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What Important Core Values Underlie Your Relationship Wants And Needs?

Tree rootsWe have often discussed core values and how they are critical to any successful relationships: partnerships, friendships, mates. If you understand what your basic and fundamental ones are, your deal breakers, and spend time exploring them, this will become your greatest tool for finding mutual decisions and solutions, and will even help you to relate to those who appear to have different values than you do.

How can you do that?

Let’s have a look at some of the answers people give when asked what is important for them.

  1. “I need a partner who is willing to travel. It is very important to me to do this regularly.”
  2. “I need my partner to share the same political views as me.”
  3. “I need a clean, tidy and orderly space to live in. I want my partner to want this and help maintain it.”
  4. “I need my partner to share the same religious views that I have.”

What can you then do with this information about yourself? Ask yourself this question: What core value underlies this need for me?

Here are some suggestions to help you think about what the underlying values are.

  1. I need a partner who is willing to travel. It is very important to me to do this regularly. You might want to experience the new and unknown; see beauty; experience how people live elsewhere; build one world; or feel free to be different.
  2. I need my partner to share the same political views as me. That might be a sense of what is most important in life; the way we relate to people; shared morals; or our place in relation to the planet.
  3. I need a clean, tidy and orderly space to live in. I want my partner to want this and help maintain it. You might need that because you can focus better with less clutter; as respect for your surroundings; for a sense of sharing the upkeep of life; or to create a meditative environment.
  4. I need my partner to share the same religious/spiritual views as I have. These might be agreements on life’s purpose; our relation to others; what we aspire to; or how we understand the universe.

When you dig deeply into your wants and needs and look for your basic values therein, you not only become more flexible in the specifics of how to satisfy those needs, but you find yourself re-framing what fulfills the values they are based on.

When you become aware of what values are at the root of the needs you feel, then the process of finding mutual solutions becomes clearer and more pleasurable. You can listen to each other and hear more clearly what the values underlying the needs are, and recognize similarity even when the outer description seems to vary. You can find mutuality and more readily adjust your expressed need to a different form where the value is still met.

The same can be applied to finding common ground with those who appear to be totally different from you and who hold beliefs and take actions that seem far afield from yours. When you recognize other people’s values, you can more easily find understanding and respect, even where you differ.

We urge you to have some fun and start this all-important process of self-awareness. Find your basic core values; the ones that are at the root of your felt needs. Look at how the need and the value relate. What other ways could that same value be met? This is the adventure of finding and living excitingly peaceful passionate relationships.

Photo credit: Phil Mayes

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner


Books on shelfIn this week's blog, we discussed the underlying values behind what we want. Here are some useful articles looking at different aspects of this topic.

Understanding Your Core Values in Relationships (No They’re Not Your Common Interests) "One of the things that people are most confused about and that I get asked a lot of questions about, is the issue of ‘common interests’ and letting superficial things inadvertently get mixed in with your ‘core’ values. Over the past few days I’ve been talking about value and values in relationships, and in this post, I put a clear division between the nice to have stuff that doesn’t actually cause your relationship to endure unless you have the ‘core’ values covered off."

Needs or Values? "Needs are filled; values are fulfilled. Furthermore needs are filled for me; values are fulfilled by me. The overarching goal of all of the various approaches to psychology is to fill a need. In contrast the overarching goal of logotherapy is to discover meaning, and along with that to fulfill values and to be response-able."

Dating: Values vs. Preferences "Dating has gotten complex to say the least. And while there’s never a simple solution to complex issues, I’ll propose a starting place: I’d like to clarify Values vs. Preferences. Especially in Western society, it’s culturally validated to treat dates, relationships, and marriages according to desired preferences as opposed to inherent values.
Value (n): the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
Preference (n): a greater liking for one alternative over another or others."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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