What are things you argue about? Where are disagreements? The small resentments? Where do you have to give in to get along?
Do you argue over money? Are you fighting over sex? Do you have different ideas about how much time you should spend together and apart? Do you squabble over extended family and friends? Is one of you daring and reckless, while other wants to play things safe? Does one of you want to be right all time? Does one of you want to always be in control? Do you disagree about fun activities in your life?
Couples may have conflict over many areas but do you know there is a simple explanation for conflict? When looking for a life partner, it is a good idea to take a close look at your “Need Strength Profile”, based on Dr. William Glasser’s work in area of Choice Theory. This simple assessment will determine where you and your partner are in terms of five basic needs and help you determine what areas are compatible and what areas should generate discussion and possible compromise and negotiation.
There is a free assessment at www.therelationshipcenter.biz on "Free Stuff" page that will provide a rudimentary understanding of where you are with regard to five basic human needs of Choice Theory---love & belong, survival, power, freedom and fun. If you are seeking compatibility in a relationship, you and your partner can both take this assessment and then discuss your results based on rest of this article.
The first need is called love & belonging. It is need that determines how much connection you require with others. Generally speaking, relationships work best when you have equivalent strengths of love & belonging need. This is need that will help you determine as a couple how much time you spend together and how much time is needed apart. Loving sex and romance is another aspect of this need, as are extended family and friends.
The second of five basic needs is survival. This is so much more than just need to physically survive, although that is part of it. It is also psychological need to feel safe and secure. Areas of potential conflict around this need involve ability to adapt to change, how you spend and save money, preparations one makes for safety, spontaneity, among other things.
The third of human needs is power, which can be a difficult need to understand because power generally has a negative connotation associated with it. When people hear "power" they often think of one person exerting their power over another person. While this is one way, albeit not best way, to meet one's power need, there are two other ways which are more responsible and palatable.
There are three ways to meet one's need for power---power over others, power with others and power within ourselves. Power over others is not a responsible way to meet one's power need because it interferes with other person getting his or her needs met. There are plenty of people who use power over others but I am advocating for other two ways when seeking compatibility in relationships.
When people have a high need for power, they are born driven to get this need met. They don’t know how to get it met; they just know they must find power. Often, you can observe in small children tendency to power over others. Then, hopefully, life teaches children other two ways to seek power.
When you look for "power with" others, it means that you are able to work cohesively with a group of people to advance toward a common goal. Many winning sports teams display this "power with" concept, as well as effective work teams and even fully functioning families. "Power with" others can be a very satisfying way of meeting one’s power needs.