So you’ve been getting to know someone for quite some time now and you’re looking for signs that they are interested in you. They frequently text you throughout the day just to see how you are doing. You constantly check your phone anticipating the next conversation or time you might get together. It’s becoming obvious that you are starting to think about this person as more than a friend. You wonder if the other person is developing the same feelings or thinks that there might be potential. You contemplate having a conversation about where the friendship is headed, but you need to STOP. There is a very important step that has been overlooked in this thought process—objectively comparing areas of compatibility.
Objectively analyzing the person and the potential for a relationship with them will prevent a lot of heartache. Many people enter into a committed relationship before they get to know one another. They start to date and then start to compare similarities and differences. After dating for a number of months they discover that there are more deal breakers than they originally thought and the relationship ends in heartache 3 months, 6 months or even a year down the road. There are a few main areas that need to be contemplated before you begin to form an emotional bond with someone.
Frist of all, you need to compare values and see if they are compatible. Values are the standards and morals that you choose to live by. Do you have the same religious beliefs? Are you both equally engaged in your religious community? Are you on the same level in respect to your values and beliefs? If your values are different it may not have an effect initially but it will become a source of conflict as the relationship develops.
Secondly, compare your goals and ambitions to the others person’s. Goals and ambitions have a lot to say about a person’s dream and vision for their life. Could you see your ambitions and futures complementing one another? Or are they pulling you in different directions? Are you business-minded with a solid education while the person you are considering to date is in considerable amounts of debt and working a retail job to try to maintain their repayments? (I’m not speaking ill of the person who works in retail, I am trying to illustrate that like-mindedness and compatible ambitions are a necessity when trying to reach your full potential in your personal endeavors and in your relationship.
Thirdly, I think that it is imperative that you analyze how the person communicates. This begins with first understanding how you communicate and react when in conflict. Are you an aggressive, assertive or passive communicator? Do you tend to internalize and avoid when in conflict or do you engage in a full fledge screaming match. These details are important to know about yourself and about the person you are considering dating. Personally, I have a hard time in conflict with an aggressive communicator because I tend to be a little bit more on the passive side. Your ability to communicate as a couple will predict how you will handle conflict and whether you will be able to come to resolution.
The last major area that needs to be compatible is personality. Do birds of a feather flock together? Or do opposites attract? There are numerous types of personality traits, clean vs. messy, introvert vs. extrovert, morning person vs. evening person, etc. You may not think that something as simple as your partner being an evening person or being an introvert as a potential for conflict, but it could be. If you are a morning person and your partner is an evening person you could go to bed alone most nights of the week. Or if you are an extrovert and your partner is introverted you may be limited in the amount of entertaining and socializing you will do with your partner. If I had to choose one as the most important area to examine I would put my emphasis on personality. Many other areas that have been discussed are traits that can be molded, learned and changed, but personality once formed is typically concrete.
Do yourself and the other person a favour—think objectively!! Compare your similarities and your differences. You will save yourself valuable time and many heartaches.
This article was originally written for and posted on Liveabundantly.ca