Conflicts are par for the course in every romantic relationship; after all, it’s hard to spend an exorbitant amount of time with someone, in close quarters to boot, and not have conflict. Chances are, your romantic relationship can be incredible and fulfilling and meaningful, but there still will be bumps in the road, tense moments, and areas of distress. (And honestly? I think, to an extent, that’s healthy since the alternative would be repressing open and honest communication and being left in the dark.)
Sometimes, there’s emotional discord where feelings are hurt and upsetting emotions manifest, but sometimes there are logistical dilemmas. These dilemmas are a matter of pragmatics. It could be when one person wants to get married, and the other person doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage. It could be when one person wants to have children, and the other person truly doesn’t want to have kids. It could be when one person wants to live in a certain city, and the other person wants to live in another area entirely. And the list goes on and on.
I often hear about couples who split up because of the all-encompassing statement: “we wanted different things.” It’s a very common predicament, and on the surface, it’s pretty understandable. How can you move forward together if big desires clash?
But then, I take a beat and think about it a little more. If two people are, overall, compatible, then perhaps that integral and inherent truth can help transcend such logistical matters; the practical issues that could signify divergence.
I’ve been in a relationship for over four years, and in the very beginning (before we started officially dating), I was completely cautious and reticent. (And of course, that’s something he will never let me live down, ha.) We were at different points in our lives, and I knew there was going to be a couple of roadblocks ahead. I genuinely wasn’t sure if the logistical issues would align. Ultimately, though, I took the leap since I knew connections (like that) are rare. I knew it felt too unnatural not to be together.
I think when it comes to practical concerns, we could certainly dig deeper. We can reflect on the crux of the connection, and if there’s a strong foundation, I truly believe that it will shine forth. I honestly believe that it will outweigh the logistical conflicts.
Every individual has different mentalities when it comes to romantic compatibility, but for me, the five major cornerstones of compatibility are a deep sense of understanding, genuine acceptance, similar core values, open and honest communication, and finally, a pertinent connection. When these intangible components are present, underlying the relationship, I think that the rest, whatever that may entail, can be worked through.
While researching this post, I came across a piece that talked about six warning signs; warning signs that your relationship may not last if wanting different things persists. In Bustle’s 2015 article, “6 Signs You And Your Partner Want Different Things And It Won’t Work Out,” the six signs mentioned are: different ideas of commitment, five-year plans that do not coincide, opposite priorities, difficulties reaching compromises, issues of trust, and chronic fighting.
These reasons can surely be significant. But interestingly enough, the differences cited, the “different things” referenced, at the heart of it all, also can signify inherent issues of compatibility. It’s hard to move forward and work through practical concerns when there’s a lack of trust, opposing values, and a general sense of being disconnected.
We may frequently hear of couples that break-up because they want different things, and while these practical issues are valid, I propose that when we go under the surface, when we examine the crux of the foundation, the essence of compatibility, we can see that issues of logistics can actually be mended if two people are sincerely right for one another.