12 Key Points Of Love Compatibility

By Nicole Beasley |Updated April 4, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Laura Angers, NCC, LPC

When first starting out in a relationship or meeting someone for the first time, you will often find yourself wondering if you’re truly compatible. Determining if you’re compatible with someone right off the bat can be difficult. You are often putting your best foot forward, and the other person likely is too. This can make it difficult to know if you’re truly compatible, or if you are just pretending to be because you like each other.

Still, even if you have been dating for a while, you want to be sure that you are fully compatible before taking the plunge into a serious commitment. You don’t want to wind up in a long-term relationship or marriage that will ultimately fail because you are not compatible with one another. Often the best way to determine if you are compatible is to explore each other’s beliefs and way of life, to best see if your ideals mesh. This can be done in some ways but should be explored before making serious commitments such as moving in together or getting married.

The Importance Of Compatibility In Courtship

One study done on the subject of compatibility in courtship suggests that there are three different situations in which you may or may not determine that you are compatible during courtship before a commitment is made. The first situation that was found is the most common, called the disillusionment model. In this situation, the couples put their best foot forward and do not truly determine that they are compatible or not until they have already made a long-term commitment.

The second model is the perpetual problems situation, in which the couple sees the problems with their compatibility and tackles them head on throughout the courtship. This situation is ideal and leads to the most successful relationships because it is realistic.

The third model is the accommodations model, in which the couple works to change their behaviors and ideals to match that of the other person. In other words, rather than determining in advance if they are compatible, the couple simple forces the compatibility through personal change.

Ultimately, determining if you are truly compatible in courtship before a commitment is extremely important to the success of the relationship. When you learn early on whether or not you are truly compatible, you will be able to stay together longer and have a successful relationship without obstacles.

The Big 12 Points Of Love Compatibility

According to extensive research and compilation by Dr. Edward Hoffman, there are 12 main points of compatibility that should be examined between couples. These twelve points of love compatibility may not all be important to you. There is, as always, some wiggle room for you and your partner to determine if you are willing to be incompatible in some way. For example, people with different intelligence levels may still be compatible in enough other ways that it can be accommodated.

The important thing to remember is that you should be compatible on as many levels as possible for the relationship to work out long-term. You will want to explore these different points of compatibility with your partner. You will better know at the end of this exploration whether or not you can make a long-term commitment work.

Need For Companionship

It is best if both people in the relationship have the same need for companionship. If one person feels the need to be around their partner all the time but the other one needs more space, it’s not likely to work. In those situations, one person undoubtedly begins to feel smothered and starts looking for a way out of the relationship.

A healthy relationship is about quality time over quantity. Both people should be willing and able to spend time alone or with people other than their partner. You should want to spend time together and do so, but you should also be able to spend time apart.


You should both have the same basic ideas and belief system. Everyone has an idea of how a relationship should work, as well as how a person should be in general. If you and your partner have very different ideas about life, you are not likely to be able to last in a long-term relationship.

Ideally, both of you will have the same views on politics, religion, and morals. However, in truth, many couples who have been successful in their relationships do not always agree on all of these matters. It depends on what is most important to you. However, even if you do disagree on some things, the most important parts of your ideas should be mutual.

Emotional Intensity

Emotional intensity compatibility is along the same lines as a need for companionship. If one person is much more intense in their emotions than the other, the other person is going to feel smothered and overwhelmed. When that feeling starts cropping up, that partner will start looking for a way out.

It is best if you both have the same level of emotional intensity. If you both have passions that run high, you could have a very intense love relationship, but it will be mutual and therefore healthy. However, you could also both be low-intensity lovers, in which case you will not be as overwhelmed with each other but still get along famously.


The ability to be spontaneous is something that not everyone has. Many people want to be surprised on occasion, but many other people hate surprises. Some people like to be a “fly by the seat of the pants” kind of person who doesn’t make definitive plans, while others like everything to be planned out in advance.

It is important that you both have the same views on spontaneity. If you both like to be spontaneous, you will have a veritable adventure of a relationship. If you neither one like to be spontaneous, you will thrive in each other’s ability to plan and be organized in every way. While spontaneity is something that can be accommodated for if you are otherwise compatible, it is something to consider seriously.


One of the biggest problems that couples run into over time is an incompatibility in libido. When one partner wants physical intimacy more frequently than the other, it can lead to serious problems in the relationship. While no relationship should be based entirely on sex, it is a very important factor for some people.

Ideally, you will both have the same range of libido. You will want sex with about the same frequency. Problems arise when one person has a higher libido than the other. They can feel resentful that they are not getting what they feel they need from the relationship. The other person who has a lower libido can feel pressured to intimacy when they don’t want it, which can also lead to resentment. While some couples accommodate each other on this point, incompatibility of libido is usually a deal breaker.


It is important that relationships are not one-sided. Both partners should be willing and able to nurture the other to about the same extent. Nurturing behaviors are those in which you care for the other person’s needs, whether those needs be support, cooking them a meal, drawing them a bath, or giving them a massage.

When only one person in a relationship is nurturing it creates a one-sided relationship that can often become full of resentment. Often people who are very nurturing enjoy being pampered themselves. They don’t just nurture because they enjoy it, they also nurture because they want that behavior in return. When they don’t get it, they can become very resentful of the other person and feel that they are being taken advantage of.


Attachment to material things may not seem important during courtship, but as soon as you move in together or get married, it will become a major issue. Some people like to live a minimalist lifestyle and have few material possessions. Some people are hoarders. And, of course, there are many shades of gray in between.

It is important that you both can accommodate each other or agree with one another about the number of material possessions you have and how you keep them. People who like a minimalist lifestyle are going to quickly get frustrated and resent people who keep everything or buy a lot of things. You should be on the same page with materialism, or at least close to the same range on the subject.


Both people in a relationship should be equally interested (or disinterested) in going out in public and doing things as a couple. When one person likes to go to clubs, movies, and parties and the other person likes to stay home and avoid social interaction; it leads to an incompatibility that can cause serious problems in a relationship.

Often when one person is more outgoing than the other, it leads to resentments. The person who is outgoing will resent their partner for not wanting to go with them to parties and events. The person who is not outgoing will resent their partner for going to events without them instead of staying in to spend time with them. It is best if you both have the same level of interest in social engagements.


Of course, one of the primary things that determine if you are compatible with someone is whether or not you are physically attracted to them. Of course, looks are not everything in a relationship. Appearances are more important to some people than others. However, it is important that you do find your partner at least somewhat attractive. You should also both place the same emphasis on that physical attraction.

Activity Level

It is best if you both have the same activity level. When one person likes to sit around all the time, and the other person likes to remain active, it can lead to a situation where you have little that you want to do together. Active people enjoy the occasional movie but may also want to go for walks, go swimming, or participate in sports. Inactive people will occasionally go for a walk but primarily are not interested in doing physical activities.

When you don’t have the same activity level as your partner, you will find that you have little in common as far as desired activities. When you don’t want to do the same things for fun and recreation, you will discover that you are doing things you don’t want to do to please the other person. This ultimately leads to resentment and will eventually tear a relationship apart.

Subjective Well-Being

It is important that both people in the relationship have positive subjective well-being. When you have positive subjective well-being, it means that you are happy with your life as it is. People who are inherently happy and have a positive outlook get along best with others from the same perspective. When one person is ultimately happy, and the other is typically not happy with their life, it can lead to some disillusionment later on down the road.


Ideally, you and your partner will be of about the same level of intellect. Being on the same intellectual level will help you communicate with each other effectively to resolve the differences and conflicts that arise over time. It also gives you more in common so that you can discuss many different subjects and never run out of things to talk about.

Discovering If You’re Compatible

Before jumping into a long-term commitment like moving in together or getting married, it can be a good idea to explore all of these key points of compatibility to see how likely it is that your relationship will last. A good way to do this is through couple’s therapy. A therapist can take you through all of the points of compatibility and help you to honestly explore with each other your views and ideas in different areas. By the end of the experience, you will have a much better idea of your love compatibility.

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