Core Values, and Why They’re Crucial to Relationship Success, Part 2


This comes from the move “The Family Stone,” which is where I first heard of a freak flag. In this scene, Luke Wilson’s character is encouraging uptight Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) to fly her freak flag instead of pretending to hide her quirks.

Happy Monday, all. Hope you had a good weekend. I did (I was living my values, particularly my adventure value, by traveling out of town to somewhere totally new). But don’t worry. I still thought about all of you. I thought about the stuff I wrote last week about values and what they are and how to identify and live them.

But something seemed incomplete. I felt like I talked about values without talking enough about why they’re so important, especially to our love lives. A lot of us get that living our values is a good thing — it makes for a happier, more fulfilling life and a more satisfying career. Once you know and live your values, life gets better.

But what about dating and relationships? How do knowing and living our values help us there? We touched upon that last week, but only in passing, as if it’s already obvious. It’s not obvious. To me, the impact of knowing and living our values on our careers and personal lives is much clearer than their impact our love lives. Here’s how knowing your values can not only help your love life, but can make or break it: read more…

Living Your Core Values


Values, values, values. Such an important topic that I’m taking three articles to talk about it. And that’s only scratching the surface.

First, I talked about what core values are, why they’re important in life, and why they’re important in dating and relationships. Next, I outlined a few processes for pinpointing your core values — yes, there are many ways and I’ve found it helpful to use a few different ones. Today, I want to talk about living the values.

Identifying your values is a big step. A step that’s fundamental to having a meaningful life, attracting the right partners, and, if partnered, having a meaningful relationship. We can agree that knowing and living our values is important, and we can acknowledge that doing so will benefit our relationships. So once you discover your core values, it’s all good, right?

If only life were that simple. But it’s not. Nothing is.

The road to living our values can take a few unexpected turns. That’s okay, though… once you have at least some idea of your values, you can always return to them and use them as your guide. But here are some of the challenges you can face:

read more…

How to Identify Your Core Values


A few value examples from

So, last time we talked about values: what they are, why they matter, and why they’re important in dating and relationships. Today, we’ll talk about how to actually identify your core values.

I’ve explored my values a few times in life, particularly when I was struggling. Often, when we struggle, especially when something doesn’t “feel right” but we can’t quite pin it down, we’re probably not living according to our values. One of these periods happened to me earlier this year. I was unhappy, I was irritable, I was struggling financially, I’d experienced several business failures, our house was dusty and torn-up from remodeling our basement, and it was wintertime. I felt stuck, depressed, and like a failure. And I admit I’ve felt that way more times than I can count, and when I look back I see I wasn’t living my values.

So, I decided to do some work on getting my personal shit together. It wasn’t enough to try yoga again or take a fun trip or watch Pride and Prejudice for the gazillionth time. I needed to go deeper and makeover my life, and start living according to my values. However, to do that, I needed to clarify what they are.

read more…

Core Values, and Why They’re Crucial to Relationship Success

Greetings and Happy Monday, peeps. In continuing on with our Get Your Personal Shit Together September, today I’m going to talk about values. What they are, why they matter, and how they’re important to having awesome dating and relationships.

What are values? One dictionary definition is that they’re “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” Pretty basic, but these simple definitions are important. Our principles and the things that are important to us define us. They define how we choose to live, and with whom we choose to share our lives. And our “core” values are the ones that define us most, that represent the core of who we are. We all have them. When we live by them, our lives have purpose and meaning. When we don’t, life gets shitty.

So, know your core values and live by them. Simple, right? Yeah… not always.

Many of us are unaware of our deepest values. Others confuse values with preferences or hobbies or goals and wind up seeking happiness in the wrong things. Or, we focus too much on certain values to the detriment of others. Or, we’re well aware of our values but we ignore them because some internal conflict tells us other things are more important.

read more…

Dating, Relationships, and Self-Entitlement


Well hello, Friday! And hello to all of you.

We’re only a few articles into the September blog extravaganza, and we’ve already covered some pretty heady topics. Monday talked about why dating and relationship success is an inside job. Wednesday got into taking full responsibility for your love life and happiness. Today, we’ll talk about entitlement.

I know. Pretty heavy stuff… even negative in some ways. But I’m a firm believer in a solid foundation. We start with the hard stuff, our attitudes and belief systems, because those provide the foundation for the more practical advice.

So. Entitlement. Just the word brings a sneer to the lips. No one likes a self-entitled person. No one likes someone who’s narcissistic and believes they deserve special or better than the rest of us. Yet, the world is full of them and the U.S. is particularly full of them. We live in a culture that promotes self-entitlement in some ways. This is why so many other countries have “ugly American” jokes, referring to how some Americans act when they travel abroad.

read more…

What it Means to “Take Responsibility” for Your Love Life


Since we’ve made September “Work on Your Personal Shit” Month, I can’t go too far without bringing up a topic fundamental to fostering your own success:

Taking responsibility for your life.

Over 10 years ago, I read Jack Canfield’s Success Principles. (BTW, I’m a big fan of this book. Following Success Principles got me to submit my first book, Dating the Divorced Man, for publication. Eleven years later, as of this date, I have 11 books published and a 12th in the pipe. That shit works). Anyway, Canfield’s book has 67 success principles in it. You know what #1 is? Taking 100% responsibility for your life.

Before you do much of anything, before you can supercharge your dating life or repair that troubled marriage or achieve what you want in life, you have to do this. You have to take full responsibility for your life. If you don’t, you will only achieve partial success, if any.

But what does it mean to “take responsibility” for your life?

read more…

Christie Hartman, PhD


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