Introduction to Checklist

What is the "Relationship Compatibility Checklist"?

Quite simply, it’s a book written to help you crystallize your thinking about life and how it intertwines with your relationship status. Plus it can help you find your perfect match; someone who is a good fit for your heart, mind and hopefully the love of your life.

Because you are always in a relationship with yourself, the first step before deciding if you’re compatible with someone else is to know yourself. By answering these true-false, yes-no, multiple choice, open-ended questions, you will gain greater insight into questions like...What do you value? What are your wants and needs, your goals and dreams? In short, what do you want out of life and what do you want in a life partner? To help clarify your answers to these questions, use this book as an in-depth way to interview and profile yourself. As a byproduct, you’ll learn just how unique you really are and why finding your soul mate can be such a challenge. With its broad perspective on life, reading this list will stimulate you to ask, is the life you’re living compatible with the life you envision to live?

To truly know yourself, it’s also important to rethink your past relationships. Read this book and there’s a good chance you’ll learn the real reason or reasons why previous relationships didn’t work. With the insights gleaned from this exercise, you’ll hopefully never again have to say, "If only I knew then what I know now."

By helping you clarify your desires and preferences related to choosing a mate or life partner, this book will increase your chances of choosing wisely. This could save you weeks, months, or even years of dating and vetting a relationship that may be doomed from the start. This is time you can never get back and could instead be better invested in finding a more compatible match. What a time saver!

If you’re already in a relationship, whether it’s a challenging or loving one, this book can help you determine if you truly are made for each other. Are you and your partner on the same page psychologically, philosophically, and intellectually? Do you have a similar world-view? Are you compatible in all 8 areas of life: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, financial, family, and career? By helping you answer these questions, this book can help you decide if it’s time to move in, move out, or run for the hills? Or, is it time to re-evaluate your compatibility, reconcile your differences and make your relationship work even better?

This book works on the premise that discovering the answers to life begins with asking the right questions. The questions in this book are organized under 23 life categories. They cover both major and minor issues that can affect the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, from whether the toilet seat should be left up or down to how to raise children. The central purpose of these questions, many controversial, is to provoke thought, stimulate conversation, and turn your thoughts into words. Note that this book doesn’t tell you how to think, but rather suggests what to think about.

Keep in mind there are no absolutely right or wrong answers, just your subjective opinions expressed as a starting point for deliberation or discussion. As you’ve heard a thousand times, the secret to making a relationship work is communication. This book makes it easier to talk about almost anything, including sensitive topics that are often not thought or talked about until they become issues.

The message is simple, listen and talk, then talk some more. If a discussion is ‘off the table,’ it’s already an issue. Using this book you can address and resolve issues in the present, possibly months or years in advance of when they might otherwise have arisen.

While many questions are thought-provoking, others are light-hearted. This makes them perfect as conversation starters or ice-breakers for first dates.

When reviewing the questions alone, whether you’re in a relationship or not, answer first for yourself, then ask yourself, how would you feel if your partner or a potential partner were to choose differently or the opposite? In answering this question, choose PC for potential conflict or DB for deal breaker. If there are no red flags, choose NI for non-issue. Incidentally, when reading questions that refer to all or every, answer as though it said, most, usually, or generally.

If you have difficulty choosing between true and false, yes and no, or among multiple choice answers, simply pick the answer you most lean toward. Avoid the inclination to say 'neither,' or 'it depends,' since there are always exceptions and qualifiers.

If sharing with a partner, some questions may expose areas of disagreement. When discussing your differences, I encourage you to engage your sense of humor. Treat it as a game. Do so and the entire experience can be enlightening, stimulating, and even fun. Where there are conflicts, look at them as opportunities to test your creative skills at finding compromises and resolving problems, or as a learning experience and a chance to open your mind and grow.

Whatever you feel about an entry, be careful not to underestimate the value of what may appear to be a petty or trivial issue. You’d be surprised, or maybe not, at how little it can take to start an argument. A discussion of these minor issues can sometimes be quite revelatory.

Here now are five often asked questions about using this book.

One, how do you handle answers that may not be truthful? The fact is everyone lies to some degree, by omission, exaggeration, and sometimes intent. Sometimes we do so to protect another’s feelings. At other times, we do so in an attempt to think well of ourselves. The fact is, you may never know for sure if your partner is telling the truth. However, because of the comprehensiveness of this checklist, and the unique structuring of the questions, you will have a pretty good idea if your partner is being less than open and honest, or someone who, on balance, you can trust.

Two, how will you know if you and your partner are compatible? With no practical way to keep score, you will know in your gut. Your trust and confidence in your feelings will come as a byproduct of discussing and thinking clearly about such a wide breadth of issues germane to life and relationships.

Three, can you ever really know someone? Of course not, but this checklist can get you closer than you could ever imagine.

Four, what about dating websites or speed-dating events? No problem, but save your final decision until you’ve reviewed this book, with or without a partner.

Five, what about ‘dating-relationships’ that are just for fun, sex, and companionship? My answer, enjoy them. However, partnerships, live-in relationships, and marriages have much more at stake. When these relationships fail, they can cost those involved greatly, including the financial costs of divorce - the related costs of starting over - the time wasted in dating and vetting an incompatible love interest - and the heartache and emotional turmoil often inherent in ending ‘bad’ relationships. If children are involved, they too will suffer. Using this book effectively can save you all three: money, time, and heartache.

In conclusion, I believe this book can help increase the happy marriage rate and decrease the divorce rate, often quoted as 50%. Note that this statistic doesn’t account for relationships that would end in divorce, were it not for financial, children or religious issues, or the insecurity of one or both partners. A decrease in the divorce rate can come about in two ways: One, by helping people make better relationship choices at the outset, and two, by helping couples bring their issues to the forefront so they can reconcile their differences and save their marriages. This can be done either on their own or with the help of a professional couples counselor.

I believe this book can also couples who would like to get married but hesitate to commit out of fear. By working and playing with this list, couples are better able to face and resolve, in advance, the troublesome issues that many people fight over, argue about or get divorced over. Doing this openly and honestly in a non-defensive setting can give a hesitant couple the courage and confidence to take the plunge.

Lastly, keep in mind, life is too short to live in an incompatible relationship. You deserve better. Good luck!

At the end of the checklist, enjoy reading the 10 secrets to a long and happy marriage, and the 30 quotations on love, marriage, sex, relationships, friends, and friendship.