3 Compatibility Factors You Should NEVER Ignore

are_we_compatibleCompatibility is one of those overused words that everyone in the dating scene has heard way too many times. It’s easy to get jaded to concepts like “boyfriend/girlfriend material” “romance” and most of all—”compatibility.”

However, compatibility shouldn’t be ignored. It’s more important than you think (even more important than looks). I mean, why was Christina Aguilera with no-name, non-looker Jordan Bratman? Or why the f*@# is the king of all British hotness, Clive Owen with Sarah-Jane What’s-her-name? Or why is any ridiculously good-looking person you see on the street holding hands with someone who’s just. . . meh? Because they’re compatible a.k.a they get along well and they actually like each other, which is super hard to find these days. Compatibility trumps looks any day of the week.

So, compatibility—you want it, you need it. These days, it’s pretty easy to dig deeper into someone’s past with online services like Checkmate.com and identify automatic deal breakers like a violent criminal arrest record. But how can you tell when you’re compatible with someone else? (Your cat doesn’t count.)

Here are three compatibility factors you should never ignore in a potential mate.

1) Goals

He makes you laugh, and he’s great in bed. Winner winner chicken dinner, right? Well before you get serious and start hearing wedding bells ringing in your head, you might want to find out what his future plans are. Specifically, you need to know how he feels about having children.

The question of offspring is pretty much the only non-negotiable deal breaker. If you know for a fact you’ll never want kids, and he can’t imagine life without reproducing, then the smart thing to do is to go your separate ways. Don’t stay together thinking the other person will change their mind. They won’t, and you’ll have to endure a messy, painful breakup.

2) Sense of Humor

When making a “must-have” list of desired qualities in your partner, most people put down sense of humor. That’s great, but what a lot of folks fail to consider is that everyone’s sense of humor is slightly different, and if your type of humor isn’t compatible with his, then you’re just going to end up offending each other.

Example—he LOVES South Park. You think South Park is for high school dropouts who smoke too much weed. Guess what? Now you’re fighting over what to watch on TV. Or maybe you love telling slightly inappropriate jokes, but your playful, off-color remarks make him think you’re vulgar. Now you’ve turned him off. When two people’s senses of humors don’t align, they start developing a negative impression of each other. So, try to pinpoint his unique brand of humor from the get go, and decide early on if it’s right for you.

3) Intelligence

Not to sound rude, but if you studied three languages in college, and you’re dating a guy who can’t even spell the word S-U-S-H-I, that could be a problem. If you find yourself thinking things like, “Yeah he’s a lot of fun and nice and everything, but I could never bring him around my co-workers. I’d never hear the end of it” then cut him loose. Significantly staggered intellectual levels could hinder your conversations. And let’s face, it, talking to each other is kind of important if you see yourself with this person for the long haul.

Compatibility is a multi-faceted, and complex issue. Finding common ground in these three areas won’t guarantee compatibility with another person for life, but they’re a great place to start!