In today's Tinder society, you judge someone by face value rather than actual values. You find a good looking match that ticks enough boxes and you're booming – next you fall in love on your third date and think about how you'll tell Mom you found "the one".
However, a few months later you sleep back to back, disappointed by the way another argument seems to have started out of nowhere.
What happened? Did the honeymoon period just last? Are you wrong how great they are? Did you fall in love with the "wrong" person again?
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Maybe. However, what is more likely is that you made the same innocent mistake as millions of people around the world … you got into a relationship without checking if you actually match.
In every normal relationship, you meet someone and decide that you like their mood, so make a date, get involved, and learn more about who they are as you go along. As you spend more time together and have more conversations, you'll notice that you disagree on some pretty basic beliefs.
Maybe he has a deep desire for you to be a mother who stays at home, but you want a strong career and children. Maybe you don't take big chances and you'd better play it safe … but he believes in jumping into the unknown. An adventure may be your idea of a perfect weekend, but he loves the idea of curling up with a movie and a bottle of wine.
Neither of these positions is better than the other, but all have the potential to generate dissatisfaction or even arguments. This is because before you set up a relationship, you forgot to make sure your values match.
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Your personal values are basically your own rules for what it means to be you. Your values are personal judgments about what is right / wrong, wanted / not wanted, important / not important and so on. Because they are such a strong foundation for who you are, it is important to ensure that the person you are dating has values that match yours. If you have too many conflicting values (such as adventures against comfort, luxury against frugality, willingness to take risks against security), you will constantly argue and struggle to find a solution where both of you feel fulfilled.
Whether you're in a relationship now or a singleton ready to meet the person of your dreams, here are three simple steps that you can use to identify your top scores so that you can "talk" before committing can for someone.
The three-step exercise "Values"
1. To determine your top values, take a look at all the experiences of the past few years that have made you very happy or satisfied. For example: running a marathon, attending personal development conferences, adventure with friends, buying a house, promotion, appreciation for something from your boss. Write them on a piece of paper and explain why they were important / good moments for you.
2. Now search for the keywords. When you find them, group those that are similar. For example, "health", "wellness" and "vitality" are all words that mean the same thing. You want to target five to six different groups.
3. Next, choose a word from each group that really lights you up. Even if “loyalty” and “trust” are similar, “loyalty” feels best to you. So go to what stands out the most.
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After you've reached your core values, you can see where you and boo may have different ideas about how things should be, and find a way to align yourself (… or not).
The more values you have in common with your partner, the better. If you are ready to get to know someone, you can now make sure that your basic beliefs about life actually match.
Of course, if you share values, you will agree on a lot more so that you can both feel a deeper fulfillment in the relationship. You can also develop a vision for your future that takes your two needs into account.
Instead of jumping headlong into the first potential relationship next time, make sure that you both actually believe in the same things by first checking your values.
Jacqui Sive is an international personality development specialist, global speaker and leader of a transformative live event. Follow her at @jacquisive.
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