When we prioritise the core values of love, care, trust and respect, we stop getting sidetracked by what we think are signs of one of these values while sacrificing the presence and importance of another. If we want our relationships to go somewhere good, healthy, mutual and fulfilling, we’ve got to keep it real. We’ll know, for instance, that we can’t insist that a relationship without trust and respect is right for us. We’ll also know when someone talks a good game but does not follow through with action. Superficial won’t be enough for us.

Our values are the through line that guides us to becoming more of who we are. We align with the people, things and experiences that reflect this.

Love, care, trust and respect set the tone for ourselves and our relationships. They set up the boundaries of how we’ll treat ourselves and be treated, guiding us to intimacy.

Crucially, love, care, trust and respect help us recognise what isn’t a fit and set the standard.

Relationships don’t just happen; they’re built on each party’s consistent actions and intentions. Consistent actions, mentality and attitude back up feelings of something. It’s a gradual and continual rebalancing that occurs due to each partner having to choose between love, care, trust and respect, or pain, fear, guilt, ego and stories.

Two people coming from the same loving place do great things together. They co-pilot the relationship and navigate life’s inevitables together — stress, conflict, criticism, disappointment, rejection and loss. Even though they will undoubtedly err and, at times, choose fear, they consistently return to the core of themselves and the relationship. We don’t get to experience this if we keep settling for less than love, care, trust and respect.

For more on authentic, loving relationships, check out my book Love, Care, Trust and Respect.

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