Compatibility is about the ability to co-exist harmoniously. We experience it with people with whom we share core values (character and direction). These values speak for who we are and what we prioritise in terms of how we want to live our lives (relationships, economic, social, financial, religious, political, etc). It’s important to distinguish between preference (conscious choices for ourselves) versus programming (doing it out of habit/expectation, not because it’s right for us).

Secondary values are about taste, such as appearance, hobbies and interests, status etc. Think look and feel. Secondary values have little, if any, bearing on the presence of core values. As a result, it’s critical to be mindful of snap judgement blind spots. Prioritising secondary values over core ones means a relationship lacks the substance to become mutually fulfilling and loving. It’s superficial. Of course, we can like secondary values, but they only add value to the relationship if it also has shared core values.

Big differences in core values lead to tension, trust issues and immediate or eventual incompatibility because it means we want different things.

Needless to say, if you don’t share similar relationship aspirations and values, it doesn’t matter what you think you have in common, what you don’t share prevents your relationship from going anywhere. 

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