Core values – what exactly are they? They differ from person to person, and if your partner’s values don’t match yours, they will emerge as irreconcilable differences in your most serious arguments. That is why it is so important to make sure those values match when entering a relationship. If you are having issues in an existing relationship, this is also the area to focus on and to look for mutual agreement, because when you match there, you can always find resolution in other areas.
Before you can evaluate whether your core values are in consonance with your partners, you have to know what they are for you. In order to have a successful relationship, it is important that you spend time getting to know yourself and what the true core issues are for you in life. Having done that, you will want to look at both the actions and words of your partner to see if there is a true match possible.
What core values are, why they matter in your relationship – what are yours? #relationships #quote Click To TweetA number of our readers have asked us for specific examples so they can better understand what we are referring to. Some of the most important ones for us, our deal breakers if you will, are:
- Relating to others as part of one human family
- Fiscal responsibility
- A desire for peaceful interactions
- Practicing presence
- Acceptance and celebration of differences
- Love and support of each other, friends and family
- Politics as a reflection of world view
For more examples, here are quotes from two of the couples we interviewed in our book “How Two: Have a Successful Relationship”
Q: Do you have basic core values you share?
Diane: Two things come to mind: a sense of humor about life in general and a lot of mutual things that we do together that we enjoy. There’s a lot of mutuality in our ideas about the world, enjoyment of how we choose to spend leisure time and that we have similar interests – that’s a big factor – and an appreciation and aesthetic sense that’s very similar. Also, in terms of our day to day living, we live very much in the same way: we’re both not sloppy people, we both like neatness, we like to have order, we’ve worked out routines with each other to give each other space.
Mark: Politically, we’re both aligned.
Diane: Political alliance is huge for me.
Mark: We both have very similar aesthetics we talk about.
Diane: One core value is family. I think we both share a sense that our families are very important to us, so that to me is a big core value. We also have similar goals in terms of wanting to have a certain level of comfort in our lives. How the person is with money – that’s a huge issue.
Mark: Also we have made a decision that we’re for each other, and even though she has a lot of male friends, I never doubt her fidelity. She never feels that I have a roving eye, so I think that’s a core value that we’ve really worked on, and I try not to even give the impression that there is any reason to be jealous or to use that as a ploy or something like that.
Diane: That’s a trust issue too; we trust each other. I don’t think Mark would do anything to intentionally hurt me – and I think Mark knows no matter what I may have said that my intent is not to hurt him.
We also asked Jacqueline and Michael:
Jacqueline: Yeah, total transparency and honesty, and speaking your truth, and sharing with the other person how you want it – not making assumptions that the other person can read your mind. I want to be informed of what he likes, the same way I would like to tell him what I like. It’s not fair for him to be guessing and for me to be begrudging something for lack of communication. So communication is a crucial core value.
Michael: It’s key. As Jacqueline said, authentic communication, vulnerable communication, a willingness to hear what might be uncomfortable and might feel threatening to my ego, but I’d much rather hear it now than pretend I didn’t hear it or pretend it’s not there. And so that is definitely absolute. That and the insistence on being fully present for each other. That, I would say, is also core, a core part of our relationship.
We’d love it if you would share with us what values are important to you. Please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week, we’ll continue with our personal stories.