What Makes Love Last – Chemistry or Compatibility?

What Makes Love Last - Chemistry or Compatibility?

I don’t mean to pound the drum like this. Honestly. I don’t look for these articles; they just tend to find me. Thanks to living in the Information Age and the advent of Big Data, we now have the tools to prove the things that we’ve always hypothesized, like global warming. Now lots of scientists are shining the light on my personal hobbyhorse: chemistry vs. compatibility. Enter Ty Tashiro, Discovery Network’s relationship expert and University of Maryland professor.

While liking and lusting are both key features of romantic love, you’re better off betting on the former.

In his forthcoming book, “The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love,” Tashiro plots a path to happily ever after, using analysis of studies about what makes love last and what’s likely to bring about a romantic implosion. In short, focus less on chemistry and more on compatibility.

His words, not mine.

According to a U.S. News piece, “While liking and lusting are both key features of romantic love, you’re better off betting on the former,” Tashiro says. According to research cited in his book, lust declines at a rate of 8 percent per year of marriage, while liking declines at a rate of 3 percent. Moreover, specific personality traits are likely to predict marital success – and failure – in the long run. And since you can’t have it all – it’s a mathematics impossibility, he says – it’s best to pick based on personality. That’s not to throw sex out the window – it’s fundamental for a successful marriage. (Quoting one of his graduate school advisers, Tashiro writes, “If your partner is bad at tennis, it’s not a big deal, because you can go play tennis with someone else. If your partner is bad in bed, well, that’s a big deal.”)

Ideally, if you can match up with someone based on three personality traits – which he calls agreeableness, lack of neuroticism and lack of seeking novelty – you’re more likely to have your bases covered, sexual innuendo and all.

Agreeableness, lack of neuroticism, lack of seeking novelty: These are the traits that make for healthy long-term partnerships.

Agreed. And it’s why so much of my advice is based on encouraging my smart, strong, successful women readers to be patient, supportive, easygoing, secure and fundamentally accepting of men. (Again, I would advise men the same thing if they were, in fact, my clients). So when I get exasperated in the comments with my detractors who tell me that I’m wrong, I can only reiterate: my advice isn’t my opinion. My advice is based on three things: science, personal experience and ten years of coaching.

Agreeableness, lack of neuroticism, lack of seeking novelty: These are the traits that make for healthy long-term partnerships. Anyone want to advocate for difficult, neurotic, and fickle?

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Sunflower

    Why weren’t you writing this stuff 25 years ago Evan?….LOL  It would’ve really come in handy for weeding out the duds, which I was blind to.  Oh well, better late than never. Good stuff :) 

  2. 2
    Henriette

    I have definitely found this to be true.  And in fact, I’ve been a bit surprised to discover a lack of correlation (in my own experiences) btwn initial lust and how good the long-term sex turns out to be.  For me, rewarding long-term physical relationships grow from factors like well-matched sex drives, strong communication both in & out of the bedroom, and even a shared sense of humour.
    You’re preaching to the choir, Evan.  Or, at least, I’ve been a singer in that choir for most of my dating life.  But I feel like the men I meet are disappointed/ bored by nice girl compatibility and hope to find mind-blowing passion with an enticing vixen.  You’ve written extensively about your own personal journey from guy who went for difficult, hot women to establishing a wonderful relationship with a kind, giving woman but I would guess-timate that you are more thoughtful and sensible about love than 97% of men (or women) and I’ve grown weary in my search.  I’ve taken a step back from dating and no doubt could stand to spend some alone time working on my agreeableness and toning down any neuroticism but I feel hopeless for my long-term romantic chances.
     
     
     

    1. 2.1
      starthrower68

      There seems to be this perception that the hot difficult or even psycho women are the best in bed.  Of course I cannot know because I’m female and don’t date other females.  But people are very forgiving about drama when there’s outrageous chemistry.  
       

      1. 2.1.1
        missy

        Thats true but have you ever noticed a lot of those relationships fizzle, it all depends on the dynamics, now water does seeks its own level, if your not HIGH!! drama it wont last why? because no matter how good the sex is the drama is draining and the sex will get old. The chemistry  will be a for gone conclusion..

        1. Henriette

          Good observation, @Missy!  Yes, I have definitely noticed that these relationships tend to fizzle bc, as Evan points out, Drama is not a sound basis for a long-term relationship. 
           
          However, the last few men I’ve dated (and these are fellows in their late 40s/ early 50s) speak of past high drama, high dysfunction, high passion relationships with reverence and awe.  It’s like they’re not willing to “settle” for anything “less” than a long-term version of that fire… which I don’t think is actually possible.   So I move on, like Evan suggests.   But I don’t have it in me to keep getting out there and being shown that my kindest, warmest and most loyal is somehow second best to insta-chemistry.

    2. 2.2
      Gabriella

      I agree with Henriette. The vast majority of men don’t look for compatibility (at least not in the initial stages in the relationship). They look for overwhelming passion and lust.

    3. 2.3
      Chance

      Henriette,
       
      Chin up.  I can promise you men that are interested in compatibility are out there.  I also think that people who continue to pursue (temporary) chemistry over compatibility suffer from an overall lack of maturity anyway, and they are often searching for more than what life has to offer.  So, count your blessings:  you’re not missing out on much by not being with those men.  Btw, I’m not just saying this to make you feel better.  Anyone who’s aware of my posting history knows that’s not my style :).
       
      Not sure if I can articulate this in a way that makes any sense, but when I was dating online I found that I could tell a lot about how much a woman values compatibility over other, less sustainable, qualities by simply how she wrote her profile.  Of all the women I ended up meeting in person, I can’t think of any case where her personality didn’t match what came through in her profile.  For some reason, I could just tell if she was on the same social wavelength as me.  So when you’re online and reviewing men’s profiles and how they write, try asking yourself questions like:  “does this man seem grounded?” or “does this man seem content with his life, or does he seem like he’s really searching for something?”  Since men generally suck at filling out profiles, it may not come through until you’ve exchanged a few messages.
       
      Finally, have you ever used eharmony?  I found that when you view someone’s “must haves/can’t stands” on there, you can really learn a lot about what is really important to them.  Not just what they checked off as a “must have” or “can’t stand”, but what they chose to not check off (I can tell you that when a woman didn’t check off infidelity as a “can’t stand”, it didn’t go unnoticed).  Interestingly, I don’t think that many people pay attention to this feature, but when I met these women in person, their “must haves/can’t stands” came through every time.
       

      1. 2.3.1
        Henriette

        Wow  @ Chance: what a sweet, thoughtful response.  Thank you.  And yes… I’m well aware that it’s not your style :)

  3. 3
    Missy

    Hi Evan,
    I must say you nailed it!! I think for me the chemistry is what starts it, but compatibility keeps it going. Why?? A good conversation, I love books, movies, and music I’m a junkie for intellectual politics, if we click and mesh with that… we are on our way up! There is nothing wrong with having your interests but you got to have somethings in common, I have finally met a man, WHO FEELS ME!! when you truly vibe!! now that is WHAT’S UP!! when you both are vibing and clicking and on the same level. It just works!

  4. 4
    GinGar

    Thank you so much for writings, I’ve just recently found you and am so happy to read everything by you. It sure saves me a lot of grief especially dating in my forties when I thought men were mature and done playing games this late in life.

  5. 5
    Peter 51

    Agreeableness, Check: Lack of neuroticism, As if this is a real option!  The whole world’s mad save thee and me and even thee’s a little queer:  And speaking personally, I am an outrageousl novelty seeker and have trouble with people who don’t challenge themselves.  But then, I am not sure that novelty (controlled risk) seeking and impulsiveness (which I think is damaging) are the same. 
    Another throw away.  Is novelty seeking in sex the same as novelty seeking through, say, travel or adventure sports?
    And sometimes it feels like: Meet a new woman, meet a new neurosis.  Can the same be said about women meeting men?  Is is just those who didn’t settle down to lasting marriages in their early 20’s?

    1. 5.1
      MsB.

      Peter I read “novelty seeking” as someone who has the side doors open to “somethin’ strange”.  I feel like men have that ingrained in them – the thirst for sexual variety –  and have to make a conscious decision to shut that door when finding a LTR partner.  It’s something that women have to be attuned to when looking for a potential husband.  I agree with Evan.  

  6. 6
    ScottH

    Aren’t we all neurotic at least some of the time and in some ways?  Isn’t the important thing that we are aware of our neuroses?  
    Agreeableness?  What does this mean?  I don’t want someone who always agrees with me.  I want someone I can work through disagreements with. 
    Lack of novelty seeking?  Sounds boring to me.  How about responsible novelty seeking?  Certainly we don’t want compulsive novelty seekers, someone who is prone to straying.

    1. 6.1
      Julia

      I’m a little neurotic, I like a little neurotic. I don’t think that makes me a bad partner

  7. 7
    Karl S

    I hate to generalize, but whenever I advocate this moderated approach in discussion with women my age (mid twenties) they almost always disagree with me, rating passion and chemistry at the top of their needs list and assuming that if they just keep looking they can find a man who will give them all that and long term compatibility. They hate the idea of liking somebody in a more measured way, as if that’s the settling for second best.

  8. 8
    Karl R

    Henriette, Gabriella and Karl S,
    Complaining about the opposite sex is unproductive. Most people (men & women) pursue chemistry during the initial stages. If you learn to be one of the exceptions, you will benefit, even if everyone else is making poor decisions.
     
    My wife is attracted to men who are younger, extremely intelligent and funny. She’s with me because she was initially chasing chemistry. The same was true with all of her previous relationships.
     
    Before me, her previous serious relationship was with a neurotic man who jumped whenever his narcissistic, borderline mother told him to. Based on my wife’s description, he probably has PTSD from growing up with her.
     
    Before that, she was in a serious relationship with a jealous man who repeatedly accused her of cheating. He was also completely insensitive when her mother was dying of cancer.
     
    When I met my wife, she was primarily interested in a HJNTIY man whom she suspected might have been unfaithful to his late wife.
     
    If my wife made better relationship decisions, she would have found a great husband long before I met her. She was still available, because she wasted lots of time pursuing chemistry with men who made lousy partners.
     
    Furthermore, if my wife was willing to compromise on her “chemistry” criteria (younger, highly intelligent, funny), she probably could have found a husband far nicer than me. I’m not the sweetest, nicest man in the city. But compared to her exes, I look like saint.

    1. 8.1
      Paula

      HJNTIY means?

    2. 8.2
      Karl S

      You’re absolutely right that complaining is not productive. However, it still remains interesting to me that this is the case. I suppose LS makes a good argument for why it is so. To make it productive, I take note of the people who frame their discourse on love and relationships through an idealized lens and strike them off my list of people I might try to pursue. I try to focus my efforts on those who share my more pragmatic approach.

  9. 9
    Dina Strange

    “And it’s why so much of my advice is based on encouraging my smart, strong, successful women readers to be patient, supportive, easygoing, secure and fundamentally accepting of men.”
    Evan, how about giving the same advice to men. Otherwise it sounds…no matter how assholish he behaves you be supportive and patient. I am reaching the limit of my patience with men. No matter how patient, nice and forgiving – they continue being selfish, lazy and stupid…very, very hard not to get negative.

    1. 9.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I am a dating coach for women, Dina. Telling me to start advising men in this space is like telling a vegetarian blog to start offering steak recipes. It’s not what I do.

      Nor is your problem very complicated. If a guy is selfish, lazy and stupid, don’t date him.

      1. 9.1.1
        starthrower68

        You are right on that Evan, but I can kind of see where she’s coming from in being frustrated;  you can’t always tell right off the bet that a certain guy is not a good bet for the long haul.  Sometimes you have to spend a little more time that you might otherwise want to finding it out.  But, it is what it is, a process.

    2. 9.2
      Freddie Be

         while both sexes should never and can keep growing, even in apparent adulthood. as an adult male of the species, i dont automatically define myself a “man” Ive been selfish,lazy stubborn and yes mean spirited, which is a character trait of boys. yet there are many traits i do posses, empathy, patience, unselfishness, and most importantly, understanding self, there work yet to be done, and a undying hope that better is just ahead.
                                   for you, if i may, most advice is helpful, including that here. if looked at as betterment for you. supportive,patient dont always mean giving that away to someone, you can keep it for your support mechanism. understanding that the selfish,lazy and stupid have misery ahead. now dont enjoy it, but dont it lose your faith… stay strong    

  10. 10
    LS

    As a single woman in her mid twenties, I definitely know what Karl S is talking about. Women my age are picky when it comes to things like lust and chemistry, but I think that stems from the luxury of being younger. As Evan has mentioned before, the pool of eligible men does get smaller as you get older, so naturally women in their 20s demand more out of a relationship while they can still get it. 
    The struggle for me is finding a balance between taking advantage of the options in my youth and compromising a bit more. I’ve had the passion-driven relationships, and I’ve had the compatibility-driven ones. Neither was fulfilling; there has to be that elusive combination of both.
    Also, I think there is definitely a generational difference when it comes to what people look for and expect out of dating. The dating struggles of my parents’ generation are not the same as mine. No one my age seems to want to “settle” on just one person. Novelty is paramount. I believe technology has contributed greatly to this, but that’s a whole other topic…
    The saga continues! :) But Evan, your advice is on point as always. 

  11. 11
    Karmic Equation

    The chemistry vs compatibility debate makes for good blog discussions.
     
    But in “real” relationships that have a chance of succeeding for the long-haul, you must have both. If you’re compatible but you don’t want your partner to touch you…ummm…what kind of relationship is that? The only ones who benefit are the relationship- and sex-counselors or divorce lawyers.
     
    The trouble for women is that once she finds chemistry, she lies to herself about compatibility or excuses incompatible values/behaviors and builds a future (in her mind) ignoring the present — as soon as she has sex with the guy. Men, on the other hand, build a future BEFORE sex because he’s assuming (hoping) if there’s chemistry, there must be compatibility. He’ll overlook incompatibility issues until the novelty of sex wears off. After which, when he sees incompatibility, he disappears…and women think it’s because she “gave him sex” too soon.
     
    If a woman FORCES HERSELF to be objective about compatibility AFTER sex, she would dump the incompatible in much the same way she dumps Mr. No-chemistry after date 1. In other words, there would be NO complaints like Dina’s about “dating selfish, lazy, and stupid” men, if a woman takes to heart her responsibility to continually evaluate a man’s compatibility THROUGHOUT the course of the relationship. Doing otherwise is what gets a woman “strung along.”
     
    She’s the CEO for life. She shouldn’t retire after she hires the intern.

    1. 11.1
      Kiki

      Karmic,
      what happened with the personal trainer?
      By the way, I think compatibility is not a “given” at the start of the relationship, unlike chemistry.  Compatibility can be built, and in most effective relationship is strenghetened over the years, because both men and women have the capacity to learn and to adapt.  That is why I think high inital chemistry plus acceptable/moderate compatibility is the winning combination.  There is no point in seeking someone who already is 100% comparable with you, unless you yourself have zero capacity to learn and adapt.

      1. 11.1.1
        Kathy

        Kiki,
        I  ditto what you just said…  After dating a narcissist (a love con artist), I have been very attuned to kindness and consistency. The man I am now dating,  there is high chemistry with each other(better than I had with the narcissist :) We  have basic compatibility, but are working day by day to learn how to adapt to each other’s differences. I am taking the relationship advice I have been given and am trying to teach him while I learn also. Time will tell..

        1. Kiki

          Thank you Kathy, I am very glad to meet like minded women here :-).
          What is a ” love con artist” by the way?

      2. 11.1.2
        Karmic Equation

        Hi Kiki,
         
        You’re right about compatibility, that can be learned and adapted if both parties are willing to work things out. Perhaps it would be more accurate to state that women overlook or excuse *bad character and incompatible values* when in the throes of chemistry.
         
         
        I’m still dating my trainer non-monogamously. Once I got over my own feelings of guilt for dating other men, he and I are getting along swimmingly. It’s actually kind of perfect for me at this time in my life, when I let go of what I felt I “should have” and focused instead of what was realistic. 
         
         
        The reality is that my commitments make it impossible for me to date anyone seriously until the summer, at the earliest. Two nights a week I have pool league. Sunday mornings and two nights a week I work out after work, not getting done until after 9pm, meaning I wouldn’t be ready to head out for a date until 10pm — who does that on a work night?? That leaves one weeknight and Saturday for dating and usually one of those days are my errand or recuperation days or hang out with my girlfriends. My trainer and I typically go out to eat and then hang out after training. It’s actually kind of nice as I don’t have to go home and spiffy up before going on a date with him. He doesn’t mind my post-workout “look” (and luckily I don’t smell!). lol
         
         
        We’ve had a few disagreements, but he showed he was vested in our relationship by reaching out to me to clear the air and not let the bad feelings linger. (I react more like a man when I’m upset, and I clam up and retreat to the woman-cave in my head until I’ve processed my feelings. I don’t like talking about my feelings, but he insists that I do it.)  If I were 10 years younger and he were 10 years older, I believe this would be a relationship that could last. Since he’s not and I’m not, this relationship has a shelf life…however, the loving friendship we’re building will endure.
         
         
        “What comes easy doesn’t last; what lasts doesn’t come easy.”

        1. Kiki

          Karmic,
          Thanks a lot for the update, and I am very happy that you sound content and in control.  I myself never managed to find much younger men attractive, but I guess that could be an acquired taste, like caviar :-).
          I also like very much your observation that women excuse bad character and incompatible values under the effect of chemistry.  I would add to that, that because of the special moral signicance of sex for a woman, many women, after sex, would refocus their attention on their own value (am I a bad girl now that I gave sex without commitment) instead of focusing on “Is he a man worthy of me repeatedly having sex with him and foregoing opportunities to have sex with other men”.
          Looking back at my history, I realize I had zero tollerance for character flaws such as stupidity/lack of intelligence, disrespect for education and unhealthy lifestyle (heavy drinking, smoking, too sedentary).  These are usually highly visible and can be recognized in one date  :-). But as for narcissism, lack of empathy, cheapness, or very annoying habits (heavy farting :-) you may not judge right away and may need months or even years to judge whether you can you accept or not.
           

      3. 11.1.3
        Henriette

        Interesting, Kiki!  You might be onto something but I would add that both partners have to be willing to work at the compatibility.   I’ve seen too many high chemistry couples where one of both people are disappointed when the chemistry fades (as it must) and see it some kind of sign that the relationship isn’t “right” when they see that it requires adaptation and growth. 

      4. 11.1.4
        Evan Marc Katz

        You got it backwards, Kiki.  Successful relationships are 7 chemistry and 10 compatibility, not 10 chemistry and 5 compatibility.

  12. 12
    Kathy

    Evan,
    I think what Kiki is trying to say is that there must be a good amount of chemistry for a relationship to be successful, AND that it might be easier to work on compatibility with two mature adults who are willing to work together on that, than to work on chemistry.
    Kiki,  A narcissist(love con artist)  showers you with attention and love bombs(I love you, I love you, I love you, You are wonderful) in the beginning of a relationship.  They try to make you believe they will do anything to secure you and your love. Once they have you, the tables turn and you realize it is all about them! They try to control you and will discard you if you don’t go along. They are usually ALL very charming and loving in the beginning, but once you are hooked, watch out!

  13. 13
    Kiki

    @Evan,
    I am a great fan, and I am sure that your observations about dating are much greater in numbers, and in depth.  I listen up carefully when you speak, and I think about what you say. So, I am not arguing with you, but mostly considering what your words mean for my own life.
    I do not have a fixed recipe on what makes a successful relationship. My marriage is better than average, but not fantastic.  One possible explanation is that I did not marry a 10 in compatibility.  I wish I had, but 13 years down the road, it is a bit too late to lament my choice, and once again, I have something which I consider to be in the good/very good area. 
    Back to the numbers, 17 is clearly better than 15.  But it seems to me 17 is a 17 in either 10+7 or 7+10.
    For initial compatibility, I would say, if above 5, give it a try, if chemistry is above 8. I think people can adapt to each other and develop their compatibility above the initial 5, say up to 7, and at 15, they are actually not too bad compared to the dream 17.  
    A 10 in compatibility is, in my opinion, extremely rare. Rarer than the chemistry 10.  In mathematical terms, I find the male population to be normally distributed in terms of chemistry, but negatively skewed with regards to compatibility to me.
    @Kathy,
    Thank you some much for putting in 1 sentences what I need 1 page to explain :-).

  14. 14
    Gabriella

    Not to argue with Evan about the importance of compatibility, but I married a guy with whom I felt a chemistry which was maybe 6 (to be honest I was never ‘in love’ with him), compatibility was 8. Over time chemistry went down to zero (from my part). After the arrival of our daughter compatibility also decreased dramatically to 2 (we discovered that we could not agree on anything with regards to parenting even though before the birth of our daughter we had been the best of friends).
    I realized it was a mistake going into marriage thinking that ‘love’ was not an essential ingredient. I know Evan is not advocating marrying someone without love, but as also Evan has pointed out: chemistry will fade over time. So you are better off starting with a 9 or a 10 that will fade to a 6 or 7.
    I agree with Kiki that compatibility can be built if both partners are willing to work things out.  You cannot work on chemistry. So in my opinion it is better to have high initial chemistry and basic compatibility in the beginning.
    Also, I discovered that if there is no high initial chemistry I am a lot less motivated to make things work.

    1. 14.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      So, basically, you’re saying, Gabriella, that you need a 10 chemistry (because chemistry fades, which is true) AND a 10 compatibility (because this determines how well you get along over 40 years).

      Can you see why that may be a bit difficult to achieve? Telling people to hold out for a 10/10 combo is like telling people to hold out for a 500K job that only requires you to work three days a week. It’s so rare that those who insist on holding out will never get it.

  15. 15
    Karl S

    Maybe commonality and compatibility are getting confused again here. People are saying you can work on increasingly compatibility, but isn’t the willingness to negotiate and problem solve the sign of compatibility itself, rather than being the thing you work towards? You can be very different people who are compatible because you know how to manage your differences.

  16. 16
    Gabriella

    Dear Evan, I think you misunderstood me. All I am saying is since you cannot build chemistry and it will inevitably decrease over time, you’d better start with a high level of it. Compatibility, on the other hand, can be built to some degree, so I think it’s enough to have a compatibility of 6 or 7 at the beginning if it’s combined with a willingness to work on your differences. 
    It’s the same thing that you are always saying: instead of trying to control what you cannot change you should work on what you can change. It’s not that I would say to anyone to hold out for a 10/10 combination in terms of chemistry and compatibility.
    Also, I said that, in my opinion, compatibility can also change over time. If your life circumstances change dramatically, you may discover that you are no longer compatible under the new circumstances. In my and my husband’s case, none of us could foresee how we would behave as parents (none of us had had children before) and the change that we both underwent was sadly too much for our marriage. I think other changes like illness, loss of a loved one or moving can also trigger changes that undermine compatibility. I have seen/heard these things happen.
     
     
     

  17. 17
    Succesful RandomGuy

    By absolute chance me, a rather very successful happily married guy, happened to come across this article while searching for something else. It was a shock to see such an ideological pest so truly hoping someone is ready to follow the real path to happiness I will leave the following comment: 
    Firstly: “My advice is based on three things: science, personal experience and ten years of coaching.” Well sorry to say but your personal experience and your ten years of coaching are both your personal experience hence your advice is based in two things. Your experience and science; or so you say. Your so called “science” is based in an article from a freelance journalist who probably barely glanced at the actual scientific journal, and you literally take what suits you into your article. Hence it can be reasonably argued your article is based in one thing: your personal experience. That to me seems to praise a horrid message of repression and self-immolation just in order be in a couple.
    “Agreeableness, lack of neuroticism, lack of seeking novelty: These are the traits that make for healthy long-term partnerships.” I mean seriously! I only took the time to reply to this shenanigans in the deep hope that someone will read and NOT take this advice.
    Lack of neuroticism  totally agreed, no one wants that however neuroticism is easily solvable through therapy and identifying the triggers in many cases, not all. However “agreeable” sounds more like not having an opinion and agreeing with anything your husband say which is actually repression. Gross, I mean occasionally my wife an I will disagree in perspective of things and discussing different points of views while being able to respect each others opinion is one of the things that I value the most in our relationship. What you preach sounds a lot like trash machism.
    Then “lack of seeking novelty”, I mean are you serious! What would the world be today if humanity lacked seeking novelty? I tell you, it would an uncivilized-savage life. Perhaps where you belong because of what you say. It is obvious that you mean it in the sense that the man who would not seek novelty would also not seek new women. Also shenanigans. 
    My advice, become something you personally love. Be happy with yourself. You are ugly, make yourself pretty. Work out. Learn stuff, history, music, geography, travel, take classes. Be open to meeting guys but understand that you are yourself independently of whoever is around you. This is tricky though. So find your fears, delve into your anxieties. Did your father patronize you? Was your mother jealous of you? Perhaps your mother gave you a role in the family structure that you did not wanted to take? Think of all of this, forgive them for it since family usually when they hurt it is because they do not know better. Forgive them, love them, love yourself. Travel, keep learning, and then and I guarantee when least expected you will find yourself overwhelmed by love not only of your couple but your family, friends and specially yourself. 
    Want to learn more? Read the classics of literature, read the human brain structure, rely more on your own minds, body and books and in anything else. But do not listen to these blogs who preach a just livable full of anxiety life. Just do all of the mentioned above and in the journey you will find yourself happier than you ever imagined. No one said it will be easy though so toughen up!
    JV

    1. 17.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Sounds like you’re a bit of a literalist, Random Guy. So let’s break it down:

      Agreeableness basically means “are you going to be a pain in the ass?” Your wild misinterpretation is that agreeable means having no opinions. False.
      Lack of neuroticism basically means “are you going to let your insecurities affect your partner?” Since you needed to say something negative, you said that people should be willing to choose insecure and neurotic people because their problems are “easily solvable” through therapy. Um, okay.
      Finally “lack of seeking novelty” means “are you going to cheat?” You decided that it means “an uncivilized savage life.” Got it.

      I think we’ve cleared everything up. Have a great day, sir.

  18. 18
    Henriette

    By the way, does anyone else crack up over the photo attached to this post?  He’s gleefully hugging her and she’s gleefully hugging… a tree trunk!?

  19. 19
    Rebecca

    I really think compatibility gets me as far as friendship and chemistry is the thing that transforms that friendship into a love.  Every relationship I’ve had to this point in my life grew out of a friendship, so certainly I’ve been taking compatibility seriously, but I can’t quite get my head around the idea that I’m unwise to disregard men for whom I feel no chemistry.  I’ve never developed chemistry for a guy I didn’t originally like (but then I’ve never given that a chance, either) and it’s certainly the case that all of my committed relationships have been ended by the guy I was in love with, not by me, so maybe I should take the danger-of-chemistry warning more seriously.  But after my marriage fell apart, I moped that just once in my life I want to be with a guy who is more taken with me than I am with him, and then I got to date some really sweet, interesting men who were clearly more taken with me than I was with them, and I ended up concluding that as painful as the breakups are, I really do want to be madly in love.  EMK asks “how’s that working for you?” but I look back on five of those six relationships  with gratitude and affection; it was only one (the guy I talked myself in to liking) that seems like a years-long mistake (that I wouldn’t erase from my life ’cause it taught me how never to do that again).  What am I missing?

  20. 20
    Misty Gilbert

    We all want relationships that are patient, supportive, easygoing, secure and accepting…romantic or not! Great advice!!!

  21. 21
    Guessing

    I have a friend that tries to convince me that all men ‘seek novelty’ and that a woman can only hope that he doesn’t cheat and that a woman should work out all of the time to increase the chance’s that her man will not cheat.

    I’m not opposed to working out or trying to look my best for my man, but for someone to suggest that if a woman doesn’t look like a model all of the time, her man will cheat is a bit out of line. 

    1. 21.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Guessing @21 – “if a woman doesn’t look like a model all of the time, her man will cheat is a bit out of line. “
      I agree.  For someone seeking marriage, it’s a bit unrealistic to expect a partner, who in 40 years, will NEVER be seen in ratty clothes, not freshly showered, groomed, etc., never go through weight changes, never be ill, never have a long face, etc.  Of course, taking good care of ourselves (our health, our grooming, our surroundings) should be a life long pursuit, weather or not one is married or single, but it is unrealistic to expect someone to look & dress like a model 24/7, or to be surprised when physical beauty changes and fades over time.
      Graying hair, a thickening waistline is not a reason to cheat.  An excuse maybe, but not a reason.  Especially if the cheater is getting a little long in the tooth him/herself.

  22. 22
    j

    As a married woman it is advisable to keep yourself up for your husbands interest and you own happiness. Their attraction and pride in you does help. But that being said when your guy really t ruely loves you its not a desperate thing cuz you know if you were to get sick or you have an ugly day he still adores you and maybe doesn’t even see it. When it’s like this it’s a pleasure not pressure as I think we all like to look good. But if you have to feel a desperate pressure because you think youll lose him its miserable and the tension will age a woman cuz she knows she’s not really loved for herself. When youre really loved for youself you have the security that youre not easily replaced because your husband treasures your unique qualities and he gets you. People say real true love  is rare and special probably more rare now.

  23. 23
    j

    I think when people cheat its often about what theyre feeling inside rather than the other person. Especially if theyre cheating but still staying in the marriage. Sometimes people cheat as a ticket out and  .  Wanting to get caught and task ng the cowards way out. But alot oftimes I think its about the cheater feeling depressed fears of getting older and seeking thrills to mask this unhappiness wwithin themselves. That’s why some people men and women have a pattern of cheating. They can change partners but they can’t run from themselves and their depression. Instead of looking into themselves they project onto their spouse and use anything they dont like as an excuse. Then they dont have to do the painful discovery of their own issues .

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