Developing our relationship vision and values has been our to-do list for months and months. We had some time together last weekend and instead of filling our time up with running errands and random things, we decided to take the time to focus on our vision and values. These are going to be particularly important in the next several months as we have decided to take our relationship to the next level–we are moving in together. i am going to retire early and transition to a new career (job search is actively on!), rent out my house, and move up to Seattle. Plans are for me to apply to graduate school for a professional program related to my current field, but i may forgo that if i find a fantastic dream job prior.
So it’s an exciting time and we have a ton to do. We have been working with an architect and builder to add rooms onto Maximus’ house for my grand piano, storage, and an office for me. And we are getting ready to meet with an attorney to work on establishing a domestic partnership, cohabitation agreement, power of attorney, wills, etc., as well as financial planning. We’ve both had relationships fail in the past and want to go into this with eyes wide open and all angles discussed and agreed upon so we don’t make the same mistakes and assumptions we’ve done in the past.
The first step though, was for us to make sure we have a shared vision of what this looks like and make sure our values are aligned. It’s important that we have something to go to if we start struggling with decisions during this process.
We started brainstorming words that embodied our vision of our relationship. We wrote them all down as they came out of our mouths and then discussed them after we finished the list. Some were combined, some eliminated. Then we wrote them into our vision statement:
A lifelong, harmonious, loving, committed relationship together.
Next we brainstormed values. Again we wrote them all down as they came out of our mouths, discussed, combined, eliminated. Once we had narrowed the list down to a dozen or so values, i wrote these on post-it notes and we prioritized them on the tabletop in order. It was really fascinating to do this and we had great discussions. We were even surprised about how we prioritized some things and learned a lot about each other in the process. Here’s what we came up with:
- Our Relationship
- Financial Stability
- Career Professionalism
- Lifelong Learning
- Fun, Adventure, and Spontaneity
These are our values now, and the order of them now. These can change and that’s perfectly alright. We will revisit them as necessary, adjust as our relationship grows. But what it gives us is a framework and it opened up important conversation that we need to have to guide us while we undergo this big change together.