All the stuff of the romantic stories that have been written for thousands of years goes back to the story of Adam of Eve. As the story goes, God created a single being, Adam, that in “their” wholeness contained both male and female. God then separated this being into two bodies, Adam and Eve. And there it is: the concept of the soul mate was born. Adam and Eve were once one, then they were split into two and now seek wholeness in one another.

Why are we attracted to each other in the first place? It’s because we sense something in another that will help us feel more connected, something that, when we’re together, will lead us both to a greater place. That’s why the search for a soul mate is so difficult: because it’s really a search for yourself.

4 Types of Relationship Compatibility

Compatibility is a key element in every relationship. From dating to marriage, issues of compatibility can make or break relationships. The word “compatible” gets thrown around a lot in discussions about whether relationships should continue or end, but how do we define compatibility? How many types of compatibility are there? Are all types necessary to sustain a relationship?

Here are four primary types of compatibility, all of which are necessary for healthy love. The first three are subject to change, while the fourth type of compatibility is the one that truly cements relationships for the long haul; it is the eternal element that keeps couples together when their looks and interests change.

1. Physical Compatibility: Though it may sound superficial, physical compatibility — physical attraction to one another — is necessary for a relationship to take hold and be maintained. You need to be attracted to your partner, and certainly not be repulsed! Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and physical compatibility is clearly based on a subjective set of preferences. Nevertheless, it is an important component in a relationship.

2. Emotional Compatibility: You can be attracted to someone physically, but if there is no emotional connection, the relationship cannot endure. This happens very often: people look beautiful “on paper” or even in real life, but when you meet and talk to them, you don’t feel anything. There is no “click.” Every healthy relationship needs a feeling of trust and commonality, as well as emotional nurturing.

3. Intellectual Compatibility: Intellectual compatibility is when both people respect each other’s intelligence. They share and are stimulated by each other’s ideas and/or shared intellectual interests. They value each other’s opinions and thoughts. They find each other’s conversation interesting.

4. Eternal Compatibility / The Shared Vision: The first three types of compatibility are important, yes, but this fourth element of compatibility infuses and lifts a relationship to another dimension. Also known as spiritual compatibility, this is when two people share a vision and a mission that transcends each of their individual needs and the day-to-day changes of everyday life.

They share a transcendent vision in how they contribute to the greater good, make their mark in the world, build a home together, raise their children, and shape the world their children will grow up in. They create a life legacy together.

In contrast to the first three compatibility types, which are all subject to change (due to age, changes in our needs and interests, maturity, etc.), the fourth type of compatibility lasts a lifetime and more. No matter what changes a person goes through in life — physical, emotional, intellectual — the shared vision does not change.

Your vision and mission can take on different shapes and forms. You discover new ways of manifesting your mission in life, but your essential calling and your key talents don’t change. When two people find a partnership on that level then their relationship is able to evolve throughout life.

So, whether you’re reading this post-pandemic and heading out to your first in-person date in some time or you’re “swiping right” in a dating app, scheduling a video chat first date, or having a socially distant walk in the park with your new love interest, remember that what you’re really looking for in a partner is an eternal piece of you.

Author's Bio: 

Rabbi Simon Jacobson shares emotional, psychological, and spiritual skills to help people live their most meaningful lives. An “engaged sage” with an open, empathetic, and non-judgmental approach, he provides clarity, solutions, and new perspectives based on timeless teachings. He is the author of the best-selling book “Toward a Meaningful Life” and Founding Dean of The Meaningful Life Center. Learn more at