Can we start by checking what we mean by compatible?
Ok, so if the question is whether you and your partner can exist together without conflict, the answer is yes. You can certainly manage to stay away from bickering and fights, especially if you don’t try to get too close.
But there’s the rub, right?
It’s not so hard to coexist with a roommate you don’t need to talk to that often or that deeply. But I’m guessing that’s not what you’re looking for in a spouse or life partner. When you’re aiming to squish up real close to someone (literally and figuratively), it can be much more challenging.
What we probably mean by “compatible” is, can this relationship work out?
So… can this relationship work out?
I would say that the answer to this question is still yes.
The Hollywood idea that there is one single person out there who is meant for you, and anyone else is inescapably wrong for you and a relationship with that person will always be a poor shadow of what you really should be having – that notion is – how shall I put this politely? – dumb. (I am not trashing the idea of God or Fate or The Universe or whatever you might believe in. I am only questioning this particular belief: if you believe there is some energy in the world that is manipulating the system in this way, what are you supposed to do if The One for You lives in rural Nepal and speaks no English?)
The truth is that any two people can make a satisfying relationship together. Certainly you will have an easier time with some than with others. And you may enjoy a relationship with one person more than you would with another. If you are a very outdoorsy person, you might prefer being in a relationship with someone who also likes being out in nature rather than a homebody (like me). But that doesn’t mean that a hiker and a couch potato can’t have a good relationship together. They can.
And the proof is that some do! I am sure you know some couples who are diametrically opposite on some factor or another – whether it’s outdoor/indoor, extravert/introvert, flat-Earther/person with a brain – and they still have a great relationship.
The truth is, there’s no such thing as compatibility. If you care about someone, if you see the good in them and want to be connected to them on a profound level, it’s possible. It’s about the choices you make in the relationship and in yourself.
If compatibility is not the issue, then what is?
Maybe you’ll find that a relationship you really want is going to be more effort than you’re prepared to devote. If your dream is to raise a large family and the person you love wants to travel the world kid-free, it’s not going to be easy. It’s possible to have a meaningful relationship with that person, but you will sweat a lot through the process. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Or, maybe that struggle is not something you want to push through.
But I think the question is more about how hard you are willing to work for this relationship, not whether it can work. It’s not necessarily a cop-out to decide this relationship is not for you. Some gaps are going to be a lot of effort to bridge, and you have other things in your life to tend to. I think that’s fair. (Mind you, I think the calculus is different if you’re a young single deciding whether to embark on a relationship with someone vs. a married couple with kids considering whether the marriage is unviable. The more people your decision impacts, the greater your obligation to put your all into it.)
It takes work. It takes patience. It takes relationship skills (which can be learned!). But it doesn’t take some kind of magic that is out of your control.
Are you and your partner compatible? The answer is yes. But the question is – how much do you want it? That’s a question only you can answer.