So this is the single most important piece of dating advice. Seriously, write this down! Get to know the conscience!! Yes, I am yelling it…I cannot stress this enough. The conscience is one of the single most important things to get to know about someone you’re dating and one of the most influential traits in a committed relationship.

the most important piece of relationship advice

In retrospect we’ve all been able to identify someone who has a poor conscience, because they leave you feeling frustrated, ignored, forgotten, unappreciated, and sometimes just crazy. But detecting that person in the moment can be really difficult.  There is no shortage of people with poor consciences; you just don’t want to find yourself dating one (or worse, married to one).

The conscience is one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of a romantic partner. It is one of the most defining aspects of a person and will greatly impact the health of your relationship, not to mention your sanity!

What is the conscience?

The conscience is defined as having two functions: to monitor your attitudes and actions, and to transport you into another’s perspective, prompting understanding and compassion. A healthy self-monitoring function makes sure a person is acting in a way that is consistent with their internal moral code. Do they walk the walk? A strong transporting function produces a thoughtful and “conscientious” partner who takes into account the perspective of others, and most importantly yours?

How do you figure out if someone has a good conscience?

The conscience can be super tricky because it is not just the big but the small instances that really reveal the health of a conscience. But it is easy to let a partner’s conscience off the hook, telling yourself that you are just making big deals out of little deals. It is true that you do not want to be overly judgmental or critical. But do take inventory. Reflect on your experiences with this person: Are there examples of small breaches in your partner’s conscience? Most likely, yes—but the distinguishing feature of a healthy vs unhealthy conscience is found in the pattern of monitoring and transporting functions of the conscience. Sure maybe they forgot to call once and that’s forgivable… but did they also forget your birthday, showed up late to an important dinner party you were throwing, gave you your Valentine’s day present to you in the store’s plastic bag (yes that happened to me), took for granted that you watched their dog and picked them up from the airport while they were out of town (also this)? You get the picture; minor instances add up to reveal major themes of the conscience (which is also true in accumulation of positives). So get out your magnifying glass and take a closer look at your partner’s conscience.

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Figuring out the conscience is tough, but we’ve got something to get you started. Click below to get access to a conscience check-up!

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