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Defining your core values to develop your relationship

Defining your core values to develop your relationship

Published: 17-05-2016 - Last Edited: 17-09-2021

Defining your core values to develop your relationship

Listing your core values helps to deepen your relationship

What are the most important facets of your relationship and how do you define them?

We are sometimes unaware of our relationship core values and our relationship values list when we “get to know someone”. In doing so, we form decisions about them, us, and a relationship. What are the things that you look for? As our relationships develop and mature, how have those things changed? What are the specific values in relationships, the relationship core values? I often hear “he/she isn’t the person I married”.

Something that is critical in understanding the lifecycle of our relationships is to understand what it is that pulls us and holds us together. Is it a feeling, sexual chemistry, a sense of safety, that they complete us, a feeling of trust, similar thinking or mindset? Those are just some examples and there are, of course, multiple reasons.

Many times we are carried along by the energy of being in a relationship, the “honeymoon stage” where all things seem to align. We speak the same sort of language and behave in ways that feel as if we are in harmony and our communication is aligned. Planning a future becomes about moving in together, getting married/committed, where to live, children. All of these are really valid conversations!

Also Read>>> Creating a healthy relationship

Relationship core values

Underpinning these practical considerations are the drivers that we live by – let’s call these our core values. These relationship values are the underlying themes that fuel all of our actions either consciously or unconsciously. When we look at our relationship values list, it is important to note that if our actions are not aligned these values then they will not be sustainable in our lives. Knowing and understanding our relationship core values and our overall relationship values list is critical to create the relationships we truly want.

Let’s talk about an example of a client I coached, let’s call him J. J is very career focused, likes to think about a lot of things, is logical, intelligent, physically active and independent. J’s partner of 5 years, let’s call her B, is emotional, dependent, laid back, not overly physical.

There is a lot of love between J and B and both acknowledge that they have learned from each other’s differences. They have discussed moving in together and finally set a date to do that.

For J it was important for him that the time reflected certain things being done – a plan for moving, how they would work together, how they could have their own time, and some clear goals for moving forward. In the meantime, B lost her job and wanted to feel secure and be looked after and decided that they should move in together straight away.

A common thread

Both have a common value of support and yet in speaking to both, they felt unseen and unsupported by the other. B wanted J to spend every weekend with her; relax and flow through life. J wanted to get through a list of things to do and fit in as much as possible. J needed his own space to just be with himself, to catch up with his friends and engage. B wanted them to spend all their time together and would get infuriated when J took his own space. B was advised of her pending redundancy at work and continued on until she was laid off and then was quite relaxed about looking for another job and wanted to move in straight away so that she could feel looked after. J was busy looking for jobs for her, helping with CVs and mapping networks to approach opportunities.

Reaching for the values in relationships

Both were being supportive in their own minds and yet the other was feeling unheard, unseen, and unsupported. We worked on aligning intentions and actions to the other’s needs in a way that would help both to feel like they were being supportive and being supported. We also identified that J was a perfectionist who measured success (and failure) on doing things that reflected on his own internal self-worth. B had low self-esteem and wanted to be looked after and rescued. Both of these originated from their own unresolved belief systems and once they both saw this, there was more empathy and connection. The intimacy increased when both could express their feelings, be heard and acknowledged.

When they came to see me, they were at the point of giving the other an ultimatum about the relationship. Once we had identified, understood, translated, and created a common language for the core value of support, they very quickly found ways to move forward. The love was very obvious and the intimacy was better than they had experienced since they first started dating.

It is a good idea to look at your 3-5 core values. Things like safety, trust, team, fun, loving, kindness, loyalty, respect, equality, living life to the max are common examples.

It is the miss-alignment of relationship core values that creates major disruption in relationships. If you haven’t done this already with your partner then do both of yourselves a favor and try it.

For some planning, a meeting to discuss will work. For others maybe a “date” over dinner or maybe a walk on the beach or by a river is great. Either way, make sure you have time to prepare and are in a calm/relaxed frame of mind.

Here are some tips:

•Understand that you are doing this to have fun and create/develop your future together.

•Have pen and paper to take notes about what the other says.

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•Take turns, listen carefully, and limit your response while they are speaking about their relationship core values. Respond with “ I hear you” or if unsure, ask if they could please clarify as you don’t quite understand.

•Write down what they express as their truth.

•If they say something that is not your perspective then acknowledge them e.g. “I hear you. That is not my intention. For me/My truth is….”

Also Read>>> Intention behind the relationship from relationship expert Sophie Parienti

In resume

This may take some practice as sometimes there may be some obvious (or not so obvious) power plays occurring. This may also need some mediating to come to a common view. It is key to remember is that the intention is to develop your relationship and the values in relationships! This will help you come with an open mind, open heart, and a desire to want to connect.

To learn the basics of authentic communication, I recommend this very accessible online course – Transformative Communication – an easy and life-enhancing approach for better relationships created by YOGI TIMES Founders and Coaches Jess & Sophie.


To contact Ranil directly (author of this article)

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