In response to my last relationship article on “The Secrets to a Happy Relationship?”, some readers communicated their need to better understand how to tell if they were compatible with someone…or not. This request leads me to share an model that could act as a relationship quiz and be very helpful in sorting important needs, values, and beliefs.
To map this model to a relationship quiz, have both parties go through the various steps and compare notes. You both will learn a lot about each other.
A great way to think about compatibility is to use the NLP model, created by Robert Dilts, called the “Logical Levels”:
- Environment – When and Where
- Behaviors – What
- Capabilities – How
- Beliefs & Values – Why
- Identity – Who
Right now you are in an environment (where)–perhaps in front of a computer–and it’s a certain time of day (when). You’re moving your eyes back and forth as you read (behavior). You’re utilizing your complex, mostly unconscious, reading capabilities (how). All of your beliefs and values are present, but most (if not all) are currently not in your conscious awareness (why). And, you are…being (who).
Now lets use the Logical Levels to understand compatibility. First, compatibility doesn’t mean two people are the same (“birds of a feather flock together”), and it doesn’t mean they’re different (“opposites attract”). If you’re compatible with another person, it means that your environments, behaviors, capabilities, beliefs and values, and identity HARMONIZE with those same aspects of the other person. Two different musical notes played simultaneously will either harmonize or be dissonant (off key).
So, what’s the secret to determining compatibility? I’ll tell you. You make sure that you match at the identity (who) and beliefs and values (why) levels. Why? Because these two domains are the foundation for capabilities, behaviors, and environment. Allow me use a painfully accurate example of the kinds of mistakes many of us make in choosing a partner:
Betty meets Bob at a major league baseball game. She loves baseball and so does Bob. They’re both overjoyed to meet someone “who’s a fan”. They spend their courting time cheering on their team. They both love beer and hotdogs. Bob treats Betty like a lady, and Betty makes Bob feel like a real man. What more could you ask for? They fall in love (?) and the sex is great. They talk about marriage, but decide to first move in together and start sharing day-to-day life. As the infatuation glow begins to dim a little, Betty starts to become disturbed about some of the “little comments” Bob makes from time to time. It seems that there are a number of ethnic groups that Bob isn’t too fond of. “But he’s not a racist,” Betty says to herself, trying to sound convincing.
During the same time, Bob is realizing that besides boiling water, Betty can’t cook. It’s not a problem for Betty since she likes to go out to eat, doesn’t believe in the traditional roles for women, and feels men should share in the cooking. Bob says, under his breath, “Mom always warned about women who can’t cook.” Betty’s also pretty disorganized, and it’s starting to get to Bob. He *values* an orderly house–a habit he developed when he first went to Marine Corps boot camp in the mid 1960’s–and *believes* that disorganization is a sign of laziness. When Betty takes off her clothes at night, she just leaves them strewn about the bedroom. This was quite romantic during their early passions, but now it’s really starting to get to Bob. Plus, she always leaves food out on the counters, uses the last tissue of toilet paper without replacing the roll, leaves her shoes all over the house, and lets the garbage overflow the wastebasket…
We could go on, yes? Can you see that their connection began with environment, behaviors, and capabilities? Can you also see that they were harmonious in those first three domains? Can you also get that *some* of their beliefs and values were aligned (sports, winning, fun, etc.)? However, one key question is, “Were their *core* NON-NEGOTIABLE beliefs and values aligned?”
I encourage you to play with this five-level (The Logical Levels) way of thinking for awhile and then move to my next article, where I’ll be sharing eighteen specific areas of beliefs and values. You’ll be able to use the questions I provide to gain a better understanding of what you believe and what’s important to you (your values). As you do, it will become more and more clear to you who you harmonize with, and who you don’t. The more clear you are, the more you’ll be able to attract people with whom you’re compatible (and release those people with whom you’re out of tune).
Although, using an NLP model to map important relationship values is a little more indepth than just a quick relationship quiz, but taking the time to understand the Logical Levels will provide a basis of understanding for building a long term, compatible relationship.
To view the next post in this series, click > Creating Compatible Relationships: Quiz for a Relationship – Part 2