Love Compatibility Test: Ask Your S.O. These 12 (!) Questions To Determine Long-Term Relationship Success - Group Therapy LA
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Love Compatibility Test: Ask Your S.O. These 12 (!) Questions To Determine Long-Term Relationship Success

Love Compatibility Test: Ask Your S.O. These 12 (!) Questions To Determine Long-Term Relationship Success
July 2, 2024

In a relationship, the whole “opposites attract” thing only goes so far. Sure, complementary strengths and weaknesses may create a fun dynamic and even encourage you and your partner(s) to widen your perspectives, but when it comes to life-defining choices, being on the same page is pretty darn important.

After all, things can quickly go south “when there are fundamental differences in values or beliefs that can lead to conflict, tension, or resentment,” says Cara Gardenswartz, PhD, a clinical psychologist with practices in New York and Los Angeles. “If one partner undergoes a major shift in opinions or lifestyle, it’s time to reassess.”

That’s why it’s important ask lots of questions while you’re dating someone. Ahead are 12 crucial questions to ask your S.O.—and yourself—to gauge compatibility, prevent any surprise dealbreakers, and put your relationship on the path to long-term success.

Compatibility Test Questions:

1. How do you spend your free time?

How you spend your free time seems like a pretty innocuous question—but it can be huge for determining your compatibility. “If they say they love sleeping ’til noon and going for a boozy brunch, while you’re more of a green juice and spin class gal, you may not be compatible in this area,” says Rebecca Hendrix, LMFT, a relationship therapist in New York. Make sure there’s some common ground in your weekend—and more importantly, long-term—plans and goals, or be prepared to make some big compromises.

2. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read lately?

“Ask questions that help you to understand what inspires their intellect,” Hendrix says. “If you sign up to be life partners, you will be spending a lot of downtime together and you want to be with someone with whom you can carry on stimulating conversation.” If reading isn’t their thing, ask what music has them fired up or what art show they’re dying to see. Whatever your and their interests, you want to make sure you’re intellectually compatible and can keep up with one another.

3. What are your spiritual beliefs?

Differing religious views aren’t grounds for a breakup—there are tons of successful couples with interfaith relationships. “Your partner’s spiritual beliefs don’t have to be the same as yours,” Hendrix says. “But if spiritual beliefs are important to how you view life and how you will want to raise your family, it’s important to know how close or far your beliefs are.” Some specific Qs to ask are whether they believe in a higher power, if they believe in life after death, if they have a belief system that guides their life, and how important it is to them for their family to be raised in this system.

4. What is your attachment style?

“Attachment styles are about how much closeness you can tolerate before your nervous system signals overload—and how much intimacy you can do without until your nervous system signals panic,” says Brandy Engler, PsyD, a relationship therapist and the author of The Women on My Couch.

Some people are naturally more independent—meaning they’re totally cool with only hanging out once a week and might feel stifled by daily check-in phone calls from a partner. Other people, meanwhile, have an attachment style more suited to hanging out 24/7, Engler explains. “People on opposite ends of this spectrum are not very compatible—they cause each other a great deal of stress,” she says.

To determine where you and your partner fall, define concretely how much time you like to spend with an S.O., how physically affectionate you are, and how much of those things you expect from a partner.

5. What’s your sex drive like?

If you want to get it on all the time while your partner naturally has a lower libido, that might not be a good sign. “People with discrepant sex drives really struggle down the road,” says Engler

While it might be easy to overlook this incompatibility during the honeymoon phase when you’re naturally more physical, “the lower sex drive person often can’t keep up with accommodating the higher driver person,” Engler explains. This one can be hard to resolve, she adds, so talking about it up front is a super important part of determining your future compatibility.

6. What is your sexual style?

While you’re at it, ask your partner about their sexual style, Engler says. “It’s good to reflect on how each person approaches sex emotionally and erotically,” she says. If your perfect night involves some kinky BDSM, but your partner is more about rose petals and romantic music, it can be tricky to reconcile those differing desires.

“If both partners are open to expanding, this can work,” Engler says. “But if you are both rigid and fixed in your ways, you may end up feeling chronically frustrated.” (Sexually and otherwise.)

7. What will you do with your bonus next month?

Money issues often sparks arguments between couples, especially as relationships progress. Even if you have totally separate financial lives now, your attitudes about money can be a major factor in determining whether you and your partner are compatible down the road.

“Every couple has one partner who is more of a saver, and one partner who is more of a spender,” explains Hendrix, but it’s not an issue of incompatibility unless you’re on extreme ends of the spectrum. To save yourself from more serious fights, “ask questions about what they do when they have extra cash in the bank, what money means to them, and how they view debt” up front, Hendrix says.

8. What are your family relationships like?

If a couple wants to go the distance, embracing the role family plays in their life—whatever that looks like—is key. “Both partners don’t have to be equally close with their families or see them the same amount, but they should be open to participating in each other’s family gatherings and obligations,” says Gardenswartz. “If one partner is reluctant or feels overwhelmed taking part in their partner’s family gatherings, it can lead to resentment on both sides.”

9. How do you manage stress and mental health?

Your partner should be self-aware of how they handle adversity or difficult moments. “Coping mechanisms reveal a lot,” says Gardenswartz. Do they keep everything bottled up until they explode, or do they manage stress productively through therapy, yoga, exercise, or another form of self-care? “Having the emotional maturity and resilience to take care of themselves indicates they’ll be able to support you through tough times as well,” she adds.

10. How do you resolve conflict?

Disagreements are inevitable, so being in sync about conflict resolution is crucial to keeping arguments from escalating. Some couples like discussing their issues right when the conflict comes up, while others like to process their feelings separately and then talk about it once they’ve had time to cool down. “When two people have different styles of working through problems, communication breaks down and working towards mutual solutions becomes more difficult,” explains Gardenswartz.

11. What are your core values and beliefs?

Do you see the world optimistically or cynically? How do you feel about long-term monogamy? Can you honor someone else’s religious or political views if they’re different from your own? The answers to these kinds of questions reflect the values and beliefs that shape our identities and our approach to relationships.

“In a healthy relationship, partners have to accept each other’s values and beliefs,” says Marisa T. Cohen, PhD, LMFT, a marriage and family therapist, relationship scientist, and the founder of Embracing Change Marriage and Family Therapy in New York. “Even if they’re not completely aligned, there should always be mutual respect and open communication to discuss them in a healthy way, especially if they’re ones that play a big role in your lives.”

12. Can you depend on this person?

You should ask yourself some Qs to determine compatibility as well. The biggest one is whether you can really depend on your partner. “This is a question that comes up over and over in couples’ therapy,” says Engler. “When you share a life together, from daily chores to major life events, you want to know you can depend on this person and they will not put all the responsibility on you.”

Ask yourself whether your partner pulls their weight, if they’re there for you when you’re upset, or if they make you dinner when you’re working late. “This is an area that people don’t discuss and negotiate—but they do complain about it a lot later,” Engler says. “It’s wise to take care of this early and figure out how you will provide for each other. If not, someone will feel abandoned later.”

When To Reassess

When you and your partner are super compatible, you’ll find yourself having similar answers to most of these questions—Hendrix says it’s a good sign if you agree on these Qs about 80 percent of the time. “You want to reassess if you are starting to feel either a great number of things you don’t agree on or a great level of intensity when you disagree on something,” she says.

Just a reminder: There’s no exact formula to figure out if you and your S.O. are compatible or no single question you can ask to figure out if your relationship is doomed. Ultimately, “it depends how important it is to you to be with someone who is compatible with you in that specific area,” says Hendrix.

Relationships and people naturally evolve, but overall, you and your partner should be growing in the same direction together. “If there’s dwindling intimacy, frequent conflict, or a major life change that affects one of your core beliefs, it might be time to examine how many differences you’re willing to accept to be with each other,” Gardenswartz explains. If you feel like your compatibility is waning, check in with each other about it, and make your decision from there.

Source: Women’s Health

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