New Year’s Resolution For Couples: How to Become More Compatible in 2023
As we head into a new year, it’s traditional to make resolutions to improve something in our lives. We may resolve to visit the gym regularly, or go on a diet, or find a new job.
While we typically make resolutions on an individual level, a new year also offers spouses or partners the opportunity to work together on spicing up their relationship and becoming more compatible.
What Holds A Relationship Together? Compatibility In Love
Being compatible in a love relationship means that partners share basic values and core beliefs. They think the same way about the important things, such as finances, sex and intimacy, spiritual views, and life priorities.
Indeed, when we say two people are compatible, what we really mean is that they are in sync. They enjoy being together and don’t feel the need to “fix” their partner. They accept and respect each other for the things each one brings to the relationship.
Just being in a relationship for a while may imply that the partners are compatible.
However, there are many couples that don’t get along, are in disharmony or may even be hostile to each other.
You’ve doubtlessly heard the phrase, “opposites attract.” Being with someone different from ourselves can be exciting when we are looking for a romantic partner.
Many people initially start a relationship because they are intrigued or excited by the different ideas and diverse viewpoints the other person provides. There is often an erotic chemistry that brings opposites together…the mystery of not knowing what to expect is seductive.
However, we all know that chemistry alone can fizzle and, unless there is more to the connection between partners, it will inevitably burn out.
How To Build Compatibility
Building more compatibility into your most significant relationship starts with prioritizing communication, connection and intimacy.
When a relationship is new, we usually work hard to find ways to be together. Maybe it’s as simple as meeting for a cup of coffee or taking a walk in the park, but we eagerly set aside time to be together.
Once we have settled into a routine, however, we get comfortable. Becoming too comfortable can lead to complacency which can then lead to taking your partner for granted.
Recognizing this tendency is the job of both partners. If you are both paying attention, remedies can be simple.
Spouses can look for a shared interest or a project they would both enjoy. Doing an activity together will make them spend time together and help them feel connected.
Being kind, tolerant, paying attention and showing concern for each other is also simple to do if you’re paying attention. Sometimes it’s nice just to be heard and feel supported.
The Compatibility Fix: The 5 Most Important Things
While it’s unlikely to find someone who is one hundred percent compatible with us, relationships are easier and less stressful when most of our values align.
If, for example, you want to save for a home, but your partner isn’t concerned about their ever-increasing credit card debt, your values are out of sync. Couples therapy can help, but if there are too many differences between you that you are unable to reconcile, it puts the relationship in jeopardy.
If you want to fix compatibility issues, both partners will have to work together to make changes.
Here are 5 tips to getting there:
1) Identify the issue, one issue at a time: Be clear about what you want to discuss and stay on track in the discussion.
2) Manage your emotions: Emotions drive the way you look, behave and respond. Do not let them rule you in a discussion. It is often the way you feel, more than the way you think, that determines how you will communicate or make decisions. Poor emotional control can lead to negative nonverbal cues that cause unwanted reactions from the other person. Emotional awareness is a skill you can acquire.
3) Listen: This may seem obvious so why is it so hard to do? The truth is that most of us do not listen, especially to someone with whom we are arguing. We tend to occupy our minds with forming a response so we can jump in and make our point. We look to direct the discussion our way, so we listen for cues to do so. We may feel we need to defend ourselves or create a distraction in order to diffuse the other’s point.
Listening is a skill you can acquire and can lead to better compatibility.
4) Do not interrupt: Avoid interrupting at all costs. It shows that you have not been able to control your emotions and that you have little regard for the speaker’s point. It gets back to the issue of not being able to listen effectively.
Why would anyone want to listen to you if you show you aren’t respectfully listening to them?
5) Be curious: Ask questions about what you’ve heard to make sure you understand your partner’s point. This simple tool can potentially reduce arguments or conflict which often comes from misunderstandings.
Choosing to become more compatible enriches and strengthens the love bond.
As one year ends and another begins, consider taking some time to evaluate your compatibility. By making it a priority to build more compatibility between you and your partner, your relationship will grow and thrive in the coming year.
Other articles of interest:
Click here to learn more about marriage counseling and how to have a successful relationship.
About the Author
Dr. Stan Hyman is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach in private practice in Miami, Florida. He works with couples struggling with powerful issues such as infidelity, careers, intimacy, and communication. He also specializes in treating addictions, anger, anxiety, stress, depression and work-life balance