How to Know What’s Really Important to You


Sign reading core values

Knowing your values makes online dating so much easier and more successful says midlife expert and writer Rebecca Perkins.


Values are the qualities that define us. They are the things that matter the most to us. Without them we wouldn’t be who we are. They help us make choices about life, what we commit to, what we believe in. They are at the very core of who we are.

If they are violated or disregarded we become resentful and it feels as if something’s not right in our life, we’ll have a nagging feeling that something’s missing. If we honour our values then we get a sense of wellbeing and that all’s well with the world.


Our values are what’s really important to us. They guide our decisions. They are at the very core of who we are.

It’s enormously valuable therefore to know what our values are. We unconsciously know them but usually find it hard to identify them.

Have a look at the questions below and start a list. Don’t worry about getting it right – there is no right or wrong. Sometimes our values might not be a single word they might be a phrase or sentence. Find what works best for you. These questions can be asked for every area of your life but for the time being let’s focus on relationships. Knowing our values within the context of a relationship is key. This will become clearer as you work through each of the steps to creating your irresistible profile.

  • What is important to me?
  • What do I care about?
  • What do I want in my life?

Or put another way…

  • What’s important in a relationship?
  • What do I look for in a relationship?
  • What do I want from a relationship?

Select a time from you life when you felt particularly fulfilled, it’s a great way to uncover your values. There may have been challenges but you were on a roll. A time when everything was going right, when life was exhilarating and flowing. It might have been a period of time, a few hours or simply a moment. What was important about that experience? What values were being honoured?

Another way of identifying our values is to see what happens when they are being violated. Take a look at these questions. What do you react negatively to? What drives you crazy, gets you angry or frustrated? What kinds of situations cause you to feel ill at ease? When are you not being true to yourself?

And finally what haven’t you thought of? What is so much a part of who you are that you haven’t even thought to put it on this list? For example if you’re an artist you might not have considered creativity as a value. If you’re a teacher you might have missed off learning as one of your core values and a business owner might have forgotten financial success. These values are often so much a part of who we are that they become invisible.

Having this new awareness, what’s different for you? How will you approach dating now? We so often become aware of our values when they are being violated. Imagine how much unhappiness, discomfort and bad relationship experiences can now be avoided because you now know your values and what’s important to you.


Following a divorce, Rebecca found herself single and 45 years old in 2008. She hadn’t dated since she was 24 and found that much had changed. In need of male company, she decided to venture into the brave new world of online dating.

Rebecca is co-founder of Irresistible Dating which she set up with award winning dating photographer Saskia Nelson. Their expertise lies in guiding clients into the right mindset for dating success as well as helping them create a dating profile that stands out.

She is a success coach working with women to navigate the transition of midlife. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, BBC London and writes  regularly for The Huffington Post.

Rebecca lives in Hertfordshire and enjoys being surrounded by her children, spending time with her guy (who she met online) and celebrating life after 50. You can find Rebecca getting social on Twitter and Facebook

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