You are likely familiar with the concept of being “equally yoked,” meaning people who come together in relationship who are similar, compatible or at least flexible, in their views on life’s most important questions. I always teach that compromise in relationships is important, and always necessary to some extent. However, I also firmly believe that some things can be so important to a person that they should not be compromised. Of course, everyone must decide for themselves just what that non-negotiable is. For some, having children is a given in a marriage, for others not so much. Some people expect to share all or most of their time together, and again, others not so much. Below, you’ll see a few more examples on three aspects of life that I have found to be the most important in terms of relationship compatibility.

Dr. Darnise’s Top Three:


Does my partner have to be the same religion that I am? Sharing the same faith tradition is VERY important for many people. It can likewise be VERY important to someone who is not committed to any particular faith or spirituality not to feel pressured to join one. My answer to this question when dealing with people of different faiths is actually a question directed back to them, can you be flexible enough in your belief/nonbelief to allow the other person to do what he/she needs to do without ridicule or disdain? If you feel it is imperative that your partner join you in religious/holiday observations you should probably seek someone who shares your faith.


How much is enough? This is a question that should be discussed honestly between people. Sometimes people assume that their “normal” is their partner’s normal also. Not usually. Take the time to find out how much is enough, and what is desired from both parties. Consider the impact of different schedules, physical ailments, menstrual cycles, kids or parents in the house, whatever the particulars of your life. This issue can likely work out with open communication, and a willingness to be flexible.


Your money or your life? This is an area that wrecks more marriages than anything else. I believe it is because people do not want to talk about it. Money brings up so many issues like shame, guilt, entitlement, and security, that often times people will avoid it as long as possible, and just hope everything works out. Well, even if money is abundant between the partners, it is best to discuss how money will be spent, saved, invested, donated, and splurged. The money issue is one where I have to say being equally yoked is very important. It is quite difficult for savers and big spenders to co-exist in a relationship where money is shared.

Keep an eye out for my new series on Love and Money. These aspects of life are big for everyone, and I’ll be doing some important teachings on it soon.

I’m definitely interested to read what you have to say on the concept of being equally yoked. So, reply to this email, and let me know what you think.

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