If your romantic relationship were a Sweetgreen salad, perhaps you and your boo's shared values would be your grain and/or leafy-green base. It's not everything, and it's not always the fun part. But it's your basic foundation, and more importantly, it sets the groundwork for everything else. And although everyone is different, if your relationship includes these values, you and your boo are probably on the same page about what you want from your relationship and your lives in the future.
"While we don’t need grand gestures daily, showing our love and respect, and caring for our partners on a daily basis goes a long way to strengthen the bond between us," Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and Host of 'The Kurre and Klapow Show,' tells Elite Daily.
Knowing that you both value something like listening or having friend-time can help you and your boo get into daily patterns like asking about each other's day or scheduling a running girls night. Unlike a massive birthday party or a public declaration of love (which, BTW, can be fun and sexy too!), relationship values are the daily behind-the-scenes shots of your relationship.
Here are six values that can be super important in your romantic relationships.
You and your partner don't need to agree on everything. Still, being able to honor and respect the things your boo cares about can be a super valuable aspect of your relationship. Whether you don't really get the fuss around their favorite band, but you understand that they really like it, or you make time to help them set up their LinkedIn profile when they quit their job, respect often means you take their ideas and needs seriously. You want to validate what they're thinking and feeling. And when you're dating someone for the long haul, having mutual respect for each other can be a super valuable.
No matter how long you've been seeing someone — making space for change can be incredibly valuable to your relationship. "In every relationship each person will change over time and the relationship will change over time," Dr. Klapow says. "Dedication to the relationship is important but support and willingness to see your partner grow, change and mature is critical." Of course, embracing change doesn't mean quieting your own feelings or always going along with what your partner wants. Being willing to let growth happen can mean having frequent non-judgmental conversations about where you both are at and offering support and inspiration when changes come.
If your partner makes a joke that rubs you the wrong way or if they forgot to call the restaurant for dinner — assuming their mistake was an honest mistake before getting defensive can be an important relationship value. When you assume good intentions, you frame conversations around your needs and feelings in a more positive and productive way. You and your partner care about each other, and hopefully are never intentionally trying to hurt each other's feelings. Rather than saying, "You were late because you didn't really want to celebrate my birthday!" stating something like, "It hurt my feelings when we missed our reservation," can open up a dialogue without blaming each other or assuming each other's intentions.
When you and your boo are totally in love, it can be easy to feel like you already know everything about them. And even if you can name all their favorite Sweetgreen toppings or get them the sweetest birthday gifts every year — remembering everyday to listen to your partner when you speak is a super important relationship value. If you're having a hard conversation about money or jobs or if they're confiding in you about a family issue, taking the time to really listen and focus on what your boo is saying is a really important thing. Hearing and really listening to what your partner says show them that their thoughts and feelings matter to you.
Romantic love is a powerful and beautiful thing. Your parter can be your cheerleader, your bestie, your travel companion, and everything else in the world, but it still can be important to have friends and family in both of your lives. Valuing exterior support in a relationship means making time for girls nights and dinners with mom, even when you're totally in love. If you and your boo are having a fight or if you need their sister's help to plan an amazing surprise party, knowing you have other people to rely on, and valuing those other people, can be super healthy for a long-term relationship.
Of course, your relationship values can be a reflection of you and your partner's needs and feelings. A relationship value can be anything that matters to you, from friends to listening to making time for intimacy. Whatever you're feeling, it's important to talk to your boo about your relationship needs. Because at the end of the day, if you truly value each other, everything else can fall into place.