Both chemistry and compatibility are crucial for the survival and quality of our romantic relationships. And it can be downright catastrophic to mistake the two — it can be the reason long-term relationships fizzle and why, try as you might, others may never make it beyond the bedroom.

Every person looking for a great relationship knows the importance of chemistry and compatibility. You want to find someone whose beliefs, interests, and goals align with your own. Here are seven ways to examine, to be sure you start with a baseline of important shared values with a prospective life partner:


A host of things fall under this umbrella — from eating habits to hygiene to your respective attitudes about substance use. If your idea of a perfect weekend is popcorn and old movies on the sofa, and your partner pushes you to join him in gay night clubs, you may be headed for trouble. On the other hand, you may still be compatible if you can give each other the freedom to enjoy your differences apart.

Ask yourself if you’re pretending to enjoy your partner’s interests (and vice versa). Sometimes we intentionally or unintentionally fool ourselves–and our partners—by acting enthusiastic about hobbies and pursuits. Over time, this false enthusiasm will fade away.


Of all the goals you will set and work toward together, money management is arguably the most important. That’s because, in one way or another, it touches practically everything else. Do you need to talk bank accounts on the first date? Of course not. But within the first few weeks, it’s important to get even a basic understanding of your potential partners’s financial picture and outlook.

Politics and religion.

A defining characteristic of an inclusive, democratic society is the ability to calmly consider all points of view. In a romantic relationship, however, some issues are likely to produce divisions too wide to span. Be honest from the beginning about your potentially polarizing beliefs.


This is not to say you must always think alike, but that you should be able to think with similar tools of education and reasoning at your disposal. A divide will inevitably open in a relationship when one partner feels consistently outsmarted and outgunned in conversation.


Compare your dealbreakers and must-haves. Do you match up well with the qualities you’re looking for and wanting to avoid?


Are a top or a bottom? Yes, it matters whether you want and enjoy the same things in bed. Feeling pressure to deliver an experience you find distasteful is not cool — and not something you can sustain for long. Conversely, you’re probably incompatible if your own desires consistently go unmet.

Some diversity in a relationship can make it stronger and more resilient. Too much will add up to incompatibility. Knowing where to draw the line is a task best approached with patience and love.

Look ahead.

The standard job interview question is, “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” This is also a question you should carefully consider. Do your goals and aspirations for the future complement each other’s?

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