The word “respect” could mean different things to different people. But we can all agree that without mutual respect, any relationship won’t last.
Just think about how hard it would be to be intimate and affectionate with someone who doesn’t respect you.
The thing is, it’s easy to say that you respect someone. But in a healthy relationship, what does respect really look and feel like?
Wondering if your relationship is built on mutual respect? This article is for you.
Check out if your partner does these 12 things to show you that they value you for who you are.
Let’s dive in!
1) They appreciate you
Do people around you tell you that your partner speaks kindly about you? If so, it says a lot about how your partner cherishes you.
At the end of the day, it feels wonderful to get a pat on the back for your efforts to strengthen the relationship.
If your partner goes out of their way to make you feel loved and appreciated, that’s a sign that they respect you. It shows when they….
- Notice the little things that make a big difference
- Let you know that they don’t take you for granted
- Compliment you
- Remind you how much you mean to them
2) They’re proud of you
Is your partner your biggest cheerleader? Do they always make you feel that they’re proud of you and proud to be with you?
When your partner makes you feel that your hard work, no matter how big or small, won’t ever go unnoticed, that’s a sign of respect.
It shows how much they care about your happiness and personal development.
A partner who respects you will always remind you of how capable you are and how far you’ve come, especially when you doubt yourself.
They’ll encourage you every single day, and they’ll stand by your side through all the ups and downs.
3) They actively listen
Think about this for a minute: When you’re in a conversation with your partner, do you feel that you’re heard and understood? Does your partner listen to reply or to understand?
A partner who listens carefully to you and pays attention to all the verbal and non-verbal cues is someone who truly respects you.
- Look you in the eye when you’re talking
- Not interrupt you when you’re speaking
- Not dismiss your perspective even when it’s different from theirs
- Not judge your thoughts and opinions
- Ask follow-up questions to make sure they understand you
4) They seek your opinion
Sure, your partner can ask for your opinion about the simplest of things like what clothes to wear, what food to eat, or what new workout routines to explore.
But consider this: Does your partner turn to you for advice and support when they’re going through something difficult or sensitive — whether it’s about a career move, a fight with a family or friend, or anything that’s bothering them?
Your partner may not like or take your advice, but when they consistently seek it out, it shows how much they value your opinion.
It’s another way of saying “you matter to me.”
5) They’re always honest with you
For a relationship to thrive, you must be each other’s “safe space” — that person who’ll always make the other feel free to express who they are.
The best days I have with my husband are those spent sitting side by side and opening up our hearts — sharing what we’re truly thinking and feeling.
Openness and vulnerability in conversations show a deep level of respect and trust.
If your partner is always honest with you about their thoughts, emotions, concerns, needs, fears, and innermost desires, it’s one of the biggest signs they respect you.
They don’t hide anything from you — even if the details make them feel insecure or uncomfortable.
6) They honor your boundaries
How will you know if your partner’s a keeper? When they accept and respect the boundaries you’ve set for yourself, even when they’re different from theirs.
- Will ask you when they’re unsure about how you feel about something
- Will take responsibility for their actions and emotions
- Won’t go through your phone or personal things without your permission
- Won’t pressure you to do anything you’re not 100% keen on
- Will never harm you in any way
7) They accept your influence
Renowned marriage researchers John and Julie Gottman say that being open to your partner’s influence is one of the best ways to promote respect and collaboration in the relationship.
So how do you know for sure that your partner is accepting your influence? It happens when they….
- Consider your feelings and desires instead of doing everything their own way
- Listen with curiosity even if they don’t agree with you
- Remain open to your ideas
- Acknowledge that your point of view is also valid
Simply put, people in a relationship reach a compromise if they accept each other’s influence. They both feel respected and understood.
8) They’re consistently reliable and trustworthy
Here’s the deal: Anyone who makes empty promises does not deserve your respect.
Actions always speak louder than words. How can you trust someone who doesn’t follow through on their commitments?
Does your partner have the habit of canceling plans last minute? Do they say something but never really do it?
If your partner really respects you, they will never leave you questioning their intentions. They’ll respect your time by keeping their promises.
And when they can’t, they apologize and remain honest about their reasons.
9) They fight fair
Every relationship has its share of conflicts and fights — the times when partners don’t like each other very much.
The question is: how do partners fight? Does one of you feel like you must agree on everything for your conflicts to end?
If your partner truly respects you, they will work with you to manage conflicts in ways that bring you closer together.
They will listen to you even when they’re upset with you. They will focus on the issue and be honest about their thoughts and opinions.
In other words, they will understand that you might not be able to see eye-to-eye, and that’s okay.
Most importantly, they will never play with your emotions, make things personal, insult you, or become violent.
10) They value your independence
In a healthy relationship, each partner is free to live their own life.
A partner who truly respects you knows that you need to spend some time alone or with other people so you can continue to grow as an individual.
This means that they don’t control you or impose restrictions about where you can go, what you can do, or who you can be with.
They trust you and your ability to handle yourself and make good choices.
11) They empower you
Nothing quite like the bliss of having a partner who encourages you to take risks and wants to see you succeed.
If your partner shows genuine support for you and what you want out of your life, that’s a big sign of respect.
They will be by your side every step of the way, celebrating your victories and comforting you during defeats.
They will always uplift you and make you feel that you can reach your dreams.
In a nutshell
Want to know for sure if your partner truly respects you? Find out if they do these 11 things:
- They appreciate you. They never take you for granted and they thank you for the little things that make a big difference.
- They’re proud of you. They’re your biggest cheerleader — reminding you of how capable you are and how far you’ve come.
- They actively listen. They make sure that you feel heard and understood.
- They seek your opinion. They turn to you for advice and support.
- They’re always honest with you. They’re very open and vulnerable, sharing their innermost thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires with you.
- They honor your boundaries. They won’t pressure you to do anything that you don’t want to do.
- They accept your influence. They consider your feelings and desires instead of doing everything their own way.They’re consistently reliable and trustworthy. They follow through on their promises and commitments.
- They fight fair. They’re okay with disagreeing, and they’ll work with you to manage conflicts in ways that bring you closer.
- They value your independence. They give you the freedom to live a life outside the relationship.
- They empower you. They show their genuine support for you and what you want out of your life.
Respect may come in different forms within a healthy relationship, and it shows in how you treat each other daily.
Creating and nurturing mutual respect in your relationship is a surefire way to make love last.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
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