As we each navigate the ups-and-downs of our love lives — from meet-cute to breakup and back again — we're constantly learning more about ourselves, what we want in life, and what we value in relationships. Over time, everyone develops their own unique set of core values: fundamental beliefs that influence how we conduct ourselves in all aspects of life, including our romantic relationships.
"Core values are fundamental beliefs that help to guide and dictate a person's behaviour as well as inspire someone to commit to a particular action that is in line with certain life goals and fulfillment," Katie Krimer, MA, LMSW, & Therapist, tells Bustle. "Core values as they pertain to a romantic relationship refer to those same fundamental beliefs that might make one feel safe, comfortable, inspired, passionate, and connected to their partner and within the relationship."
Because our core values are so intrinsic to who we are as individuals, it's only natural that we're better suited to a romantic partner who shares our values and beliefs. But in order to be able to recognize when a potential partner is the right fit for you, you have to first get to know yourself and your core values.
"Becoming aware of your core values will help you become aware when someone's values aren't aligning with yours."
"Becoming aware of your values can help you make the important decisions about how you want to live your life," Krimer says. "Knowing and sticking to your values can help you adjust and change your life in order to align more closely with what is most important to you. Similarly in relationships, becoming aware of your core values will help you become aware when someone's values aren't aligning with yours."
Simply put, if you aren't aware of your own core values, it will be difficult to find a partner with whom you're truly, fundamentally compatible. If you're totally lost and need somewhere to start your soul-searching, here are five examples of core values that you should know your stance on — and then look for in someone else.