When it comes to dating, couples, and partnerships in love, a common fallacy that prevents many people from recognizing, building, and sustaining a successful relationship is the notion of instant and effortless compatibility. There is no such thing as a naturally occurring compatible relationship. This is a difficult thing for most people to accept, as we are all (admittedly or not) in love with the idea of love at first site, and finding our "soul mates" - the one person who is your exact compliment, and that will provide you with everything you ever could have wanted in a relationship. This is not to dispel love at first site, or even to negate that soul mates do exist, but to say that compatibility is ensured can often lead people astray.
Love may come easily and naturally. Compatibility, however, takes a bit of work. It takes understanding, patience, thoughtfulness, and mindfulness. Compatibility can be created, and when the "honeymoon" phase of the initial falling-in-love period subsides - anywhere from a few months to a few years - the couples who've spent the time to build compatibility are the ones who last. Ensuring that you share common beliefs, morals, expectations of life, and a fundamental spirituality (or lack thereof) can be the deciding factors whether or not a relationship will withstand the test of time, or wilt away like a spring bloom in winter.
Some questions you can ask yourself to ensure that there is enough commonality to build a lasting compatibility are:
What are the person's fundamental beliefs and values?
This can be everything from their general philosophy of life, to politics, to God, to how they prefer to make toast and why. But really spending some time exploring their beliefs and what they value, and how they believe life should be lived is essential for determining whether or not there is enough common ground, appreciation, and supportive growth potential for both of you to engage in years-long interaction without significant conflicts of interests.
What do their actions say?
It is one thing to have everything worked out in theory, and quite another when it comes to putting things to practical use. Put some effort into really objectively looking at the other's actions. Do they act in accordance to the beliefs and value system they themselves spoke about? Sometimes, a person doesn't even realize that they hold morals, beliefs, and values that are in direct conflict with their day to day actions and behaviors - and even desires. Make sure your potential future long-term partner not only shares enough common ground with you, but that they are quite comfortable walking on that same ground with you.
What are your friends' opinions?
Love can be blind. New love can especially be naively optimistic, and entirely off base. It is important to take into consideration your friends viewpoints for several reasons.
They are your friends, after all, and they know you in ways that are separate from your view of yourself. This means they have an advantage of objectivity that you will probably not be able to match - especially in the inebriated state of being "in love". Their objectivity may be able to easily see your partner as the perfect match, or a probable and imminent disaster.