incompatible & relationships

Dealing with incompatibility in a relationship

While conflicts due to dissimilar beliefs and value systems are difficult to iron out, partners can work to resolve other more usual differences.

Compatibility is like a treasure that makes a relationship rich and long-lasting. Unfortunately, treasures are not easy to find. What makes compatibility elusive is a simple truth of life. Everyone is different, and so are their opinions, likes, and dislikes. In his book The Discipline Of Transcendence, spiritual leader Osho explains why people often struggle to find that ‘sweet spot’ in their relationships, which we call compatibility. He writes: “Everybody is good alone. Together, something goes wrong… Because two people live in two desire worlds, they have their own magical worlds. When they come together, those worlds clash.”

To understand the dynamics of compatibility in relationships, you need to look deeper into human consciousness. What makes people compatible or incompatible? Life choices, aspirations, world view, beliefs, and value systems bind two people together in a lasting relationship. For this reason, someone who believes in honesty, loyalty, or doing things the right way may not be compatible with someone who doesn’t put a premium on such values. Sometimes, incompatibility can even arise from ennui, indifference or emotional distance or unavailability. This being said, it doesn’t mean your relationship is destined to fail.

While conflicts due to dissimilar beliefs and value systems are difficult to iron out, partners can work to resolve other more usual differences. In this feature, Soulveda enters the realm of love and relationships to discuss compatibility and how to eliminate the differences that can exist between partners.

Celebrate your differences 

An introvert prefers solitude while an extrovert fancies socialising. An introvert takes time to open up, whereas an extrovert doesn’t mind letting someone into their life. However different they might seem, an extrovert and an introvert often end up together in a romantic relationship. Perhaps, opposite does attract. Be that as it may, when two people with different needs and outlooks towards life become partners, clashes are bound to happen.

In their relationship, an introvert and an extrovert should see their differences as an opportunity to balance out each other. To begin with, they should bring their likes and dislikes out in the open. Knowing what your partner prefers, and vice-versa can put things into perspective. Respect each other’s feelings and wishes to build a strong foundation. But most importantly, it’s time they should give to each other, and themselves, to turn their differences into strengths.

Bridge the emotional difference

Without an emotional connection in a relationship, partners begin to grow apart. You feel disconnected from your better half as if the spark and emotional bond that brought you both together suddenly vanished into thin air. Even a casual conversation seems difficult to make.

Bridging the emotional difference takes efforts from both sides. Once you have recognised the existence of the issue, sit down with your partner and ask a few introspective questions. For instance, if it’s the space that you both need, whether it’s a financial burden or the pressure at the work is keeping you distant. It could also be an unresolved issue from the past that is driving the wedge between you two. Tie all those loose ends. Start appreciating each other more; do those small things that made your relationship unique.

emotional difference

Bridging the emotional difference takes efforts from both sides.

Get rid of mismatched expectations

Your expectations may not match your partner’s or your partner may have goals that you are not comfortable with. For instance, you want to take a job in a different state, while your partner wants to settle down in the current city. Unrealistic expectations like this can creep into a healthy relationship like unannounced guests. Before they become a reason for incompatibility, work together with your partner to address these expectations. Communicate your hopes and aspirations clearly. Listen to what your partner has to say, but don’t compromise on your dreams. Take a mutual decision that supports both of your needs.

Overcome the communication barrier

A communication barrier is the biggest obstacle that drives a wedge between partners. Various studies and research have found a lack of communication as the main reason for divorce and couples’ therapy. Communication is vital because it is a path to resolve all other disputes in a relationship. Whether it’s unrealistic expectations, unjustified behaviour, or trust issues, communication is the key to put such issues to bed. But when this is lost, the very foundation of a relationship becomes weak.

To communicate with your partner, you first have to give up the need to be right. A relationship is a two-way street where the thoughts and opinions of both partners matter. Another way to open the channel of communication is by becoming a good listener. When you lend your ears, you give a message to your partner that you are interested in what they have to say. The important thing to remember is, it will take efforts and dedication from both partners to break the deadlock of the communication barrier.


To communicate with your partner, you first have to give up the need to be right.

Find common ground

If you are a football fan, don’t expect your partner to watch every game with you on the weekends. Likewise, if you like ballet, don’t drag your partner on every event if they are not into performance dance. Having different hobbies and interests in life is quite normal. But a healthy relationship runs on the fuel of passion and excitement that comes from spending quality time with each other. If you both have different likes and tastes, try to find those common interests that excite both you and your partner. But in the end, it’s all about showing interest in each other’s interests that make partners truly compatible.

Ward off the negativity

A positive attitude is quite important for the longevity of a relationship. If partners have a similar outlook towards their relationship, and sensitivity towards each other, their relationship can climb any obstacles. This being said, a negative attitude in a relationship is equally perilous. Like one bad apple that spoils the bunch, a wrong attitude can damage an entire relationship.

To know if your attitude is a negative one, ask yourself: Is your relationship your sole focus in life? Are you someone who criticises your partner more than appreciating them? Or if you have been called insensitive and irresponsible many times by your partner? If yes, then you need to recalibrate your attitude fast.

Thinking your partner is your entire world is not a healthy attitude. It makes you clingy and needy. You have a different life, and so does your partner. Equality, respect, compassion, and kindness are some other pillars on which the entire weight of a relationship stands. With a positive frame of mind, you can ensure your relationship doesn’t run out of these ingredients.




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