10 ways to tell if you’re with the right per­son

This is for those in the ex­clu­sive and se­ri­ous phase

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFESTYLE - By SHANE WAT­SON

Ap­par­ently, a com­mon source of fric­tion in the work­place is the ther­mo­stat set­ting. Half the peo­ple in of­fices are too hot (men) the other half are cold (women).

This in­stantly made me think of my cou­ples com­pat­i­bil­ity list — a check­list, com­piled by me, which I’ve been plan­ning to print, lam­i­nate and hand out to any­one plan­ning on mak­ing a co-habit­ing com­mit­ment.

Agree­ing on the ther­mo­stat set­ting (and fug-or-fresh air in the bed­room) is, as it hap­pens, num­ber 9 on the list. If you can’t agree on tem­per­a­ture, you’re go­ing to be tucked up in sep­a­rate beds be­fore you can say: “Who knew some­thing so small could make such a big dif­fer­ence?”

The point about the cou­ples com­pat­i­bil­ity list is it con­sists en­tirely of things you don’t think about at the start of a re­la­tion­ship, which later turn out to be very im­por­tant. You will not find “shared po­lit­i­cal be­liefs” on this list. Or a mu­tual ap­pre­ci­a­tion of film.

The items on the com­pat­i­bil­ity list are the soft, sub­tle, ap­par­ently in­con­se­quen­tial in­com­pat­i­bil­i­ties: the ones that grad­u­ally lead to eye-rolling, then tack-spit­ting, and even­tu­ally who knows what, but noth­ing good.

So here is the top ten. Feel free to leave it ly­ing around for those in the ‘ex­clu­sive and se­ri­ous’ phase.

Are you both dog peo­ple or cat peo­ple (yawn, yes we know), but as im­por­tantly, how are you with pets: sen­ti­men­tal and over­sen­si­tive on their be­half ? Kind and re­spon­si­ble? Flakey? Bet­ter be on the same page be­cause this is your par­ent­ing pre­view.

1 2 Dogs or cats.

Are you go­ing to all the gal­leries and the arte­fact­sof-war ex­hi­bi­tion and the gour­d­whit­tling demon­stra­tion, or are you ba­si­cally drift­ing while keep­ing an eye out for a good lunch place?

Shar­ing the same def­i­ni­tion of what con­sti­tutes a cri­sis and what is pant-wet­tingly funny.


Taste in, ob­vi­ously — but also vol­ume and when and where. If you are an al­ways-back­ground-mu­sic per­son and they are an oc­ca­sional ap­pre­ci­a­tor of Ben­jamin Brit­ten, that could make you sad.

3 4 Mu­sic.

This might sound like another way of say­ing, check your beloved’s sense of hu­mour, but it’s more than that. Their sense of hu­mour-fail­ure thresh­old needs to be on a par with yours. If one of you thinks that try­ing to catch pigs in a muddy field dur­ing a storm is hi­lar­i­ous, and the other one thinks it is se­ri­ous and dan­ger­ous … uh-oh.

If you have to ex­plain why it was, in your opin­ion, the equiv­a­lent of nails raked down a black­board when ev­ery­one as­sem­bled to hear Jill sing ‘Sum­mer­time’ a capella in the con-

5 Peo­ple-read­ing.

ser­va­tory, that means your peo­pleread­ing radar is out of sync. Which means … it’s hope­less, is the truth.

If you’re the sort of per­son who asks the ques­tion “How do I look?”, ex­pect­ing the an­swer “Amaz­ing!”, make sure you pick One with a fully pro­grammed hon­esty fil­ter. If you would pre­fer the un­fil­tered re­sponse, even if it’s “I can see your pants. And, to be hon­est, you’re re­mind­ing me of Charlton He­ston”, then go for one of them.

6 Hon­esty rules.

Warm fuzzies or in­stant nausea? Sort this one out and you will ac­ci­den­tally cover a lot of bases.

Make sure you are ei­ther in Team Ad­ven­ture, or team two weeks any­where you can get a tan.

Are you on the same page re the phrase “I love you to the moon and back”?

8 9 Travel. Agree on the ther­mo­stat set­ting.

Not agree­ing is prac­ti­cally di­vi­sive, and your tem­per­a­ture pref­er­ence re­veals a lot about your char­ac­ter. For ex­am­ple: low rid­ers are more likely to en­joy out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, eat less, and spend less time at the hair­dresser’s.



You’ve got to like each other’s food.

Plate shar­ing.

That’s the ba­sic com­pat­i­bil­ity test. That, and your def­i­ni­tion of “tight­wad” and “enough to drink” and “just loud enough to not dis­turb the neigh­bours”.


When it comes to cou­ple com­pat­i­bil­ity, who knew some­thing so small could make such a big dif­fer­ence.

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