A friend recently told me something that dropped a bomb on my world:
“My ex-husband and I had so much going for us … But the one thing that was missing was compatibility. We simply weren’t compatible. We had so much of the other stuff, but without the compatibility we couldn’t make it work.”
I knew the word, of course. Everyone knows it and pretty much everybody who knows it knows what it means, too.
From Websters: “Capable of existing together in harmony.”
It’s mighty impressive, you have to admit, this notion that you can be wholly in love with someone, connect with them in an infinite number of ways: hearts attached, sex spectacular, the two of you even laughing a lot at the others jokes all these years later, but still. All of that may never be enough.
It occurred to me that this was exactly the problem I had had in my own failed marriage of ten years. And in all the other serious relationships I’d been involved in throughout my life, too.
We weren’t compatible.
I loved each one of them, there’s no doubt about that. I loved them so hard that there was no shortage of tears on my part whenever I’ve had to say goodbye.
It was always a mystery to me. But looking back now and seeing my marriage (and my other love affairs) through the very simple and clear lens of compatibility, I feel like someone just rolled a damn boulder off my big toe. I was suffering from the uncertainty of what had happened to me, to us. But now it makes so much sense.
Hey, this might seem like absolutely obvious stuff, I get that.
So think what you want.
Remember though, I overlooked it for a long time, and because of that I’m guessing a lot of other people might be overlooking it as well. Listen, we can love another person with everything we’ve got, but without compatibility, without that simple magic that allows two people to breath easy whenever they’re together, love will always be an uphill climb.
And what’s the point of that, you know?