The most important quality to look for in a partner is not similar interests or how much you want to get into their pants, according to couples psychologist Peter Pearson.
In an interview with Tech Insider, Dr Pearson said that the “holy grail” of relationships is finding a partner who shares the same core values as you.
The initial hormonal rush you feel when you see someone you’re attracted to may feel like the most important and stringent factor at the time, but Dr Pearson says that these chemical reactions are likely to fade with time in a way that your core values will not.
Having similar interests to your partner, though it can be helpful, is not as important as having similar core values because hobbies, interests and activities can be negotiated in a way that your fundamental principles cannot.
"You can negotiate your interests," Dr Pearson says, "but not your values."
If you prefer crime shows to romances and your partner does not, compromises and negotiations can be made to work around this. However, if your life ambition is to get rich while your partner couldn’t care less about money you may well encounter problems.
Dr Pearson, of the Couples Institute in California, told Tech Insider about a couple he had seen that got into a dispute over values.
"He was building this huge house that overlooked a big vista," he said, "and she did not want to waste money on this ostentatious, wasteful shlock. She had so much disdain for his life dream of this house.”
Core values are much more difficult to compromise on than anything else, and so Dr Pearson claims that the most important thing to look for in a potential partner is their holding the same values as you.
If your partner’s core values conflict with yours, Dr Pearson thinks you might need to face up to the idea that you aren’t meant to be.
"It ain't gonna work," he said. "Everything small will grow into huge proportions."
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