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Friday, January 6, 2017

The Outback Willie Guide to Compatibility

I've written about a pretty wide variety of subjects, situations and scenarios in life on this blog and touched on quite a few relational issues but with the exception of creating a checklist for the ideal woman.....

I really haven't delved into the complex world of compatibility.

But I decided to throw my hat into the whole world of analyzing compatibility and see what I could come up with.

Because my mind works off lists, I'll start with a list of characteristics or categories that 2 people must share or be comparable or compatible in to have a chance at a meaningful and lasting relationship and then I'll expand on each one:
  • Physical - Looks - Face and Body
  • Mental - Intelligence - Education
  • Emotional - History - Attitude - Outlook - Perspective - Approach
  • Communication - Quality, Quantity and Methods
  • Economic Status - Financial Goals, Plans and Perspectives
  • Social Status
There - that's probably enough to get a few points across.

Every dating website has an algorithm for matching up people based on a survey or data provided.

So just consider this Outback Willie's attempt in that endeavor.

Physical -

First off, understand I come from the Land of Trophy Wives - Texas - and this certainly skews the data but for the most part, this travesty of relationships is just an monetary anomaly to me.  It fascinates and amazes me the high percentage of couples where the woman looks so much better than the man.  Even in Santa Fe, I see it. 

I can sit down anywhere - in any venue - grocery store, mall, restaurant, bar - and pick out 10 couples and in 8 / 10 of those couples, some gorgeous woman or at least obviously physically superior woman, is with some dumpy, used up, belly over the belt guy that has no business with this woman.  It pisses me off that the majority of the guys in the world don't do any more with themselves physically to close the gap.  And it's not just limited to the older generation.... I see it with the younger guys too.  

Anyway - I'll get off my soapbox and make the relational point.

I've seen a few exceptions in my 54 years, but for the most part, for a relationship to be long term successful, the man and woman have to be pretty much comparable in looks in face and body.

If a gap exists in that department, a gap will exist between them sooner or later.

Mental - 

This one kinda creeps up on you because let's face it - pardon the pun - how somebody looks is probably the first catalyst for attraction.

But when you look behind that pretty or handsome face - what's behind the mask?

Is there a brain to back up the beauty or the brawn?

In reality, the Power of the Mind is what drives everything, so if the Light is on but nobody's Home, then why knock on the door - right?

And I hate to say it and I've tried to get away from this bias, but it just proves itself over and over again.

One of the best measures for mental compatibility is education.

I know it sounds pompous and pious but the reality is that there is something about a 4 year college degree that shapes and defines a person beyond those that don't have it.

Just the self-discipline and self-sacrifice that's required to get through 120 - 150 hours of a college curriculum is enough to separate the Win - Place - Shows from the Also Ran's of the World.

And it's most likely that, if your potential significant other doesn't have a college education and you do or vice versa, then you're gonna get an education in what does and doesn't work in a relationship.

Emotional -

This category encompasses so many things, it's pretty impossible to package it into a paragraph but I'll give it a try.

And let me also preface this poor attempt to define this complex characteristic with the qualification that this is probably one category where the widest range of composition and makeup coming into the relationship will not necessarily be a detriment to the relationship.

In another words, opposites attract can sometimes work in the Emotional arena.

You can get an expressive, outgoing person hooked up with a introverted, introspective person and it will work because each person sees the need to gravitate toward the other for the individual and greater good.

So the outgoing person becomes a little more reserved and the emotional hermit peeks out of their shell.

A few "intangibles" that do have to be shared on the emotional front for a successful relationship are Trust, Integrity, Patience, Tolerance and Flexibility.

And I will just speak for myself on this one and say, those people that have rigid and inflexible standards, opinions or mindsets, are not gonna be someone I am compatible with.

Communication - 

You know I used to think this was the most important thing in a relationship.  Being able to talk about and communicate ideas and express yourself and have your partner express themselves to you.

And it is one of those characteristics that can't exist without the foundation of other characteristics before it such as the Mental and Emotional compatibility.

But based on my experience, the success or failure of a relationship due to communication is not so much in what is communicated as it is in how it is communicated.

You can have specific feelings and ideas that you want to express to your significant other but you have to pick the right time, venue and method for communicating those feelings, else you run the risk of creating a communication and relational gap vs an exchange that will bring you closer.

And the biggest negative determinants on communication are Fear and Anger and one usually follows the other.

Fear of Rejection, Fear of Loss, Anger at being Misunderstood or Mistreated.

I can't count how many times I've had negative interactions with a significant other based on Fear and Anger.

And the Way Out of this Abyss of Emotion is as simple as saying....

"I am scared about....."  or "I am upset about....."   and "I'd like to talk about that".

Assumptions, Misunderstandings, Hurt Feelings, Lost Opportunities and Failed Relationships are often rooted in the inability of 2 people to effectively communicate their feelings.

Economic Status - Financial Goals, Plans and Perspectives

I've often submitted that the Root of All Evil is the Lack of Money.... Yeah that's right - the Lack of Money.

Oblivious or Rich People will say "Money doesn't buy Happiness."

To which I say - "That may be the case but it can damn sure make Life a whole lot easier while you're looking for Happiness!"

Bottom line is this - short and sweet - if a couple don't have somewhat similar perspectives on the Power and Value of Money and Managing it Properly - whether they are just dating or moved in together or in a marriage - then they ain't got a snowball's chance in Hell of making a go of it.

Social Status -

This is a tough one to define but in essence, it's pretty tough for an Uptown Girl to make it with a Ghetto Guy.

And I totally realize that your background and upbringing do not define who you are for the rest of your life.

But the environment, expectations and expressions shared, learned and exchanged in a given lifestyle do affect and define who you are and how you relate to the world and your potential significant other.

I'll just use myself and my experience as an example.

Despite my attempts at being a Gentleman and a Socially Acceptable Individual, my perspective, outlook and the way I express myself can be somewhat obtrusively direct and potentially crude and unrefined at times.

This is a product of how I was brought up and what I have experienced much of my life based on the environment I was subject to.  It's no excuse - it's just a statement of experience.

Had I been brought up a different way in a different environment, my core or default behavior might be different.

And for the most part, you can tell in talking with someone for about 5 minutes how they define themselves from a social status - how they dress, their body language, their spoken language - it either defines their social status or is an expression of what they want you to think they are.

Regardless, if you find yourself feeling inferior or superior after talking with someone for 5 minutes, then it's probably a manifestation of a gap in social status between you and the other person.

I was in a recent relationship where this gap existed and despite my best efforts to shrug off the effects of it, it was something that affected the way I viewed myself in the relationship.

I felt like I had to be better than I actually was just to meet the other person's expectations of correct and right in a relationship.

This kind of relational pressure to perform beyond your natural and core characteristics creates a thick atmosphere of tension that can only be cut with crisis.

So the bottom line is be comfortable with your own status in life and seek those who are comfortable with that same status and vice versa.

It's probably ironic that one element missing from my list is the topic of Sexuality.

I guess I won't dive off into that pool other than to say that if you stand on common ground in most of the relational areas described above, then the Intimacy and resulting Sexual Experience will probably be good.

So there's my 2 cents worth on Compatibility in Relationships.

Hopefully, you can glean something of value from my opinion on the subject.

If not, then maybe it helped you start thinking about what is important to you.

Either way, it's all part of the continuing education in this class we call Life.

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