It must be one of the top ten questions burning in the hearts of human beings throughout time: “How can I know for sure if I’m compatible with my partner?” So unrelenting has this inquiry been that it frequently woke me up at night for years preceding my divorce. Only with the smack of the judge’s gavel did my heart finally resign to that fact that I had no clue what compatibility meant.
In light of subsequent relationships and teaching the tantric art of creative loving, I’ve harvested compelling insights in response to this ancient conundrum. While we’re about to embark on two entertaining and relatively reliable ways to gauge compatibility, the third and fail-safe answer is ultimately one that only you can know for sure. In order for these to work, you must be honest with yourself, and all of the data must flow through your own direct experience.
Before we look at this three-part compatibility survey, let’s explore some traditional factors and why they don’t add up. Have you noticed that often people base their compatibility on whether they argue or fight? Or whether there’s physical violence or verbal abuse in the relationship? Although indicative, these factors are not definitive, because for one committed to spiritual awakening, these destructive behaviors can merely reflect our own “need to be right,” which our partner is simply mirroring back to us. You do not need to do anything about these conditioned patterns—in fact, you cannot change them if you try. (Note: This is not to suggest staying in a stagnant or violent relationship.) Just that being aware of these tendencies, that is to say conscious, elevates the vibration of “old” thoughts, transforming them into loving ones.
Now for the factors that most accurately indicate intimate human relativity. If they shock you, revel in the surprise—for they are significant in bringing you beyond the visual attraction most people depend on above their primal instincts.
The first is (drum roll, please): musical tastes. Why? Because the music one enjoys reflects the vibrational relativity of their mind, which incidentally molds one’s physical environment and shapes their universe. For example, as I was decimating my parents’ Bee Gees album on my mini pink phonograph in New York, my partner was tearing up the disco floors in South Florida—and despite apparent variance in time and space, our musical appetites bordered on identical when we met two decades later, and he is thirteen years older than I.
That’s the power of vibration. This, not to mention that music carries so much resonant energy, it can transform an environment into heaven or hell. In fact, if you want an aggressive person to leave your physical space, you can influence this ever so subtly by turning on a peaceful melody. Its ethereal qualities will sufficiently transform the space to where they will suddenly have to leave or, oddly enough, be drawn away by some seemingly unrelated incidents (i.e. their cell phone rings or nature calls).
Compatibility factor number two has been mastered by animals all over the planet—yep, you guessed it: body scent. The fragrance of the body is so essential in determining relativity that a dog can know in seconds what takes a human being many hours, even months, years, or a lifetime to figure out. Believe me, your good olfactory glands can pre-relieve you of much pointless relationship distress. Why ever suffer when such a simple wisdom lies quite literally, right under your nose?
Testing these factors, of course, is not an exact science, yet it’s still possible (and fun) to ask someone what their top ten favorite musicians and songs are. Or, ask to hold their hand a moment while you sneak a whiff of it—assuming that you are not going to hug them in greeting when you first meet. (The old hug ‘n’ sniff is, of course, the most effective way!) They may still make wonderful friends regardless of your lack of penchant for their iPod shuffle and aroma, yet they will probably not make a compatible lover for you. Try it and see for yourself, or reflect on your experience of past lovers as they pertain to these two suggested keystones of compatibility—and feel free to share related musings with me.
One other thing—and this leads us to the most essential part. If a person wears perfume or cologne, beware! If one is concealing the scent of their skin, it is prudent to consider: what else might they be hiding? It’s very subtle, yet people who do not enjoy their own body scent will generally not like others’ either, whereas one who enjoys the scent of their own pheromones and body odor is unlikely to be critical and quite likely to love you “Just the Way You Are.” (Yes, that song is on both our iPods.)
In the end, two lovers’ absolute acceptance of each other is the only fail-safe compatibility test. This brand of acceptance can’t be bought in stores and it’s all you’ll ever really need.