“The truest form of love is how you behave toward someone, not how you feel about them.” ? Steve Hall
Successful relationships are like buildings: you can build them up as much as you like, but the foundations need to be strong so that the construction can withstand it. Fulfilling relationships have two main pillars as their foundations: love and respect. Sometimes they relate to each other, but most of the time you have to regard them separately and you have to work on both of them to make sure your relationship won’t come tumbling down.
Oddly enough, respect can be much more difficult to identify than love. Your partner may be showing you a lot of signs of love, but that may be just a way to blind you in the ways they disrespect you. You excuse it, because you think they love you more than anything, but in the long-term that’s a recipe for disaster. That’s because relationships only built on love are very egotistical and self-serving.
A person who only shows love but no respect is only interested in reaping the benefits of a relationship but not actually working towards making their partner happy as well. A truly caring partner will respect and recognize you as a human being that’s not dependent on them. If you’re having doubts or second thoughts, here are seven signs that your partner respects you.
Here Are 7 Signs Your Partner Respects You
1. They aren’t overbearing
If your partner isn’t trying to control who you go out with, or try to insert themselves in every social interaction you have, that’s a good sign that they respect and trust you. They are confident in your relationship and believe in you not to overstep any boundaries that you’ve already set. That shows that they respect your independence and stature as a self-sufficient human being. If they want to hang out with your friends – great – but if they try and start controlling who you see, or when you see them, that’s possibly a red flag.
2. They know that no means no
A good, respecting partner will know what you don’t like and will do everything possible to avoid it. That means if you’re not comfortable with being tickled, they won’t tickle you, or if you don’t want to try a certain thing in bed, they’ll respect that and stick to what makes both of you happy. When your partner doesn’t put any pressure on you to do anything you’re not 100% keen on, then that’s a chance that they respect you and your choices regarding your body.
3. They’re honest with you
A good partner will never try to spare you from bad news because they know it’ll make you sad or upset. They’ll be frank with you if something’s wrong and that shows they respect your intelligence and ability to make decisions. It also shows that they’re confident enough in your relationship to be fully and completely honest with you. It’s never nice being lied to and if someone respects you, they’d never do that.
As psychotherapist Dr. Barton Goldsmith mentions, “What honesty gives you is a great deal of comfort. Knowing you can implicitly trust your mate allows you to be your best self, and your relationship will continue to thrive because you are able to give each other the positive energy you need to navigate life’s ups and downs.”
4. They listen to you
In a conversation with your SO, have you ever had the feeling that you’re just talking at a brick wall? If your partner makes you feel like that, that’s a sign that they don’t respect or care for what you have to say. A committed partner listens carefully to you and replies accordingly – they don’t just wait for you to finish so that they can say their bit. If they really listen and engage, that’s a good sign that they have a lot of respect for you.
5. They’re proud of your achievements
A good, respectful SO will know the goals you set for yourself – physically, emotionally, professionally, academically, etc. – and they’ll support you on your way to them. Once you achieve those goals, your partner will be obviously proud of you, and maybe even talk about your great achievements to their friends. That’s a sign that they truly care about your development as a person and your personal happiness.
6. They’re reliable
If your partner makes you wait for hours on your date night, or never responds to your texts, that’s a sign that they aren’t really invested in your relationship. A good, respectable SO will know what your needs are and they wouldn’t flake out on your plans. They also wouldn’t ignore your texts or calls, because talking to you wouldn’t be a chore for them.
7. They fight fair
Even with the most successful relationships, fights erupt every now and again. And that’s normal when two personalities clash!
Licensed clinical psychologist Jennifer Kromberg, PsyD, says, “Some degree of fighting in a relationship is not only inevitable, but also necessary to create growth. The problem for couples is not that they fight—it’s how they fight.”
That being said, respect should never take a back seat. A respectful partner will fight fairly, with no striking under the belt, no derogatory names and definitely no physical violence. They will try to listen to your argument and respond rationally – that’s a big sign of respect.
There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that your partner loves and respects you. However, respect can sometimes be more difficult to foster than love – it can also be more important. Love with no respect turns into an egotistic relationship, which would never last for very long and will definitely end in tears.
Research professor and author Peter Gray, Ph.D, says, “To respect is to understand that the other person is not you, not an extension of you, not a reflection of you, not your toy, not your pet, not your product. In a relationship of respect, your task is to understand the other person as a unique individual and learn how to mesh your needs with his or hers and help that person achieve what he or she wants to achieve.”
So, if you’re having second thoughts, or even the slightest doubt that your partner perhaps doesn’t respect you as much as you deserve, maybe your relationship is not meant to be. And of course, like with every partnership, respect should always go both ways. Start off by respecting your partner yourself and soon enough you’ll see the same come back to you. It will certainly make your relationship a lot happier.