(Recipe for the these chocolate filled Keemun tea cookies below)
I remember the first time a friend explained Bluetooth to me. This was ages ago, and I watched as she paired her mobile phone to her Ant headset. It was like magic! Being handsfree, she waved her two hands and said, “The devices can now talk to each other.” What a great pair.
That’s possibly the best known definition of compatibility: BEING ABLE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER.
Talking is important, but compatibility is a lot more complicated. Humans are more complex than Bluetooth pairings.
When we start to think about if someone is compatible for us, we may look at their personality traits. They have a good sense of humor. They like to cook. You both like being out on the water and doing outdoorsy things. You’re both homebodies, or you’re both travel addicts. Everything looks good, we go ahead and say, “Yep, we are compatible. Let’s hitch our wagons together!” And don’t forget that we have endless things to talk about. If any bumps show up in the road ahead, we feel that we can overcome it, because LOVE CONQUERS ALL. This is the classic situation of mistaking chemistry for compatibility.
It’s all a lovely time, until one day it feels more like a living situation rather than a true partnership. Little things, like a pile of laundry, may drive you insane. Big things, like feeling disrespected, will start all kinds of sentences like, It’d be nice to hear a Thank You. Or maybe you end up saying, If you loved me enough…if you loved US enough…you’d want to plan for the future. The answer that comes back is, If you loved me, you wouldn’t want to change me. And maybe you do want to change them, because even though you fell in love because you both enjoy windsurfing in Mexico and both agree that the toilet seat should remain down, it sure would be nice if … they didn’t shut down when talking about difficult situations, or if….they initiated sex more often.
If you’ve moved on to your next rodeo, you may hear a lot of people say that they have lowered their standards. They no longer believe that love conquers all. They aren’t looking for love. Forget the romance. Who cares about long fun silly debates on grilled cheese sandwiches vs. hamburgers, or weekends in Napa Valley….It would be nice if a person had a job, some integrity, and knows who they are.
Their standards have not been lowered. The difference now is that they are focused on character traits, which are far more important than personality traits.
So, how do you figure out compatibility? The key is to know what sort of person you are looking for, starting with your values. Dr. Barbara De Angelis says a whole person can be diced into the following 10 categories:
- Physical. This is how someone treats themselves. It is their appearance, eating habits, approach to fitness, and personal hygiene.
- Emotional. This is how someone treats others. It is their attitude towards you, towards romance, affection, and relationships overall.
- Intellectual. This is someone’s attitude towards learning, culture, creativity, and the world.
- Sexual. The attitude towards sex and sensuality, their skill, their preferences around frequency, style, and ability.
- Social. How someone interacts with others. This is where personality is considered. Do you want someone quiet, loud, funny, warm, reserved…etc.
- Communication. This is expression, not just talking. It is how a person expresses frustration, accepts feedback, and communicates their inner thoughts.
- Professional/Financial. This is the relationship with money and career. What is success? What are their work habits?
- Personal Growth. This is how much a person is willing to grow and improve themselves, and their life. It is how clearly a person can see their reality and is motivated to grow.
- Spiritual. A person’s philosophy towards life, morals, and any spiritual practices.
- Interests. A person’s hobbies and how they spend their free time.
Using Dr. Barbara De Angelis’s system, I’ve made this nifty worksheet! to help you test your compatibility with anyone!
Under each category, you should list out at least 5 traits of your ideal partner. You will see that you are also illustrating the sort of person you want to be. Your values will be revealed under the categories of: personal growth, spiritual, physical, and professional. Your background will be revealed under: professional, intellectual, and interests. Your emotional programming will be revealed under: emotional, sexual, communication, social, and professional.
Once you have your ideal mate written out clearly, you can assess your potential match against the list. This will reveal areas of strong compatibility, and areas that can be improved upon. What you get is a super clear snapshot.
People become more compatible with each other over time, as long as they are aware and willing to work on it. And if the person is not willing to work on certain weaker areas of compatibility, you will be able to decide if these things are non-negotiable, or if you can tolerate it.
If we spend time making shopping lists and to-do lists, we should spend a little time making a partner list. Don’t worry. You’re not being too picky, you’re giving yourself a roadmap! You can revisit it over time. As we change and grow, you will see if your compatibility is increasing or decreasing.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET to help you list out the character traits you truly value in your ideal partner.
Lastly, but most deliciously, here is the recipe for the tea and chocolate cookies, pictured above. Keemun tea is a black tea from China with natural chocolate notes. Not satisfied to simply have cookies WITH my tea, I had to put the tea IN the cookies. A chocolate filling was the obvious next step. Such compatible flavors!
Chocolate Keemun Sandwich CookiesPrint This
- For the chocolate filling: (Makes 2 cups)
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 1 scant cup of sugar
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped in bits
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp butter, rm temperature
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- For the Keemun Tea Cookies 🍪 :
- 2 (1/2 lb) butter, rm. temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1.5 Tbsp crushed Keemun tea
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
Tips for success:
- Use two piping bags with medium sized tips. One for the filling and one to make the button shape of the cookies.
- If no piping bags are available, the dough can be rolled into logs and you can slice off cookie rounds. The filling can be spread on with a knife.
- Make the chocolate filling first and let it cool as you prepare the cookie dough. It should be ready to use by the time the cookies are baked and cooled.
- HEAT over medium, in a heavy bottomed pan the heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Whisk until dissolved.
- ADD the chocolate and salt. Whisk and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low.
- SIMMER on low heat for about 25 minutes, letting slow bubbles rise in the center of the mix. Whisk every so often to prevent burning. The mix will reduce to a thick shiny consistency. When it is ready, the whisk will leave trails in the mix.
- ADD in the butter and vanilla extract. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.
- POUR into a bowl and let cool.
- CREAM TOGETHER the butter, sugar, and vanilla, until pale and fluffy.
- ADD the flour, tea and salt, in two increments.
- SHAPE as desired. Either pipe into shapes, or roll into a log shape. To do that, lay out a sheet of parchment paper. Place mound of dough on top in rough cigar shape. Fold edge of parchment over the dough, like you are rolling up wrapping paper. Roll it until it evens out into a cylinder.
- CHILL the dough in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
- BAKE at 250 F for 30 minutes. The cookies will not spread much, nor will the brown much at this low temperature. They should look dry and airy.
- COOL to room temperature before filling.
- WHISK the chocolate filling. It should be shiny and thick.
- PIPE or SPREAD the filling onto the center of a overturned cookie. Cover it with a matching cookie.
Cookies can be kept in an airtight container and stored at room temperature for 3 days. Or in the fridge.