“Begin with the end in mind”. - Stephen Covey
That Stephen, he’s a smart cookie.
I can’t say it enough. Knowing exactly what you are looking for and why, creates a huge shift and mega results in your search for love. Whether that be, from how you filter out the ones who aren’t right for you, to manifesting and attracting the ones that are.
I spend a whole lot of time ‘Defining Your Search’ with clients, multiple sessions sometimes, and its the very first thing we discuss in our work together.
Being absolutely clear about what you want AND need in a relationship and a partner, is hugely empowering.
We want to go from shooting arrows in every direction, wishing and hoping we hit SOMETHING... to shooting arrows in one specific direction, hoping to not just hit something, but SOMEONE, real and right, for us!
It's best, to start with defining a long list of traits we WANT in a partner.
Try to quiet the 'yeah buts' and the 'better keep it realistic' scarcity gremlins in your head. It's okay to dream a bit here. Let yourself go, doll... promise you want plummet to disaster over a writing exercise!
THEN, we need to have a separate list of exactly what we NEED in a partner and relationship, to be happy and fulfilled, long term. These are the MUST HAVE'S, the items we know we NEED to be happy and healthy long tern, usually they are also the items that have been deal breakers in the past.
In order to really sort that… we must be concrete about what our values are so this whole ‘happily ever after’ thang, stands a real chance!
Values are a tricky thing.
When I ask people what are their core values, we all love to reply with a long list of stunning beauties like honesty, open-mindedness, kindness... to name a few.
Here’s a bomb. Our core values, aren’t always wearing a flowing silk dress with flawless red lipstick. Sometimes core values, aren’t very pretty at all.
There are a lot of studies that show that Core Values are developed as early as ages 2-12 years old. In our ‘download’ formative years. And what we download from our environment, our families, our early social & educational interactions, isn’t always beautiful.
Core Values are our default drivers.
They are not who we would like to be, how we are able to be once we have layered in reason, therapy, coaching etc.. they are what is the very first whisper in our ear when a situation arises. Our worthy instincts AND our feared up gut reaction, in equal parts on some days.
I have worked with clients who have an overwhelming Core Value for financial security, with a point of origin of their family always struggling and moving from town to town for jobs as a child.
This Core Value of Financial Security drives their decision making.
Sometimes for good. Sometimes not.
Economic Security Examples;
We save every dollar/pound we ever make, rarely unless under extreme pressure, opting to treat themselves to an expensive item or even a holiday.
We book the cheaper version of said holiday, because that core value is saying “you can’t spend that much!!” and then wind up on a dismal trip, eying the other holiday makers with envy and kicking ourselves for not upgrading.
In our relationships; We may have a partner who loves to spend money faster than they can make it. In some ways, they push us out of our comfort zone to upgrade that trip (yay!) but mostly, we find ourselves constantly fighting over money and in a constant state of high anxiety. Both parties feel limited and pressured by the other, and resentment becomes a way of life and love. No beuno!
For the most part, our Core Values, good or bad, cannot be changed easily. Usually it takes a seismic event, like birth, death or total heartbreak to shift them immediately.
Someone who’s drive for security has had them working at the same job they hate for years suddenly quits and moves to Thailand to be a yoga instructor after being in a near death car accident.
While, someone who Core Value of freedom has previously driven them to never settle down or commit, takes on a full time job in order to become the best father and partner overnight when they’re child is born.
Core Values are our real-time default drivers, that guide almost every decision we make in our lives.
Getting to terms with what your Core Values are, the handful of ‘MUST HAVES’ is crucial if you want to find a partner who will either share them or compliment them, so you can be happy healthy and free within that relationship for years to come.
Divorce and end of long term partnerships are rarely about love lost. Its often that these two people CAN’T LIVE TOGETHER ONE MORE MOMENT WITH BLOOD BEING SPILLED or perhaps less gory, they can’t live another moment feeling so stifled and such anxiety every day. Oh ‘irreconcilable differences’ you nasty little gremlins. There is a reason that 80% of these splits are over money, parenting and lifestyle.
And its called CORE VALUES.
With the couples I work with, more often than not, there core values are out of alignment AND they don’t even know it!
Once you know what truly drives your desires, thoughts, decisions and needs; you can accommodate them. You can also choose partners who share your values AND even choose partners who offer some values you need, to shake it up.
Here are a few quick tips to get you started down the very long road of understanding who are what you really are….
1 – Engage Compassion.
This is a journey of self-discovery, lean into the widening space of who you truly are, without judgement, perfection, expectation or punishment. No one is perfect. This is not a journey of change, it’s one of understanding, self awareness and compassion.
2 - Use technology to discover your Core Values
Believe it or not, psychometric tests like Meyer Briggs and DISC are amazing ways to access core values. I always hated taking them, when applying for jobs, and the pressure of that particular environment often tweaks the results. I mean come one, have any of us really, REALLY answered all those questions honestly when our next career move was on the line? I utilize the DISC method with my own clients.
3 - Examine your historical data
Taking a hard look at what have been deal breakers in your past relationships, is also most useful.
4- Seek professional expert help.
Engaging with a coach or therapist who specializes in Core Value work, is the easiest, most epic way to get right down to the root of it, fast!
We’ve all heard it from people in long term relationships… the looks fade, the sex mellows; what keeps that little old couple holding hands? Friendship, compatibility, and living in congruence with their core values.