Incompatibility interferes with most relationships at one time or another but what is it really?
One of Susie’s coaching clients had a beautiful insight after one of our coaching sessions that nailed it in our opinion…
“I’ve been thinking a lot yesterday about incompatibility as different realities.”
She went on to talk about a major source of contention between her and her ex-boyfriend was how much time they spent together.
In her way of thinking, a couple committed to each other would spend as much time as they could together.
Her boyfriend’s definition was different. He thought a couple would spend time together only when they had something to share, otherwise each would spend their time doing their own things.
You can see the problems that these different ways of being in a relationship created!
Arguments, misunderstandings and hurt feelings with both of them hanging onto being “right.”
After a year or more of struggling, both agreed they were incompatible and ended the relationship.
But were they incompatible or was it that they didn’t open to seeing the other’s reality and finding a way that would work for both of them?
Sure, some people in relationships want such different things in life and have such different ways of viewing the world from a partner that they’re not willing to change…
They are making the choice to be incompatible with that person so they can live their best lives.
We get that because both of us were in long-term marriages before we got together that ended because we wanted something different from what our previous spouses wanted.
But here’s some of what we’ve seen about creating compatibility in the last 25 years of coaching and being together…
1. Whether you’re just starting a new relationship or have been in a relationship for many years, talk about it.
When you see that the other person has a different reality or different way of looking at something from yours…
That’s a signal for you to get curious, listen, understand and see where there’s a meeting point.
If our coaching client had simply asked the question about how often her ex liked to be in contact when they started the relationship…
She could have determined if his viewpoint was how she wanted to be in a relationship and whether he was flexible or not.
If you’re in a committed, long-term relationship and the issue isn’t a deal-breaker…
Listen to yourself and listen to the other person to understand his or her thinking.
Both of us have certainly seen things differently since we’ve been together but we’ve learned to listen to each other and a way we can both agree on eventually shows up.
2. Stay true to you but stop judgments of the other person
Judgment kills relationships and that’s what eventually happened in our coaching client’s relationship.
When you don’t feel heard or understood, resentment builds.
When you each are pushing the other to conform to a way of seeing the world, resentment builds.
Trying to understand another doesn’t mean you agree with their way…
But it does mean that you’re open to seeing something new in what they’re saying and discovering how the two of you can find a way to come together.
Putting a label of “incompatibility” on a relationship shuts out love.
When love leads the way, you can see through your separate realities and make a conscious choice about how you want to live your life and with whom you want to share it.