We all cherish healthy relationships but we often neglect the core values in relationships that boost their immunity and longevity. We would all agree that healthy relationships are a key aspect of a happy existence, right? Yet, this subject faces more speculations than the stock market itself. There is a relationship therapist residing in everyone we know, and funnily, the best ones are often single.
What are the core values in a relationship that keep the boat of romance afloat? Is there a definitive framework that ensures a seamless sail? Why is there no curriculum that can equip us to find the right answers to such an integral pursuit of our lives?
If you too are tangled with such questions, you’re not alone. Let us unravel this entanglement and take you through 12 core values in relationships that can act as a compass and navigate you through the most difficult of waters.
Importance Of Relationship Values
Before we get down to the actual navigation, let us get a holistic understanding of why relationship values are so imperative. Have you ever been in a fight with your partner and wondered Why Do Fights Become More Important Than Relationships? Of course, you have! Now, if you dig deeper in retrospect, you’ll realize that it was a clash in values. The symptoms can be variable, but the ailment at the root causes were the different morals in a relationship.
This is a knot that resides at the core of all the confusion and conflicts. It can be untied though if we zoom out and look at the larger picture. Love is a feeling that appeals to one and all and thus can be treated as a constant denominator. It is like the cement that binds all the core values in relationships.
We can come up with numerous versions of values to look for in a relationship, but they all boil down to a few key points. We have encapsulated them in 12 fundamental values in relationships that are paramount to a healthy and lasting bond.
12 Important Relationship Values Every Couple Must Have
All relationships are a product of love. As poetic as this sounds, love cannot be defined, right? Every person sees it in a different light. So, we all operate on different values in a relationship.
These values generally apply to all kinds of relationships, but their impact is most pronounced in our romantic connections. So, we will look at these principles through a romantic lens. Through this trip down the value lane, keep an eye on the ironic interdependence and the obviousness of these core ethics.
Now if you’re all aboard, let’s blow the ship horn and sail…
1. Keeping the fire of attraction alive
The spark of a lingering eye contact, the first date nerves, the chills of the touch, the taste of that first kiss. The pull that you feel toward that one person, and they feel it too. Isn’t this one of the most wonderful feelings? This is all where it begins.
What happens to these feelings over time? They fizzle out. We get trapped in the monotony. Excitement and passion are the driving forces behind every relationship. They need to be savored, preserved, and reinvented to keep the romantic oils burning. Sustained attraction is the strongest among all values in relationships.
Jack Canfield, the author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, mentions a yearly ritual he has with his wife. Every year, at Thanksgiving, they both list down 10 things that they love about each other. Romantic enough for an ‘aww’, yet effective enough to fill us with awe.
2. Emphasis on an emotional and intellectual connection
Attraction is quite often interpreted at a merely physical level. Even though a lot of relationships start there, the real connection occurs on a deeper emotional and intellectual level.
Think about all the meaningful relationships you have. In each one of them, the adhesive is an emotion or a thought process. When we look for and cherish this connection, everything else seems to be effortless.
3. Building trust is one of the most underrated relationship values
This is one of the most casually used terms in the love dictionary these days. “Trust me!” is right next to “I am sorry!” when it comes to phrases that have lost their place due to overuse. What we fail to see is that we all bring old bothersome baggage from our pasts into our relationships. This baggage defines our perspective toward values in relationships
Lying, manipulating, cheating, etc, are the norm, and trust has been listed in the endangered species. The ability to build trust is one of the most important values in a relationship and it cannot be fostered until loyalty rises back to its former glory.
4. Intimacy is not just physical
Just like attraction, intimacy too has been oft-misunderstood. Being physically close to someone is merely the tip of the iceberg. You could be sleeping with someone and yet feel completely out of touch with them.
Being intimate is to be vulnerable and yet to feel safe. To be able to reassure your partner when he/she breaks down. It is a state where you drop down all your guards and are completely naked.
5. Honesty is one of the top values to look for in a relationship
We often hear that understanding your partner is paramount. This piece of wisdom is supplied in abundance by all the so-called love-gurus. When asked how they say communicate.
Mike and Rachael often had fights after Mike would come home from work. Rachael’s primary argument was that he had changed and that he didn’t value their relationship anymore. One fine day Mike asked the right question, “Why do you feel so?” Rachael just vented out to this and Mike just listened for once.
After the long venting session, they realized that there was nothing in particular that Mike was doing wrong. There was a simple communication gap and all Rachael needed was him to listen to her problems and acknowledge them.
Interestingly, most relationships suffer due to a lack of communication. When you shovel deeper though, you’ll find the gap lies in being honest about one’s true feelings. People are incapable of being honest to themselves, imagine how complicated communication with a partner can get.
6. Emotional Intelligence is the king of values in relationships
The intelligence quotient is considered to be the benchmark of an individual’s intelligence. Have you ever seen a loser with a high IQ? How could that be possible? Maybe there is something else besides IQ at play then. That variable is the emotional quotient.
Finding ways to be more empathetic towards your partner is one of the greatest qualities one can have to build strong and meaningful relationships. In his iconic book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman says that empathy starts with self-awareness.
Related Reading: Emotional Intelligence In Relationships: Make Love Last Forever
7. Acceptance would be the queen of relationship values
The closest I have ever come to defining love is when I associated it with acceptance. We are all perfectly incomplete creations of nature. Each with our unique beautiful flaws. Our belief in existence is realized when someone accepts and loves us with those flaws.
We all crave this feeling of being accepted and valued. Likewise, when we say we love someone and condemn them for their flaws, we haven’t accepted them entirely. Thus, it cannot be love.
Conflicts are a part of the game. When you sign up for a loving partnership, these come in as a complimentary package. More often than not, logic takes a backseat as stubborn egos enter the fields.
If you take acceptance a step further, it transforms into forgiveness. It is one of the key elements that contribute to the healing of relationships and ultimately of people.
9. Respecting the partner’s individuality
The notion of being in love is often associated with losing yourself to the relationship, to venture so deep that you become one with your partner. The ideas romanticized by poetry and songs are a classic case of codependency.
We need to realize that there are two distinct individuals involved in this partnership. They both have their own detached identities, paths, and values in life. Mutual respect, acceptance, and appreciation are key ingredients to a healthy relationship meal.
Related Reading: 9 Examples Of Mutual Respect In A Relationship
10. Mutual interest in each other’s growth
When we talk about detachment, we don’t mean a lack of interest. Two people who support each other’s growth while taking complete responsibility for their personal growth, are inhabiting one of the healthiest relationship dynamics.
The values in relationships that break stereotypes are the most important ones. Some say that it is not love unless there is sacrifice. But then the same people despair that their efforts and sacrifices were not valued.
We need to disrupt this codependency. There should be support, motivation, reality checks, but there should be no room for uncouth blame games and victimization.
11. Responsibility, integrity and accountability
This may sound like a corporate tagline but these are chief contributors to the wellbeing of a relationship. These are like the workout routine. To develop the habits of couples in strong and healthy relationships, you need to practice these exercises consistently.
Meaning what you say, doing what you say, and taking responsibility for your actions is the recipe for a highly successful relationship.
Lew firmly believed that it was Hinata’s responsibility to interpret his behavior and act accordingly to comfort him. Hinata tried hard but in the process lost herself bit by bit. She couldn’t explain her suffocation to him. He was just too stubborn to see her side of the story.
Eventually, she figured that they both operated on different core values in a relationship and broke it off. Both partners need to make a conscious effort to say what they feel, to do what they say, and to own what they do.
Related Reading: 8 Habits Of Couples In Strong And Healthy Relationships
12. Be BFFs
I know it sounds childish but that is the whole point. As kids, our lives are quite simple, but as we grow up, we keep complicating it. Best friends are those people with whom we have the best times of our lives.
Imagine the joy of having a partner with whom you can go completely crazy, talk about anything for hours, do crazy things together, and be intimate. Isn’t this the most exciting package of happiness? Healthy relationships should be exactly that.
Now, some of you might protest that I have conveniently left out the most controversial ethics – love and commitment. I applaud the sharp eyes, but that is not the case. I wrote this piece with the assumption that a reader who is looking for such profound answers already understands the value of love and commitment.
Lastly, I would like to point out that there is no fixed roadmap to a time-honored healthy relationship. We’ll have to carve our own ways in its quest. That is the beauty of it. These values can act as a set of effective tools that can make this journey worthwhile. If you value your relationship, be aware of the values in relationships.
We often hear that understanding your partner is paramount. This piece of wisdom is supplied in abundance by all the so-called love-gurus. When asked how they say, “communicate”.
To value your partner simply means to actively listen. Most of the time, it is all they need – to feel heard. When we listen to them intently, we validate their presence. This validation makes them feel accepted and truly valued.
All the values in the relationship should be contributed to and maintained by both partners. It is a partnership for which they are equal owners and equally responsible.
The most subtle way of saying “I love you” is to spend quality time with your partner. There is no substitute for creating experiences and memories together. Physical reassurance and explicitly saying the magic words and meaning them is the evergreen way toward value relationships.