Relationships, and the transitions into and out of them have dominated conversation lately. A number of friends are renewing vows of commitment after years of matrimony. They are celebrating the joys of their unions, and honoring what has worked to keep them yoked despite inherent challenges. Others I know are transitioning into new romances, doing their best to maintain individuality, while fully immersing their hearts in the waves of love.
There are also a handful exiting their coupleship. Even professional relationships are drawing to an end for some colleagues and friends.
All this partnership energy has me pausing to consider, what are the deepest values of those involved in romances and professional collaborations? Clear answers to this question, and the ability for one to express his or her deepest value(s) can be the key to having a successful relationship.
Some have said they value freedom and independence above all else. Others have said security matters most, and for some, adventure is paramount. In a number of cases, unshakable trust trumps all.
Relationships are as unique as the individuals who chose to come together. Participants who engage in partnerships want their values to be considered, witnessed, and validated. This becomes tricky when that desire is often subconscious. Without conscious clarity, it dwells beneath the surface and goes un-communicated.
There is a natural level of expectancy we each have to be treated a certain way, and to have our needs and wants met. Yet, until we are consciously aware of what those needs are, and the value we place on them, our spouses, colleagues, friends, and lovers may not succeed at being the mind readers we hope they will be.
We need to get clear on what we value.
We need to express this in ways our partners can understand.
Let us say that in love you desire security. Perhaps all you need to feel seen, validated, and understood is for your partner to check in with you more than once a day. Maybe brief and more frequent communication is all you need to soothe your wondering heart.
If trust is your deepest value, being in partnership with someone who routinely does what they say they will, and who speaks honestly despite the temporary emotional discomfort it may cause, just might be the secret to relationship longevity.
Do you know your deepest value?
If you are not sure, I invite you to set a pen and paper (ideally a journal) at your bedside. Before going to sleep, ask your subconscious to communicate to your conscious what you value most in relationships. When you awaken, and before doing anything else, ask for the answer again. Write down what first comes to mind and in the middle of the page.
Maybe you will write attention. Maybe your value will be fun, maybe affection, or perhaps a value I referenced earlier.
Once you identify what your deepest value is, begin to write short sentences or statements in rays out from that word. Let these create the definitions of how that value can be most supported.
Using attention as an example, a few of your expanding thoughts on this might be:
He/she takes initiative in showing affection.
He/she listens intently while I speak, doing nothing else while I share my thoughts.
He/she greets me when I come home, and speaks kind words to me when I leave.
He/she schedules time for us to be together.
He/she does not choose to scroll through social media or email when I am around.
See how this works?
This exercise will help you get clear on what you deeply need and want, and by writing short descriptions of how that can possibly look for you, you will be better able to communicate this value with those you love and work beside.
Photo discovered on richardsnotes.org