Why Shared Values Are More Important Than Shared Interests


relationship coachingMy husband and I don’t have a lot in common, at least not when it comes to the things that most people think we should have in common.

We’re quite different people as far as hobbies and passions go and we only have a few that we share – our family, reading, working around our home in our little slice of paradise, our dogs and a few loved TV shows.

Otherwise it might seem that we’re pretty incompatible.

My husband is a huge sports fan and will happily absorb hours of Sports TV. He is also super active in the local football club as a coach and board member.

I am so completely hopeless at most sports, except running, and watching sport is pretty low on my list of excitement inducing activities.

On my husband’s days off, if he’s not helping me in the garden, you might find him fishing or playing golf. He loves time on his own on the beach throwing in a line, or on the golf course with his golfing buddies.

I can’t stand fishing and although I try my hardest with golf, I’m definitely not a natural. I’m more likely to be gardening or indulging my latest craft obsession.

My husband has a thing about targets, statistics, score cards and numbers.

I’m all about language, emotions. spirituality and mind/body work.

My husband is incredibly laid back, socially active, and often springs things on me at the last minute.

I’m a bit of a planner, I like to be organized and I’m naturally more of an introvert.

The interesting thing is, our differences don’t separate us at all.

Regardless of how we spend our spare time, we have an incredibly strong relationship.

Shared Values Trump Shared Interests

There are three reasons why our relationship works so well, despite our seeming incompatibilities.

The first reason is that we prioritise time together doing what we do both enjoy, such as spending time as a family, walking the dogs, going on coffee dates, sitting down to talk or watch the shows we both love or working together on our little ¼ acre edible garden.

The second is that we each respect how different the other is and rather than feel like we need to find more in common, we love the fact that we both have varied interests, and allow each other the space to be who we are, with the comfort of always coming back together to enjoy our relationship.

But the main reason why we work so well, despite being quite different people, is because there is a deeper level of shared values that keep us solid and incredibly compatible.

Having shared interests is important. You want a partner you can experience life with and create memories with but, as well as other important elements of a good relationship including communication, intimacy, respect and love, shared values will strengthen the foundation of your relationship immensely.

What are values, and why should you share them?

Values are those ‘rules of life’ that are inherently important to you. They’re personal beliefs that are a fundamental part of who you are and they tend to be consistent throughout your life, unless something major happens that causes you to change them. Chances are that you’ve probably had a similar set of personal values since you were a child.

Your values play a part in many places in your life including the choices you make, how you react or respond to situations, who you spend time with, the boundaries you set, and so much more.

When your values are being honoured, you feel good. When you or someone else is pushing up against your values, you’ll feel a certain level of discomfort, if not outright pain.

Values are a key part of you that are so important to match with your chosen partner because when our values aren’t aligned with the people we share our life with it can cause all sorts of problems. A lack of shared values will often be the underlying basis of those really meaty arguments you have, or those ongoing frustrations that come up every now and then, and can ultimately cause a total break down in your relationship.

The good news is that you and your partner don’t have to have exactly the same values, but if there are more that you match up with, compared to those you don’t, you have a much better chance of having a good, healthy partnership.

So I want to encourage you to discover what your values are, and whether you share similar values with your partner.

Even if you find out that there are a few mismatches, you can improve your relationship simply by knowing that a lack of alignment is present. By understanding that your partner is coming to you from the perspective of a different personal value, it can explain a lot about how they respond or react to certain situations and make it easier to resolve differences.

Knowing your values is also important if you are single, and looking for your life partner. You’ll kiss a lot more frogs if you keep dating people without first knowing your own personal values. How can you meet someone who holds the same kinds of things in importance if you don’t know what’s important to you?

How To Discover Your Values

While I have a project in the works to help couples discover their values, along with a whole lot of other fun and fascinating stuff that will bring you much closer to one another, I’m not yet ready to share. I do have a resource for you though from coach Tim Brownson which will guide you through the process of uncovering your personal values and tell you a lot more than I have about how they work.

Check out his book Aligning With Your Core Values and, of course, I will be announcing my own product when it is available, so if you want to work more on values in your relationship, as well as other important aspects of your relationship, sign up in the box below to hear about it as soon as it is available.

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  1. Lynne

    April 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Yes I agree. It would be nice if you and your partner share the same interests like sports or reading books but it would be essential for you and your partner to have shared values for your relationship to work. Values are the foundation of who you are and what you believe in and like you have said these values affect the choices and decisions you make. If a couple has shared values, the decisions they will make will be mutual thus giving strength to the relationship.

  2. Chrissie

    December 9, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I totally agree shared values are so important. My ex husband and I did not share any of the same values and we were so disconnected. Eventually it turned to resentment for me because i felt he didn’t respect me and what was important to me. My current partner and I share so many similar values that our relationship is easy, fulfilling and we are very connected. It makes decision making so much easier and we share so much mutual respect for one another.

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