Originally Posted by quila
What I'm getting at is there are a lot of "values" I have that I used to think were deal-breakers, and it turns out that if the rest of the relationship is worth it, I can learn to deal with a lot of things.
I guess I don't consider things like whether a person smokes or not to be a value. I don't usually operate in terms of dealbreakers, but I can certainly say that there are values people hold that I'm very drawn to or find pretty unattractive. I have noticed that when a person shares certain values with me, we are much more likely to have a good connection. I've also notice that when there are certain values we don't share, that's going to be a source of ongoing conflict.
*I connect easier with people who are more politically liberal.
*I have little to no tolerance for misogyny and probably couldn't have a relationship with someone who was actively misogynist.
*I have little to no tolerance for racism and if a person was actively racist, that would be a huge source of conflict between us.
*I don't find people who are homophobic to be very appealing and doubt I could have a good relationship with a homophobe unless they were committed to working on that. Especially since I identify as queer.
*I'm not a fan of conspicuous consumption. If someone chose to spend their money on an overly expensive car or SUV, it would certainly be something I'd have to get past in the relationship we have.
*I am drawn to people who have an awareness of oppression issues and melt at anyone who really works to develop their anti-oppression analysis. (That doesn't mean that it's a requirement, it's just a fundamental value I hold dear and would facilitate a great connection)
*I am drawn to people who have an awareness of larger global issues or work to be aware of such things.
*I would have a hard time being in a relationship with someone who lived their lives by a literal interpretation of the Bible. That would certainly be a source of much conflict.
*I would have hard time being in a relationship with someone who was sex-negative or held different moral or ethical views on sexuality than I do.
I've said many times on this board- I never say never when it comes to who I might be in a relationship with, but I can certainly say that sharing certain fundamental values like I listed are definitely going to facilitate the connection we have in a relationship. Not meeting on those values would mean that I have to weigh the connection against the conflict that would be created by those differences.
Originally Posted by quila
I can click with lots of different people for lots of different reasons, and I can easily imagine meeting a girl who is my husband's polar opposite and having it work beautifully... I like to let relationships grow on their own, rather than trying to steer them in a specific direction. Usually my brain just makes things too complicated, but my heart is pretty good at knowing what to do.
I've certainly clicked with lots of people in ways that I wouldn't have predicted or that surprised me. But often, that clicking ends up being facilitated by at least a couple of shared fundamental values. They may not always be the same values between different people, so those clicks can happen for lots of reasons. I also think there are lots of ways people are opposite to me, yet share my values. For one example, I'm an extrovert. I connect with plenty of introverts who are practically my opposite, yet share many values with me.
Having that awareness of what values are shared or conflict and weighing those things in how you choose to move forward in a relationship isn't the same as trying to steer a relationship in a specific direction. In fact, I'd probably say that awareness of such values will help to clarify exactly where the relationship wants to or should be going for a connection to remain healthy and loving.