Growing and maintaining a healthy relationship takes a great deal of work, compromise and dedication. They also need a solid foundation. We all have a tendency to look for compatibility and chemistry in a prospective partner, but in doing so we could be overlooking some other necessary components. Your personality runs far deeper than your likes and dislikes, and so should your relationship.
A lasting, healthy relationship needs more than chemistry and compatibility in order to survive. Healthy, happy partners share core values, have a shared purpose in life, and are of similar mind in temperament and intelligence levels.
A Healthy Relationship Needs These Three Things
Do your core values match those of your partner? Do you have similar spending habits, agree on how best to raise children, and share a common basic way of living? Your similarities cannot merely run skin-deep if you’re going to last. A shared love of football might help you to bond, but those types of commonalities, as important as they may be to you, both individually and as a couple, are superficial. While shared interests are important, they can’t and won’t serve as the glue that holds you together.
What are you and your partner building toward? Are you focused on children, or have the two of you found a calling outside the nest? For a relationship to work, you need to have something meaningful beyond your love for one another. Life needs purpose — and so does a shared one. If your relationship is lacking a greater purpose, it’s not too late to find one. Sometimes, compatibility comes with finding a deeper meaning in your life together.
Just as a good-natured person might not fit so well with a criminal mind, the scholar and the dunce might not be the greatest of matches either. According to Neil Clark Warren, founder of eHarmony.com, both parties in a relationship should have intelligence levels that are within one standard deviation.
This isn’t to say happiness is based on intellect, but rather that people of similar levels of intelligence might also have more in common on other, more basic levels. For example, intelligence might play a role in the types of entertainment you enjoy. It can shape the way you interact with other people and how you view the world. Broad differences in any of those areas could leave you open to fundamental problems in the future.
While compatibility and chemistry are important, who you are and if your two personalities mesh where it counts will ultimately define the strength of your relationship. Look within, and not at mere interests or tastes, for the truly important commonalities. Your relationship doesn’t have to be perfect—and it won’t be—but with the right foundation, you can make sure it’s a lasting and fulfilling one.