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What are Core Values? How Do Core Values Affect Committed Relationships?

It is important to know and understand your core values if you are starting a serious relationship.

What is a Core Value?
A core value is reflective of a belief and knowing about yourself that is essential to who we are in the world. A core value cannot be compromised. If we do compromise on a core value, we can experience internal conflict about our decision and, in the long term, risk developing resentment against our partner.

Most of us will have a small number of core values. Here are four common examples of a core value, and for each core value, there can be an opposite value:

1. I definitely want to have children
2. I definitely do not want to have children

3. I only want to live in Australia
4. I only want to live in Europe

5.  I don’t believe in living together, only in marriage.
6.  I don’t believe in marriage.

7. I am an atheist and am a very spiritual person
8. I will only marry someone with the same religious beliefs

What is Compromise?
A compromise is when we can move from our view on a value, want or a belief by examining what part of the issue we have flexibility on and then readjusting our position. Some examples of where we can compromise include:

  • How the division of household tasks is done
  • What suburb you decide to live in
  • How many guests are invited to your wedding
  • Where you go on your holiday
  • How you celebrate special events and days

When Do You Discuss Your Core Values?
Generally, you don’t discuss your core values on the first meeting or first date, however you also do not want to wait until you have developed deep feelings for the other person. If you are both looking for a serious and committed relationship it is important to discuss your core values reasonably early as you are learning about each other. This will help ensure you are both on the same page. If you have opposing core values and know you are unable to compromise on them, it is best to know this before you get to a place where you think “It doesn’t matter, this is the person I love, I can give up having children”.

If you come to realise you have a core values conflict with your partner, both of you need to take the time to explore this fully before deciding if you can compromise (it may not be a core value after all) or you decide to end the relationship because compromise isn’t possible.

Relationship counselling at this time can be supportive and helpful. Counselling can help two loving people explore whether the relationship they are enjoying is actually the best fit for them and their personal core values. They can begin to explore the question, “Is this the relationship that fits my core values and one I can see myself in for the long term?”.

Deborah is able to help individuals and couples if they are faced with a loving relationship that doesn’t have aligned core values and is causing sadness or distress for one or both people because of this.

Contact Deborah by email or her mobile to make an appointment.

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