Whoever said that looks weren’t everything wasn’t wrong. But whoever said that it’s only personality that counts wasn’t exactly right, either. In fact, there are about 572 things you look for when you’re trying to find the perfect mate (even if it’s for just right now). But if you’ve downloaded every relationship app you can think of and are really ready to find the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life (or another mutually agreed-upon period of time) with, there’s one thing you need to look for above all others: A match in core values.
This information isn’t new, but it is important. According to a new article on Business Insider, finding a mate that believes in the same things you do (career development, social status) is much more important than finding someone with the same exact interests. It’s possible that opposites might attract when it comes to interest (indoor vs. outdoor pursuits of fun, for instance), but if someone’s core beliefs aren’t the same as yours (they never want to have kids and you do, family isn’t important, etc.), it’s unlikely that the relationship will be the love story of the century. (Unless, of course, the love story of the century includes two people who kind of tolerate each other but are both questioning why they’re still living together.)
“People don’t really negotiate their values,” says [Peter] Pearson, who’s the cofounder, along with his wife Ellyn Bader, of the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, California.
“You can negotiate your interests,” he says, “but not your values.”