Over the holidays, a young lady asked my opinion on her long-time suitor.
I was surprised when she said “I’d like my next boyfriend to be my last,” and she wanted advice to help her decide. I told her about my “No.1 Criteria
,” (You have to like how he handles conflict) but she asked for more.
So I asked her a question that my married mentors once asked me…
“Does he have the same core values as you?”
This is something easy to say yes to, but needs be proven with actions over time.
For example, Richard values honesty and openness. I did not think I had the same values at first, because I easily get hurt when I am criticized. I preferred to live by: “If you can’t say anything NICE, don’t say anything AT ALL.” (Even if it’s the truth.)
As we started dating, Richard became the first man to tell me lots of things with unfiltered honesty! Ouch! I wasn’t used to that!
On the other hand, even if it’s hard for me (because I don’t want to “hurt” him), he prefers I be TRUTHFUL rather than just NICE—–like if he did something offensive, etc.
I experienced how his truth made me a better person. I was neither used to it, nor is it always COMFORTABLE, but I knew I wanted to be around his kind of honesty and openness for the rest of my life.
Richard and I have so many opposite likes and dislikes. I hate eggs, while he loves a good sunny-side up. I love to watch movies, while he’d rather build plastic model kits.
But underneath all these small differences, we know that we agree when it comes to the things we truly find important—-both of us had the same CORE values.
US best-selling author Bill Hybels wrote
: “How many times have you heard…that opposites attract? But research shows that…marriages (based) on differences…without an underlying foundation of core similarities are usually headed for trouble.”
Going back to that young lady, I asked:
“What values or qualities are very important to you? Could you live happily with your partner if he DID NOT value those things as much as you?
“What are your NON-NEGOTIABLES?”
Some couples think having the same religion/faith is non-negotiable. While others need to agree in the way they handle money, and even the way they handle IN-LAWS. For some, quality time is a must, while others can survive long distance relationships.
Looking back, I’m very thankful that my mentors helped us discover my core values. Now I believe it’s something that every person should try to find out, EVEN BEFORE anyone special comes along.
I hope this helps:)
, December 29, 2016