Shared Values: The Foundation of Long-lasting Relationships

Senior Couple Hiking - Relationship Values

There are so many moving parts in any couple’s relationship, and getting there takes dedication and hard work–so many aspects play a role in the duration of a relationship, and a healthy relationship doesn’t just happen. Like we said, it takes effort and work on both sides, but you can start out with an advantage if you share similar values.

Why? Well, the likelihood of achieving successful relationships is higher when individuals have shared values. We can say that life will undoubtedly throw curveballs, testing your relationship’s resilience. In these times and scenarios, in-sync relationship ethics provide the much-needed stamina to tackle obstacles as a unified team.

What Are Core Values?

Core values serve as the steering notions and fundamental convictions of a relationship–the presence of mutual values is a critical element of every thriving relationship! Core values can also be viewed as non-negotiables—traits that a romantic partner must embody for you to even consider a long-term relationship (aka the dealbreakers).

While sizing up a potential partner on a dating app or elsewhere, finding out what values are important to them could be beneficial. Examples of core values are truthfulness, good communication, and religious beliefs.

Significance of Shared Values in a Relationship

When partners share numerous values, the probability of a lasting bond is heightened. Sharing viewpoints on significant matters with your partner fosters a supportive ambiance where each individual feels acknowledged. This simplifies decision-making and issue-solving, reducing the likelihood of separation.

For example, consider a duo facing financial hurdles–as separate entities, they both appreciate financial prudence. Numerous alternatives are available to them, and due to their agreement on financial management, they decide to establish a budget instead of deliberating on accruing credit card debt or reducing their expenditures.

Sharing ethical beliefs and principles creates an environment where you can rely on your partner’s comprehension. For instance, if both value religious faith, sharing spiritual reflections or difficulties becomes comfortable, and your partner(s) can acknowledge your emotions and provide valuable support–you feel secure sharing this aspect of yourself, knowing your experiences are comprehended.

Ultimately, shared values allow you to stay true to who you are at your core. Agreeing on fundamental matters means it’s less likely you’ll need to compromise on significant issues. Although compromise is integral to a healthy relationship, going against your ethics can cause unhappiness and resentment towards your partner(s).

When It’s Time to Discuss Values

Starting a discussion about your beliefs with a new partner is a decisive moment for your relationship, but it needs to be tackled! Talking about the kind of core values you absolutely won’t compromise on is a necessary discussion.–understanding the other person’s stance on matters crucial to you is a self-obligation.

There are two strategies to approach and have the “talk”:

  1. The first tactic is to be straightforward and ask you partner(s) to put time aside for this chat. This way, all involved can organize their thoughts and engage with balanced emotions. This ensures the talk isn’t postponed indefinitely and addresses any concerns early in the relationship.
  2. The second tactic is to allow the conversation to develop naturally. When relevant, ask about their family, profession, and future aspirations, and observe their behavior. Loom for naturally occurring opportunities–say after watching a TV episode depicting complex family relationships, use this opportunity to discuss family values and healthy boundaries.

Regardless of your approach, the objective should be a candid and sincere exploration of each individual’s feelings. Keep a casual and relaxed atmosphere during the talk and pick a comfy setting, like having coffee at the kitchen table or taking a walk—wherever you both feel comfortable!

Conflict is inevitable in all relationships. However, the more couples agree on core relationship values, the easier conflict resolution becomes–core values like respect and forgiveness, when shared, can significantly come to the rescue in managing disagreements and reducing harmful communication.

When there is a strong agreement on core values within a relationship, it becomes easier to navigate and overcome the obstacles that life throws our way!

Understanding Your and Your Partner’s Relationship Values

At times, a simple inquiry, “What do you value in a relationship?” can lead to part of the answer, but compiling a list of relationship core values isn’t always straightforward–you need to see them in action! Taking note of both your and your partner’s reactions when a challenge pops up is super helpful–relationship core values manifest in daily choices, especially during major decision-making moments.

So, what are some relationship values that contribute to a healthy and long-lasting relationship? Here are the shared values that pave the way for a collectively happy future!



Communication is the means by which we engage with one another, and a mountain of research demonstrates that open communication is crucial to the health of any relationship. According to the research, both sexes place a higher value on effective communication abilities than they do on technical ones.

How we handle situations and treat our partners during tough times significantly impacts their feelings towards us, the relationship, and their self-esteem. Ultimately, the aim is to resolve issues and feel loved.

Commitment Graph


Commitment is a prime contributor to a couple’s well-being, forming one of the fundamental blocks of a happy marital life–research suggests that levels of commitment and the perceived reciprocity of commitment play a significant role in relationship success.

Trust Graph


Trust often tops the list when discussing core values in relationships! Studies find that love and happiness are intertwined with trust. It enhances reliance on our partners, encouraging further commitment in the relationship over the long term.

Research indicates that individuals with lower confidence in their partners observed higher fluctuations in their perception of relationship quality–believing that our partner has our and the relationship’s best interests at heart goes a long way in creating and maintaining a lasting bond.

Forgiveness Graph


Throughout a marriage, minor (or major) wrongdoings will happen and need to be addressed for the relationship to continue–don’t sweep things under the rug. The ability to forgive is important to healing and mending relationships.

Couples that are more forgiving are more likely to show signs of affection and express forgiveness to one another verbally and nonverbally. Softer, more considerate communication naturally results in happier partners and longer-lasting relationships.

Authentic Graph


Being authentic is crucial in a long-term relationship. Some days, you just want to relax, stay in your PJs, not worry about how you look, and still feel loved and accepted. Having someone who believes in us and accepts us for who we really are is crucial to our happiness and the health of our relationships.

Empathy Graph


Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, is essential. Being there for our partner, trying to see the world from their perspective, and showing understanding and compassion are invaluable. Studies show a strong association between empathy and relationship satisfaction, especially for long-term couples.

Emotional Support Graph

Emotional Support

Emotional support is the bedrock of healthy, long-lasting relationships. This includes showing care, compassion, love, and interest for one another. It is imperative that we help our loved ones through times of difficulty, as studies have shown that a lack of emotional support is one of the leading reasons for dissatisfaction in relationships as well as breakups.

Finances Graph


The impact of financial values on a relationship can be significant–picture a scenario where you prioritize saving for unexpected events while your partner tends to be more inclined toward spending freely–it’s a recipe for, at best, an argument and, at worst, financial trouble. Sometimes, it’s hard to come to terms with money, and that can cause tension and finger-pointing–but research shows that when partners have similar economic values, their relationships blossom.

Religion Graph


Religion plays a super significant role in the lives of many individuals and has a positive impact on long-lasting, fulfilling marriages, and the research exploring the importance of religion for couples supports this! While religious differences don’t necessarily end a relationship, sharing religious beliefs simplifies a lot of big life decisions, such as child-rearing and passing on values.

Concluding Thoughts

If you want your relationship to be long-lasting and get stronger, it’s important that your values be compatible with your partner’s. However, every relationship has its own unique dynamics, and certain values may carry greater significance for you than others.

Think about what’s important in your relationship and see if your significant other shares those principles. And don’t panic; there is room for discussion and compromise, which adds to the success of the relationship in spite of a few differences!

Molly Davis
Molly Davis

Molly is an East Coast writer who lives on West Coast time. She’s been in the journalism field for over 20 years — newspapers are her first love but she’s finding digital media to be just as fun and challenging as print! When she’s not giving therapist-quality dating advice, she’s curled up watching movies, reading, or volunteering at local dog shelters.