BUTAs a modern love therapist, I have heard many times people say, “Am I with that person?” But in my experience, this is not the right question to ask.
When people worry about compatibility, they often assume that “closeness” equals “sameness”, believing that we should do the same and think the same as our partners. In fact, relational compatibility does not arise from the fact that they are similar, but rather from the willingness to treat our partners as equals and with respect, no matter what..
In my practice, I have found that the preoccupation with being with the “right” person stems from two main causes: relationship anxiety (rooted in fear of commitment) and over-investment in outdated romantic ideals (distorting our relationship expectations). our relationship).
Let’s start with relationship anxiety. Believing that you wouldn’t have problems if you were with another person may actually be a way for you to avoid taking responsibility for your own insecurities. Relationship anxiety therapist and expert Cheryl Paul, Massachusetts, says that at the heart of the questions is “is my partner good enough, attractive enough, smart enough, witty enough?” is: “Am I enough?” These fears and insecurities are natural. But instead of looking at doubt as a wake-up call, Paul recommends asking yourself: “How do I feel about my partner when my heart is open and I’m not anxious?“
Wondering if there is someone better suited to you can also be related to the fear of settling down, defined as getting less than you think you deserve. Really, settling simply means that you accepted something you didn’t like and didn’t voice it. If you’re in a relationship where you can talk about unfulfilled yearnings and acknowledge and explore them in a constructive way, that’s no comfort.
I’ve also found that people worry about their relationships in part because of preconceived notions about compatibility. People have this idea that in order to be compatible, you must be very similar and agree on everything with each other. But as I mentioned earlier, compatibility is actually more about how partners can relate to each other and live together – their ability to solve problems, respect each other’s boundaries, and work together, among other things. You don’t have to have the same hobbies, musical tastes, or temperament to socialize or work with someone.
What would it be like for us to assume that we would disagree with each other, that we would dislike aspects of each other, and that we would spend most of our lives trying to find the right combination of “you” and “me” rather than being disappointed and surprised this?
To this end, dissimilarity is not inherently a sign of incompatibility. Instead of looking for someone more similar, focus on the need you there is something that is not fulfilled in your relationship. Can you commit to discussing this with your partner(s), even if it’s difficult? How can you create a safe zone to surrender to who each of you is, so that none of you want to go outside of it?
In difficult moments, when we feel anxiety, our analytical brain takes over and convinces us that there is someone easier and better, trying to alleviate our suffering. As long as you are in a caring relationship with someone(s) who is emotionally open and willing to take on a role in moments of contention, your worries may be nothing more than evidence that there is a part of you that doesn’t want to suffer. from love. Take care of your tender heart, instead of dwelling on the lack of Another.
Concerning Why We misunderstand (and fixate on) compatibility, I believe it has to do with the enduring legacy of Romanticism, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that began in Europe in the late 18th century. He emphasized the value of emotions and redefined love as the central motivator of human life and relationships. Alain de Botton, a British philosopher, has studied the origins of romantic love and notes that this era promoted the idea that sex and love should be related to each other, that love is a feeling, and “relationships in everything” are ideal.
There is nothing wrong with believing in love and romance. Unfortunately, capital R thinking can also lead us to place unrealistic expectations on our partners to meet our every need and create the perception that love is a power that happens to you, not your choice that requires work and dedication. It’s no wonder people worry about finding “the one” when they’re taught to believe that one “right” person is the ticket to fulfillment and a long and happy life.
Instead of looking for a partnership that always matches our likes and desires, it might be better to use our time and personal development to experience the negative emotions (sadness, anger, grief) that we feel towards an imperfect person, knowing that we ourselves are imperfect.
It’s okay to be sad about the compromises we have to make to keep a relationship going. Couples who compromise, who live with the loss of defining love as an active commitment rather than an eternal feeling, may be the ones who truly understand what it takes to be in a long-term partnership. What would it be like for us if we assumed that we didn’t agree with each other, that we didn’t like aspects of each other, and that we would spend most of our lives trying to find the right combination of “you” and “me” rather than why be disappointed and surprised by this?
Above all, remember that you are not committing yourself to anyone, but committing to be in the process of working together. In the words of eminent family therapist Benjamin Seaman, LCSW: “Move the question away from ‘Are they the one?’ to “Is this someone I think I can get along with?” It can help relieve stress in your relationship and help you better navigate your romantic future.