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Why Core Values Are Important For a Successful Relationship

Why Core Values Are Important For a Successful Relationship

At this point in your life, you’ve probably had a few relationships and have an idea of what you are looking for (or at least what you don’t want!). That’s a really great advantage of older dating; whether it be from bad or good dating and relationship experiences, you have already spent some time getting to know yourself.

It's time to put that self-knowledge to work, for you to use conscious dating that develops into successful relationships.

When you meet someone new, there’s usually a period of sheer pleasure – of being wanted, of being kissed, of anticipating the next date. But unless you’re spectacularly good at remaining in the present or incredibly indifferent to future disaster, you’ll start looking at where the relationship is going.

So how do you assess that?

Let’s look at why that might be difficult.

  • All relationships have pluses (sex, money, company, status, security) which can block the view of problem areas.
  • You may not be able to distinguish small problems from big ones.
  • You think the problems are normal because you’ve seen them before – in a previous relationship or in your family.

We always recommend that in the early stages of dating you use that time to assess whether or not your core values match the person you’re seeing.

Well, what are those core values? Not everyone has the same ones, so it’s important to really spend some time finding out what they are for you. For some people they might be issues like honesty, fidelity, financial responsibility. For others, they might be money, power, control, care of the environment, how we treat other people, etc. Core values, just like their name, represent what is of true meaning and value to you.

To isolate what is of truest importance to you, remember these are core values we are talking about. These should be things that go to the very core of your being, things that you are not willing to compromise about, or that you feel you cannot or will not alter for yourself. These are the deal breakers, if you will.

And now for the work of checking out whether or not your prospective partner is a match in this critical area.

  • Have I known them long enough to get past the initial euphoria?
  • Do their actions match their words?
  • Do your core values match?
  • Do the flash points look like deal-breakers, or are they potentially negotiable?
  • Is the person able to negotiate? Flexibility and sensitivity to a partner is very important.

Don’t be too hasty. It takes a while to learn a person’s vocabulary and understand what they truly mean when they are talking about important issues. These values may vary somewhat in expression from one person to another, so be careful not to misinterpret a difference in communication of values for an actual difference in values.

Then there are all those other attractions, like sex, status, money or whatever they may be, that can lead us astray or blind us to seeing if our values really match. It’s all too easy to get swept up in the first rush of excitement by things that are of a more superficial nature. We have all made these kinds of mistakes.

Many of the things we teach about having successful, peaceful relationships come from an alignment of true core values. If these match, it is possible to accept almost all other differences.

It is important to take time and really carefully look at compatibility in this all-important area. It is also critical to see that the actions match the words. If someone says they really care about treating everyone kindly, but they are rude and obnoxious when talking to the waiter and bank teller, then you might want to count their actions a little stronger than their words. If they tell you they really care about the environment, but they leave trash lying about wherever they go, think twice about what they tell you and what you see!

When all is said and done, if your core values do not match, then get out. This is a relationship that will not work. This may sound harsh, but it is unfailingly true. Save yourself all the potential heartache of getting into something which is destined to create fighting, arguments, and painful estrangements which will never resolve themselves.

Do you want this date to turn into a partner with whom you can truly find peace and fulfillment? If so, then take the time. Assess their values and see if you really match. Relationships can be great in that first rush, but if they don’t have a solid foundation, they will only lead you down that path that none of us want to walk again!

Maude and Phil Mayes live in Santa Barbara, California, having started in New York City and London, England respectively. They have been writing and s...Read More

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