Valentines personality test. At this time of year, organisations  promote products geared towards celebrating Valentines day. Romantic weekends, candlelight dinners, gifts for him and her, the list is endless and yet…!

Will a weekend away create romance in a person’s life? All the candlelit dinners in the world won’t make a relationship work if all that is holding it together is romance. Relationships, or to be more exact, successful relationships are unlikely to exist because of romance, it takes a lot more than this to cement a relationship.

Valentine's day challengesCommunicating well with someone is a good test of a relationship. In fact it is not possible to have good communication without a relationship and the reverse is also true. Many couples may spend a weekend away or looking at each other over a candlelit dinner and not be able to find anything to talk about. Often relationships totally fall apart after some so called romantic dinner/weekends. Perhaps this is because the couple have to spend time together in the absence of family, children, or friends and come to realise that when all the people they are usually surrounded by are missing there actually is nothing left that they share or indeed can talk about.

For a relationship to work goals and values have to be synchronised and how many people can claim this to be true of their relationship? Liking the looks of a person may bring partnerships together however looks alone will not build a relationship. Some people with very different personalities can actually discover that even though they may go about things in opposite ways, they actually do have shared values and goals. Life goals are important if a relationship is to work yet how many people even discuss such a subject when they are creating a romance with another person.

Certain personalities are attractive to people and it is also true that looks play a major part. Looks fade and personalities may turn out to be less than good news after the original attraction starts to fade. Marriage guidance counsellors are used to dealing with people who are facing potential or actual break down in their relationships. A common question asked in counselling would be;

“What attracted you to XYZ in the first place?”

A response might be;

“Oh he was such good fun, we got on like a house on fire.”
“So what changed?
“Well he never takes anything seriously, it is impossible to tie him down to a straight answer about anything!”

This could be described as a classic case of opposites attracting. He was fun when they were romancing but when the serious business of life had to be worked into the equation they discovered that they were totally not suited to each other. The real reason was that when they were having such good fun in the romantic days of candlelight dinners they never discussed anything as boring as goals nor did they explore each other’s values.

Personality clashes are generally at the root of all relationship breakdowns. In the above scenario a light hearted personality and a more serious one met and gelled because their differences were what attracted them and different personalities can have wonderful long term relationships. The challenge for this relationship was not personality type because that is only one factor, albeit a major one, but in this case not the crucial one; that has to be values and or goals.

Attracting each other and sharing fun times is great, however everyone of us knows that life is never going to be, all about fun. If one’s values meant they needed to surround themselves with lively people most of the time and their partner’s values depended on having quiet time to contemplate issues, then it can be seen that a clash is imminent between these two and one that could have been avoided if the crucial questions had been explored at outset.

It’s is lovely to spend a romantic night or weekend with someone who attracts you but before making any serious life commitment the key question of goals and values must be addressed. OK this may not happen over the actual Valentine’s celebration, however if you are already in a relationship and are having difficulties do not expect the romantic weekend to sort anything. If you are not yet in a long term relationship do not let the romantic occasion blind you to the real stuff of relationships, which is exploring the key issues of shared goals and values. Valentine’s day is just that, a day.

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