Thus my career path has been anything but straight-forward, which could drive any sane person crazy.

As I wrote in “If your core values can’t dance together, then you’ll keep tripping, falling and wondering why you can’t move together in rhythm.” For example, you could have a high value for responsibility and the person you’re dating could have a high value for risk.

Both values are good, but if not articulated and discussed it could be a point of high conflict if the responsible person likes consistency and persistence, while the risk-taker likes changing things up and going for the impossible.

However, for many of us our fallback communication plan will be the one our parents laid out for us.

Holidays, especially, are giving you a glimpse into how your partner has been taught and trained. Sit up, take notes, because believe me you’ll want to feel prepared for the test that comes later. Love can be the worst form of manipulation there is.

And if you don’t know your values, how can you expect your partner to have a clue?

Not all values are the same and sometimes you can have two very good people with very good values, but those values can feel at war with each other.

Take me for example, one of my core values is authenticity.

I struggle being in a job, friendship, situations, etc.

And the test will come like a train on a dark and stormy night! I first asked this question in , and I think it boils down to this: Is their love based on YOU or is their love based on THEM? Your partner can look and smell like a rose, and yet continue to prick you with their sharpened barbs.

Does your partner seek out ways to understand how you receive love and meet that need? If you or the person you’re dating loves out of their insecurities, their love will be needy and selfish. Are they willing to honestly talk about money at all or is the topic taboo?

Too many marriages start (and end) with vague and un-identified core values. Or are you constantly trying to hide who you are because they want you to be someone you’re not?