Living Your Core Values Leads to a Healthy Love Life

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 11/29/2011

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Why are core values important?

Core values form the foundation on which we live and conduct ourselves.  When we’re in alignment with our core values, we know the direction our life is heading and what’s important to us.  We experience more peace, self confidence and well-being.

Without core values, we find ourselves drifting from relationship to relationship or staying in unhealthy relationships and never really feeling fulfilled.  We’ll accept less than we deserve and make decisions because of what our partner said or did rather than who we are and what’s important to us.

When we don’t consciously define our core values, we let people, places or things outside of us sway our decisions.  In love relationships, this shows up when we react or respond to the whims of our partner.  We use our confusion, uncertainty and doubt to rationalize our partner’s bad behavior and question his actions, even though we know we deserve better.

What if you knew for certain what is or isn’t acceptable to you when it comes to love?  Imagine how much easier it would be to respect yourself, set boundaries, take solid action and make sound decisions.  The challenge and opportunity lies in knowing what’s most important for you to have in your love relationship and partner so you can spend more time enjoying rather than questioning your relationship.

How do I define my core values?

Core values influence everything we do or don’t and may not be in our awareness. They are standards that greatly influence our behavior, attitude and character.  These values are deeply personal and affect our emotional and mental disposition.   Since these values guide us in making decisions and affect our relationships, it’s important to clearly know what they are.

If you’d like better results in your love life, take the time to consciously define, clarify and live your core values.  Grab a pencil and paper, and answer these questions:

  • Who am I when I’m at my best?  How am I being?
  • What are my personal characteristics and strengths when I feel full of energy, most engaged in life and inspired?
  • Who has had the greatest influence on me and what are their positive characteristics?
  • Who do I admire?  What do I admire about that person?
  • How do friends and family describe me?
  • What do I love about myself?
  • What mottos, quotes or sayings inspire me?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What inspires me about love?
  • What do I love to do?  What are the feelings, the emotions I experience from doing those things?

After completing these questions, review the answers and choose the value(s) from each one.  For instance, if “joyful, loving, kind and caring” are the answers to, “Who am I when I’m at my best?”, these may be some of your core values.  Feel and choose the ones that are most meaningful so that you’ll be inspired to live your life by them.

How do I apply my core values to ensure a fulfilling love life?

Your core values are like a GPS, guiding and bringing you back on track when you veer off your path.  Here are some examples on how they can apply to your love life.

  • Notice how you feel after interacting and spending time with your partner.  If you feel uplifted, your experience of your partner is meeting your core values.  If you feel let down, chances are one or more of your core values are not being met in this relationship.  You can then determine whether or not this relationship is worth keeping.
  • When you’re not sure what to do, ask yourself if what you’re about to decide fits your core value(s).  For instance, if freedom is a core value and your partner wants to live together, how will that affect your desire to feel free in your relationship?  Is there a way where you can live together and still feel free?
  • Core values give you a measurement of what’s acceptable or not.  If the interaction with the man you’ve been dating for six months stays on the superficial level, and intimacy is very important to you, this may not be acceptable.
  • Understand your partner’s core values.  If trust is a core value, is how you’re being and what you’re saying and doing trustworthy?

When you consistently live your core values, you’ll find one of these scenarios to be true.

  • Your existing relationship will improve.  Or…
  • You’ll see that your partner is not a good match for you.  Or…
  • You’ll attract higher quality men.

Living your core values takes strength and courage to be true to yourself.  It means knowing who you are and making choices based on what’s important to you and not what others want you to do.  The beauty of core values is that they apply to all areas of your life.  The more you live your core values, the more harmonious your love, life and world.  What core values are the most meaningful to you when it comes to love?

 

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