How do you know if you have found a good partner? And more importantly, if you are compatible?
Jay Shetty looked into what makes people come and stay together. As a result, he made a list of six characteristics that indicate compatibility in couples. Moreover, he also gave an example of four steps you can take to strengthen your relationship.
Chemistry vs. Compatibility
More often than not, we hear the word “chemistry” when discussing relationships in their early stages. Chemistry is all about that initial attraction, that “je ne sais quoi” that makes two people attracted to each other.
On the other hand, compatibility means they have the potential to remain together for an extended time. It means that couples need to have the basics of their personalities aligned. They should share the same values or habits.
Jay Shetty recalls a conversation with a landscape designer who mentioned his clients’ choices of trees. They fell in love with a particular type of plant not indigenous to the place where it was supposed to be planted.
The owners insisted on having these plants in their garden even though it was clear plants needed different environmental conditions to flourish. They would probably survive, but they would struggle to do so and would need dedicated care not to die.
Just like these plants, relationships need a healthy foundation in order to flourish. And as Jay Shetty indicated, this requires us to understand the difference between chemistry, attraction, and compatibility.
What Is Compatibility?
Jay Shetty described the difference between chemistry and compatibility:
“Chemistry is like lighting a matchstick. You light a matchstick, and then the matchstick burns, and then it runs out. But it was giving light and giving heat for as long as it lasted. But compatibility is like lighting a candle. When you light it, it burns slower. It gives off a beautiful fragrance and scent and lasts far longer. And it’s a beautiful experience.”
Compatibility doesn’t mean being the same or having the same interests and preferences. Instead, it goes beyond these apparent traits.
Jay Shetty made a list of six ways to know if you are compatible with someone based on more than initial chemistry.
Being the same doesn’t mean you make a great couple. People tend to look for partners with the same interests and passions. For example, if they like reading, they search for an avid reader like themselves. If they are entrepreneurs, they would like someone with a passion for business.
While knowing what you want from a relationship is great, Jay Shetty believes there is more to it. He warns that you don’t want to be in a relationship with yourself. That would work only in the smallest percentage of cases.
Shared interests don’t necessarily build a solid foundation for a stable relationship. There are countless examples. For instance, some couples can have the best philosophical discussions but can’t solve practical problems at home.
“Compatibility does not mean having the same personality,” Jay Shetty said.
In today’s world, we tend to overlook the benefits of a network outside of a relationship. So instead of looking for like-minded people in our entourage, we search for all these attributes in our partners. And this weakens the relationship.
People tend to think everything will run smoothly if they find a compatible partner. However, Jay Shetty disagrees. He believes this idea fits more with chemistry than true compatibility..
Compatibility requires a deeper understanding and knowledge. This can sometimes be discomforting or uncomfortable, but necessary for growth. Determining compatibility means going to the roots and understanding whether there is a strong foundation on which the relationship can thrive.
Jay Shetty compared getting into a solid relationship to excavating the soil to understand if the roots of the trees are healthy.
Digging deep into our souls and discussing and comparing our sets of values is not an easy thing to do. If you are compatible with someone, things may seem easy initially. But the “unearthing” and the discomfort it produces can define how compatible the partners are.
Changing The Other Person
How do you feel about changing for someone else? Or do you think the other party needs to adjust their behavior or personality for you two to be happy?
People sometimes have high expectations from a relationship. As a result, they may make statements meant to incentivize the other party to change to their liking.
Jay Shetty warns that compatibility doesn’t mean changing someone else. There is no guarantee things will work out better if they turn into a different human.
Build A New House
Jay Shetty compared building a relationship to building a house. We often believe the set of values we were raised in is the right path. On this ground, we create a home entirely to our liking.
When we get into a relationship, we must understand that it is like moving together into that house. Our partner will bring their values, thoughts, and ideas into the home.
So, a relationship is like building a new house together. You bring parts of your old house into the new one and leave behind bricks that no longer serve you.
It is a different mindset than inviting someone to move into your house, which, in your eyes, is perfect. Forcing them to live the same way you do is detrimental to a relationship. Each individual has a personality, and there will often be clashes unless you are willing to accept other opinions and views and collaborate.
Test Your Compatibility
You can take four steps to check whether you and your partner are compatible. Chemistry aside, this test will show you if you have the strong foundation it takes for a thriving relationship.
Jay Shetty uses this acronym to describe four characteristics of relationships.
R – Recognize differences.
As Jay Shetty said, “If you don’t notice the differences, you don’t get an opportunity to develop compatibility.” We all have differences that are important to recognize. Often, we have different strengths and weaknesses that, when acknowledged and used well, can actually make your relationship stronger. Just try not to fall into the trap of naming opposite words, which can imply you are better than the other person.
A – Awareness of their stance.
Why is your partner the way they are? Where do their traits come from? These are questions that can help you better understand your partner’s perspective. To Jay Shetty, compatibility means knowing why you and your partner behave a certain way, saying, “Compatibility requires that you have an awareness of why someone makes the choices they’re making.”
R – Respect Their Approach.
Understanding a person and where they are coming from helps us respect them and empowers us to appreciate them and be happy that they are the way they are.
The idea of chemistry makes us believe someone should change in order to be worthy of our love. The reality is that they don’t need to turn into a different person for us to love them.
E – Express Your Feelings.
Jay Shetty talked about expressing your feelings without feeling judged. This doesn’t happen instantly. It takes time and considerable effort.
If you can recognize the differences in your partner, understand and respect their point of view, and discuss your feelings freely, then you are on the right path.
Jay Shetty describes being in a thriving relationship as making two pieces fit together rather than magically finding the exact match.
According to him, this is what compatibility looks like: “I’m going to actually find two pieces. And it’s going to be a bit of molding; there’s going to be a bit of shifting, there’s going to be a bit of understanding. But finally, it’s going to fit, and it may not even fit perfectly, and that’s okay.”
Six Areas Of Compatibility
The areas of compatibility Jay Shetty offers are based on the Vedic six opulences. They are considered things that we all pursue in life.
Coming from different backgrounds and having different views on how to spend money is not the main characteristic of financial compatibility. However, it is crucial to understand why each party thinks of money in a particular manner. It would help if you thought of the solution you want to create together for your relationship.
It is essential to have a healthy self-image and a good relationship with yourself. Insecurity creates incompatibility. It might become an issue if you think your partner is out of your league and need constant reassurance.
The compatibility lies in knowing who has which strengths and using them to benefit the couple. For example, Jay Shetty says, “A healthy power dynamic in a relationship knows which partner is good at what and letting them lead on those areas.”
This area refers to compatibility in public perception. Social media constantly exposes us to others and their opinions about our lives and relationships. Jay Shetty believes that giving each other the spotlight in public and providing growth feedback in private makes a relationship compatible.
Compatibility is expressed here by allowing your partner to grow at their own pace. Show them support, guidance, affection, and love, but not force.
If you learn together or even separately, you are growing together and working on becoming better both as individuals and as a couple.
Are You Compatible?
After going through these six characteristics to verify compatibility, Jay Shetty encourages listeners to apply what they just learned. By also doing the “R.A.R.E.” exercise, your chances of finding a fantastic match increase.
Remember, chemistry is the initial fire, but compatibility is what will keep you together in the long run.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “6 Ways to Know if You’re Compatible with Someone and 4 Steps to Build Real Connection” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.