Many studies show that when you have similar values and beliefs you are more likely to build a strong long term relationship. Having shared values with your spouse is important because they act as a reference system and will guide your communication by creating a kind of “internal sign language.”
Personal values are the things that are important to us, the characteristics and behaviours that motivate us and guide our decisions. Values matter because you’re likely to feel better if you’re living according to your values and to feel worse if you don’t. This applies both to day-to-day decisions and to larger life choices.
Have you wondered why certain patterns keep repeating in your love life? Like you meet someone you are really attracted to, drooling over but when the relationship starts, it ends faster than it even started. It’s probably because you are choosing people that do not have the same values as you do. The more you have in common in with your spouse, the easier it will be for you to LIKE them in the long-term and have less conflicts. Having similar beliefs, opinions, likes,dislikes and lifestyle is what really helps two people get along. Remember the saying, birds of the same feather flock together.
When you are with someone with similar values as you, it helps validate your own world views as you will feel supported and affirmed by your partner. For example; you believe that when you work hard, you should spend money enjoying yourself traveling around the world. Being with someone that thinks in the same way will make you feel understood and build a stronger bond than someone that feels every penny should be saved for the rainy day.
Secondly, similarities lead to less tensions and arguments in your relationship. If for example, you have the same religious beliefs and attach the same importance to it, you are less likely to argue with your spouse if he wants to make religious sacrifices that could inconvenience you.
Similarities also means you both have more things to like each about because as humans we like people that agree with us.
The next thing to do is try and define your own key life values focusing on the following areas: money, children, faith, work, health, and lifestyle.
- Money – Are you a spender or a saver? How do you believe it should be made? Are there lines you will not cross? Are you a giver or receiver?
- Children – do you want or not want or are you indifferent? How will they be raised?
- Faith – Do you believe in a higher being or not? What denomination? How important is this to you?
- Work – How important is it to you? Are you a workaholic or laid back or balanced? Does work give you a sense of self? Work and family which comes first? Is money more important when it comes to work or job satisfaction?
- Health – How important is your health? Do you believe in eating healthy or do you just want to eat what you see? What is your hygiene level? How about exercising?
- Lifestyle – Do you want a flamboyant or low key lifestyle? Public Display of Affections or Private? Personality – Are you a people person who enjoys the company of other people or do you prefer your privacy? What do you do for relaxation – vacation, hangouts, clubbing, concerts, park?
- Now that you know your own values, add it to your list and look for someone with similar or closely related values to yours. Yes not all values will be the same but the more they are similar the better.