Most of us can quickly list the values that we seek in others: honesty, faithfulness, loyalty, and compassion. But do you know your CORE values? Do you know what you value on the deepest level? If asked, would you likely repeat the same short list? I’m guessing that most of us would, but when you consider the variety of people that you come into contact with, would you say that we all share the same core values? It seems unlikely, yet when I read dating profiles, I find that same list of values, both when describing what someone seeks in a partner and when describing themselves. Maybe this is why so many dating profiles are boring and repetitive.

If you were to write out all of the possible core values, you will actually end up with a very long list and would likely find that your most basic core values are a lot more finely-tuned than you thought.

Why do core values matter and why should you know yours? In a nutshell, if you are not living in accordance with your core values, you will be unhappy and there will be a disconnect and unease in your life. For example, if one of your core values is ‘transparency’ yet your job in marketing requires you to deceive in order to sell a product, this will create a conflict inside of you leading to dissatisfaction and unhappiness, yet if you are not aware that transparency is a core value of yours, you might not know where your unhappiness is coming from. 

In dating, knowing your core values is equally important. If your core value is flexibility and you are in a relationship with someone who is very rigid and demands that things be done in a very specific way, you’re going to have a lot of conflict. Both you and your partner will likely become frustrated with each other and try to change each other’s behavior without really understanding that you simply have differing core values. Your partner’s core value may be ‘perfection’ and being flexible might feel too much like accepting imperfection.

Knowing your core values will enable you to walk away from situations and relationships that are just not aligned with you. You will learn to quickly spot those situations that align with your values and only get involved with those, which will allow you to flourish and grow and ultimately feel a deep satisfaction with the way you live your life and the people you share it with.

To discover your core values, Google ‘core values’, or click this link to view a list of 500 core values (yes, there are that many!) to read over. It may sound overwhelming, but when you start reading the list, you will find yourself connecting with some of the values and not with others. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and don’t judge yourself. If you find that one of your core values is ‘money’, that’s okay. This isn’t a moral quiz and there is nothing inherently wrong with valuing money. Don’t judge, just skim the list and when you find a value that resonates with you, write it down. Once you’ve gone through the entire list, look over what you’ve written and choose the ten most important values from your list. If you want to get really intense, whittle it down to your top five.

Now that you know what you value on the deepest level, you can start living in harmony with your inner self and make choices in life and love that will lead to increased fulfillment and joy.