Compatibility has always been the buzzword when it comes to relationships and marriages in Asian culture. Historically, you have things like class, race and religion being the preliminary litmus test to shortlist a pool of so called ideal partners.
That’s not to say that these things don’t happen at present. Over the past 2 years, I’ve witnessed several of my close friends who were planning their wedding in Singapore and ‘dabbled’ in such practice.
Sure it might not be as extreme to the point of using one’s zodiac signs or eight characters (Ba Zi) but the obsession with couple compatibility still remains.
To Be or Not to Be…
“You must make sure that you and your boyfriend are compatible, if you two don’t envision a common future, there’s no point in staying together…”
I usually go into “switch off” mode whenever this public service announcement comes on by conservative (but well-intentioned) relatives. They rattle off a long list of decisive factors with such detail that I feel like I’m going through a profiling test.
I would go like, whatever happened to the feelings part which make you guys think are suited for each other?
But hey, some of my peers are really into the compatibility thingy too!
I feel it’s deceptively packaged into bite sized, streamlined tests and profiles that promise to give you the affirmation of a husband-wife relationship it so sorely needs – through the use of logic and qualitative analysis. Ha!
Accurate? Sure or not?
“Aww, you guys get along like a forest on fire! I bet he’s an Aquarius, Aquarius and Sagittarius belong to the water and air sign, they’re mellow elements and don’t clash…”
Excuse me while I give a pained smile.
Sometimes I think that the supposed ‘accuracy’ of horoscopes and zodiac signs turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I tried it once. Religiously applied my horoscope predictions for the month to every aspect of my life.
Messed up my head big time, I give it a 2/10 and would not recommend. How can I apply a cosmology I don’t even believe in?!
The Compatibility Guessing Game
I even have trouble buying into those compatibility tests that are based on ‘reasoning’. What irks me the most is how they strive so hard to derive an organized set of variables and implement seemingly all encompassing binaries.
Extrovert versus Introvert. A mediator, a leader, a follower. Traditional or Liberal…and the list goes on.
The funny thing is that many articles (*cough*) have surfaced in response to these binaries, where they try to account for the grey areas and ambiguity by hyphenation.
I kid you not, it’s literally “What Happens When You Love a Liberal-Traditionalist” or “101s of being the Mediator-Follower in a Relationship.”
Why would you even bother enforcing the importance of such binaries and classifications when *gasp* you eventually come to the conclusion that you fall somewhere in the middle? *facepalm*
Sure, those tests are fun to do. Hilarious, even. I still find myself trying those quizzes and tests because I’m so keen to generate a result that seems unique to myself. I attribute it to vanity in a sense.
But like any other popular, over-hyped mechanism that attempts to slot human beings neatly into pre-determined spaces, has to be taken with a pinch/spoon/ladle/pot of salt…right, whatever.
What I personally find to be a far better determinant of “compatibility”, if you will, is the way that you and your partner were raised and the sort of values that were instilled in you.
The type of major trials and tribulations that you’ve been through, such as the death of a close family member, a divorce, or even a struggle with body image are also more likely to create that sense of empathy.
Being able to emotionally connect and resonate with your partner brings the both of you closer on a level that is unattainable by any other individual. Isn’t that why you’ve fallen in love and chosen to settle down together?
Take my partner and I for instance. A big reason why we are compatible is because we’re both the eldest child in the family. Our tendency to worry, fuss and be slightly over-prepared make us both a rather good match.
We both faced pressure from our family as the pioneer kid to forge ahead in life and be a role model to our younger siblings, gripe about our parents being so lenient to our youngest siblings have got it easy.
All these translates to similar principles and values.
Our childhood of hard knocks made us hardy and determined, and so we demand a lot of ourselves and hold each other to the same expectations.
What do you think? Agree or disagree?