I talk to people who are keen to evolve their relationships and are attempting to get to grips with values, and they’ve had at least one of these three habits:
- Making their partner into a one-trick pony
- Looking for a ‘thing’ to hook the relationship to
- Not being thorough about their values
Ever been hung up on someone who when the relationship crack wore off, you realised that they only had one redeeming feature that offset everything that was so wrong about them or the situation? You (or they) made them into a one trick pony. Good for sex that left you barely able to walk, or for the most “amazing” dates, or for hanging out and talking about those topics where you have “so much in common”, but…. not hot on anything else. It reminds me of that episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte ‘dated’ the guy who was renowned for giving great head but that’s pretty much all there was to him.
What many people who are confused about core values do is take one or a few things that they see as signs of dependability, attractiveness, commitment etc., which are then used as justification for continuing. They listen to my complaints about ________ becomes They’re a really attentive person and are girlfriend/boyfriend material, because we associate being listened to in this way with a relationship and because we don’t know them that well, we assume that they’re demoing The Deluxe Relationship Package. Determining compatibility with someone on one or a few arbitrary factors results in ignoring the overall content of the relationship and lack of real attention to core values. It’s taking one piece and mistaking it for the whole.