Friday, March 11, 2011

60% Compatibility, 40% Compromise

I recently read in Cosmopolitan magazine that most people are only 60% compatible with other people, namely, their significant other.  Thanks Cosmo, so much for the concept of soul mates.....

First of all, I would be interested to meet the scientist or statistician who decided that you could quantify compatibility.  I think that's weird.  Second of all, once I got past the fact that this statistic was a pretty pessimistic way of looking at relationships in general, I decided that said weird, pessimistic statistician was probably right.  I'm fully aware that I am NOT a relationship expert.  I am definitely no Dr. Phil (although I have my doubts about his expertise, too).  However, I think I have enough experience to agree that relationships are 60% compatibility and 40% compromise.  

About eight months ago, I ended a long relationship with a guy I had dated since high school.  He was (and still is) an awesome person.  What was great about him was that not only were we dating, but he was also an excellent friend.  I can honestly say that for probably the most impressionable six years of my life, he was my best friend.  However, we may have been 60% compatible, but I was not willing to make some of the compromises that the relationship, ultimately, would have required.  I'm pretty sure relationships begin and end in the 40%.  

Since that breakup, I've had the opportunity to really "date" in the casual sense for the first time.  The thing is, I got to a place where  I didn't want to compromise.  I had a set of standards, and I was banking on the idea that there had to be another human being with that same set of standards.  Maybe there is.  However, I am less and less sure about that, and more and more sure that the compromising is necessary.  Now, I just think you have to find that person for whom you're willing to compromise.  When I say compromise, I don't mean change your core value or beliefs or any of those things that are intrinsic to your character.  For example, I would consider myself very open-minded in many ways, and I have a pretty broad and varied group of friends.  I dated a guy for a little while who was extremely close-minded and, I would venture to say, a tab bit judgmental.  Fun guy.  I liked him; I just could not imagine myself introducing him to my friends.  Deal breaker.  By compromise, what I mean is that, we have to develop a certain level of patience for other people's eccentricities.  Everyone has their hangups and habits, and to make a relationship work, one has to ultimately find the hangups and habits of their significant other endearing.  

Maybe the reason we're only 60% compatible is that nobody's perfect.  I know I'm not.  I'm pretty positive it's going to take a saint to find my sass and and hangups and habits endearing.  For now, I'm pretty optimistic about that person's existence.  Guess we'll just leave it at that.  

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