Skip to main content



Relationships are an intricate and delicate balance between two people. It’s important to recognize that relationships can find a consistent middle ground. To ensure you find that balance, it’s critical to identify the needs and preferences of each person in the relationship—your own as well as your partner’s.

Knowing each other’s needs can help you understand how best to bend without breaking. This means knowing how far you can go before either of your needs get disregarded or compromised. Additionally, understanding your shared core values can strengthen your relationship by providing a foundation for communication and respect.

How identifying core beliefs, needs and shared values can strengthen your relationship

What are your core beliefs and needs?

The Gottman Method suggests having a “Dreams Within Conflict” conversation. It asks couples to talk about the following:
  • What do they believe about the issue they are arguing about
  • Which types of feelings come up for them around the issue
  • How their childhood experiences manifest within this current issue
  • What their ideal dream would be here
  • What the worst thing that could happen is if they don’t solve the problem “their way”
Understanding each other’s needs is also valuable for relationships. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to relationships; some people prefer more alone time while others need more connection with partners, for example. Identifying these differences can help you find better ways to accommodate each other without compromising yourself or your partner’s needs.
Once you understand what you both need within the relationship, you can dig deeper and understand your shared core values which creates a collective purpose.

What are core values?

Core values are “anchor points” that guide our relationships and keep us grounded. They represent your deepest beliefs about relationships, life, and the world around you.
If you can identify and understand each other’s core values, it will add more clarity to why you are in a relationship with this person in the first place.
They can be anything from honesty and accountability to empathy and acceptance. Knowing your own core values, as well as those of your partner, will help you identify if a situation or decision is in line with what you both believe in and care about.
When it comes to relationships, Brené Brown’s core values can help couples navigate the ups and downs. Her research on vulnerability and courage has taught us that building strong connections requires honest communication, empathy, and understanding. Identifying your core values and that of your partner can be a great way to bridge communication. I suggest going on a date and having a conversation about values.

Here are some of the common core values:

*  Courage
* Compassion
* Connection
* Vulnerability
* Gratitude
* Joy
* Integrity
* Playfulness
* Self-awareness.

Why shared core values matter?

By incorporating Brené Brown’s core values into your conversations, partners can practice self-awareness, vulnerability, and courage. This allows them to better understand and accept one another, creating a safe space for honest communication.
Knowing you share core values with your partner can remind you that you’re both on the same page and provides an opportunity for partners to build a strong foundation of mutual respect, understanding, and love that will last through thick and thin.
Having an understanding of each other’s needs and shared core values helps relationships “bend without breaking” because it enables two people to find common ground on which to build their relationships. Knowing these factors also helps relationships grow stronger since both partners are aware of the expectations they have for themselves and each other.
A man and a woman laying in bed together, laughing, with their pinky fingers intertwined.

What happens if you don’t share the same core values with your partner?

When two people have conflicting core values, relationships can become strained. If you and your partner do not share the same values, it can be difficult to come to an agreement in tough situations which can lead to resentment, mistrust and even a breakup. Acceptance is important here, but often times is difficult to achieve.
However, that doesn’t mean relationships with different core values cannot work. It just means that couples need to be honest about their differences and develop strategies for dealing with them when they arise. This could involve finding common ground or compromising on certain issues where possible.
The key is to focus on understanding each other’s needs while still valuing your own preferences. With open communication and respect for one another, relationships can “bend without breaking” even if you don’t share the same values.
Identifying each other’s core values helps build trust, respect, and mutual understanding that can help relationships withstand hard times. While it may be difficult for relationships with different core values to work, open communication and compromise are key to finding common ground and staying connected.
By embracing Brené Brown’s core values of courage, compassion, connection, vulnerability and more, relationships can grow stronger and closer. It is important to remember that relationships require both give-and-take but having clear boundaries set by these core values can help strengthen your relationship.
What core values do you and your partner share? Comment below.




Leave a Reply