Maybe it's just me, but a lot of the time, whenever I read something that addresses this particular topic, I feel like it is almost always slanted towards religion. If that's been your experience as well, let me just say that this is not the angle that I'm coming from today. You can read articles I've written on the site like, "What's The Difference Between Being 'Religious' And Being 'Spiritual', Anyway?" and "6 Things To Consider Before Getting Into An Interfaith Relationship" to get an idea of what I think about how religion plays a role in long-term relationships. However, the more that I evolve in my own spiritual journey, the more I get that our spirit man—or woman—is quite vast; too vast to be limited to a particular doctrine or a place of worship. In another article that I wrote on how to protect one's spirit, I share that the Hebrew word for spirit is "ruach" which means breath.
At the end of the day, our spirit is our very being; it's how we live out our daily life. That goes way beyond a chosen faith.
And so, when I think of whether or not someone is truly spiritually compatible with another person (or not), believe it or not, ruach is what first comes to mind. Does the person complement the other individual's truest essence? Do they exponentially improve the quality of their life? In order to know for sure, I think this has to be broken down into a few different categories. And so, whether you're with someone and you're looking for confirmation that the two of you are spiritually compatible, or you're not in a relationship but you want to choose wisely once the time comes, I've got seven things that I believe everyone should take very seriously before joining their life—their spirit—to someone else's.
Here are some telling ways to know whether you are spiritually compatible with someone. Or not.
1. You're Able to Thrive in Your Strengths
If you just looked at this first point and you're already stumped because you're not sure how to identify what your strengths actually are, a few things that you should consider are what you're naturally good at, what people compliment you about most often, what you would do for free and still totally enjoy, what makes you feel good and, at the same time, what challenges you to be your best self. And, since we're talking about spiritual compatibility here, it also doesn't hurt to take a spiritual gifts test. Although the concept is "birthed" out of I Corinthians 12 (gifts that help to build up the church), I've come to realize that a lot of what that kind of test reveals is beneficial, in general. For instance, I test high in wisdom, discernment, prophecy, writing and giving. If you look at all of this outside of traditional religion and doctrine, the Church is about people and the definition of ministry is service. My spiritual gifts help to serve people. Whatever our strengths are, spiritually or otherwise, a huge part of what they are designed to do is serve people.
With this in mind, the person you are spiritually compatible with? They are someone who is going to provide you with the insight and support that you need in order to thrive in your strengths.
A mistake that I used to make in a lot of my past relationships is, I would allow people to drain me of my strengths more than help me to build upon them. People would use my writing abilities (and connections) to get them ahead more than to help me figure out how to grow in it or, they would take advantage of my giving gift rather than see how they could assist me in being able to bless others. I now know that the right man for me will be a lot like my late fiancé was. He was the kind of man who did not only recognize and acknowledge my strengths, but he invested real time into figuring out how I could continue to grow and develop in them. A man who wants you to thrive in your strengths and does what he can to make that happen? This is one indication of someone who is spiritually compatible to you.
2. You Feel Comforted, Not Coddled, in Your Weaknesses
Weaknesses are interesting. At the end of the day, they are basically areas where we all can stand to improve. Or, they are areas that are holding us back. For a long time, two of my areas of weaknesses was not being a good listener and not handling stress well. And you know what? A lot of the men in my life only fed into those weaknesses by being naturally combative (which only made me want to listen less) and/or knowing what my triggers were (check out "Gaslighting, Love Bombing & 5 Other Triggers To Call Out In Your Relationships") and choosing to stomp all up on them anyway. They were emotional antagonists.
You know, if you read up on how to define what your weaknesses are, a lot of experts will say that things that feed your ego, drain your energy or, on the professional tip, things that you put off until the last possible moment are all considered to be weaknesses, simply because they hinder you from becoming your best possible self.
Keeping this in mind, when someone is spiritually compatible with you, first, they will provide a safe space for you to acknowledge the weaknesses you know about. Not only that, but you will find yourself trusting them enough to bring other weaknesses to your attention because you know that they are doing it out of love, not to attack you or make you feel less than.
An ex-boyfriend from my past used to say something that irritated me at the time yet I actually really appreciate these days—"I'm not going to apologize for knowing that you could be a better person in certain areas." Ego typically pushes back on statements like that, but someone who wants to become their greatest self will find that to be a really beautiful thing for someone who truly cares about them to say.
3. They Push You to Take Your Purpose to Another Level
I am soooo the person who is like, "If you don't know what your purpose is, I really think it's best to wait before getting into a serious relationship." The reason why is because your purpose is literally "the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.". If you have no clue what that reason is, it can be difficult to discern who is the right and best fit for you.
But if you do happen to know what you were put onto this earth to do, another great way to discern if someone is spiritually compatible to you is they will complement your purpose in some evident and truly significant kinds of ways. Either their own gifts, talents, personality and resources will help to elevate your purpose or, the way that they respect your purpose will cause them to balance you in a way that fuels you to grow more in the areas of your purpose.
What I mean by that is, say that you're an entrepreneur. Someone who is good for your purpose is going to automatically get that your line of business requires a lot of sacrifice; their focus won't be on nagging you to death but finding ways to help you to rest, have fun and find peace in their presence. Or, say that you're in entertainment. They won't be the jealous kind who is constantly making you feel like you can't be trusted. They will be wired in such a way where they can handle what comes with your profession because they get that it's a part of you.
I know a man who adored his job as a sound engineer. Then he married a woman who didn't like the fact that he was always on the road and his paycheck was more of a "feast or famine" kind of thing. In order to make her happy, he came off of the road and got a job working in computers. He was miserable which ended up backfiring on her plans. They're divorced now. Under God himself, never allow someone to cause you to put your purpose in jeopardy. The way to do that is 1) know what your purpose is and 2) not settle to be with anyone who doesn't respect it to the fullest.
4. Your Relationship with the Most High Evolves
A wise person once said that, "The right person will never distract you from God. It will bring you closer to Him." God is so big that this point could be an entire article all on its own. For that reason, it's actually going to be the shortest point out of all of these.
If you are with someone who puts your personal relationship with the one who created you into influx, whether that be when it comes to your principles, your values, your faith, your convictions or the time that you spend getting close to the Most High, they are absolutely not spiritually compatible to you.
Matter of fact, what they actually are is a spiritual enemy. Enemies can be smooth and seductive. Don't let how someone makes you feel prevent you from seeing what is really going on with you and God. If a person starts to become more important than the Spirit, you already know what I'm about to say. Don't just walk away…flee. You'll thank me later if/when you do.
5. Your Character Matures
There's one guy I know who I can tell hasn't meant the one yet. Don't get me wrong, he has had his fair share of relationships; some of them were even exclusive. But the reason why pretty much every woman gets the side-eye from me is, I haven't seen him mature very much since I met him (and that's almost going on 20 years at this point). He's still a player. He still doesn't take much accountability for his actions. And, when it comes to the karma that will surround all of the pain that he's caused, so many women that I also know? Yeah, brotha…good luck with that. In the article that I wrote, "Here's Exactly How To Start Protecting Your Spirit", one thing I share is the fact that a facet of your spirit is your character. Dr. Steve Maraboli once said, "The truth of your character is expressed through the choice of your actions."
Another great sign that you are with someone who is spiritually compatible to you is, you notice that you start to make wiser and more beneficial life choices, both personally as well as professionally. You won't keep making destructive or counterproductive decisions nor will you stay stagnant. You will be able to clearly see how, since your relationship, your traits have matured and your morals (your principles) have become clearer. Much clearer.
6. You Are at Total Peace with Your Personality
From a psychology standpoint, one definition of personality is "the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual". In short, your personality is what makes you, well, you. When I look back on the relationships that I've been in, something that the healthiest ones had in common is, I wasn't trying to make the guy something he wasn't and he wasn't trying to change me either. I reference my late fiancé often because, the older I get, the more I see just how good he was for me (especially at the time). An example of this is, although he was relatively quiet and private, I was out here loud and anything but private. But every time he looked at me, his eyes would light up like I was the best thing he had ever seen in his entire life. Because he was so at peace with me—the good, the bad and the straight-up ugly—that made me become more at peace with myself. That, in turn, made me want to refine areas that needed it and be unapologetic about the traits that didn't.
The Hebrew word for peace is "shalom". The root of it is wholeness and completion. If you want to know if you are spiritually compatible with someone, ask yourself if they encourage you to be at total peace with who you are as an individual.
Process if they are improving you or somehow trying to change you (which aren't quite the same thing). A great indication of a healthy relationship is when you both feel like your physical, mental, emotional and social traits are welcome in each other's space. If you don't feel that way, something is off and that "off-ness" could end up breaking your spirit, if you're not careful.
7. The Core of Your Being Isn't Sacrificed
A lot of people have issues with the word "sacrifice" when it comes to relationships. I don't. I like the meaning of the word a lot, to tell you the truth. At the end of the day, a sacrifice is simply "a surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable or of preventing some evil". True love, at times, requires sacrifice. I mean, if you are a Bible follower, God sacrificed Christ (John 3:16) out of His love for mankind; that is how much He valued us.
The problem with a lot of relationships is not that one or both people are making sacrifices in them; it's more than either one person is sacrificing way more than the other is or, that the sacrifices that are transpiring are toxic.
For instance, when you're with someone who is spiritually compatible to you, they are not going to require or expect you to sacrifice the core of who you are, what makes you healthy and whole or what will get you to where you need to go in life. Remember, spirit is about life and so, the one you are spiritually compatible with will only encourage you to, as the Good Book says, have life more abundantly (John 10:10).
This life and the time that you have to live it is very precious. Be intentional about being with someone who feels the same way about you and provides an atmosphere for you to soar and thrive like never before. If who you're with isn't doing that, while they might be a lot of things…"spiritually compatible" is highly doubtful. My hope and prayer are that all of these seven points have fully supported why.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Featured image by Shutterstock
- Astrology Zodiac Sign Compatibility - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Signs You're With The Right Person - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- What's A Free Spirit? 10 Signs You Are One - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Would You Take A Compatibility Test Before Going On A Date? This Couple Did. - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Christian Dating Tips for Finding a Spiritually Compatible Partner ... ›
- 12 SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL COMPATIBILITY IN RELATIONSHIPS ... ›
- Evaluating Your Spiritual Relationship Before Marriage | FamilyLife® ›
- Do zodiac signs compatibility matter for dating? An astrologer explains ›
- Why spiritual compatibility is just as important as sexual compatibility ... ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
If you haven’t scrolled upon Olivia McDowell's TikTok famous dinner parties, you may need to reconfigure your "For You Page."
What began as a passion for hosting aesthetically themed meals for her closest friends has quickly become a viral sensation. With an astonishing 12 million viewers, women describe Olivia’s picturesque dinner parties as the “dream girls' night,” complete with classy cocktails, beautiful table settings, elegant outfits, and, most importantly, food plated to perfection.
Seemingly reigniting the feminine urge to host fancy dinner parties, Olivia has perfected the finer details. Overlooking the skyline in her beautiful NYC apartment, she never fails to make her signature handmade pasta dishes while simultaneously looking effortlessly chic in the wardrobe of dreams while doing so.
Replying to @nara0630 what should the theme of my next dinner party be? #minivlog #nycliving #dinnerpartyideas #caviarinnewyork
What I love most about hosting intimate dinners for close friends are the connections and relationships that form over food. They don't require a caviar budget with a high-rise apartment, it just takes determination and a little creativity. Watching Olivia’s journey inspires viewers to be a part of a community of positive and uplifting women who share common interests and tastes in food, fashion, and decor. Simply stated, she’s raising the bar of friendship goals.
If you’re aspiring to host a holiday-themed dinner party this season, check out the four tips that will guide you along the way.
Choose Your Theme
Replying to @emz.life.tsv what was your fav part? 🤍 hope this gives you some inspiration to host a fancy friendsgiving too! #hostingtip #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Set the ambiance with a thoughtful theme, which will indeed be your guiding light for less stress during the planning process. Establishing a theme sets the tone for everything else to fall in place, such as menus, table design, and presentation. For example, a holiday-inspired dinner party is a perfect occasion for elegant all-white decor paired with draped table cloths, pillar candles lit atop luxe holders, floating floral arrangements, and, for a personal touch, handwritten place settings.
Utilizing free resources such as Canva for menu templates and creating a “Dinner Party” moodboard via Pinterest is perfect for gathering dinner inspiration for themes, decor, and recipes for the special occasion.
Simplify the Menu
How to host your own pasta making dinner party — part 1: pasta making from scratch 🤍 Hosting dinner parties has become my favorite thing to do this year. More goes into it than you expect, the prep, planning, guestlist, tablescape, etc. but it’s always worth it in the end. What do you guys want to see next? #hostingtips #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Don’t overcomplicate the menu. A simple dinner party formula to use as your guide to making sure your guests leave full of food and joy is appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. As a starter, assemble an aesthetic spread that your guest can nibble on while awaiting the main course with starters such as bread, cheese, jam, nuts, and fruit. A simple salad will do, complete with a light dressing right before your entree. For a main dish, pasta recipes always go a long way and also allows your guests to interact with one another, which leads to McDowell's third dinner party hosting tip.
Include an Interactive Element
Replying to @itstai.tv 🖤 #girlhood
To break the ice and encourage guests to get to know one another, introduce interactive elements to the evening. Moments of interaction allow everyone to connect, like capturing content for social media or memorializing the essence of the night through fun Polaroids. Olivia also encourages her guests to participate in the pasta-making dinner process as a group, or if hosting a brunch, her friends indulge in building their own coffee bar as an opportunity for forming connections and conversation starters. Group board or card games are also great for laughs and healthy competition to help get the vibes flowing.
Don’t Forget the Dress code
Replying to @samantha_mendiz when all of your friends are the main character 🖤🥂 #dinnerparty #nycfashion
Tis’ the season for glamour and sparkles, so why not go all out with a super chic dress code? You can’t have a picture-perfect holiday dinner party without the coordinating attire to match. When planning, make sure to make the required attire specific yet broad enough for a range of personalities and preferences to comfortably partake while looking stunning doing so.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Justin Lambert/Getty Images