What makes two people compatible?

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I remember when I first got with my ex and thinking how great we were together. We had good chemistry, plenty of similar interests and a shared sense of humour, yet it wasn’t enough to keep us together. I won’t go into all the reasons but looking back with the understanding I have now, there were definitely a few key areas where we were incompatible.

Luckily, we now have help from the experts at eharmony who have developed 18 dimensions of compatibility that form the basis of its matching system. Jonathan Beber – Manager, Research and Development at eharmony explains:

Through our research, as well as research of other academics, we’ve seen that these 18 dimensions of compatibility are significantly predictive of relationship quality in a long-term relationship. For example, if one person is high in emotional intimacy, where they want to spend every free moment with their partner and share every feeling with them, and the other person in the relationship is somewhat lower in emotional intimacy, there could be some misunderstandings that could lead to more conflict, and eventually wear them down. The person lower in emotional intimacy may feel smothered by the other, since they need their space from time to time, regardless of how much they love someone, and the person high in emotional intimacy will feel neglected because they aren’t getting that closeness they really want.”

Here are eharmony’s 18 Dimensions of Compatibility and a definition of each one:

  1. Accommodation – how well you understand and respect differences of opinion.
  2. Affectionate– how you express feelings or showing fondness or tenderness to your partner.
  3. Agreeableness– being kind, cooperative, warm and considerate.
  4. Alienation– a tendency to be in a negative emotional state.
  5. Altruism– while all of us have values and beliefs that we apply to situations in a reactive manner, the Altruism dimension speaks to how important it is for you to help others.
  6. Athleticism– this dimension will determine whether you consider yourself to be energetic, athletic or if you are generally keeping physically fit.
  7. Conscientiousness– are you diligent and organised?
  8. Emotional intimacy– how comfortable you feel in sharing personal feelings with others.
  9. Emotional stability– can you get easily upset by daily events? This dimension will determine steadiness of your temperament.
  10. Exclusivity– are you and your match in a mutual agreement of only having one partner at a time?
  11. Extroversion– do you have an outgoing personality and do you enjoy large groups of people and like being the centre of attention?
  12. Intellect– how interested are you in learning about and understanding the world around you? This dimension will determine your cleverness and intelligence.
  13. Obstreperousness– this will determine the degree to which you are dominant, opinionated, and quarrelsome.
  14. Relationship values– the importance you place on having a happy, healthy relationship.
  15. Religious values– how important religion and religious values are in your daily life.
  16. Romantic– how important romance and closeness are to you in a relationship.
  17. Physical intimacy– how important the physical aspect of a relationship is to you.
  18. Social values– the importance you place in having friends in your life.

So when you sign up to eharmony and tell us a bit about yourself, we will use all our research plus the strength of our matching algorithm to find you that special someone to fill your heart with  joy, laughter and that butterfly-like feeling. We call it the Spark.

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