Why Love Alone Isn't Strong Enough To Make Your Relationship Last (And What Is)

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Why Compatibility In A Relationship Is More Important Than Simply Falling In Love

Falling in love can lead to a relationship, but one thing is still needed for it to truly last: compatibility.

We are under the impression that relationships end when people no longer love each other. That is not always the case.

It’s not that you stop loving them. It's that as you go through the stages of love, you realize that you're not as compatible as you initially believed.

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Divorce doesn’t happen when you hate someone — that would be too easy. Divorce doesn’t happen when you are ebbing and flowing between love and hate — that’s just that rollercoaster.

Divorce happens when you hit indifference — that’s the place you stop caring. It’s not that you stop loving them.

I realized that I was no longer in love with him but I was questioning if I was ever in love, to begin with.

When you marry young, you don’t fully know the difference between being in love and loving someone. I realized that I loved him, but we wanted different things.

The love compatibility wasn't there and I don’t think it ever was. Dating and being in a relationship in college and graduate school is different from dating and relationships as an adult.

As an adult, you have to consciously and intentionally make time for that person versus when you are young and in college, you have time to fill and life is more carefree with less effort. The differences in relationships don’t seem so big when you’re young.

Love is more than just a feeling and compatibility is more than just liking the same things or having similar things in common.

Love is something that you cultivate and grow. It’s a feeling and emotion but it is also taking action — an ever-changing process. And compatibility is necessary to help it grow and evolve.

Compatibility is more than two people who like the same foods or sports. It is how you get along as a couple — it is moving, loving, and growing in harmony.

Having similar hobbies or sharing commonalities is a very basic view of compatibility, but the reality is that it is more about how well the couple can function together.

How was your partner raised? Do they have the same values related to family and spirituality?

Compatibility means delving into these topics and many others within your relationship and discovering to what degree you and your partner are functioning harmoniously.

Many times, we tell ourselves that opposites attract. But, when you’re older and married, those differences feel like mountains. Not only are you climbing mountains, but many times it feels more like you are trying to move mountains.

It’s in those moments that you realize that while, yes, you have to work at your marriage, the misery that you are feeling isn’t part of it.

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Recognizing that we wanted different things and for us to get on the same page, it meant that someone had to compromise who they were.

Compromising on issues or things like what you want for dinner is to be expected, compromising on the things you want in life, the role you want to play in life, goals, beliefs — the big things — is not to be expected.

I realized that the husband I had was not the type of husband I wanted and I’m sure I was not the type of wife he wanted.

Pre-marital counseling does not guarantee a happy, healthy marriage. It means there will be conversations about some tough topics, but not necessarily agreement or resolution after that. Sometimes, you are just on different pages.

Understanding your role in someone else's life is crucial. If you are not compatible, the role and expectation will look and feel different to each of you. It will become playing a role rather than fulfilling the role of a partner within the relationship.

There is a lack of connection that breeds resentment and indifference, likely as a result of a lack of compatibility. It becomes an uphill battle.

While there are things you love about your spouse, it becomes an uphill battle that you no longer want to fight. You will miss things about them — the memories, the laughter, the friendship — but friendship does not mean compatibility and healthy relationship.

Learning that is crucial and many couples miss that. There is a certain level of compatibility and attentiveness that is required.

Some differences are expected, but in those areas that you are different and not compatible, a certain level of respect and attentiveness is imperative to carry you over those issues.

Without compatibility, the relationship will quickly lose its luster. You cannot build a life with someone when you are only compatible in one or two areas. That is not enough and it never will be.

Be mindful that love and compatibility are very different. You can love someone with your whole heart, but that doesn’t mean you are compatible or that the relationship will work.

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Janika Veasley is a Marriage and Family Therapist committed to helping couples, families, and individuals succeed in living a holistic and healthy life.