There’s a lot of talk about opposites attracting, but study after study has shown that the key to a long-lasting relationship lies in similarity and shared goals. Intellectual compatibility sits right in the heart of this space, constantly ignored by heavily beating hearts and hot and bothered loins.
Are you wondering “Are we compatible?”
Instead of wracking your brain over whether or not you are intellectually compatible and have what it takes to move into a long-term future, here are eight ways to assess how compatible you are on an intellectual level.
1. You have the same intellectual values.
While your partner is zoning out in front of the TV while you read Dickens may not be a sign that there’s no future, one partner going on an insatiable quest for knowledge is a sure sign you’re not on the same page.
Think about it: if you or your partner want to spend their weekends at the museum while the other would much rather catch a movie, someone is going to be bored over time.
2. You learn from each other.
Take a look at any happy person and there’s a very good chance they are in a constant state of progression. It’s very rare that someone is happy sitting stagnant in purgatory while the world moves forward.
It’s for this reason that it’s no surprise that studies have shown that couples who grow as a result of knowing their partner (which is called self-expansion) find themselves happier than those who don’t.
3. You not only sleep together but dream together.
Do the two of you sit and talk about your goals, dreams, and vision for the future? In sharing these things, you can gain a real understanding of who your partner is, how much they value expansion and exploration, and what matters most to them in terms of overall life satisfaction.
A person who talks about travel and discovering new foods is going to feel tied down with a homebody who always orders a different version of the same meal every time they go out.
4. You have similar educational backgrounds.
Smart is sexy, at least for women. According to one study in Hong Kong, women were 40 percent less likely to be fulfilled (in marriage and sexually) if they were more educated than their husbands.
5. You both share (or have no interest) in current events.
There are some people who love to talk about the latest movie, tech trend, study, or political debate, and others who would rather Netflix and chill. If your idea of foreplay is arguing about why Trump is or isn’t the best man for the job, you’re going to find an apathetic partner a huge turn-off.
6. You can have real conversations.
I once met the most amazing man: Gorgeous, funny, witty, brilliant, and very much on the same page with me when it came to our values.
Unfortunately, we got into a habit of tossing witty one-liners to one another in a game of never-ending verbal ping-pong, and he confessed that he felt I was using it as a way to keep him from getting to know me.
I lost the guy but gained a very valuable lesson: Small talk doesn’t lead to big leaps in relationships.
7. You have a similar sense of humor.
Loving Zoolander and Jim Carrey films doesn’t say anything about whether or not you are intellectually compatible, but as laughter is the closest distance between two people, having completely opposite reasons to chuckle is going to get old. Jokes flying overhead, being taken the wrong way, or falling flat is no fun.
8. You feel like they just “get” you.
This is very different from feeling attracted to someone; this is feeling understood. And that, my friend, is one of the defining factors of a great relationship.
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Brenda Della Casa is the Author of Cinderella Was a Liar, The Managing Editor of Preston Bailey and Gotham Bandit, A Huffington Post Blogger, and the founder of BDC Life In Style. Follow her on Instagram @BrendaDellaCasa.