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May 8, 2013

Love Compatibility


Dear Most Brave Girl,

I was hooking up with a guy for a while and then we decided to make it official, but our new relationship is far from exciting honeymoony bliss. We’re fighting a lot, we don’t have as much fun as before and it’s hard to communicate even though we used to have great chemistry. What’s going on?


Someone That Underestimated Potential Intimacy Dilemmas


Let me guess. Your new boyfriend likes Macklemore, biking, cherry coke, puppies that look like ewoks, eating leftovers cold and hating on people who post garbage like this on facebook. He’s so perfect for you. So why isn’t it working out?

Being delighted by someone’s idiosyncrasies is a stepping stone for attraction and can carry you guys through casual sexual encounters and even quite a few dates. But don’t be surprised if the relationship develops with more glitches than you expected. It’s easy to be snowed by positives and overlook dealbreakers when the interactions you have with someone are agreeable and engaging. Early on you might have even thought to yourself “Oh I don’t even mind that he’s mildly racist/gets visibly angry that I’m not that into Grouponing/inexplicably protested the zoo’s new baby penguins/was somehow a groupie for Kid Rock. It must be because I’m so into him. That will never change.”

All of a sudden the other ugly shoe drops (you didn’t used to mind his ugly shoes) and you realize that although you might have undeniable chemistry, you guys just aren’t romantically compatible enough to truly appreciate or understand each other. Or bicker a little without it blowing up into a huge fight. Or communicate any of your feelings effectively. Compatibility has to run deeper than a shared affinity for sucking each others’ faces.

It’s Science’s Fault Anyway. Like Always.
If you’ve ignored some essential stuff about your partner that rubs you the wrong way for the sake of the chemistry, don’t worry. A lot of people do it. Your own brain tricks you into being less critical on whoever you are intercoursing. Proof? When you have an orgasm, your brain releases a boatload of dopamine (the chemical associated with romantic love) and oxytocin (the hormone associated with bonding and attachment) into your system. So it’s not even your fault that you developed feelings for someone who got a tattoo of glasses where normal people wear regular glasses.

The Last Metaphor
Imagine your relationship is a reservoir and every time you gloss over a less than ideal characteristic about your partner, a little hole breaks in the dam holding it all together. Sooner or later, the reservoir will overcome the leaky dam and fall apart. But it’s okay when the dam breaks. In fact, it’s for the better. Why would you want to be frantically trying to plug up the leaks or constantly stressing because you’re worried the dam will break at any second? That’s not fun for anyone. Find someone who is compatible with you in crucial, relevant ways so you don’t have to work so hard at it, leaving you more time for an enjoyable, healthy relationship.

If you have a question about dating, love or the single life, please leave it in the comments and I’ll reply in next week’s Question & Answer!

About the Author

Most Brave Girl
MostBraveGirl is the Executive Editor for Nouveau Dating and Love is Everywhere. She is a search and destroy robot for anyone acting stupid while trying to get laid. Ask for her help if you are one of those people.

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