What is emotional compatibility? The first answer that springs to mind is that it is something very subjective, because the truth is that a couple with widely differing interests and personalities can be compatible if they are emotionally intelligent, compassionate and understanding of the needs of the other person.
“I don’t care how intelligent or attractive someone is, if he zaps your energy, he isn’t for you. True chemistry is more than intellectual compatibility. Beyond surfaces, you must be intuitively at ease.”
― Judith Orloff
We all have a set of core needs that have to be met but they don’t necessarily have to be met by our partners. For instance, if you are sensitive and your partner has difficulty understanding this but meets many of your other needs, you may still find enough compatibility provided this need of yours is met by understanding and sensitive friends.
Looking more closely at emotional compatibility we need to consider the general temperament and personality of both people as well as how they react in conflict/under pressure. An emotional connection can be established between two vastly dissimilar people with contrasting conflict styles. However having contrasting conflict styles that leads to one or both people feeling lonely or isolated erodes the emotional connection quite quickly.
Two people who are both quite argumentative and like to hash it out may be more compatible than a couple consisting of one person who fights passionately Mediterranean style and another person who likes to stick their head in the sand. Two people who go into conflict avoidance mode may also be compatible provided they understand the dynamic they create and find a way of breaking the ice after each round of arguments. The best conflict style is, of course, for both to assert their needs yet at the same time be willing to compromise.
Because I like to use the Tarot in as constructive a way as possible, the Emotional Compatibility Tarot Spread I created focuses on the things you can do to create a stronger emotional connection.
1. The Current State of Your Emotional Connection
2. The Main Challenge (Cups show that it is mainly emotional, Swords indicate communication and conflict resolution, Wands indicate life goals being an issue and Pentacles show that health/finance influence the emotional connection – Majors indicate that a spiritual lesson needs to be learned)
3. The Most Pressing Need of Person One
4. The Most Pressing Need of Person Two
5. How Person One Can Best Support Person Two (express affection differently, do something recreational together, goal support etc)
6. How Person Two Can Best Support Person One
7. What Person One Needs to Understand about How Their Conflict Resolution Style Affects Person Number Two
8. What Person Two Needs to Understand about How Their Conflict Resolution Style Affects Person Number One
It is best if you do this reading together with your partner. The whole point of this spread is to increase compassion and understanding in both parties.
A word of caution: If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship (i.e. your partner uses words and actions to control, intimidate and belittle you), please understand that throwing cards at it is not what you need… Get the hell out and seek some counselling!
“With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism, and accusations slowly eat away at the victim’s self-esteem until he or she is incapable of judging a situation realistically. He or she may begin to believe that there is something wrong with them or even fear they are losing their mind. They have become so beaten down emotionally that they blame themselves for the abuse.”
― Beverly Engel