1. Home
  2. /
  3. Empower
  4. /
  5. When is Love Not...

Tom and Sarah had reached an impasse in their marriage. They were childhood lovers and had known each other for more than 20 years, and been married about half that time. When it comes to Destiny and Love, they should have ticked off all the boxes easily, and yet they were unhappy in their marriage.

When I listened more deeply to their woes, I began to understand why. Sarah is someone who needs security desperately. She would request Tom to check the bedroom door to make sure it is locked whenever she prepared to sleep. When he did, she would request him to check one more time, just in case. Sometimes this can take place a few times for her to feel safe enough to finally nod off. This ritual is getting terribly frustrating for Tom, who sees no reason why she has to insist on this every single night.

Then Tom chipped in about how she will come home and instead of getting some physical exercises done, she would just plop onto the sofa and get herself a red wine.  Sometimes one cup turns to two, or three, or more.

A traditional counselor may ask them to communicate fully all their angsts to their partners, but it’s not that they haven’t tried. They know what the problems are, but asking their partner to change their ways has so far proven futile. There is a simple reason why. Ultimately, though they love each other, there is fundamental incompatibility between the two of them.

This incompatibility has a lot to do with the different value systems they hold. For Tom, one of his highest values is good health, and one of his lowest values is safety, while ironically Sarah is the exact opposite. To her, safety is a paramount value, while health is very low on her priorities. Could they work out a compromise? The problem: values define at a very basic level who you are and what you think is important in life.

For example, a vegetarian probably has compassion as a high value priority. If they meet someone who has no qualms about killing animals for sport – like through fishing and hunting (because compassion does not fare high in his value system), they may end up falling in love at first, but when the emotional highs of love wear off, it’s likely that the vegetarian would start to lose respect for her partner. At one point, they would wonder: Why can’t I just find another partner where our value systems are more aligned?

And this is precisely one of the major reasons why I see couples experience difficulties in their relationships, or why 50% of marriages end in divorce. We have been led to believe, by movies and fairy tales, that love conquers all. If only we love someone, we do not have to consider any other factors.

The truth of the situation is that love is seldom the problem. Compatibility is. Even if there is love, if fundamental compatibility is not present, love would eventually get eroded away.

What determines fundamental compatibility? Besides the value systems that are highlighted above, one of the most basic dualities has to do with what I call the abstract/conceptual vs concrete/practical thinking split.

There are people who perceive the world through what we call the lenses of the intangible, the invisible, concepts and big ideas. They thrive on ideas and concepts, and find practical, day-to-day living topics boring. Talk to them about the next big trend in business, or whether divine beings exist, and they come alive. Talk to them about cars, or asking them about what they have done that day, and see their eyes starting to drift off.

In contrast, you have the majority of people who perceive the world based on concrete/practical thinking. Whatever they are not able to see is not important to them, and they are more concerned with the practical concerns of life – getting their bills paid, feeding their children, and choosing the next Michelin-grade restaurant to satisfy their taste buds.

This duality of abstract vs concrete thinking would shape their value systems, determine people’s aspirations, decide their interests and passions, and even hint at the kind of humor they would enjoy. For example, abstract people love wit while concrete people tend to find joy in slapstick.

In order for two people to find fulfillment in their relationships, they must ideally be not too different when it comes to this abstract vs concrete thinking polarity, and also it’s varying offshoots like the value systems. As you can see, it gets more complex the more you dive into the intricacies.

There is also often confusion between the connections between sex, love and compatibility, and I would eventually address these differences in a separate article!

darius seeABOUT DARIUS

Darius is a medical intuitive and uses his skill to help people suffering from chronic illnesses. He discovers that just by looking at a person, he can find out their physical conditions, the causes, and uses energy medicine to help them get better.

Learn more about him here.