Having high integrity sometimes gets a bad rep.
Some people think it makes you stuck-up or high maintenance. But that definitely isn’t true – especially when it comes to relationships.
Most of the time, people who are coined as “high maintenance” just have high standards and strong boundaries. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
In fact, according to experts, it’s healthy to have boundaries in a relationship.
I know for sure I could’ve done with setting higher standards for myself in some relationships in the past. But we live and we learn!
And at least my experiences can help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past.
Want to find yourself a relationship based on mutual respect? Here are 7 things people with high integrity will never tolerate in a relationship.
Absolutely, 100% not.
Cheating is defined differently depending on the relationship.
But however it is that you define it, as a person with high integrity, you’ll never tolerate cheating when it fits your criteria.
When someone cheats on you (and you’re not in an open or monogamous relationship), it’s a clear disrespect towards you.
It’s them saying they don’t respect your relationship enough to stay faithful – and also that they clearly don’t respect your boundaries or love you.
Regardless of whether it’s kissing someone, sleeping with them, or just messaging them on Instagram – if it’s cheating for you, you won’t tolerate it and the relationship will end there.
2) Flirting with people other than them
Some people are OK with their partner’s having a cheeky flirt with others.
I used to have a friend who would often chat with guys on nights out and even dance with them – even though she had a mortgage and a dog with her fiancé!
When you questioned her on it, she’d say, “It’s fine, he knows I’m a bit of a flirt when I go out!”.
Each to their own.
But when you’re a person with high integrity, you’ll never tolerate your partner flirting with someone they could be romantically involved with (i.e., someone of a gender that they’re attracted to).
Regardless of whether it’s via text message, a phone call, or face-to-face over a cheeky dance, it isn’t something you’ll find amusing!
3) Being embarrassed to be with them
There’s nothing worse than being in a relationship with someone who acts embarrassed to be with you sometimes.
I had an ex-boyfriend who did this to me once (emphasis on the word “once”).
We were at a train station together and a group of girls came and stood by us. When I started laughing about something, he became very embarrassed.
He even walked away and wouldn’t talk to me afterward. And no, he wasn’t joking! He was completely serious in his embarrassment to be with me.
For me? That’s not something you do when you love and care about someone.
With my now-boyfriend, we’re completely in our own world most of the time. We’ll laugh at things and would never feel embarrassed about being around the other person.
And if you have integrity, you’d want your partner to be the same – and you won’t tolerate anything less.
4) Overstepping boundaries over and over again
It’s important to have boundaries in a relationship. What do I mean by boundaries?
I mean things you don’t want your partner to do out of respect for you.
A boundary could be something like never going into the bathroom when your partner is using the toilet. Or something completely personal that triggers you.
Mine always used to be that if my big brothers were ganging up on me, my partner could never join in with them.
It was just something I could tolerate from my brothers (being my big brothers), but I’d find it hurtful if my partner joined in with the “abuse”.
Other boundaries could be not talking about your sex life with your friends. Or not showing anyone naughty pictures of your partner (surely that shouldn’t even need to be discussed!).
Respecting the other person’s boundaries – whatever they are – is important to create a healthy relationship.
And once you’ve talked about those things and come to an agreement, your partner shouldn’t overstep those boundaries.
But if they continue to do it, even if you’ve asked over and over again for them to stop, best believe they don’t respect you or your boundaries.
And that isn’t something a person with high integrity will tolerate from the person who’s supposed to love them.
This is one I wish I had learned not to tolerate years ago.
Stonewalling (the practice of intentionally ignoring your partner) is not something a person with high integrity will tolerate in a relationship.
Giving people the silent treatment intentionally is a form of emotional abuse. And it can become extremely damaging to your self-esteem over time, according to experts.
Even if you’re dating someone with an avoidant attachment style (who shuts down when they experience too many emotions), that doesn’t mean you should have to tolerate being ignored.
If your partner stonewalls you because of their own mental health issues, trauma, or attachment style, that still isn’t a valid excuse.
Sure, some people may need time to digest things, think about what to say, and/or cool off before responding.
But communication is key in these situations – and they should be able to tell you they need a bit of space to think before responding.
Which isn’t stonewalling, it’s communication about each other’s needs. And there’s a big difference between the two – because a person with integrity will tolerate the latter, but never the former!
6) Not caring about your safety or wellbeing
Again, I’m embarrassed to admit that I tolerated this from an ex for way too long.
And it’s something I’ll never do again – not now that I respect myself so much more.
When you’re in a relationship with someone, there’s a general expectation that you should care about each other’s safety and overall wellbeing.
In fact, it’s the bare minimum.
But I had an ex who didn’t really care if I was safe or not.
When I was in trouble and couldn’t get home from somewhere late at night, he’d roll over and fall back to sleep (even if that meant me having to walk home at midnight for 30 minutes).
My current partner’s ex had little regard for his wellbeing whenever he was sick. He was even in the hospital once and his then-girlfriend didn’t bother to visit him.
Luckily, we’re both out of those relationships now. And it’s almost unspoken that we’ll never tolerate someone not caring about our safety or wellbeing ever again.
7) Making big decisions without you
When you’re in a relationship with someone, you should discuss things that could affect the other person.
But really, you should also want to discuss the big life decisions with your partner.
Not because “you should do it”. Because they’re your person and your main confidant.
I remember a friend confided in me that her boyfriend had quit his job without telling her.
She found out weeks later when he just didn’t get up for work on a random Monday.
And he slipped her an unbothered, “Oh, I thought I’d already told you?” when she questioned why he wasn’t going into work today.
She was furious – and rightly so. Because he’d just made a huge life decision without even discussing it with her.
Which was a pretty big deal when they had a mortgage together, so his lack of income would affect her own income drastically (since bills had to be paid).
She stayed with him in the end, but I know it was a pivotal moment in her relationship. And that if he ever did something like it again, she’d leave him over it without hesitation.
No matter how much you want it to, sadly, not everything lasts forever.
Some people are only meant to be in your life for a short time – even if you don’t want that to be the case.
As much as you love someone, they may not always respect you or treat you well.
And when those things happen, you have to decide whether you’re going to tolerate them – or move on to find something better (the wiser choice, in my opinion).
It’s a sad truth that there are often clear signs a relationship is not working out.
And some people won’t just break up with their partners when they’re not truly invested in the relationship (a pet peeve of mine).
Instead, they’ll sit back, continue to disrespect you, and hope that you will break up with them one day.
So when you have high integrity and don’t tolerate things like the above in your relationship, you’re not just doing it for yourself.
You’re doing it for the good of the other person, too.