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How to Get Close and Stay Close

by Greg Baker  
4/22/2010 / Marriage


Often what brings people together has absolutely nothing to do with what will keep them together in the long run. Getting close to someone is often the result of mutual attraction or the discovery of things that you have in common. If you both like tennis, that might be enough to draw you together.

Dating couples find things about each other that they like, and these mutual attractions or common interests pull them into a relationship. People who work together towards common goals will find themselves getting close to each other. Just ask any war veteran how they feel about their foxhole buddy.

But what often brings people together isn't what will keep them together in the long run. To keep people together, you have to graduate from common interests to common values.

It has been my experience that the mere fact that you are related to someone doesn't mean that you'll be close to them. You share the same roots, but unless you share similar values in life you won't feel close to them. You may love them, even spend time with them, you'll just not feel close over the long haul.

People often think that the strongest relationship bond is family. But that isn't so. Stronger than a blood bond is a values bond. People who share the same values and principles in life will always have a closer relationship than family who do not share those same values.

But add a values bond to a blood bond and you have a truly strong relationship. You have many ties that bind.

To have a long and lasting relationship, it will be imperative to discover and share similar values of life. For example, two people who share completely different values on God may get married and do fine until the children come along. Now each of them wants to impress their separate and contradicting values on their children. This results in tension, fights, and, more often than not, a divorce.

I have family members that I wouldn't trust to watch my children, simply because I fear what they would have showing on TV, or what my children may discover in the refrigerator, or the language that they would be forced to listen to. Just because we are related doesn't mean that I am close to them. I wish I was, but because our value systems are so diametrically opposed to each other, we aren't close.

Many people enter into a relationship just because they have shared interests. They never look to see if they share the same values or not. They base the entire relationship on the fun or excitement the relationship brings. All of that fun will melt and evaporate the first time you encounter values that can't be reconciled with each other.

During the second date with my future wife, I shared with her some of my values, intentions, and dreams of my future. I wanted her to know where I stood on certain values and morals. And over the years we've been together, it has been the values that have given us depth and kept us close. Our interests have changed, but our values remain rock solid. We share new interests now-all of which is fun and enjoyable-but the bedrock of our relationship remains our shared values.

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