Getting to Know You: Compatibility Traps

They say opposites attract and that might be true.  However, if you want to sustain a healthy, productive, lasting relationship you better have something important in common. Many times we are so starved for a relationship that we ignore signs of incompatibility early in the dating evaluation process.  Men usually ignore these signs. Women usually see the signs but believe they can compensate for them or lead him to change.

Here are just a few compatibility traps to avoid:

If a person is a smoker when you meet, please assume he/she will always be a smoker.  He could stop smoking. Absolutely! But you can't build a relationship on what COULD happen. Think of all the turmoil that will ensue when you come home from getting your hair done and realize in a few hours your $1200 human hair weave smells like an ashtray.  You are going to be pissed off and the day is ruined.

When you met your woman in the club she had a sexy Virginia Slim hanging between two french manicured fingers but now four months later you want her to stop. You are disgusted by the habit and feel like she needs to stop if she wants the relationship to work. She's not wrong for continuing to smoke. You are wrong for ignoring an important compatibility sign. When she drops ashes on your new white sneakers the day is ruined.

Speaking of smokers, don't date a master BBQ chef (or a guy who thinks he is) if you are strictly tofu and thinking of joining PETA. It's not going to work no matter how great the sex is and how much he reminds you of Boris Kodjoe.

If your idea of comfort food is sushi and Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay, you need not pick a man who loves a sloppy joe sandwich with ketchup and sugar on it.  It sounds like an easy fix. Let him eat sloppy joe while you enjoy your sushi, right? Nope!  This small nuance says so much more about the two of you. Food choices can be a sign of things to come. If you take her to a 5-star restaurant for Valentine's Day and she is not excited or appreciative because she just wanted a hotdog, both of you are going to be upset and the day is ruined.

Recreational Drug Use

If you are "drug-free" and want to stay that way, you probably don't want to date a chronic weed smoker who lays in bed all day or a guy on MDMA who feels like a champion. If you like to get high and ride with the top down, you probably don't want to date a young man who protests outside of the medical marijuana facility with a sign that reads, "Marijuana is the gateway to crack".

Oh, and alcohol and weed people don't mix.  If she is a silly or crying drunk, she is simply going to blow your high with her antics. It goes without saying that any kind of "upper" need not pair with a weed smoker. You will just be running on two different speeds for the entirety of the relationship.

Special Sex
Sex is a very important compatibility trap.  Men, the first thing you need to know is "frequency" needs to just come off of your list because while she's trying to get you, she's going to ride you like Seabiscuit, but after a while she's going to be too tired and too busy to do all that every night - especially if, in all that sex, you gave her the wonderful gift of a swollen ankles and a few children.

If your idea of "special sex" is swallow on his birthday and his idea of special sex is attaching jumper cables to your nipples and starting the Ferrari, it's not going to work.  He's going to be bored or you are going to be charred. For one of you, the day is ruined.

The Ex and the Next
This is a big one. If his last serious and happy relationship was with a stripper named "Cilantro" he might not be appreciative of your education and passion for the black family.  If he's okay with her son sitting in the living room with a contact high and watching the Boondocks because it's a cartoon, then your parenting styles might be a little different if you get together. You like to discuss current events and he enjoys explaining to Cilantro that the two houses of Congress are actually the same building.  If she's "tatted up" and all you have are the same two earring holes your mother gave you as an infant, well... you may be a little dull for him. If you like to hang out and chill without make-up and she goes out looking like "the mask, he may not be okay with your natural beauty and the day is ruined.

Seriously folks, the notion that opposites attract is a good one and can provide for lively experiences in your relationship. However, it's important to share common values and beliefs about the things that matter most to you.  Only you can decide what those things are.  Don't ignore them or try to compensate for them in the beginning because it can lead to problems in the future of your relationship. When you have a foundation of things that bond you together, no matter how bad it gets you find a way to make it work.  Opposites attract but compatibility keeps you together.

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