Can you be in love but not compatible?

Many couples who are in love end up getting married or living together even though they’re not compatible. Can this be a good idea?

High levels of chemistry combined with major incompatibilities is usually bad news.

Different life goals and values are usually deal-breakers. If you can’t see yourself with this person in the long run, it’s best to move on.

Your values and beliefs are different

Different values aren’t always a deal-breaker in relationships, but they can make it tough to find common ground. If your partner’s views on things like marriage and kids don’t match your own, for instance, it can cause a lot of tension in the relationship.

On a more minor level, it’s important that you both agree on the basics, like what kind of food you like or whether you prefer a clean or messy home. For example, you might not be compatible if you want to live a minimalist lifestyle and they are a serial shopaholic.

You might also have problems if you have a completely different sense of humor than your partner, or if they are super judgmental and get offended easily. That could be a sign that you’re not compatible in the long run.

You don’t see the world in the same way

If your views on major issues — such as how you should raise children or spend money — are too different, it’s probably not worth it to try and make it work. “Love can cover a lot of things, but if you’re on opposite ends of the spectrum on the big stuff, it isn’t going to last long,” relationship coach Crystal Bradshaw tells Bustle.

Incompatibility doesn’t have to mean a total lack of common interests, though. “If you can focus on the parts of each other that you do like — like spending time doing your favorite activities — and compromise on the areas you disagree about, it can still be very fulfilling,” a therapist says.

A good way to find out if you can work with your differences is to imagine the kind of life you want to live in 10 years, marriage and family therapist Esther Boykin explains. If you think your partner can help you achieve your goals, that’s a good sign.

You don’t spend as much time together as you’d like

If you and your partner spend more time apart than together, it might be a sign that you’re incompatible. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to end your relationship if this is the case, but it does indicate that you may be better off searching for someone with a more compatible personality and lifestyle.

If it’s becoming hard for you to keep your thoughts from wandering to other guys while you’re with him, that’s a major red flag. Not only does this mean that you’re not as compatible as you thought, but it also means that you don’t have the kind of bond that can sustain long-term commitments.

As a result, you could be at risk of getting into a toxic relationship that leads nowhere in the long run. Instead, you should focus on putting in the work to strengthen your communication skills, and decide if you can make it work with this person down the road.

You don’t want the same things in life

We all want different things in life, and that’s fine. In fact, it can even make a relationship more interesting. But if your day-to-day lifestyles are too far apart, that’s a sign of incompatibility.

For example, if you’re both super picky eaters but one of you is a vegetarian while the other is a vegan and won’t eat meat, that could be an issue. In that case, it’s important to imagine yourself with this person five to 10 years from now and decide if you have the skills and desire to compromise on issues that are incompatible.

Another big indicator of incompatibility is if you find yourself thinking about other guys when you’re with your partner. This can be a huge red flag, especially if it happens frequently. In that case, it might be time to call it quits. The only way to avoid this is to have honest conversations about your feelings with your partner and find ways to compromise.