Being in a lesbian relationship can be a wonderful gift. Relationships offer you a source of support, human connection, intimacy, warmth and so many other amazing and life-sustaining benefits. But the flip side is that they never come without a few hiccups. It takes a lot of work to figure ourselves out – and when you throw another person into the mix, it becomes even more difficult to navigate challenges and obstacles in life. One way to ensure that you can maintain a happy and healthy relationship is to make sure you and the woman you’re involved with have the same personal core values.
What are personal core values?
Personal core values are often confused with common interests or other more superficial things. Core values are about what you need in order to live an authentic life and feel happy and good about yourself. They boil down to the firm beliefs that you have about the world, what makes you a person of value and what you value in others.
These values are formed throughout the course of your life and will flavor every aspect of it, from the friends and lovers you are drawn towards to your political views, your hobbies, your religious beliefs, your career choices and more. Your core values will stay in place throughout the course of your life and will help to validate your worldview.
Core Values and Relationships
It’s important to choose partners who share the same important life values. No matter how different you are from each other, no matter if you enjoy different activities, are of different races or religions or have other superficial differences, if you share the same core values you are more likely to have a lasting, happy relationship. A couple with shared core values support each other in their view of the world. It also ensures that there is less tension and conflict because deep down, you feel the same about the most important issues, even if you argue over the little things. We also tend to like and respect people with similar values because we simply agree with them and can more easily see their viewpoints.
Your values work together with the ideas you have of your personal relationship and dictate what you are and aren’t willing to accept in a relationship. The stronger your core values are, the more certain you will be of your boundaries and the more likely it will be that you will enter into relationships with women that make a positive impact on your life rather than detracting from it.
Using Values as Our Compass
Our core values help define us and also help guide us through life. They are incredibly important and are intimately tied to our self-esteem and self-respect. What we believe in serves to guide us through our lives and help us make decisions no matter what is happening in our world around us. If you don’t know what your core values are, you won’t be able to accurately know if something feels right or wrong. You also won’t be able to be completely yourself and to fill your life with the things that make you experience joy and fulfillment. Knowing your core values changes your behavior, so it’s important to have them in place so you can respect the choices and decisions you make and let them pave your path to the future.
How Do We Determine Our Core Values?
If you don’t already have a sense of your core values, you can go through a discovery process to better understand them. First, try to start with a beginner’s mind and let yourself lose any preconceived ideas or notions about what you might think. This can be a difficult step, but with some practice you can get there. Then, start to create a list of values that are important to you – it can be as many or as few as you like. Don’t over think this step, because you can always edit it later on. The most important thing is to write down the values that come to mind when you think of yourself. For me, my list would look something like this:
Once you have a list of values, group them together into subgroups. Things like honesty and respect might go under a larger umbrella of “Integrity.” Try to group them all into three core groups that reflect a central theme, as these three pillars represent the values that are essential to your life and the way you are in the world.
Once you have determined your personal core values, ask yourself if you are living them. Do they apply in your current relationship? Does your partner share the same values? Look around at the big picture of your life and see how these values have guided you to where you already are and consider them as you continue to make decisions in your life. The more honest you are with yourself, the happier you will be in your relationship and the more your compass will guide you in the right direction.