I describe a great intimate relationship like this: Chemistry + Compatibility = “The One”. In other words, our soulmate would be someone we’re both attracted to and aligned with. Simple enough, right? Well, not really. While chemical attraction is easy to discern, it can also be so overwhelming that it blinds us to the compatibility part of the equation. That is a disaster. In order to safeguard you against overemphasizing chemistry, here are three compatibility questions that can help you know if you’ve truly found, “The One.”
Question #1: Are you compromising any significant desire or dream in order to be in the relationship?
Someone is “The One” if there is nothing of importance that you are giving up in exchange for being in the relationship. If a relationship is healthy, it allows for—even insists on—the realization of personal goals and dreams, not the limitation of them. If you have to abandon your dreams or limit yourself in any way in order to be with someone, it’s a sign you’re with the wrong person.
Question #2: Does your partner have all of your “must haves” and none of your “can’t stands”?
We all want chemistry, yet to make it work long-term, we must have a deeper connection. Someone is “The One,” if they have all the qualities you “must have” and none of the qualities you “can’t stand.” For example, when I was single a few years ago, I wanted a woman devoted to her spiritual evolution, took responsibility for her feelings and took care of herself physically. I would not stand for smoking, a disinterest in sex or workaholism. So, while chemistry is important, don’t let it keep you from insisting on other qualities that are critical to building a long-term union.
Question #3: Would you be completely happy, if from this moment on, nothing about your partner or your relationship ever changed?
Imagine this: What if five years from now everything about your partner is exactly the same as it is now? For example, what if they never make more money, become more emotionally available, watch less TV, show spiritual interest or control their temper? What if they never change? Would you still be happy?
You can’t be in love with fantasy. You must be in love with reality—the person they are now—not the person you hope they will become. So, assume nothing changes. If you’re ecstatically happy at that thought, you’ve found “The One.”