are you willing to give in time, energy, and compassion to your partner? What do they say they need, and are you willing to give that part of your life to them?
As a woman who married a man who was divorced, had two children, and lived part-time between two homes, I went through many moments of self-searching. I had to understand myself better, to get comfortable with my needs, to appreciate my husband, and to realize my choice to be in this marriage. I also had to do some deep digging inside of myself to see what I was willing to give up to make my marital union work (and what I was not willing to sacrifice for my marriage).
While there were lots of challenging moments and times I was unclear about our future, I always knew that my life was far better with my husband and stepsons than without them. I also know I need time to myself each day and each week (even if it’s for 15 minutes) to meditate as well as flexibility to still have my sense of independence. Knowing that my husband supports me, loves me, and encourages me every day to create my dreams is my final check mark in the ultimate compatibility box.
Kelsey Patel is a sought-after spiritual empowerment coach, yoga teacher, reiki healer, and meditation teacher. She is also the creator and founder of Magik Vibes, a soul-enhancing lifestyle brand, the resident reiki instructor for Soho House, and a head teacher at The DEN Meditation and Unplug Meditation in Los Angeles. Kelsey has been featured in publications such as US Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New York Times.
Get more from Kelsey! Here’s her top travel hack, plus the results of her social media detox. And make 2018 your healthiest, happiest, and richest yet—with a little help from Well+Good’s (Re)New Year program!