Dating and Developing Relationship Values

Relationship values and romance go hand in hand. Romantic stories start with attraction and admiration. The thrill of having a fling usually accompanies it, and then if both click, dating flourishes.

But what’s dating?

Dating is engaging yourself with a person to form another level of relationship with the hint of attraction, love, and intimacy.

Personal Values in Relationships

For men, relationships rarely begin with the end in mind or even beyond the coming weeks. Men are commonly short-term thinkers in dating strategy. They’re not overly concerned about deep character, financial, or parenting potential.

The wiring of a man’s brain is pretty simple: She’s cute and lovely. She laughs at my jokes. That’s good enough for now.

But women are wired differently.

Most women often think ahead in relationships, especially as they approach their 30s and the real physiological deadlines begin to feel imminent. However, most men don’t feel the same constraints. Men don’t feel the same pressures for marriage and family.

Under no circumstances will a man get married unless he has decided. Hence, it is a good idea to at least understand marriage and how to evaluate women and their potential as long-term partners. One topic area often overlooked in shorter-term relationships, where looks and personality may seem more important, is assessing the compatibility of values between the two of you.

What Are Personal Values?

While personal values can really be anything that matters to you, it generally refers to more meaningful attributes defining who someone really is and what they stand for. For example, hair color may be more of a general preference, but integrity is a value. At least, that’s how I see it and will be using it here.

Who is a person really when it comes to essential issues in life? Qualities of character like honesty, integrity, reliability, self-discipline, doing what they say they will, showing up on time, generosity, kindness, and humility are all vital personal values. While it’s easy to spend a few weeks enjoying the companionship of a wide range of women, developing an understanding of what matters most to you is invaluable in your unfolding life plan.

Why Is Dating Important in Developing Relationship Values?

Dating plays a crucial role in developing romantic relationships. It is more about fun, entertainment, pleasure, and playfulness. You tend to be cute and at ease with the person and focus on enjoying your time together. But marriage is not about making dating permanent. That might be a good choice if you want to date forever (assuming you both concur), but that is not what marriage is about.

Marriage leaves the idea of dating in the dust as it is attempting to create a lifelong commitment to become one marriage unit with personal, financial, and relationship commitments, of which many are enforceable in the courts. It is a serious piece of business, and far too many lovestruck kids have unwittingly entered into it without enough critical thought and understanding of what marriage is.

My contention is that not understanding what marriage truly is has been the leading cause of divorce. Single men need to understand what marriage is and isn’t and modify their dating patterns to incorporate this kind of thinking as part of it.

Dating is an opportunity to learn about women. You can learn about deep personal values with another human being. Cute and funny won’t last a lifetime. So don’t try to make your relationship cute and funny.

What Are Values? If It’s Important to You, It’s Important.

The most basic definition of values is that they are the guiding principles that dictate your behavior and your personal perspectives, not only for you alone but for the people around YOU! Values are helpful because they provide you with simplicity in making challenging decisions straightforward.

Values serve as the foundation of how you live your life. If relationship values mean something to you as a person, then you need to explore what you might choose to value.

Here Are 8 Important Relationship Values To Learn While Dating

Every dating relationship is an opportunity to connect and learn about a partner and who they are. Become an observer of a person’s character, beliefs, and behavior. Do they show up on time, are they nice to the waiter, are impatient in lines, and so on. You don’t need to judge or make a point of anything; just watch and listen. Be forewarned that little things that you may dismiss as cute early on can become sore points later.

After spending time, you might try journaling your observations (password-protected, of course). It might seem weird to some that you journal notes about a new girlfriend, so :
1) don’t tell anyone and,
2) never share your notes.

This is an exercise in developing your analytical skills when it comes to women. I have found I am very forgetful of stuff that might be important if we end up between the sheets. Many men, like myself, are not the most profound thinkers around lovely women.

To sustain a relationship that you intend to have for a period or a longer time, you have to be mindful of the guiding principles on how to create that.

1. Honesty and Integrity

To me, honesty is basically not lying or not cheating. You try to be transparent and vocal about your feelings. On the other hand, integrity is instilling honesty with your strong moral principles or beliefs. These are the foundations of every relationship. I suppose all people lie in some ways, so this can be tough. For instance, ‘no, those pants do not make your butt look big’ may not be entirely true, but it seems a wiser response.

But some people lie as easily as saying the truth. Sad but true! You will need to decide where those lines are for you and what you are willing to tolerate or, more importantly, not tolerate. The stakes are not really that high while you’re dating. A little emotional pain is about the worst of it. But 10 years and 3 kids later, to discover your partner has been dishonest all along is a serious blow. Big ouch!

2. Reliability

Reliability is being consistent. It’s one of the most important relationship values because being reliable entails that the person will do what they say. Now, we’re going to cut women some slack on getting ready to go out. Sure, they said 30 minutes an hour ago, but it is for our benefit. And it really takes us only about 10 minutes to get ready is one of the perks of being a guy.

That said, does she do what she says she will do? Do you? Knowing you can count on someone, especially in hard times, might be really important in a lifetime relationship. If you got seriously ill, could they handle it or cut and run?

3. Commitment

Commitment is beyond promising to stay with a person. It is your strong will to stay to add a sense of security and certainty to your partner. Staying no matter what is a scale most people don’t understand, and fewer willing to accept. How well would you need to know and trust another human to stay with them ‘NO MATTER WHAT’?

If you are not prepared to stay no matter what, why would you entertain marriage? That is what marriage is. Dating is the opportunity to discover the depth of a girlfriend and decide if you are prepared to dial a commitment up to that kind of level.

4. Money and Personal Finances

If you ask divorced couples why they divorced, money is always a top contender. In modern-day marriages, money and personal finances are vital relationship values.

Please take your attitudes about money super seriously. If saving money means 50 percent to her and not spending 50 percent at all, you may not be on the same page. Marriage is a contractual relationship about money. Hers is yours, and yours is hers from the date of marriage until the divorce. If she hates earning and loves spending, you better decide if you can live with that.

Far too many divorced men whine about alimony payments. Divorce and alimony are foreseeable and manageable. They got themselves into that situation. Please don’t follow in their footsteps. Some men claim that ‘men don’t care what a woman makes.’ That could be part of the problem. Why would anyone enter into a lifetime financial partnership with another and not care about their finances? We will discuss this more as it is LIFE CHANGING.

5. Kindness

I like kindness in people, and especially in women, I spend time with. Some people see kindness as a weakness, but I see it as a strength. How about you?

I have no interest in hard women, although, for many, it is a thin veneer they’ve developed out of necessity. On the other hand, some people are just despicable.

6. Generosity

Generosity is about giving. You will find givers and takers in this world. Some people take as much as they can get. Others don’t even know how to receive.

Decide if this matters to you, and be mindful of the qualities in others. Perhaps it is in words or actions and always in how they interact with other living creatures.

7. Affection

Affection is a big one for me. Among relationship values, affection really matters. I would not be in a romantic relationship with a woman who did not come with high levels of affection and intimacy. For me, that is the main point. Companionship is second, but I also enjoy lots of time alone, so it trails the warmth of physical touch for me. I’m not looking for a coach, a financial partner, or a sympathetic ear. I enjoy simple times with a warm and amiable woman. How about you?

Of course, I’m older, and the kids are grown. I’m not worried about money, and my life has found itself. But you are on the other end of the journey and may decide a partner and family would be nice.

8. People

These are your family, friends, and social connections. Are you family-minded? Is she? Do you like and enjoy each other’s families? Are you compatible in your views about friends and family? Compatible doesn’t necessarily mean the same, but it’s important to know they are not problematic.

Does she have a bunch of followers on TikTok waiting for bikini pics? That would be a problem for me. Social media is a topic we will talk plenty about.

Why Are Relationship Values Important in Dating?

Values are important in dating because it is looking at the depths of a person. Depths in a sense that you get to know the attributes of the person you are dating beyond being cute and funny. Of course, being cute and funny are a PLUS in dating. However, you are dating because you are thinking of a potential long-term relationship. In a relationship, as you date for a couple of weeks or months, different circumstances will let you get to know a person’s true character and even your own.

Let me share a story. I bet this is familiar to you.

You are at a friend’s party, and you suddenly can’t stop staring at a beautiful woman while getting drinks and laughing with friends. You didn’t know why you were attracted. Maybe it was her smile, her hair, or her face.

When you got the chance, you finally talked to her. You find her polite and pleasant at talking. You got into an exciting exchange of basic information, hobbies, and interest. Then, you finally agreed to exclusively date.

Relationship Values Matter a Lot

After 2-6 months into a monogamous relationship, you like and trust each other. You spend a lot of time together. You are practicing a more mature couple style of relationship. And, of course, you have a lot of sleepovers with your newfound friend.

Then, you are making decisions about money and who has it and who pays, and you start having real money talks.

You are making decisions about what to do when you want different things. Both of you try to compromise and listen to each other. You try to plan where to go for holidays and make decisions as a level 1 couple. The newness fades, and small but real decisions start to work their way into the day-to-day life. Sounds cool, right?

This is where the rubber meets the road. Who is this person, and what do they stand for?

She told you she was going to meet a friend, but when you texted her friend, they didn’t know what you were talking about. Then, she hides her phone or closes the lid on her laptop when you walk into the room. That’s weird!

What would you feel? What would you do? Are you ready for the possibilities?

Conclusion On Relationship Values During Dating

Awareness and understanding of personal values while dating will help you find people who share the same values as yours. Dating is an opportunity for young people to discover who they are and what they want from another close relationship. It encourages some honest and genuine exploration for young couples about what relationships could be for each of them. We want people who understand our values because they are the ones who will truly understand us as a person.

Perhaps I have over-explained this idea for some and under-explained it for others. The net really is to pay attention to the character and behavior of partners you date as you may marry one of them. When you become aware of the character of women, I think you will find a change in how you date and, most importantly, who you date. It will also make you much more aware of who you are and the values women will see in you.

Overall, early relationships are opportunities to:

  1. Learn about yourself, who you are, and what you stand for in a relationship.
  2. Learn how to objectively read who a woman is and what she stands for.
  3. Learn how to recognize and meet the needs of a partner, as well as understand that you have your own needs.
  4. Become mindful (Journal) of the important topics in your life that you want to develop, like personal values.

Now, I’d like to hear from you!

Which relationship values from today’s blog do you agree with when dating?

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