This post was updated on Nov 29, 2022
When you first find someone you love and who loves you back, it can be easy to overlook some of their behaviors and ways of thinking that you don’t particularly like or agree with. What if, as time passes, you realize that you and your partner have some values that don’t completely align? Can such a relationship work or is it doomed?
It is true that shared values are one of the most important aspects of building intimacy in a relationship and planning a future together. Stances on religion, morality, politics, or money, in particular, can sometimes make or break a relationship.
Yet, many relationships succeed even if the two partners do not share all of the same values. In fact, it’s incredibly difficult not to have at least some disagreement about values with any given person.
However, there may be some “basic” values that need to align for the relationship to work. Read on to find out how important values are and what to do if your partner has different values than you.
Are Values Important In A Relationship?
Each person brings a set of values to a relationship. If they align with the other person’s values, the relationship may have a more stable foundation and flow more smoothly.
When looking for someone to spend a good part of your life with, you are likely to seek some common traits, interests, and values. Without at least some overlap in your lifestyle choices, you may find it difficult to maintain the relationship, especially if you start growing apart from your partner because of clashing values.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that your relationship is doomed if you don’t share all your partner’s values. With open and honest communication, you and your partner can establish a set of your own values as well as overcome any differences you may have.
Of course, if some of your deepest values aren’t shared by your partner, you may have to evaluate how much such a disagreement would affect the overall success of your relationship. Sometimes, things just don’t work out, and that is okay.
What Values Are Important In A Relationship?
Each person has their own set of core values that guide them and give them a unique perspective on life. For a relationship to work, some of these values may need to be aligned. Here are some core values that can be particularly important in your relationship.
Trust is essential for setting a strong relationship foundation. If you and your partner trust each other, you will have each other’s backs and be able to overcome many if not all obstacles in your way. Not sharing this core value with your partner can result in various problems and lower relationship satisfaction overall. This is why it is important to work on building trust and intimacy in your relationship.
As a core value, loyalty goes hand in hand with trust. Being willing to commit to your partner and be devoted to them is a crucial aspect of any relationship. Without loyalty, you may have a hard time trusting your partner and feel as though you aren’t heard in the relationship. It is safe to say that loyalty and trust are the cornerstones of any healthy relationship.
Do you dream of getting married and having children? If so, it is quite important that you find a partner who wants the same thing. Let’s say your current partner doesn’t want kids and has no intention of settling down to raise a family. Sure, their feelings may change over time. However, what if they don’t?
Family values can be critical, as they have to do with ensuring a harmonious and rewarding future for the relationship. If you two have the same expectations about raising a family, you’ll be more likely to feel fulfilled and happy in the long run.
Naturally, you and your partner may not agree on everything. You may not have all of the same interests. Yet, your relationship may benefit from harmonious lifestyle choices, as well as a willingness to make compromises.
Think about this: you may enjoy the quietness and steadiness of suburban life, yet your partner may feel stuck in such a living arrangement. Or you might want to spend your weekends in a club with your friends while your partner would rather spend a quiet night in.
Overall, your relationship will be more likely to flourish if you and your partner have aligned lifestyles.
What Do You Do When Your Partner Has Different Values?
While you may know that it’s possible to overcome some differences in values, actually doing so can be much harder. If your partner disagrees with you on many of your core values, you may have to make a whole lot of compromises to make things work.
Remember that it’s normal to have some differences in your relationship. What is important is that you respect each other and communicate openly on your issues. While it may not be easy, it is not impossible. And if both of you are willing to work together on your future, having some clashing values may not be such a big problem after all. On the flip side, if you decide that the differences are too crucial to be overcome, going your separate ways may be the better option for both of you.
Deepen Relationship Intimacy Through Coaching & Couple Exercises
Discussing your relationship problems with a compassionate, knowledgeable coach can be of great help in maintaining a healthy bond between you and your partner. At PIVOT, we work with individuals and couples to help them overcome their differences and let go of relationship patterns that no longer serve them.
Explore our individual coaching opportunities or attend one of our client-focused relationship workshops to begin your journey to positive behavioral change. PIVOT is here to provide guidance and support no matter what relational problems you may be experiencing. Reach out today.