My boyfriend and I go to monthly discussion groups dealing with healthy relationships. We started attending when we first started dating and we continue to go as we agree it helps strengthen our communication and our relationship.
One topic that stood out to me was morals and ethics. We discussed how being aware of your own morals can help you in distinguishing the morals of your friends/partner(s) and can help you to figure out if you ‘click’ with them. I’ve thought about morals and ethics in my work life but I hadn’t given much thought to morals and ethics in my personal relationships.
After the meeting, I decided I wanted to be more clear about my own morals, how I conduct myself and what I look for in a partner. I figured out that the following things are important to me.
1. Be honest.
2. Don’t gossip about others in person or online. Don’t air your dirty laundry.
3. No drugs. Even too much alcohol use is a huge turnoff to me.
5. Be open-minded and willing to discuss things. Be willing to see the gray, not just black and white.
6. Be kind to animals.
7. Be kind to people who are less fortunate than you. Help others.
8. Respect your elders.
9. Refrain from excessive cursing. If you can’t get your point across without using the F word every other word, I lose interest.
10. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
11. Have a strong work ethic. Be passionate about your work, no matter what type of work you do.
12. Be grateful for what you have. Jealousy and envy are another huge turn off.
13. Keep a positive attitude. Your thoughts influence your behavior. I do not want to be drawn into negativity.
This is just my personal list. Having this list lead to discussion with my boyfriend and fortunately, he was in agreement with me. It is important when you get into a relationship, to know your values and what values you are looking for in a partner.
We both came up with our own lists when we first started dating and we have been simpatico for the past two and a half years. I am happy to report that by finding someone who has the same values as I do, I found someone that I rarely have disagreements with. When we do disagree, we discuss it and are we able to come to a compromise in a healthy way.
Oftentimes, I hear of people with disabilities (and some people without disabilities) wanting so desperately to just find a partner that they settle for relationships with people who may not be a good fit, just for the sake of being in a relationship. They come to realize later that it just isn’t worth it. It is important to take some time and get to know yourself and your own morals and ethics so that you can find the right partner(s). Take the time now to come up with your own list. It may save a lot of heartache later.
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