Two people can be compatible — or incompatible — on multiple levels.
Back in the 1950s and '60s, Canadian psychologist Eric Berne introduced a three-tiered model for understanding a person's identity. He found that each of us have three "ego states" operating at once:
• The parent: What you've been taught
• The child: What you have felt
• The adult: What you have learned
When you're in a relationship, you relate on each of those levels:
• The parent: Do you have similar values and beliefs about the world?
• The child: Do you have fun together? Can you be spontaneous? Do you think your partner's hot? Do you like to travel together?
• The adult: Does each person think the other is bright? Are you good at solving problems together?
While having symmetry across all three is ideal, people often get together to "balance each other." For instance, one may be nurturing and the other playful.