Me: “You’re dating a new guy for about a month, right? Tell me, what do you like about him?”
Female Client: “Well, we both like running, he lives downtown, his parent’s have a cottage up North, he has a Bachelor’s Degree from the same University and we both have dogs”
Me: “Okay, we’ll keep those interests in mind. So how do you feel about yourself when you are around him?”
Female Client: “I find that I’m definitely spending a lot more time worried about my weight and what I look like. He’s super fit and goes running like every morning. He’s also really flirtatious so it makes me feel kinda self-conscious.”
Me: “When do you feel good, smart and completely yourself around him?”
Female Client: “Um, I don’t think I ever feel that way”
I witness a lot of singles getting really caught up in all the interests they have in common with the person they are dating, almost completely missing the importance of shared values.
“We’re both from the same town and our parent’s know each other”
“We’re in the same industry so we get each other”
Honestly, I’ve seen people get married just because they’re both from the same town! And they hold onto the belief it should work based on that one fact.
In many cases, shared values or how you “feel about yourself” around the other person seem to be a very distant second when it comes to requirements in a partner.
Many people have the basic values in common such as family, friends, religion, etc. but what I’m speaking of are the deeper values. These can be discovered by asking yourself these questions:
Does the person I’m dating inspire me?
Would I want more of this person and their traits in my children? (this is a biggie)
Are there traits that he/she has that I wish I had in myself?
These are very powerful questions and when answered honestly, are far better predictors of long-term happiness than “we both like to play sports”.
By all means, continue to find out what sorts of shared interests you have in common with the person you’re dating but pay much closer attention to shared values and how you FEEL about yourself around them.
To your authenticity,