Are Common Interests Enough?
People believe that if they have a lot in common, they are a match made in heaven. There is nothing like meeting someone new and discovering you enjoy the same music, that you went to the same university or work in the same industry. “Snap” you say, thinking that with so many things in common you may well have met the man or woman of your dreams.
Many online dating sites now cater to the idea of trying to connect people who engage in similar activities. You have online dating sites for singles who are into fitness, who llike uniforms, who like particular sports or other activities or who come from the same ethnic or religious backgrounds. And it’s a good starting point – you wouldn’t, after all, want to spend time with someone you had absolutely nothing in common with, right?
The reality, however, is that two people may have a lot in common and yet may well still not be suited for each other.
Common interests aren’t enough. It’s at the level of common values that relationships are made or are broken!!
Rather than your mutual interests and backgrounds, it is your mutual values that are the real glue of great relationships
The Importance of Personal Values
Values are what is really important to you – they are an expression of who you are. Your values are what drive your decisions and choices. Your values are what motivate you. Your values are what you couldn’t live without and be you.
We all have different values even for the same things. We have different values around time, work, money and relationships, for example. Some people are ambitious in their careers, others in their private relationships and lives. Some spend their money on expensive clothes and fast cars, while others prefer to spend their money on holidays. Some only buy ‘on sale’ and others only buy ‘quality’ – and still others prefer not to spend their money at all! These different behaviours are neither right or wrong but are the expression of deeper held values.
Your values are a product of your personality, your background and experiences and are reflected in your goals, relationships, personal possessions and preferences. Differences in your personal values will get exposed when you spend an intense amount of time together like you do when you are on a holiday- which is why break-ups often happen after a holiday or a holiday season.
Your Values – Your Compass
While relationships and partnerships are about compromise what many people fail to realize is that some things are ok to compromise while other things should not be compromized at all. Core values can’t be compromized without you losing ‘you.’ The form in which they get expressed can change, but not the value itself.
If you are clear about what your values are, you have a powerful guide – a compass – to guide you through any choices, decisions and options you face. Any time you have to make decisions you can ask yourself how each choice would or would not align with your core values.
The danger, if you aren’t more conscious is that life takes over and at the end of the day – or of your life- you’ve spent time on everything except on what’s really truly important to you.
Happiness is about living your life aligned with who you really are. Being clear about what your values, which sounds easy, but isn’t usually, helps you to do this. I spend a whole module on this with my clients as doing this is life changing in The VIP Intensive.