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Is Your Soulmate Really Your Type on Paper?

Compatibility is often not your type on paper and here’s why.

Credit: Shutterstock/ Madua

Left, left, left, and left. Lives too far, fuckboy, too cringey, f**kboy, and on it goes. Scrolling on dating apps can be a maze with no real end deal. We’ve all heard success stories; they are not incredibly common. So, what is the fascination with pointless scrolling? The power of instant rejection without the effort of face-to-face conversation?

“People often confuse compatibility with being the same,” expresses relationship psychotherapist Charisse Cooke in an interview with Refinery29.

“It’s often the differences in relationships that can cause problems and conflict. So we may imagine someone having the same interests as us protects us from misunderstandings or disagreements.”

Cooke suspects those earlier generations have an “urge to merge” their lives and thus mirror interests, views, and pastimes. Subconsciously, we expect to experience less conflict and tension. But when it boils down to it, is this effective or avoidant? Are we searching for love or wanting to build-a-partner?

Compatibility Does not Equal Shared Interests

According to a Healthy Framework survey, around 61% of users look for people who share common interests, while 64% of married Americans agree that shared interests are crucial in a successful marriage; it certainly is not the defining factor of a strong relationship. The effort put into romance and learning more about someone has become void of attention.

Carmelia Ray, a relationship expert, states, “When you first start dating someone, it can be exciting to discover that you have a lot in common. However, as time passes, you may find that having too much in common can be just as challenging as having nothing.” 

Dating apps and social media platforms will not tell you how compatible you are with someone, red flags are sometimes just things people have to work through, and Zodiac signs are not really all that accurate. Yes, I said it, and I will say it again.

Your Zodiac sign cannot be a red flag.

Anything and everything deemed a red flag is left under an individual experience. Someone with a buzzcut who has wronged you does not represent all humans with buzzcuts.

So, university majors and star signs are walking red flags? Sorry Econ students, I guess you’re out on this one. Yeah… how do I explain this one to my partner?

The other day I had the pleasure of reminiscing about the start of my relationship and thinking back on it, I did not think he was my type at all. Surface level, he was a cricket player and political enthusiast and had some questionable trousers resembling something out of a space movie. My first instinct was, oh god, no. My second, where has he been all my life? Cliché? Yes.

The checklist perfect partner does not exist. But that does not necessarily matter. Compatibility extends beyond common interests. Lisa Fei, founder and CEO of relationship wellness app Clarity, says, “Having similar values and ethics is what can make or break a relationship in the long run.”

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