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How Personal Core Values Can Sabotage or Save your Relationship

You thought you were in love. You had all of the symptoms.

Now, no matter what you do, you can’t quiet that voice that says “There is something missing.”

Does any of this sound familiar? If it does, it can be because of a difference in core values between you and your partner.

Core Values and Relationships 

Core values? What do they have to do with whether a relationship makes it or not?

Let me tell you a story about a girl who thought she had it all. She had the heady romance of first love. She thought that he was the one. (This story could just as easily be about a boy who felt this way, too…).

And then, one day, she woke up and wondered who she was in a relationship with. He didn’t seem to be the same person that she had fallen in love with. Now…was he really different…or had she just woken up to the fact that they indeed had different viewpoints on life. Indeed, at the very basics of how they viewed life, their core values were not similar.

Quite often, this happens at the 3 month mark in new relationships. Whether people pay attention to it at this point in time is quite another thing. Sometimes, it takes a big wake up call for one or both of the partners in a relationship to realize how different their core values are (if they are).

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”― Roy Disney

A Personal Core Values List

When people commonly think about core values, they think about common religious beliefs, political beliefs and even a common cultural background. Core values can include aspects of these but that isn’t the whole story.

Personal core values can be these and more:

  • Freedom
  • Peace
  • Family
  • Money
  • Health
  • Happiness
  • Achievement
  • Creativity
  • Fun
  • Independence
  • Honesty
  • Loyalty

…and you get the picture…these are some core values…and the list could go on and on…

Can Different Personal Core Values Really be a Deal Breaker?

You have your core values. The person you are in relationship with has their core values. Everyone has core values. If you were to think of which core value is most important to you, what would it be? Then what would be important after that?

Order your core values. See what they are. List them. Ask your partner to do the same, if they are willing. See where there are similarities and see where there are differences.You might even have similar core values but they are in a radically different order.

For example, if you value independence in the top 2 of 10 core values and your partner has independence right at the bottom at number 10, that can cause conflict.

Think of what a relationship would look like if money was at the top of the list for one partner…and it wasn’t even on the list for another! That might cause a few discussions about how the bills were being paid…

Are You Settling for Less Than You Deserve?

“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” – Maureen Dowd

When a person becomes clear on what their personal core values are, they stop settling for less than they deserve. Knowing your core values is like having a road map to what makes you happy.

If peace is high on your core values list, then being with a person who wants to scrap and fight all the time, won’t make you happy. If you have freedom at the top of your list and want a life of travel and adventure, then don’t pick a partner whose top value is security who wants to stay at home all of the time.

There is room for compromise in all relationships when the core values are close enough. They don’t have to be right on in order for a match to work…but if they are on totally opposite sides of the fence… that can be a deal breaker.

Know who you are. Know what your values are. When you know that…really know that…then you won’t settle for less than you deserve. Because you will know what you really want…won’t you?

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner 

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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Llison September 19, 2012, 8:54 pm

    Great post! Core values can really make or break a relationship, for sure.
    Llison recently posted..I accidentally a Facebook page.My Profile

    • Sherie September 19, 2012, 9:00 pm

      Thank you, Llison, yes, they absolutely can! I appreciate your comment! : D

  • Lisa Birnesser September 14, 2012, 6:14 am

    I loved this article, Sherie. This happened to me before. It certainly made me open my eyes that core values need to be similar! It can also happen in longer term relationships , in my experience where one person grows and the other stays stuck. Thanks Sherie!
    Lisa Birnesser recently posted..Get Assertive and Say NoMy Profile

    • Sherie September 14, 2012, 9:28 am

      You’re right, Lisa, it can happen that core values change as people grow! Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Anita September 14, 2012, 4:43 am

    Such an insightful post . I think we have to be on the same side at least when looking at things like faithfulness, communication and trust. I agree a little adversity makes for great relationships but not a lot!
    Anita recently posted..Keeping a Positive Outlook During Trying TimesMy Profile

    • Sherie September 14, 2012, 9:29 am

      Absolutely, Anita! There are core values that are must haves in relationships and some being different can add a bit of spice!

  • Carolyn Hughes September 14, 2012, 4:22 am

    Your post has really got me thinking Sherie. I’ve been going through a period of transition recently and inevitably there have been conflicts. But this has made me realise that it’s because some of my core values have changed. ‘Trust’ is a core value for me!
    Carolyn Hughes recently posted..The Gift of True Love.My Profile

    • Sherie September 14, 2012, 9:31 am

      I hear you, Carolyn…when we make those transitions and shifts, core values can change…thanks for your comment!

  • Moira Hutchison September 13, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Thanks for such a thought provoking post Sherie ;). What you’ve covered here is so important in any kind of relationship – I believe that the more aware and knowledgeable we are about our own core values and how to have them met – the better we are at connecting on all levels!
    Moira Hutchison recently posted..6 Simple Steps To Goal Success With HypnosisMy Profile

    • Sherie September 13, 2012, 6:33 pm

      Yes, the core values are SO important and you’re so right,Moira, when we know them we are better at connecting on all levels!

  • Steve Gamlin September 13, 2012, 1:54 pm

    Thank you Sherie! As a wedding DJ for nearly 20 years, I have seen some people who missed ALL the signs. The ‘headiness’ stage lasted far too long. One marriage ended 5 months later, amidst an explosion of reality that one partner was not what she pretended to be (that quality was ‘faithful’).

    • Sherie September 13, 2012, 6:32 pm

      Wow…I think “faithful” is a great quality to look for…lots of people do miss the signs…thanks so much for your comment, Steve!