In addition, perceived relationship compatibility is likely to change over time

Gottlieb’s quote that opened this article referred to the stake that the Internet dating sites have in the idea that “long-term romantic compatibility can be predicted according to scientific principles (p

A relationship may be compatible in early interaction, but the pair may later discover that they are not compatible for a long-term relationship. This is an obvious truism. In fact, one use of the concept compatibility in the relationship literature is in the context of compatibility testing for mate selection. According to “compatibility testing models,” such as Murstein’s (1987) Stimulus-Value-Role theory, partners gain new information about each other as they go through stages of increasing relationship development which involves becoming interdependent in new contextspatibility can continue to change over time in long-term relationships. The major longitudinal research studies on married couples, including Huston’s PAlR project (e.g., Huston, Niehuis, & Smith, 2001) and Orbuch’s (e.g., Orbuch, Veroff, Hassan, & Horrocks, 2002) Early Years of Marriage Project, have found that compatibility – or at least its chatiw ervaring traveling companions -change over years of marriage. Some couples who begin in marital bliss find themselves several years later divorced, or, if still together, in unhappy/incompatible relationships. Such marriages have been described in various ways, including empty-shell, conflict-habituated, and mixed-blessing marriages. A recent study of 1,000 married couples across the U.S. (e.g., Whisman, Beach, & Snyder, 2008) found that 31% of marriages can be classified as “unhappy.”

Furthermore, the assessment of compatibility at any point in time may include both a present focus and a future focus. As noted by Berscheid (1985), people are likely to use the word compatibility not only to refer to whether a pair is presently in harmony, but “are also making some prediction about how likely this state is to endure into the foreseeable future” (p. 145). (さらに…)