Core Values in a Relationship

Creating alignment to eliminate unconscious conflict in relationships

We all have our core values in a relationship but they are not something we were born with. You created them and internalised them unconsciously as you experienced your own personal development. 

Our values can be imprinted from early childhood when we knew relatively little about how the world actually works. They are the core building blocks of our own unique blueprint for life and the world around us. 

Even the earliest significant events that have been coded and stored within our unconscious mind can impact on our behaviours and beliefs. 

Imagine the impact when those core values and beliefs are introduced to someone else's unique blueprint in the context of a relationship. Gaining clarity on your core relationship values will be a huge step in overcoming the obstacles to achieving your relationship goals.  

Core Values in a Relationship

What are core values in a relationship? 

Simply put, they are the most important reasons why you even entertain the idea of being in a relationship in the first place. 

Why is your relationship important to you? 

You don't need to answer that question right now, we can go there later when I show you how to be your own life coach "How to Elicit Core Values In a Relationship"

You can use the life coaching questions to elicit a relationship values list.  

Your core relationship values reflect your highest priorities. Values are even more abstract (hierarchy of ideas) than beliefs. In fact each value will have a number of linked beliefs. It doesn't mean any of them are right or wrong, but they will be for you, won't they? Otherwise they would not be of any benefit at all.

Often times when you uncover your unique list of relationship values it highlights a huge a gap between what you thought was important and where you are actually investing all your time and energy. This can be a huge lightbulb moment. You realise all the effort in your relationship was misaligned or misdirected. It is like rowing up stream against the current. 

Once you work through the core values list, and create alignment with your relationship goals it will feel like the tide changed to support your success. Creating the relationship values list in and of itself will not define your core values in a relationship. For that you need to refine the list, and then define the unique rules for achieving them. 

Value Differences in a Relationship

One of the primary breakthrough tools I use in life coaching for couples is identifying the value differences in their relationship. 

Values differences in a relationship can be subtle or dramatic, but working through these with your partner can be illuminating. More light bulb moments. 

Although values are important filters in evaluating communication (read about the model of communication in NLP to understand more about filters) they are not just tools for judgement. The judgement will come from the evaluation of actions and behaviours that are either in accordance with, or in violation of your core values. Values judgements apply internally too with self awareness which can be linked to negative emotions such as guilt and shame.

If you understand what is important to your partner, and how they achieve those core values you will recognise any gaps that perhaps need attention. You need to know their rules. For most people these rules are unconscious and unfortunately very rarely discussed out loud. 

Let's say you both have a value for enjoying meals together. You both like sandwiches. Sounds simple enough and identifies some shared values right? 

"What do you want for lunch?"

"How about a sandwich"

"Great idea. Here's your sandwich"

"Is that mayo? I hate mayo."

You both love sandwiches, but unless you know the unwritten rules for sandwiches you could inadvertently uncover values differences in a relationship that make it seem like you have nothing in common. I would  unconsciously anticipate that you both hold "Fun" as one of the important values in a relationship. How you achieve "Fun" might be two entirely different things.

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. You say tomato, I say, well you get the picture don't you?

Expectations in a Relationship

How you make a sandwich and how you enjoy fun time together are simple examples of your expectations in a relationship. If your expectations are met you will likely be fairly content. But if your expectations are exceeded, either you will fall deeply in love, or you will find a way to sabotage the relationship. Let's call these green flags in a relationship. (If you want to read about red flags in a relationship follow the link)

What this means is that your core values in a relationship will be intertwined with your expectations in a relationship. Green Flags! 

Now do you see why it is important to be clear about your core relationship values? Moreover, why it is imperative that you are clear about your partners values in a relationship?

You could spend years thinking that you were both on the same wavelength, on the same page when it comes down to intimacy in a relationship until you come to realise that you both have entirely different rules of engagement for that value. What is more, you both have a completely different unconscious strategy for eliciting the mindset for completion of that value. Do you know what your partners love strategy is? Or their preferred love language?

If you don't how could you meet or exceed their expectations in a relationship? How will you achieve their relationship goals?

Effort in a Relationship

Why should you invest your effort in a relationship?

Leverage is a key motivator for the first turn of the wheel, and reward is what keeps the wheels turning. It can take a huge amount of effort in the beginning but if the reason is strong enough it will pull you through until the momentum gathers pace. If you don't know their strategy, or their language you through the entire book at everything in the hope that something will work. 

If there is any mismatch or imbalance between the leverage and reward it could mean trouble. If you are always giving everything with little reward you will feel exhausted from all the effort you put in to a relationship. If you are just taking the rewards without consequence you may find your expectations in a relationship no longer satisfy you.

This is a common factor in relationships where there is a lack of communication, or a lack of contribution. There may be a sense of competition as though one party hasn't played a part so why should the other. This is not love. This is not contribution. This is trading. This is "expecting" something from the relationship. It comes from the WII-FM mentality. (Whats In It - For Me)

There could be a lack of the sense of couple or "team" and therefore a lack of trust. This scenario can eventually destroy the relationship. If there is no trust there will be no genuine contribution. If you are not contributing it shows a lack of commitment. If you are not willing to commit why should they make any effort in the relationship? 

Perhaps you need to consider what it is you truly want in the relationship. 

Be your own life coach with these life coaching questions:

What core relationship value do you share to create alignment? 

What would have to happen for you to fulfil your core relationship value? 

What are your most desired relationship goals? 

How are your core values aligned to this goal?

What are you willing to commit to achieve your relationship goals?

How to Elicit Core Values In a Relationship 

In order to elicit your core values in a relationship it is important to be in a peak positive state. This is something you want to feel good about and enjoy doing. That will lead to the best results. It's time to be your own life coach.

Create the right environment, the right ambience and have the best writing tools at your disposal. 

Here is an example relationship values list:

Trust in a Relationship               

Respect in a Relationship  

Passion in a Relationship

Fun in a Relationship

Intimacy in a Relationship

Communication in a Relationship

Travel in a relationship

Freedom in a Relationship

Love in a Relationship

Shared goals in a relationship

Now, these are just examples. They are not necessarily universal and they may not even be important at all to you. They are just words that create meaning of what a person might hold valuable. You have to elicit your own. 

To begin with, are you currently in a relationship or would you like to be in a relationship? It is important to understand your current intention. Why is it important for you to elicit your core relationship values list now. If you are in a relationship currently your intentions may be to learn how to communicate your needs with your partner to enhance you connection and alignment. If you are not in a relationship but would like to be, your intention may be to attract the most loving and understanding partner who exceeds your most important values.

Life coaching questions to elicit your relationship values list:

What is most important to me about relationships?

What else? 

Keep this questioning mantra on repeat and allow your writing hand to record each thought as it comes to you without judgement or question. Don't try to understand the rules of engagement. Don't try to write the best list of relationship values ever recorded. Just let go, and go with the flow. You will likely end up with a list of around thirty to fifty words which is great. 

Life coaching questions to refine your relationship values list

Which of these values are the same? or

Which of these values could be grouped together under the same heading?

Keep refining the list until you are sure that you have a list of independent values that stand alone. Write out your new list on a separate page, and notice how many values you have actually elicited and refined. You might be down to around twelve to twenty four. Either way, just know that is right for you. 

Life coaching questions to organise and prioritise your relationship values

Which of these is most important to you?

Which of these values is so important to you that if it was not met would cause you to leave the relationship?

Which value is next?

Work through your refined list to elicit only your highest seven to nine values. Once you have ordered them one to whatever, read the list again and check for accuracy. 

Is value number nine less important than any of the others.

Is value number five less important than value number four, and so on.


You have now elicited your core values in a relationship. It is now up to you to make sure you live with passion in your relationships!

Where Will Your Next Steps Take You?

Relationship Breakthrough Coach provides life coaching in Mossley, Tameside, Uppermill, Saddleworth, and all surrounding areas. Sessions are available for men, women and couples who are ready to transform their health wealth and relationships.

Life coaching is a journey of self discovery. Your journey starts with the next step. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the next step.

The power of life coaching will unlock your personal power to overcome obstacles that show up while you get to work on your dreams.

I sincerely hope you find what you were looking for. 

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