SEVEN LOVELY SIGNS. This Valentine, find out whether you’ve really found “the one” by looking out for these telltale signs, as outlined by Dr. Krista Bloom
Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right can be a challenge for singles, but it is worth the effort because finding a great partner is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.
While love and romance are undoubtedly very important, having things in common is even more crucial if you are to have long-term success. This is called the “compatibility factor.”
Here are seven forms of compatibility to look for:
What’s inside the person is the most important factor; so, decide what personality types you are most attracted to. Many people enjoy a great sense of humor, while others look for someone with similar spiritual values. Some people prefer a partner that is more sensitive and romantic. Others like someone who is smart and edgy. Think about how the two of you will get along down the road. Take your time to get to know someone’s true nature, because people often put their best foot forward at first.
Things also need to click in the physical department. Chemistry is not everything, but it sure is fantastic to have. Being mismatched in this area can lead to resentments and cause long-term effects on your love life. For example, if one of you believes in PDA (public display of affection) and the other is adamantly against it, it can lead to bigger problems.
Are you and your Valentine on the same page in terms of communication? See if your conversations flow, and if they are enjoyable for both of you. When you’re in love you may think that you have the best conversations, when really it’s just one of you who is doing all of the talking. Avoid the temptation of talking about other relationships you have had; it can be a downer.
It’s also not the best idea to turn your date into a support group. Focus on what you enjoy, and get to know each other.
4. FRIENDS AND FAMILY
This comes later, usually after you have been dating for a few months. Do you get along with one another’s friends and family, or are there clashes and conflicts? This does not mean that if your Valentine’s friends and family are not exactly your cup of tea, then you should dump them. Consider how close they live to you and how often you will need to see them before deciding if this is a deal breaker.
5. HEALTH AND NUTRITION
Are you a healthy food nut or a junk food junkie? Are you a speed-walker or a channel surfer? Look if your health-elated lifestyles match or not. Although this may seem silly, later in life health often becomes more of an issue for couples, because when you truly love someone, you will worry about their health. Plus, not worrying about each other’s health can become a bone of contention.
Money is one of the things couples fight about most often. Obviously, having similar financial goals and means can be very helpful in avoiding frequent arguments. Above all else, however, don’t be afraid to ask questions about how your (future) partner likes to handle their money, especially as you get to know each other better. One question you can ask is what your Valentine thinks is the best way to manage income and bills. If you agree, then great; if you need to learn
more about finances, take a course and read books to get your financial finesse on track.
Having common interests can really help in a relationship. If you share a passion for anything, you can have even more fun together with what are essentially good building blocks of a longterm relationship. However, the opposite is certainly true. If, for example, you absolutely hate sports and he has season tickets to every sports event in town, this may cause a major lifestyle clash. Too many clashes in too many areas will inevitably cause the relationship to suffer.
“What’s inside the person is the most important factor, so decide What personality types you are most attracted to”
So, what can you do if you and your Valentine are not completely compatible? The obvious answer is to take stock of your relationship, then decide whether to accept things as they are, or change and ask for change. If you are both willing to make changes, be specific and set some realistic goals about what you are willing to do and how things could improve between you.
It will make things a lot easier if you can focus on choosing a compatible partner in the initial stages of dating than it is to “fix” something that is “broken” later on. At that point, it would be harder to move on, especially if you are already in love and committed. Nevertheless, any relationship will inevitably require a lot of work. And this basic list of underlying compatibilities can give you a head start when you have indeed found your potential Mr. or Mrs. Right this Valentine’s Day!
Dr. Krista Bloom is a relationship therapist based in Florida.