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The 5 Factors That Determine if Your Partner Is a Perfect Match

These are the necessary areas of compatibility for you and your partner to be an ideal romantic match

By Martin VidalPublished 2 months ago 7 min read
Photo by Mohamed_hassan on Pixabay

There are 5 measures of compatibility to be looked at: 1) chemistry, 2) sexual chemistry, 3) shared interests, 4) shared values, and 5) the capacity to build together. 

Chemistry is something of an abstraction, a certain je ne sais quoi, but you know it when you feel it - often, immediately. It's the effortlessness with which you can interact with a person. It's the way the conversation flows, the synchrony of your wants and movements, and the subtle pulse communicating back and forth almost subconsciously. The most straightforward assessment of it is what I call the "DMV test." When you get stuck in boring situations with that person, like wading through traffic, waiting for a doctor's appointment, or, God forbid, having to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles together, do you still have fun? If so, then I believe you have the number one most important thing a relationship needs. 

Sexual chemistry is, in part, an extension of general chemistry. Feeling comfortable with each other, and otherwise in sync, can get you part of the way there in bed, but it won't be everything you need. If you're going to maintain a sexual relationship with this person, and not feel dissatisfied all the while, this type of synergy is a requisite. Sex gets markedly better as we continue to do it with the same person over time, but there's a spark and compatibility that's either present here or it's not. It can be a terrible realization that you lack sexual chemistry with someone you otherwise really like, but ultimately a romantic relationship is a sexual one. Thus, this factor can't be overlooked. In fact, while it might offend some Victorian readers, I advocate for moving to assess sexual chemistry soon after you've made the realization that you both have general chemistry. There's little you can do to control this, so better to try and determine compatibility early on. 

Having shared interests can become more or less important depending on one's personality. Some people feel fairly indifferent to how they spend their time. There are those who can just go with the flow and that aren't particularly passionate about any hobbies or interests. However, there are others who feel exactly the opposite. If you have hobbies that are at the core of your being and that consume a huge amount of your time, then it becomes critical that your partner shares them to some extent. If we can't have them participate with us in our favorite pastimes, we can often feel like we're being forced to choose between our partner and our passion, and we can also come to feel unseen, as if whatever part of us goes to that activity is of no interest to them. This can all foster resentment in the long run. On the other hand, when they do share that interest, it opens up a whole new area of life wherein you can both grow together and appreciate one another. 

Having shared values is obviously a very important factor. First, for us to like and respect our partner, we have to be able to have some degree of admiration for their character. Second, a lot of the conflict in a relationship stems from underlying differences in the individuals' value systems. Who should do what, how we should communicate, how we should seek to resolve problems, how we should present ourselves to the world, etc., are all fundamental questions in a relationship, and all of them deal with the values held by each of the partners. Most people try their best to come off as reasonable, humble, and kind early on in relationships, and it's when that veneer begins to slip, when we're seen in trying times or simply when we've grown comfortable, that some of our true idiosyncrasies come out, and it can mark the beginning of the end for a relationship. 

It's here, on the question of shared values, that I'd really urge the reader to put forward the effort to develop an understanding of what it is they can and cannot accept. A mature approach would, first, recognize that people are not saints and that we ourselves are not the sole arbiters of truth and righteousness. For example, it is more likely than not that, if you are in a relationship, your partner is currently allowing you to believe a falsehood or misapprehension about them that you would consider significant. This commonplace betrayal is very likely one that we should just try to come to terms with. People lie, people act against their own interest, people hurt people they didn't mean to, and so on. Do not look away from the "bad" parts of the people you love. Look at it head on and decide whether or not it's acceptable for you. Prioritize asking for and giving forgiveness, for this is the most important practice when it comes to maintaining an enduring relationship. And when you have been as generous as you're capable of being, and found something you simply cannot tolerate, then draw a hard line. Having common values is critical, but it's just as important that you be mature enough to accept some failings with open eyes and to defend your hard boundaries without exception. 

The final factor is the ability to grow together. This is the pragmatic factor. A person must be in a place in their life, and of a predisposition, so that you can move forward together. Your partner cannot always be a drag on you. If you are ambitious, they should have goals they're moving towards as well. If you are a hard worker, you should not be with someone who is content with constantly being idle. There is a lot of give and take in a relationship, nothing is ever gotten for free, and many times our weaknesses are their strengths and vice-versa, but if one of you is constantly trying to develop and build and the other is prone to stagnating and tarrying, then time will tear you apart whether or not you wish it to. I am a romantic in every sense of the word, but there are some inescapable realities, and this is one: Where they're at today needn't necessarily determine where they will be tomorrow, and repeated failure is hugely different from a refusal to try, but you must both have something of the same fire and sensibility within. You cannot build a life with someone who is unwilling, at least in their own way, to try to partner with you in the endeavor. Moreover, and this is really where this final factor becomes distinguishable from shared values, the person must be at a place in life where their situation allows them to grow and build. It can be hard to start a family with someone who already has kids and sees themselves past that milestone, or to chase your goals alongside someone who feels they've already accomplished all they wish to. Conversely, it can be that they're not yet ready for the same pursuits as you, and maybe they'll want those things someday, but you want them now, and waiting years for them to turn that corner just isn't realistic.


An insight that occurred to me after writing this is that the system gives a number to heartbreak. Someone who is a match for us on only 1 or 2 of the 5 factors is someone who we meet once or twice. 3/5 is a likely contender for a few weeks or months of dating that ultimately fizzles out. A 4/5 is apt to be that person you have trouble moving on from. It may have been someone you were in a relationship with for years, and who you will continue to think about with moderate regularity for the rest of your life. Separating from them likely forced you into a depression for a time, and you will always have some appreciation for who they are as people. It's with these that the doubt of whether or not you should be separate at all lingers on for, as you probably had a great deal of hope, at one time, that they were the one. A 5/5 is the one. They're exceedingly rare, and it is sure to be an incredibly trying time for anyone who has to separate from such a perfect counterpart. 


The five factors that need to be looked at when trying to determine whether or not our romantic partner is an ideal match are as follows: 1) chemistry, 2) sexual chemistry, 3) shared interests, 4) shared values, and 5) the capacity to build together. Some of these deal with difficult to describe elements of compatibility; others pertain to key beliefs and one's behavioral repertoire. The ideal match would be compatible with us on all five measures to the utmost extent, but people are not tailor-made for us. We should consider all the good in a person and try to accept wherever it is they deviate from some hypothesized ideal. However, it's very likely that complete failure on any of these measures will result in failure of the relationship.

In matters of love, the heart should be our guide, but when the heart is conflicted, we can perhaps gain some reassurance from the head, and from the list above. 


About the Creator

Martin Vidal

Author of A Guide for Ambitious People, Flower Garden, and On Authorship

Instagram: @martinvidalofficial

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