My wife and I did not take a compatibility test before we got married. It might have shown unpleasant results, but we didn’t care about compatibility. We weren’t that similar. We wanted to be together, and I think that is enough.
We did take a kind of test, but it was with completely different motives. We were not trying to feel validated in our relationship. We had decided to get married. We were going to, and we were going to stay married. Luckily, we came across a book that talked about common interests, and we instantly applied it. I believe the action we took is hugely responsible for our closeness today. If we were to take a compatibility test right now, my guess is that we would score very high.
Eight years after this test we have become so similar, and it’s because we chose to be.
So what was this test? It was just a list of activities. Everything from watching sports to writing songs. We printed out two copies of the list and were separated long enough to answer it. On a scale of 1 to 5 (one being low) how much do you/would you like to go canoeing? 5! How much do you/would you like to go to football games? 1. Play tennis? 4. Go to concerts? 5! And on it went. There must have been about 100 activities listed. I had never even considered some. What was racquetball?
After we wrote all of our answers we came back together and, as instructed, compared each one. Whenever we both had fives we circled it. This is something we would do together on a date or make a part of our weekly routine. If we both had a score of 1 we laughed and scratched it out. We’ve never been to a football game together. We kept going through the list smiling and saying, “Yeah! Me too! Let’s do that tomorrow!” or “Oh, good! I was afraid you’d want to do that. I hate jogging!” Then about twenty lines in or so we tested our relationship like we never had before. I had a five on going to concerts. Beth had a one. What?! Did she write it wrong?
I had to clarify. “I thought you liked concerts. Haven’t you been to a bunch?”
“Yeah, but I didn’t enjoy it. I hate concerts,” that beautiful girl replied.
No! My heart sunk. I probably could have cried if I had tried to.
You are probably thinking, “So what?” Well, the decision I made in my heart that day is one of the main reasons I am still in relationship with Beth.
“Ok. Well, let’s not do that.” We crossed it off our list. Beth did so quickly and casually. I did so slowly but with determination. The thing is, we figured out early on that our relationship was worth continuing in. We would only have sixteen waking hours to be together, and once you added in work, commutes, errands, other family, other friends, and random things like jury duty and flat tires, there would hardly be any time left. Why should we waste the few precious hours we have each week on things that we couldn’t do together or didn’t want to do? What would I gain from leaving her home while I had fun? Well, Micah, you’d be able to grow into the person you are supposed to blahdy blah blah blah blah blah. Whatever.
Pursuing separate interests only separates a couple.
Sure, I loved concerts, but in the grand scheme of our lives they became so insignificant to me. I think we’ve been to two or three in our nine years of dating/marriage, but I hardly remember them. What I do remember is the times we’ve spent on the things we both had fives on. Kayaking, walking, hiking, board games, brownies, reading on a couch together, trying new foods. There were so many things we mutually liked and so many more that we wanted to try together, that we still haven’t done everything. We both chose to drop hobbies that the other found lame or repulsive, and we have had so much fun.
She is still my favorite person to play with. I can probably count on one hand how many times we’ve been bored together. (Beth can even make boring meetings funny.)