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ENA"ers-- How important is compatibility? please give me your thoughts....


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Here is my situation: I have been separated/broken up from my significant other for about 3 months. All in all it was a very good relationship and what I mean by that is that there was no cheating, no abuse- we never even raised our voices to each other, a ton of mutual support and sense of appreciation of the other, being there for the other in all counts. I think we are two very good people who were very good to each other. We had great chemistry/sex and saw each other for the goodness that was there.


I have had time to have some reflection on the relationship. I asked for a time out because of numerous issues: work schedules making it hard to see each other, relationship becoming a bit stagnant, my thinking that we both needed time to work on our own lives since we have been together the entire time we both moved to a new state to start a new life almost 5 years ago. I felt I needed to get a handle on my drinking which I have and was affecting us and I felt I needed time to have other events besides "Us" on the limited time we did have.


Our break has now turned into what seems to be a permanent break up, though she wants us to be friends. This relationship has been the most significant relationship of my life so far and I am 51. I was a single Mom for many years after being with losers in my early twenties and I took many years to be single and just be a good Mom. I felt truly loved and cared for by this person and I hope she felt that way with me.


I do believe that there may be a possiblity for a reconciliation some time but I really want to know how important is compatibility for making a relationship really work? I am starting to see that we may just not have had enough in common.


Here are a few examples:


me - love travel and went to india for months, loved it- her- wouldnt do something like that in this lifetime for any amount of money.

me- love books- her -hasnt read a book in years and is not interested in doing so.

me- believes communication is important and is willing to work on it- her- pretty shut down, has a hard time verbalizing things in general and doesnt want to improve.

me- spiritual and interested in deep thought and activities relating to such-her - laughs at those kinds of things.


me- has great compassion for both people and animals-her- as a retired cop doesnt have as much compassion for people as for animals. Would save an animal but made jokes about the west mesa killer (long story- we live in Albuquerque and in 2009 there was a mass grave discovered that made national news. In it was filled the bodies of 12 prostitutes) she called this area "The Hooker pit" really bugged me.


While we did share some things in common, we are very different people. I want to be clear about the issue of compatilbility and since I havent had a lot of relationships I am hoping I can get some insight so if she does come back around I am resolved. Please help me and feel free to comment on our situation in general. Thanks!

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One of the many of my assumptions as to why my ex left was that we were not compatible. Maybe this rings true for you as well, but my ex did hint to me many times that she was "losing herself". She wasn't who she used to be, she believe she has changed for me. There is some natural change when two people try to become one, but huge differences in compatibility does stand out for some. Having the same interests boosts attraction, I have met women and the first thing I look for is common interests, I don't find any, I struggle, you'd be surprised how much a womens eyes light up when I tell them that I also like what they like, and I throw out a scenario of us doing this hobby together.


But, I don't believe compatibility is the end all be all. I believe communication is more important. There are countless number of things out there to try. Fishing, hunting, painting, etc. the fun is in finding what interests you both can get sucked into. But, I do believe if the incompatibilities of really deep interests are in conflict, then a problem is bound to grow. People have to be sensible to each other when it comes to this. But I feel someone should always respect someones interests, I hate clubs and trance music, but my ex liked it, and if it made her happy, then I would ask questions and would try it out, or look for something in it that might interest me (in my example, I liked making hip hop beats, so i messed around and made trance club music beats).


Unfortunately your partner doesnt want to communicate as much as you. It seems like a bad situation. And unless your partner is willing to work on it, you are going to do a complete 360 if you get back together.

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I think compatibility plays a role, but understanding attraction plays more of a role. You can't change anyone so if there are things that are deal breakers... Like for me... Ex did nothing. Rarely did laundry, couldn't cook etc... Which is by no means a role of a woman now in specific... but it's something that I appreciate. Those are deal breakers to me. I can't be with someone that is constantly lazy.


People don't change unless they realize it's an issue, and even then they have to apply action to changing. A lot of people never do change. So yeah, in that case compatibility is a big issue and it's important to recognize and see what these issues are before fully committing to someone. In your case you already know the issues, if you can't live with it... because the odds are that person will not change... move on and leave it in the past.

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I think what I am really asking is : are we just too different and is that why it failed?


I ask this because there was the mutual support, there was the strong chemistry though the sex started to dry up simply because we were too tired, work too hard and such.


The communication is what I think was the deal breaker here. I agree that you can have other friends to enjoy activities with. We did have things we enjoyed but it still died ( or seems very dead to me now) I am still confused and trying to sort things out.

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If you want to have the butterflies in the stomach feeling and just have fun, mutual attraction and sexual heat are te most important things to have. If you want a relationship that lasts for years and years, and years, compatibiility is the most important ingredient. When you are compatibile you understand and share each others interests and styles of communicating (VERY important!). You fight less and it is much easier to be each other's best friend.

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styles of communicating





It's not so much that you need to have the same style of communicating but you need to be able to understand the other person. I'm a pretty upfront person and how I feel and think usually comes straight out my mouth. I cannot be in a relationship with someone who holds those things in or takes months to process them. I get frustrated and she feels pressured.

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I want to focus on your drinking because the dynamic of your relationship is outside what I'd consider "my area of expertise" and would rather leave it to the women or others with more experience dealing with same sex relationships.


Are you in AA? How long have you been sober? Do you have a sponsor? How far is your step work coming along?

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Well, my drinking did contribute to our problems and I have stopped. I didnt drink all the time, more infrequent binge drinking, meaning not being able to stop when one starts. I did make an amends for it, and it also did not destroy the relationship though it didnt help it.


I've been sober for three months, roughly the same time frame as the break up. It was something I knew I needed to change. I do not go to AA though, I have had friends in the past that have and it worked for them. I am not closed to going though, but I am doing well without it so far.

To be completely honest same sex relationships are exactly the same as the heterosexual ones. There are the same issues, the same things entirely its just a different set of well you know what. I can say this with absolute certainty because I have experienced both.


No need to delete, I appreciate your honest dialogue.

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Communication and "physical communication" styles seem to be more important than having a ton of stuff in common.


Looking back (gotta love hindsight) I can say a large amount of the issues I had with my ex-husband probably had our communication and "comfort zone" physical communication as a root, even though the issues kind of grew from there.


I'm not a very physical person - I was an only child and grew up with very little physical expressions of affection, where he grew up in a large family where touching was a HUGE part of demonstrations of affection. For me, it was more the little gestures like remembering favorites for special treats and "thinking of you" moments. I'm also very verbally communicative, he wasn't.


It led to him not feeling loved or wanted when I couldn't adapt to being as outwardly physically demonstrative as he needed, and he couldn't get a handle on my boundaries. And when he didn't see the gestures of affection I was making as just that - I felt unappreciated and like what I was doing was just never good enough for him.


Needless to say, it wasn't a very healthy situation for either of us.


We didn't have much else in common - but that really wasn't a huge issue at all - the communication and affection style was, though. The differences, we mostly appreciated, and we found enough things we both liked to do some things together as well as apart.

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If you want to have the butterflies in the stomach feeling and just have fun, mutual attraction and sexual heat are te most important things to have. If you want a relationship that lasts for years and years, and years, compatibiility is the most important ingredient. When you are compatibile you understand and share each others interests and styles of communicating (VERY important!). You fight less and it is much easier to be each other's best friend.


Doesn't emotional maturity and previous relationship experiences affect how you understand and communicate with each other? Sometimes it's not so much compatibility as opposed to being on the same page.

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