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.
What Are Core Values?
Our values are what determine our paths in life. And it’s quite difficult to find a romantic partner whose core beliefs and values match with ours. In fact, people are bound to have different opinions. However, there are some basic relationship values that a couple needs to share for the relationship to succeed. Core values are the fundamental beliefs and values that we believe in. They make us who we are and shape our identity, personality, and our moral compass.
Core values of a person can also determine a variety of life decisions and personal preferences, such as whether they wish to get married or have kids, what they find attractive, what is offensive to them, and which career path they think is suitable for them. And if we have a romantic partner whose core values don’t align with ours, there can be rifts in the relationship.
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 because of a clash in values. The symptoms can be variable, but the ailment was probably a difference in morals or life goals. So, let’s look at why common relationship values are important:
- They help couples make quick decisions. This is because no time is wasted in trivial arguments regarding where to stay, which career paths to follow, etc
- They help couples resolve arguments quickly, as they are eventually likely to rely on their shared values to decide on a common solution to problems
- Relationship growth is easier and faster, as both have an idea of what they want as a couple in the long run
- Both attraction and relationship satisfaction increase if couples have shared relationship values, and a study has actually proven this
- They contribute to overall relationship alignment — the glue of compromise and commitment that binds couples after the honeymoon phase is over
Interestingly, we can come up with numerous versions of values to look for in a relationship. Likewise, what to value in a relationship also depends on the couple’s choices. But there are some common values that often help couples overcome relationship obstacles. So, what are the top values to look for in a relationship? Well, we have jotted down 15 fundamental values in relationships that are paramount to a healthy and lasting bond. In the next section, we’ll look at what they entail.
15 Important Relationship Values Every Couple Must Have
All relationships are a product of love. As poetic as this sounds, love cannot be defined, right? You may try to gauge the value of love with different lenses. Every person sees it in a different light. On the other hand, relationship core values are concrete and tangible, and hence play a crucial role in ensuring its success.
In this article, we will take a good look at such key principles that are necessary to keep the spark of love alive in a relationship. Keep an eye on the interdependence of these guiding principles and values. Now if you’re all aboard, let’s blow the ship horn and sail and look at some of the most fundamental values in relationships:
Attraction is one of the most important values in a relationship. 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? What happens to these feelings over time? They fizzle out. We get trapped in the monotony of life.
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 relationship values.
Jack Canfield, author and co-founder of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, once mentioned 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. Emotional and intellectual connection
Connection 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. So, maintaining emotional and intellectual connections is one of the most important core values in a relationship.
Related Reading: Emotional Intelligence In Relationships: Make Love Last Forever
Trust is of the utmost importance in people’s lives and is one of the biggest strengths in a relationship. This is also 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 impact 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 relationship values, which can make it hard for us to foster trust even in our most intimate relationships.
This is precisely why building trust is one of the most important values in a relationship these days. So, you’re in a new relationship and want a short-term travel companion but don’t see a marriage happening anytime soon? Or do you wish to avoid raising children and focus more on the financial decisions in a long-term relationship? Don’t lie or over-commit.
Instead, you can build trust by:
- Being truthful about your intentions and life goals
- Communicating our concerns about where the relationship lacks
- Not over-promising and sticking to your abilities instead
- Being on the same page about expectations
One of the most important values to look for in a relationship is intimacy. But just like attraction, intimacy too has often been misunderstood. Physical intimacy 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 safe. True intimacy is being able to reassure your partner when they break down. It is a state where you drop down all your guards and truly let see each other for as you are.
We often hear that honesty is of paramount importance in a relationship. Honesty resolves issues quicker and helps partners gauge if their interests and goals are aligned to each other. But how do you bring this value in the relationship? Here’s how:
● Be honest about not just your positives but also your shortcomings
● Don’t hide your past, no matter how negative it has been. Let it all out, and see if your partner values your growth
● Be honest about basic such as the financial expectations in a relationship, physical desires, religious differences, and medical issues, if any
● Be honest about your morals. After all, different morals in a relationship can destroy a relationship faster than anything
● Be honest about what your family members expect from your partner
● Don’t blame or shame your partner if they’ve been honest with you about them, no matter how unpalatable the truth is
Acceptance is one of the most significant common values in a relationship. 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 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 part of the package. But logic often takes a backseat as stubborn egos enter the field. In such cases, forgiveness, one of the most important common values in a relationship, becomes a weapon to fight egos.
In fact, 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. So, fostering forgiveness is important if one is looking forward to a long-term connection. Nonetheless, there are a few things that should not be forgiven. They are:
● Physical violence
● Stonewalling, or the silent treatment by a narcissist
● Emotional abuse
8. Respect for individuality
The notion of being in love is often associated with losing yourself to the relationship and to venture so deep that you become one with your partner. But this idea, further romanticized by poetry and songs, is 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. And respect for each partner’s well-being is equally important. So, shared values and mutual respect are common attributes of a healthy and strong connection. In fact, respect increases the value of love and is
one of the most significant things to value in a relationship.
Related Reading: 9 Examples Of Mutual Respect In A Relationship
In a long-term relationship, it’s important for two people in love to maintain some detachment. 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 in one of the healthiest relationship dynamics.
True growth is one of the most significant core values in relationships. And it can be achieved by:
● Motivating your partner to achieve their goals while you achieve yours
● Conducting reality checks about how one-sided sacrifices don’t contribute to the relationship
● Working toward a common ground, without affecting your partner’s well-being
Meaning what you say, doing what you say, and taking responsibility for your actions is the recipe for a highly successful long-term relationship. Responsibility in a relationship can look a lot like:
● Performing the role that you’re expected to play in the relationship, such as being a breadwinner or doing the household chores
● Owning up to your mistakes and taking accountability for your actions
● Maintaining the relationship morals agreed upon by both partners, such as no texting other women, no flirting with other men, etc.
Related Reading: 8 Habits Of Couples In Strong And Healthy Relationships
11. Being BFFs
Imagine the joy of having a partner with whom you can go completely crazy, talk about anything for hours, indulge in crazy fun activities together, and be intimate. Isn’t this the most exciting package of happiness? And that’s what you get when you become best friends with your partner. In fact, if you’ve been wondering what is considered a healthy relationship, a bond built on the foundation of friendship is a pretty accurate description of it. The core foundations of a relationship become stronger and more resilient when based on a deep bond of friendship.
Adjusting and compromising with a partner to grow in the relationship is a major core value. This is because in spite of couples having shared values, there can be minor differences, as no two humans are alike.
So, when compromising for one another itself becomes a core relationship value, the couple doesn’t struggle to find a middle ground when there are disagreements. Such compromises can work in minor cases, such as the choice of a travel destination, to major ones, such as the city the couple wishes to move to. But remember, such compromises should be made in a healthy way, not forcibly, and must always be mutual.
Most couples who face the ups and downs of life can do so because they have decided to stay loyal to each other. In fact, loyalty is put to test not in the good times but in our most vulnerable moments. A relationship succeeds if a couple remains loyal to each other despite the issues, unexpected events, or difficult times they go through. So, whether it’s a terminal illness, a promotion that requires relocation, or an abrupt job loss, if the couple is loyal to each other, they can make it through most of life’s hurdles.
One of the top values to look for in a relationship is communication. The willingness to communicate resolves half the issues couples face, as there’s no alternative to talking it out. Speak up often and listen to them too, be it about lifestyle differences in relationships or any other grave issue, such as finances (whether you want to invest or save money) or family (whether you want kids). Partners may want different things in life or may wish to experience life in different ways. So, communicating clearly and in a healthy way with one another helps couples to:
● Resolve issues faster
● Realize their differences, if any, and address them
● Prevent further misunderstandings
Equality is a major core value. When partners treat each other as ‘equals’, a lot of relationship issues can be resolved. And ‘equality’ here doesn’t necessarily mean they have to earn equal salaries or invest equally toward all expenses. It means they need to be treated as equal human beings.
Of course, couples can assume different roles in the relationship. There can be financial differences in relationships too. For instance, the husband can be the breadwinner and the wife can be the homemaker, but what’s important is if there’s
● Equality in decision-making
● Equality of choices, as in making sure one partner isn’t imposing their choices on the other
● Equality of opportunity to pursue one’s ambition
● Equality of expression of their physical desires
- Core values in a relationship are those integral values that couples share
- Without them, a relationship is less likely to be balanced and may fall apart. Each partner may have different values in a relationship, and such differences may be deal breakers
- Relationship core values make conflict resolution faster and help couples make quicker decisions. They also help both partners achieve relationship growth, relationship alignment, and better relationship satisfaction
- Some of the most important relationship values are trust, intimacy, growth, communication, equality in decision-making and choices, loyalty, and respect for individuality
- However, one can only provide certain guiding principles to couples, as core relationship values vary from couple to couple
We hope you now know the importance of relationship values and are aware of some of the most important relationship core values that couples must have. However, there is no fixed roadmap to a healthy relationship and what to value in a relationship often depends on the couple. In fact, it all boils down to what you two value most in a 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 to make this journey worthwhile. In fact, they can be used as dating values too, before embarking on a commitment or marriage. It’s true, we can’t provide an exhaustive marriage values list. But if you value your relationship, make sure you lay stress on these 15 core 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.