Romantic relationships – an exercise on values

by Dandy

Romantic relationships – a heavy topic.  We all desire connectedness, love, respect, and companionship.  In todays very tough economical times, having stability in our relationship with our partner is so very important.    Continue reading for a fun exercise that can only make your relationship stronger and healthier.

We all desire to experience and share love, but yet we are all very unique individuals.  A persons uniqueness can lead some couples to have more in common than others.  Then there are couples who are drawn together because of their differences.   Couples must be willing to grow to understand each other’s full natures.  Impartial curiosity must be allowed to move them beyond their attachments so they can learn more by exploring each others values.

We are all guilty at times of trying to change the other person and to blame the other if something is making us unhappy. It is crucial to move beyond the need to be right and to seek the deeper answers, which will help both to learn how to relate on a level of deep awareness.  Perhaps then any differences will blur and soften because of a  stronger understanding of each others intentions and this will produce a greater compassion for each others values and needs.

It is so easy to get into a blaming state of mind.  But it is imperative to a healthy relationship to release the need to blame.  To have a bridge of support we must move beyond pettiness.  The bridge itself can be the common ground for better communication.  Throw away the blame and the need to be right and embrace compassion.

A wonderful exercise for couples is for each person to make a list of their own values.  Then on that list mark which values are negotiable and which ones are non-negotiable.  While doing this exercise leave judgement behind and use curiosity.  You will discover what your partners deeper intentions are as well as your own.  Each person will see that who their partner is is who they are.  The desire to change the other person will lesson.  Perhaps each person will see that there is no right and wrong.  Differences are not necessarily wrong or negative.  Both people have values and they are important to respect. 

In understanding each others values, a neutrality can be built.  When a conflict arises each partner can see a the other may not be coming from a place of selfishness, but rather a place of love.  This is why a deep understanding of each others values are crucial.  In a neutral place compromise is possible.  By taking inventory of greater values, each will come to understand that everyone has different needs and why they are expressed the way they are.  Needs will never be met by trying to change the other person.

Having open discussions of what you learn will be helpful in solving problems and conflicts, especially if they have been building for some time.

If your partner is currently unwilling to do this value exercise with you, you can still make a list of  your negotiable and non-negotiable values.  This self-awareness may be enough to change the dynamics of your relationship, creating an open space  for your partner to make a shift.  Being in touch with your authentic self can never hurt.

23 Responses to “Romantic relationships – an exercise on values”

  1. hi dandy
    i feel this exercise improves and enhances communication between couples.
    we are all wired uniquely with different attributes, likes and dislikes and we get attracted to each other for different reasons.
    i got attracted to my wife because she’s good at applying my brakes when i am off in different directions (more like making me see reason)
    i also agree having open discussions promotes healthy relationships because it tends to give room to expressing one’s feelings and all that is on one’s mind.
    thanks for sharing.
    take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

  2. Hi Dandy,
    Wonderful article. To build a good relationship with a partner we do need communication and understanding. When working together as a couple I find that we can grow as a person learning from each other. If you have blame and always wanting to be right you will hit a dead end sooner or later. Also you mention changing. Any time we get in a relationship thinking we can change someone, you are in the relationship for the wrong reasons. I really like the idea of your exercise. And that would be fun.

    • Hi Debbie!
      Thanks for your compliment. That means alot to me! Trying to change people is futile. The way to a healthy relationship is through acceptance. Acceptance of ourselves first. Then we have more compassion for differences. Take care Debbie and thanks again!!

  3. As you love and accept others unconditionally, this mirrors how you feel about yourself. To behave in any other way reveals deeper issues inviting attention within yourself. Your emotions are a gauge for aligning and accepting true self. Every emotion offers an underlying message of love. You sense this when ready.

    • Hello Liara,
      You have such a beautiful and eloquent way of stateing things. You are also right, our emotions are a gauge. I believe acceptance is letting go of the hope people will change. Acceptance is taking them for who they are. If we can accept ourselves then we will accept others. Thanks Liara!!

  4. I have found in my 25-year-marriage that I can’t meet the needs of my wife if I don’t know what they are. Guessing and anticipating doesn’t always works. But asking and then trying to find a way to meet her half way, does.

    Thanks for sharing the exercise.


    • Wow Alex, thanks for your comment. 25 years in this day and age is quite the accomplishment. It’s so important to be open and honest. It’s also important to be compassionate when listening to our partner. Otherwise they will be very reluctant to talk to us. Thanks for being so supportive to my blog with all your comments!
      Take care,

  5. Hi Dandy,

    This is a good exercise. It brings couples together. It is important to know what our partner wants, so we give them the love and need they want and deserve. Thanks for sharing

  6. Hi Dandy,

    Ah romantic relationships. This is always a great and important topic to deal with. Romantic relationships can be our greatest strength and our greatest weakness. Ensuring that all is well on the home front is crucial if we hope to set off into the world without worries.

    I think your simple exercise where each couple makes a list of their own values is highly important. Often couples may not know each other as well as they should and this causes potential problems in the relationships which can grow and fester if they are not nipped in the bud from the beginning. So I agree that by coming up with a list of values, couples will hopefully understand each other on a deeper level.

    An interesting test I did sometime back comes to mind.

    In this love language test, people learn the way they express heartfelt commitment to their mate. And if you do the test you will see how you want and need to be loved. Often people give love in the ways that they want to receive love. But this may not be what the other person needs and hence problems in relationships arise. Thus knowing how your partner needs to be loved can help to strengthen the bond in the relationship as well.

    At the end of the day, all relationships need to have open and honest communication. That is the only way to find common ground between 2 different people who are trying to build a life together.

    Thanks for sharing this great post!

    • Wow, thanks so much! You always give me such helpful info and I’m grateful. I will check out the test you recomend. It sounds facinating! I find myself giving love in the ways I need to recieve it, but I’m sure my partner must have other needs and I’m open to learning. You are so right when you say relationships need open & honest communication. Live is easier when you lay it out on the table. Thanks again!! I always enjoy hearing from you!


  7. I think women often jump into relationships and then discover their values don’t match up. Having opposing values makes a relationship difficult. Your exercise would certainly be a starting point for awareness and understanding.

    • Hi Tess!!
      I absolutley agree. Sometimes women do jump into relationships too fast and then discover they should have taken more time. I’m glad you liked the exercise. Thanks for your comment. I always look forward to hearing from you!


  8. Hi Dandy,

    Admirable job on a heavy, and very important, topic. It’s been said so often that it may sound like a cliche’, but COMMUNICATION is absolutely vital in any relationship. Though I learned this the hard way, being very open, conveying wants and needs, and discussing such things regularly, has certainly turned the world around for me in my romantic relationship!

    Great article Dandy! Thanks!

    • Hi Keith,
      I’m so glad you liked my article. I too have learned the hard way that communication is vital to relationships. Being elusive, pouty, or sulking is just creating a bigger problem. It is so much easier to say what is on your mind. I’ve found that my partner appreciates it too! Thanks for your comment Keith!! You’re great!


  9. I think this is a wonderful way to open the closed doors of couples who just want to give up. With a hint of this exercise, via dandy =), one can salvage there relationship practically over night. Useful tips-Dan-Dan…very useful tips. I love the energy of the post.

  10. Hi Dandy,

    Thanks for sharing this extremely valuable exercise. So many people waste a lot of time investing in a relationships that was doomed from the start because the values didn’t match up. I know this can be done during the dating process but for those of us who are in long term relationships this is a great idea to make sure you and your significant other aren’t growing apart. I enjoyed your thoughts and insight. Thanks!

  11. What a lovely blog you have! I discovered you thanks to the lovely Michelle’s post about your fun Saturday meeting…those peanut butter cookies look delish, so sweet of you!

    Liesl 🙂


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