Things That Determine a Couple's Compatibility

A mutual love of the outdoors may make you more compatible.
... Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Navigating the dating waters means establishing that you're compatible with your potential partner. While the initial rush of electricity that you feel for that special someone may make you think that the two of you are meant to be, developing a deeper relationship takes more than just chemistry or attraction. Understanding what determines a couple's compatibility can help you to assess your new relationship and evaluate if it's long-term material.

1 Give and Take

A close and committed relationship requires each partner to engage in give and take when it comes to listening to, sharing and supporting the other person, according to the TeensHealth website. If one member of the pair doesn't pull his weight in these areas, compatibility isn't always there. A compatible couple will engage in equal amounts of give and take, supporting each other and providing a shoulder to lean on without acting selfish.

2 Cultural Considerations

Even if you have an array of friends who come from different cultures or places, having a shared background can foster compatibility in a couple. Your culture may dictate values and beliefs that can define your relationship. For example, some cultures have specific beliefs about marriage that may affect the couple's compatibility. If your beau's culture believes in arranged marriages -- marriages that the parents or the families chose, and not matches based on love -- he may not have the ability to eventually marry you.

3 Religious Reasoning

Like cultural background, religion also comes into play when establishing a couple's compatibility. Although plenty of couples date and marry outside of their religions, having shared spiritual beliefs can unite the pair and make it easier to celebrate holidays or eventually raise children together. For example, if you're Catholic and your girlfriend is Jewish, it's not likely that she'll want to attend Christmas morning services with you or get married at your family's church.

4 Interests and Hobbies

Outside of major life factors such as culture or religion, a couple's leisure-time interests can affect their compatibility level. Although having separate identities is essential in any relationship, says the TeensHealth website, sharing interests in activities or hobbies can help to bring you closer to your partner. For example, if you're an avid tennis player, you may have a higher compatibility level with another racquet sport enthusiast than someone who can't stop talking about building model planes.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.