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How To Avoid Relationship Compatibility Hazards

Written by: Nigel Beckles, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


When you begin to date someone new, there is usually an exchange of experiences and opinions, which can provide important clues regarding potential compatibility. You begin to assess whether he or she likes the same things or shares the same views on certain topics. You will find similarities and differences, but these differences do not necessarily mean pursuing a relationship with the person is a waste of time. Every couple experiences disagreements, but the key to resolving differences is to seek a solution both partners can accept. If people can't find a way to work together, compatibility problems can start to show up, which can result in very serious conflicts.

couple fight each other arguing about something.

Two people can have different tastes, styles, and worldviews and still have a successful relationship. Often, each person finds the stark differences in their partner intriguing; they appreciate the different personality traits and often stay together because they complement each other. For example, a normally shy person may feed off their more gregarious partner, and vice versa, so each partner finds aspects of themselves they are missing in the other person, which makes the relationship mutually supportive and helps it to thrive. The key to success in this type of relationship is that each partner respects the views and opinions of the other. It usually takes a period of time before you discover if you have met someone who is really compatible, so take your time instead of committing to a relationship too quickly. While unresolved emotional problems can cause a person to create difficult and unhealthy relationships, becoming romantically involved with someone who has a compatibility hazard can present huge challenges that may be impossible to resolve. These hazards are not usually obvious and may be dismissed or ignored at the beginning, but they often surface after the relationship has been established. In this article, we will explore several issues that can frequently cause major problems.

The Long Distance Relationship

Many relationships have begun this way and succeeded, but there can be a variety of potential hazards. Long distance relationships can be romantic and exciting as you countdown to the next meeting, and this encourages couples to indulge in fantasies about meeting each other again. The distance also creates the illusion of a relationship, which may not be as good as it seems on the surface and lets each person avoid certain truths.

A person in this situation knows the time available together will be limited, and this increases the longing to see their partner again along with increased sexual desire. Because of the limited time together, having a good time and often having great sex is prioritized.While the meetings are very intense and great fun, the goodbyes are usually sad and emotional. The romance and distance easily entice many couples into a dramatic fantasy where the focus is on the next meeting and seeing their lover again. This type of relationship can be highly romantic but is also a high risk strategy as the separation can encourage a great deal of unrealistic expectations and love myths to be played out mentally by one or both partners.

Long-distance relationships can also serve as a distraction from asking yourself important questions, such as what this person is really like as a person. Each person is usually on their best behaviour, which creates an artificial interaction that results in only the positive aspects of each personality being revealed. If a decision is made to move closer to each other to spend more time together or even to live together, aspects of their true character may be suddenly revealed. Spending prolonged time together can uncover behaviours, habits, and attitudes that are extremely irritating, annoying, or frustrating, which can lead to serious disagreements. Serious compatibility conflicts may be revealed very quickly; tensions may build, resulting in a reduction of mutual sexual attraction and activity, and a ‘match made in heaven’ can swiftly transform into the relationship from hell.

Reality Check!

Various studies have shown that long distance partners tend to excessively idealise each other or view each other in unrealistically positive terms. It’s usually much easier to hold on to an idealised view of a partner when you’re not with them for significant amounts of time.

The only way to discover if the relationship has a viable future is for each person to be authentic and true to themselves while pursuing normal activities together. Effective and honest communication is the key to dealing with any conflicts as they arise. An important element in any relationship is the shared intention of both partners. If a person is being strung along for convenient sex, obviously, it’s better to find that out sooner rather than later.

There are no shortcuts to getting to know someone properly. The key to building a solid foundation for any relationship is to spend consistent, quality time with your partner. There are inherent constraints that restrict the natural growth and development of a long distance relationship because these types of relationships are by definition limited. This type of relationship isn’t necessarily doomed to fail; there have been many successful partnerships that began as long-distance liaisons.

Differences Between Religious & Spiritual Beliefs

Individuals who hold deep religious beliefs are usually taught a particular religion during childhood. Religious indoctrination at a very young age is often powerful and provides the foundation for adult belief systems and values that shape a particular worldview. A child who has been brought up in a religious home is unlikely to abandon their faith during adulthood and can be very resistant to even considering alternative concepts about life, death, and spirituality. Most couples don't talk about their religious beliefs when they're dating because they're too busy having fun and getting to know each other. However, different religious and spiritual beliefs can cause unexpected compatibility problems, with disagreements causing a lot of anger and frustration.

It is important not to allow another person to control your views; failing to take the time to consider and define your own personal beliefs may leave you susceptible to being influenced by someone else’s. Allowing another person to strongly influence your beliefs means giving someone else permission to define your perspective. For example, if you become involved with someone who holds strong opinions regarding their religion, you may accept their spiritual or religious views during the early stages of the relationship but then decide to explore your own beliefs. Each individual has the absolute human right to decide what they believe for themselves, but choosing a different belief system than your partner will often cause major disagreements.

Exploring Religion & Spirituality

We live in a diverse world where many different beliefs compete to be heard or even dominate. There are people who don’t believe in any type of spirituality, religion, the paranormal, or the existence of God. Others believe in various spirits, angels, astrology, numerology, alternative dimensions, or paranormal activity. There are individuals who believe in their personal interpretation of God but who are not involved with any type of religious organization; they rarely attend a church, mosque, or synagogue but have a flexible approach within their own personal belief system. A person may choose to demonstrate their beliefs and values through their behaviour and attitudes instead of being a slave to religious rules and doctrines. You may decide religious or spiritual practice doesn’t interest you, and it’s absolutely your personal right to make that choice.

In the dating game, it is always sensible to discover a potential partner’s views on religion, spirituality, and children. Most men and women have clear ideas about how children should be raised, and when a relationship gets serious, the possibility of getting married and having kids is likely to come up.

Suggested Questions

  • Is your partner of the opinion that parents have the right to teach their kids to believe in a certain religion and limit what they can learn?

  • Do parents have the right to bring up their children in an atmosphere of strict religious dogma?

  • Should parents have the right to insist their children strictly follow their faith?

  • If a child grows up and rebels or abandons the faith, should the parents and religious community reject their son or daughter?

When a person has strong religious or spiritual beliefs, this will have a great influence on their views regarding how their children should be raised. If there is a significant difference in religious or spiritual beliefs, this can result in very serious disagreements when the relationship has already been established. If you hope to have children, it is vital to share your personal views and expectations regarding how they will be raised concerning their religious or spiritual beliefs.

Finding out what a potential partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs are may not seem like a big deal during the dating phase, but this issue can cause major problems. The simple way to avoid this potential compatibility hazard is to raise the subject during the early stages of dating someone new. These matters can be discussed generally, and the responses provided will often offer valuable clues as to whether there could be any potential conflicts. Any serious delay or reluctance to discuss this topic can lead to major problems; hiding or avoiding the truth regarding your spiritual beliefs can be a major mistake if significant differences are later discovered. No matter how much love a couple has for each other, the relationship could be doomed, which would be very sad and painful.

Already Involved

The question, ‘Can a couple with different religious backgrounds work?’ comes up quite regularly in my relationship forums. It’s obvious that if a person is a fervent atheist and becomes involved with a partner who is deeply religious, there are probably going to be major disagreements. These conflicts have the potential to tear the partnership apart as a couple experiences deep conflicts regarding different belief systems, traditions, and attitudes. A couple committed to the relationship can conduct research regarding mixed denomination partnerships or seek advice and support from their respective religious spiritual advisors or support groups. The reality is that a person with deep religious beliefs is likely to be intransigent if a workable compromise cannot be achieved, and if so, the relationship simply isn’t viable. Leaving a relationship due to this compatibility hazard is a small price to pay for your emotional, mental, and spiritual freedom, along with your peace of mind. Don't let a partner force you to follow a certain religion or belief. It's very important to follow your own conscience, inner guidance, and personal path, wherever they lead you.

Toxic Ex-Partner

One of the most difficult compatibility hazards to deal with isn’t always obvious until the relationship has been firmly established. A toxic ex-partner can cause severe problems and create havoc in your relationship. There are men and women who will refuse to accept a relationship is over and will be extremely upset when they realise their ex-partner has found happiness with someone else. These kinds of vendettas don't always start right away. Passive-aggressive behavior, harassment, and psychological warfare may not start until it's clear that your current partner is moving on with their life and is serious about getting back together with you.

Men and women who refuse to accept and respect their ex-partner has moved on typically include:

  • Refuse to acknowledge your relationship.

  • Fail to respect your privacy.

  • Try to cause problems between you and your partner.

  • Refuse to respect certain boundaries despite being your partner's ex.

  • Turn any children from the previous relationship against you or your partner.

Before he or she became involved with you, they may have been still recovering from their previous relationship for a variety of reasons, or perhaps they were rejected. In my experience, the partner who is rejected in a relationship usually feels far worse than the person who decides to end the relationship. This can leave someone feeling rejected, hurt, not ‘good enough’ or lacking full emotional closure.

An ex-partner or lover sabotaging your relationship is likely to provoke negative emotions, including:

  • Angry when your partner appears to be giving higher priority to his ex-partner’s feelings than to your own.

  • Angry when your partner doesn’t understand how you feel while accusing you of being insecure or jealous.

  • Frustrated and impatient when he constantly makes excuses for his ex-partner.

  • Resentful when your partner excludes you from certain aspects of his life that include his ex-partner (for example, picking up or returning children for visitation) in order to "avoid any problems."

  • Worried or scared when you know the toxic behaviour is clearly escalating but your partner dismisses it, saying it's not a "big deal" or that they will "sort it out," despite the fact that you know your partner is dismissing your concerns.

In extreme cases, men and women with personality disorders can be obsessed with destroying the lives of others and commit terrible acts. Ignoring toxic behaviour or being in denial could even be dangerous, and any reluctance on his part to establish clear boundaries will probably encourage her interference or any toxic behaviour.


Paying attention to any red flags and asking pertinent questions during the dating phase may reveal whether or not he has any ‘unresolved issues with an ex-partner. Questioning a partner about their relationship history doesn’t guarantee they are going to tell you the complete truth; they could be worried about telling you about a toxic ex-partner because he or she doesn’t want to scare you off. There could also be concerns that they may be judged harshly for being involved with an ex-partner who may be emotionally unstable.

Already Involved

Do not ignore the warning signs and refuse to accept any excuses your partner may offer regarding his ex-partner’s behavior. Where there are issues due to serious disruption and sabotage caused by the ex-partner, it’s your partner’s responsibility to deal with the problem. Don’t wait for the problem to solve itself because it won't, so discuss the matter with him and make your concerns very clear.

  • Your partner is just as responsible for how their ex-partner acts if they haven't set clear boundaries.

  • If your partner has set clear, firm boundaries, it's unlikely that their toxic ex-partner will be able to hurt them, no matter what they do.

If your partner is allowing their ex-partner to undermine the relationship and makes it clear they are not prepared to take action, explain how this makes you feel and give them an ultimatum. Explain that the situation is unacceptable and that you will only remain in the relationship if they establish clear boundaries with their previous partner. It will probably hurt to end it but the emotional costs will be much higher if you decide to stay, hoping that things will get better.

If your partner will not support you, things will only get worse. In this type of relationship dynamic, it’s also important to look at yourself and consider if you are being unreasonable.

If you suspect you have jealousy issues due to your partner having a friendly and appropriate relationship with his ex-partner, which is not causing unreasonable disruption, you need to be honest with yourself and make arrangements to tackle the issue. Seriously consider attending counselling or therapy either on your own or with your partner. Whatever you decide to do, understand that doing nothing is not a realistic option.

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Nigel Beckles, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Nigel Beckles is an Author, Certified Relationship Specialist & Coach, holds a Dealing With Narcissism Diploma and Psychology of Relationships Diploma. He is an Educator, Online Adviser and Workshop Facilitator. Nigel is a contributor to the award-winning documentary ‘Looking for Love’ available on DVD and online. He is also the creator of the podcast 'Interesting Conversations with Interesting People' featuring Interviews with Award-Winning Authors, Therapists & Relationship Life Coaches. All Podcasts Available @ Website: his work involves guiding men and women through difficult relationship issues.



Book Extract:

‘How to Avoid Making the BIG Relationship Mistakes!’

Available @ Amazon

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