Why Are Core Values Important in Your Relationship?
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PHIL: Have you ever been in a relationship where the same issue kept coming up again and again? It may have been twice a week or twice a year, but it was something the two of you could never resolve.
That was a core value. It might be fiscal responsibility, having children, where to live, sexual needs or décor; only you can say what yours are.
It’s also possible that you can’t say what yours are. Perhaps it’s an area where you’ve never been challenged; perhaps what you think is an important value is just a resistance to change.
It might help to think of this in several areas. One is material: where you live, what your physical needs are, how you relate to the environment, how important possessions are for you. Another is emotional needs, to use the term broadly. What is your balance of privacy and connection? What are your expectations of support? Do your religious/spiritual beliefs cause the two of you to act differently in the world? Do you see social relations in terms of equality or hierarchy?
Your core values may change with time and circumstances, and as you learn more about yourself and how the world works, their level of importance may shift. That’s OK. Change is one of the wonderful things about living.
So when you meet someone, how do you judge that you’re compatible? Sorry, you can’t do so initially for several reasons. The joy of that initial connection dominates the first period of time, and it takes time to see how your partner responds under various circumstances. How do they handle a fender bender, a job loss, a bridezilla? Sometimes, the differences between two people are so great that things can never work out. That’s sad, because there are always good aspects of a relationship that you have to relinquish.
But in the absence of red flags, your shared core values are the bedrock on which you can build a wonderful relationship.
Core values must match for a successful relationship. What are yours? #relationships #quote Click To TweetMAUDE: What’s most important when starting and building our relationships? Ah yes, that is a critical question! There are certain things that are immediately apparent; are we attracted to this person and do we enjoy time with this person, for example.
An area which takes a bit more time to assess, but is nevertheless a foundational issue, is whether or not we share core values with this prospective partner.
What do we mean by core values? These are the areas that are most expressive of who you are and what has true meaning for you in life. These are, in effect, the deal breakers that we all have, the things we cannot and should not ignore or discard for the sake of a budding relationship. If we try to do so, they will inevitably raise their head and become more and more problematic. Do not push core values aside in the flush of new romance, as this is a path to sure misery!
In order to know our core values, we need to have spent time getting to know ourselves. This is a prerequisite to any successful relationship and it will eventually need doing. The more we have learned about our own deepest meanings and values, the more we will be able to assess relationships appropriately.
At the same time, we must be careful not to decide too quickly. Take enough time to see if what a person says in words is actually carried through in their actions. She may tell you she cares about others and wants the best for all people, but in reality, you notice that she is very self-centered and rarely sees or acknowledges the plight of others. He may say the environment is important to him, but you notice that he doesn’t recycle, litters without any thought of the consequences or complains all the time about measures meant to safeguard the environment. There is often a huge divide between what people say and what they actually do. Pay attention to the truth in the actions of your potential partner, as this will be the bedrock of being able to practice total acceptance.
Once core values match, you will need to work with the Spectrum of Acceptance to become comfortable with the uniqueness of your partner and the fact that they are not you but someone completely different. Tune in next week for more on these next steps in the art of peaceful relationships.
This is number 1 of a 3 part series on Core Values, the Spectrum of Acceptance and Our Process. Read Part 2 here and Part 3 here. We look forward to your feedback!
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