You know how you’re going through an online dating site or you’re on a first date and you get asked what do you value in a partner? Seems simple enough, right? I mean it’s asked all the time! But then when you go to answer it, do you throw out the most common answers you can think of such as honesty and fun? Or do you really know what you value? Have you ever sat down and really thought about what your values are?
For me, this question was always just a way to start up a conversation on a date. That is until the last few years when I really started to value my ability to create my own happiness. I wasn’t able to answer it right away because honestly, it’s not an easy question to answer. It requires that you know a little about yourself. To really be able to say what you value is to dig deep within yourself and find out what makes you shine from within.
I think when we are asked this question, we think too much about what we want in someone else. You can’t know what you value though until you’ve stumbled upon it and experienced it in yourself. Finding your true values comes from experience and feeling, not thoughts or desires alone.
So what exactly do I mean? Let me ask you this, what makes you smile so naturally that you can’t stop smiling? What makes you feel free? Loved? Respected? Think back on an experience when you really felt one of these feelings from within with no inhibitions. What was it that made you feel it? For example, one thing that I value is kindness. Why? Because I remember a time when I was driving to work on a very, very busy road and I came across a cat that had just been hit by a car. Horrified, I pulled over and made my way through traffic to the injured cat. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t a very smart decision but I remember a trucker who stopped his semi, got out and started redirecting traffic so that I could tend to the cat without getting hit myself. His act of kindness made me feel hopeful and I’ll never forget him. Kindness is something I truly value and I know this because when I witness kindness, I light up from within.
Trust makes me feel free. When I can honestly trust someone I feel free to be myself and to allow myself to be vulnerable. I learned this unexpectedly. I met someone that I trust so much that I can completely be myself and I don’t worry about what they think. I can go for months without hearing from them and never once question their love for me. This is genuine trust and it’s rare but I value it deeply because of the freedom I feel from it.
So why is it so important for you to figure out your true values? Because knowing your values will help you find the kind of real love you deserve. The things you value are the things that bring out your happiness from within. The things that make who you truly are shine. Knowing what you value and upholding these values will lead you to finding the kind of relationship that most only dream about because you’ll be genuinely happy.
Don’t sell yourself short either. If the man you’re with consistently does things that insult your values, put yourself first and don’t be afraid to walk away. You can’t change someone and instill your values in them but you can love yourself enough to leave.
So what feelings are important to you in a relationship? What feelings make you light up from within? Answer this and be open to someone creating these feelings in you. Be open to finding new values from new experiences as well.