How to spot your type

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Ask single people who their ‘type’ is and responses will range from a shopping list of physical, behavioural and occupational attributes to a more laid-back, ‘whoever turns up in my life’ approach. But one thing’s for sure when it comes to finding love – regardless of race, age or gender, the best type for anyone is someone who shares compatible core values that are based on the deepest levels of personality.

But what makes someone compatible with me?
In its simplest terms, being compatible with someone is about sharing enough core traits, values and relationships skills. Not sharing enough is likely to spell relationship trouble further down the road, no matter how great your physical attraction and chemistry might be.

Chemistry
At the start of any relationship, love and lust can be intoxicating. The object of your affection will float in and out of your thoughts and the promise of the future will put a new spring in your step. It’s this elation that makes us want to find love and it’s this that is idolised on screen and in books.

But, without being matched on compatibility in advance, the attraction is usually based on five traits only: appearance, chemistry, front-end personality (chatter), status and sense of humour. Without any other shared traits, the romance will grind to a halt just as quickly as it began.

So stop buying in to generalisations like ‘all women are like this’ or ‘all men are like that’ and brush up on how to spot deep compatibility when it’s there.

What does compatibility look like?
In relationships based on true compatibility, love deepens in cycles of self-discovery and rediscovery of each other. Partners will keep falling in love in slightly different ways, reaffirming their commitment. They will experience the same initial euphoria as incompatible couples, but will have a much more positive future.

Partners that don’t share core values and personality traits will find themselves falling into emotionally separating periods of resentment when tolerating each other’s foibles, which will eventually overwhelm the relationship. ‘Over the long haul, if somebody’s really radically different and they see the world in a different way, it’s going to be difficult to negotiate those things again and again and again,’ explains eHarmony Senior Research Scientist Dr Gian Gonzaga.

At best the honeymoon period lasts several months, depending on the qualities you share. So whether you prefer a determined brunette or a gentle blonde, the intellectual or the easy going, the stylista or the girl or boy next door, one thing is clear; if you want a long-term successful relationship, you need to share core values, personality traits, and have similar relationship skills like how you communicate and handle stress. Chemistry alone won’t help you find long-term love.

Who is my type?
Learning how to spot your type is a two-part process. You need to identify the values and traits (good and bad) that you bring to the table in order to find traits in others that go well with yours. Match these and you’ll not only experience the early euphoria but the relationship will keep getting better and better.

You don’t have to be clones of each other to be compatible. It’s no big issue if your partner likes to watch romantic comedies and you prefer sport, or you like listening to Hip Hop and they prefer Rock. There can be many differences between you but it’s vital that these do not include core values, traits and relationship skills for your relationship to be one of longevity and happiness. It would matter more if you like to be spontaneous and your partner is a rigorous planner or if you are socialite and they are like to stay at home.

So, don’t make excuse for new partners for the sake of the initial euphoria. You’ll only create stress later. You can find compatible partners anywhere, if you know what you’re looking for.

The Compatible Seven
Remember these Compatible Seven and bear them in mind when trying to find love.

Spirituality—for some people, shared religious beliefs are vital. For others, it is more about a shared level of spirituality. Assess your own beliefs and your potential partner’s before committing yourself to a new relationship.
Communication – your level of desire for personal intimacy must be shared. An ability to be honest about thoughts and feelings will always stand you in good stead.
Ambition—if you’re determined to reach the top of your game but your partner is determined to stay put on the sofa, think again.
Energy level—if you love extreme sports but your partner prefers low-key activities, be wary. Differences may seem exciting but remember this important mantra: Opposites attract, then attack.
Role expectations—if a woman has her mind set on being a traditional stay-at-home mother but her potential partner believes women should be more independent, there’ll be trouble.
Interests—while some differences are okay, it’s how much time you or your partner invests in them that will indicate whether they will cause a problem. You shouldn’t have to just “put up” with your partner’s interests, as your time is as valuable as theirs. Make sure you can enjoy them as well and they can enjoy yours.
Personal habits— habits like drinking, eating and untidiness are details that seem able to be overlooked at first, but can be real sources of irritation later. Try to make sure your habits are in tune as much as possible.

Finding what you’re looking for

It’s vital that you discover your own core values, traits and relationship skills before you can recognise them in a compatible match. Instead of falling for anyone that turns up in your life, you’ll be able to spot someone who you can truly be happy with in the long run. The more similarities you share the less you’ll need to negotiate difference. But remember, you need the complete package. Compatibility and shared values should be mixed with chemistry and attraction.


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