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5 Shared Values Your Relationship Needs to Flourish

March 1st, 2018 by Nick Notas 8 Comments

Supportive couple

People have a strong reaction when I tell them I’m a dating coach.

Many guys get standoffish or defensive. They’re personally challenged by the idea that I critique men on their confidence and ability with women. Some poke fun at the men who need that advice to deflect the attention off of themselves.

It’s funny that a lot of those same guys eventually gain the courage to ask for my insight. Usually, that’s after they realize I’m down-to-earth and non-judgmental…or after a few drinks.

Some women think I must teach weird creeps to manipulate people. Or that I’m a “player” douchebag. Or that I must have questionable morals to do what I do.

But most women are actually curious and fascinated by the idea. They love discussing relationships and want to hear more about my perspective.

So while the majority of women are supportive of my career, it’s completely different once a woman is actually dating me. It challenges their security within the relationship.

I get it – my work isn’t easy for many women to handle. I teach men how to attract beautiful women, help write messages to those women, and most controversial of all, I act as a “wingman” to my in-person clients.

Early on, I realized that if I decided to get into a long-term relationship, I needed someone who was not only comfortable with my work, but truly believed in it as much as I did. My wife trusts me and is a huge supporter of what I teach. She encourages me every day, and that’s the only way our relationship could work.

Having someone who values my career is essential. Similarly, here are 5 core values you and your partner need to agree on for a relationship to thrive.

Long distance is only temporary

Long distance not for long

I’ve never been a fan of long-distance relationships for myself. But I know many couples who’ve started that way and ended with lasting, happy connections.

The ones who succeeded had two things in common…

First, they made frequent efforts to see each other in-person (at least monthly). Second, they made plans for one of them to move closer to the other, sooner than later. The second part is crucial.

Every long distance relationship has a time limit — some studies put that around 5-14 months. We’re human and need face-to-face interactions to connect with the people closest to us, especially our intimate partners. We need to feel loved and desired, and occasional meetups can only satisfy that for so long.

If you’ve been dating someone for months and think there’s serious potential, you need to discuss your future options together. At least one of you has to be willing to uproot their lives and move.

This takes planning and compromise. You have to consider family, friends, education, and the ability to find new employment in a given location.

If your partner can’t/won’t leave (let’s say for good reason) and you won’t either, then it’s not going to work. You shouldn’t mislead someone that you’ll be able to move eventually if you know deep down, you won’t.

Either commit to making things work or move on so you can both find more suitable relationships.

The role of religion in your lives

There may be nothing that has a stronger hold on us than our beliefs. For some people, their religious beliefs (or lack thereof) are an integral part of who they are. It influences how they live.

It can weigh on you when your partner believes in something different. You both may ignore it for a while, but there needs to be some resolution for there to be a future together.

The conversation starts by each of you communicating why your current beliefs are important to you. You need to understand one another’s perspectives and values to help you empathize. Otherwise, it’s easy to take things personally and feel like your beliefs are being threatened.

With that understanding, you can then talk about your needs and expectations. That will enable you to find compromise and meet each other halfway…if that’s possible.

Can you accept the other person not adopting your beliefs as long as they accept yours? Can you promise not to secretly resent your partner? Could you live happily with someone if they say they could never become a believer? Would you occasionally join your partner at church to support them? Would you attend a religious service to see what it’s like if you’ve never tried it?

These are the questions you need to answer together. Because the relationship can only work with one of two outcomes:

Either you accept each other’s differences and love each other despite them. Or one person shift theirs beliefs enough (because they authentically want to) to satisfy the other.

The importance of family approval

Meet the suspicious dad

Family is everything to a lot of people, myself included. We cherish their love and value their opinions.

Sometimes, though, family doesn’t approve of the people you date. That complicates things because you want to satisfy and appease your family, but also follow your heart.

If they’ve got good reason (like you’re in a controlling or abusive relationship), I understand they’re looking out for you. But other times, family may not approve of someone due to race, intellect, career, or even gender. And as much as I love family, I don’t think it’s right for them to dictate your happiness.

I’ve seen a lot of relationships fail when one person can’t look past their family’s disapproval. Sometimes they think they can, but when the reality sets in that their parents might not financially support them, want to ever see them together, or even threaten to disown them — they give in.

If you or the person you’re with is in this situation, you have to make a choice. You both need to sit down and discuss the real consequences that may occur if you stay together. You then both have to accept that fate if it happens or acknowledge you can’t handle that reality.

If you decide to see this relationship through, then the person struggling with their family has to clearly communicate that decision to them. You can’t put it off or tell your partner that you will do it some time down the line. You need to tell your loved ones you’ve committed to the relationship and you hope they can come to accept that.

Family should want their children to be happy and live their own lives.

The expectations for your sex life

Intimacy is a core human need. Unless you’re asexual, you will need to get that need met in a romantic connection.

Everyone has a different level of desire and threshold for how long they can hold out. On average, research shows that people who want sex in a relationship, need it at least once a week.

Some people, though, wait on those needs for long periods of time based on religious and cultural values. And other people unfortunately struggle to be more intimate due to trauma or sexual shame.

Sex drive incompatibility can be a controversial subject to talk about, especially early in a relationship. But it’s important to uncover the obstacles that may keep your partner from intimacy – like religion, shame, or decreased interest over time.

Ask them why they feel this way. Share how important intimacy is to you. Find out how you can make them feel comfortable and desired.

When it comes to religious beliefs or cultural traditions, I’ve found that this isn’t something most people will readily abandon. And coercing someone into betraying their values never ends well.

If your partner is dealing with general shame, trauma, or anxiety — open communication, reassurance, patience, and time can help build your sexual bond.

Moreover, if you’re already in a long-term relationship and the sex isn’t as frequent as you’d like, try to understand why your partner isn’t feeling as intimate.

Maybe they’re overly stressed out. Maybe they haven’t realized how important it is to you. Maybe they have other sexual needs or kinks that feels fulfilling.

Maybe you stopped trying as hard both in the relationship and in bed. You stopped creating some variety or giving the proper time for foreplay.

And sometimes, it’s realizing the attraction has died and the relationship has run its course.

But communication is only one part of the solution in an existing relationship. You also need to act. Get in touch with the qualities they found attractive in the first place. Surprise them throughout the day with flirtatious banter. Be more spontaneous and work towards creating better, more fun sexual experiences.

For most people, finding sexual harmony in a relationship is a must. You might be able to convince yourself to wait months or years for a partner to be ready. But you’ll be miserable throughout and stray or break up when you inevitably can’t take it anymore.

Mutual respect is non-negotiable

Got each other's back

Without respect in a relationship, you have nothing. I cannot stress that enough. This is the core value your relationship needs to have.

That means you cherish, love, and believe in your partner. You want to support their independence and their pursuit of happiness. And they should want the same for you.

That idea goes so deep.

It means being honest with your significant other even when it’s hard because you know they deserve the truth. It’s accepting them for their faults. It’s working towards solutions when you disagree rather than trying to prove the other person wrong. It’s showing up for them when they really need it.

Someone who tries to control you does not respect you. Someone who repeatedly lies to you does not respect you. Someone who never values your time and is always aloof does not respect you.

Having an emotionally or physically abusive partner is not okay…ever. They do not respect you.

If you don’t have respect, I don’t care if you have fun together. It won’t matter if you like all the same things. It’s pointless if you find them irresistible.

Because without respect comes disrespect. Then comes resentment and contempt. They will sabotage your personal growth. There will always be turmoil and turbulence. There will always be a tremendous amount of pain.

You’ll never be treated the way you want or feel you deserve. And therefore you can’t have a healthy, happy connection.

It’s not your job to fix them and nor is it endearing. Strong relationships only last when both people want have absolute respect for one another.

So choose people who you respect and who show you respect from the start. Communicate your boundaries and express them when they’re challenged.

Most of all, don’t stay with people who routinely disrespect you after you keep voicing your concerns.

If you don’t stand up for yourself, who will?

  1. Ryan on March 1, 2018

    I dated a girl who struggled with sex due to her religious beliefs. She always felt bad after sex and I tried my best to make her feel better. Then she wanted to hold off until marriage. Thought I could make it work but after a few months I realized it wasn’t possible.

    • Nick Notas on March 1, 2018

      That’s a situation where until she comes to terms with sex being healthy, not much can change. You can share your views and comfort her, but she has to accept sex is natural and fulfilling to her.

  2. Eva on March 1, 2018

    When I was younger I never thought about the way I was treated. I always assumed those fights and drama were a normal part of a relationship. I also thought things would change. Now if a guy doesn’t have a good heart, I won’t even bother.

    • Nick Notas on March 1, 2018

      Experience is often our best teacher. It’s especially tough to know different if you weren’t always around healthy relationships to model. Being a genuinely nice person is at the top of my list as well.

  3. Steve on March 1, 2018

    Nick, Really looking forward to more relationship advice.
    Come to think of it, if both parties aren’t on the same page and communication isn’t there. The relationship is destined to fail.

    However, how do you keep a long term relationship fresh? I feel that stems others to cheat.

    • Nick Notas on March 1, 2018

      Definitely, good communication sets the necessary foundation for trust and respect.

      That’s a big question but to start…

      People usually stray in relationships when they feel their needs aren’t being met — emotional, sexual, or otherwise. So the high level idea is to be a partner who contributes that side of things to the relationship.

      Are you listening well and present with your loved one? Do you show up when they really need it? Do you give them both support yet space to live their own life?

      Are you positioning yourself as her lover? Do you flirt regularly, work to keep things interesting in the bedroom, and figure out how to have amazing sexual experiences together? Are you a provider and leader in addition to this?

      There’s so much to say here but basically, it’s just about being the best partner you can be. Check out some of my other relationship articles on my Dating 101 page.

      At the end of the day though, you can’t stop someone from cheating if that’s their character or what they want to do.

  4. Tim on March 1, 2018

    Spot on article, Nick! I’ve been in all these situations and each of them is crucial to a healthy relationship. I really enjoy your articles. Great work!

    • Nick Notas on March 1, 2018

      Thanks Tim, really appreciate it. Glad to have you as a reader.