• Hannah Brooks

How To Tell If You And Your Partner Are Incompatible

Updated: Mar 8

A big question that comes up for so many at a certain point in their relationship (some time after the sweet bliss of love’s first blush has dimmed a bit, as it does, or even many years into a marriage) is: “Are we incompatible?” If you’re asking this question, it isn’t helping. It gets your mind focused on all the ways things are imperfect, how you are a mismatch with your partner. The way to find out whether you’re actually compatible or not, is by discovering your and your partner’s answers to these two questions:

  1. What do I most want out of a relationship? Or, put another way, what’s the most important point of this relationship?

  2. Are we both pretty much on the same page about that?

Because you’re a highly sensitive person and you're reading this, I’m going to make a guess about what YOUR answer to these questions are: You want ever-deepening connection and understanding in your relationship. You want to evolve as a couple and as individuals, lovingly side by side. In other words, you’re going for a growth-oriented relationship. And you won’t be happy without some form of evolution going on. My husband and I are both pretty clear that our ultimate goal is growing together as individuals as we do the things we want (like raising our family and running our businesses), while always seeking more understanding and love between each other and inside of ourselves. In other words: feeling like a team in life together while staying loving and growing even more love for each other along the way.

Which means being open and willing to navigate the internal and external obstacles to that. When it’s hard to get over our “stuff”, both of us will always walk our way back to working through things together and letting go of our grudges, finding peace and love between us. If you have not had a clarifying conversation about your primary intentions in having a partnership, this is the call to have that conversation now. Here’s why I suggest it: If your answer is somewhere in the realm of what I just shared (a growth-oriented relationship), and your partners is, too, you are good to go. You ARE compatible. The rest is just fine-tuning. With good relationship skills in place, you can have a GREAT loving relationship that lasts. If you just want fun, passion, and comfort, and he does, too, you’re also good to go, too. FOR NOW. (These desires usually don’t lead to a successful long-term relationship, because lasting relationships require growth and the ability to work through the hard stuff. But you can have fun together for a while.) But, if you have completely different goals-- if his goal is just having fun all the time or having a business partner to pay the bills with him, or just a travel companion, and your goals are more about evolving together towards more and more love, you may have fundamental differences. The kind that will keep both of you dissatisfied forever. The bottom line is, if you’re aligned in your most very basic fundamental goal around your relationship, you will be able to learn to navigate your differences really well. I know, for some of you, having this conversation is easier said than done! Here are some of the many obstacles that can get in the way:

  • It can be scary --even terrifying-- totally out of your comfort zone, to have this talk. Because, depending on what you find out, it could mean facing that it’s time to let go of the relationship.

  • Time issues. Many couples simply don’t carve out time in their busy lives to have these kinds of essential conversations. To their long-term deep detriment.

  • Being stuck in old patterns that prevent this kind of open authentic communication from happening, such as: defensiveness, blame, other quick-to-heighten emotions, or trouble really listening to the other person (etc).

  • Not knowing what really matters to you. Some people aren’t easily able to articulate to THEMSELVES their true desires, let alone actually voicing them to their partner (in my experience this is more common with men than women, but you may find it’s hard for you, too).

  • On that same note, it may be that you or he has never thought of this before or had this type of conversation before.....so it could feel quite awkward. And we humans can tend to avoid putting ourselves in any situation where we feel like that.

Much of this comes down to feeling discomfort with honest communication and feeling vulnerable feelings. (Check this out, if that sounds familiar.) Luckily, you can both totally learn to feel much more at ease with these things. And you can work around all these obstacles and any other ones preventing you from having the conversation. And it’s essential to do so, so you can actually have that conversation-- and get to that clarity. Because, why spend years of your life on a relationship that will never satisfy you? If you find the truth is that you aren’t on the same page, wouldn’t you want to know that--sooner rather than later? So you can move on and give yourself a real chance at the truly great relationship you were born for? And wouldn’t learning that you ARE on the same page give you such a sense of encouragement and hope? It would set you up for finally creating the love you want to have between you! Because you know for sure, “We are compatible!” Then you just get to work ironing out the kinks. Listen, I know I make this sound easy. But I know it may NOT be for you. If you need help with anything that’s keeping you from being able to have this conversation or get to this clarity, I’m here for you. And if you’re already clear you ARE on the same page in the most fundamental way, but you need help ironing out any of the kinks you may be running into-- so your marriage can be an ever-deepening loving supportive allyship you so deeply cherish-- don’t hesitate to reach out about coaching with me (just hit reply and we’ll set up a time to chat about it)... I will help you with all of it.


Take Note ... Sometimes it’s not an indication of a fundamental difference if this question isn't answered clearly by both of you. Sometimes the patterns of reaction you’re locked into in your relationship lead to so much unhappiness in the relationship that you’re both unclear about what you even want from the relationship... That just means there’s healing work that needs to be done first, before you can even know what you want . That’s where you shine! When you do that healing work on yourself and learn to really own your power as a sensitive leader of love, those pain-creating patterns will fall AWAY, leaving you with the clear knowledge of what you want out of this relationship. And give him the best opportunity to discover the same for himself. And here’s the most reassuring news: If, after doing this work on yourself, you end up finding out that your partner is not on the same page with you, you’re going to be in a beautiful place to gracefully exit the relationship... and know that the love that you really want is right around the corner. Because you will know YOU have all it takes to create it right here inside you. Either way, you win. This is exactly what you'll do when you come coach with me. Let’s go to work. Schedule a consult call here.

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Hannah Brooks

Montpelier, VT

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