Respect shouldn’t be taken for granted in any relationship. It to be earned every day and cared for mutually with the authentic desire of two people who understand that to love is above all else, knowing how to build each other up.
It’s strange that when talking about respect, everyone knows how to define it and yet few people know how to properly apply it to their lives.
The basic issue of respect is the fact that we all want respect but forget to offer it first to the people in front of us.
It’s as if we’re thinking, “Respect me first and then I’ll respect you.”
Now, if we’re talking about applying this to romantic relationships, the subject gets even trickier.
Often, we take it for granted. We simply assume that”people who love you respect you.” That’s where some misunderstandings begin.
Respect between two people doesn’t just mean not hurting each other.
This is a psychological and emotional issue where the ultimate goal goes much further than that. We look for a respect that cares for us, allows us to grow and turns two partners into allies.
Today, we’d like to invite you to dig deeper into this subject.
1. Respect requires purpose
We live in a world where words sell and where people share the amazingness of their great relationships on social networks. However, in real, everyday life, they don’t live like that. What we see on social media isn’t reality.
Kindness, like respect, isn’t worth anything if not shown and practiced with clear purpose.
The same thing happens in romantic relationships. Love, by itself, isn’t enough for a relationship to thrive or even survive.
Many more dimensions are needed that, put together, give a relationship its full meaning.
Therefore, a good relationship is about showing respect daily by caring for and being cared for. It’s about showing interest in and actively listening to the other, reciprocating and being able to anticipate each others’ needs.
It’s emotional nourishment.
2. Empathy: a fundamental pillar
No one can show authentic respect if they don’t have real, intuitive, and sincere empathy.
The human brain is basically an organ developed by socialization, our interactions, and our bonds. Essentially, it allows us to survive as a species in groups.
Empathy, and the mirror neurons that create it, allow us to see the other as a part of oneself.
We understand what our partner is feeling without them having to tell us in words.
This is a fundamental characteristic for showing respect. It means that you must know what to do, what to say, and what not say to take care of this person that is so important to you.
3. The importance of knowing your partner in all kinds of environments
Some people say they know their partner as well as themselves, when actually, what they’re doing is projecting their own preferences and needs on their partner.
Let’s make this clear: to build a happy, healthy relationship, you don’t have to have everything in common.
Respecting your partner’s passions, preferences, and beliefs is essential. So is knowing who they are, what they don’t like, what makes them uncomfortable, and the details are that make up their personality and identity.
Without knowledge, there is no respect. We must remember that. Otherwise, and almost without realizing it, we’ll end up sabotaging our loved one thinking that certain things aren’t important.
We’ll be violating the other’s needs that we’ve already “labeled” as unimportant, thus disappointing our loved one.
Read this, too: The Key to a Healthy Romantic Relationship
When was the last time you thanked your partner for something?
A simple “thank you for being you,” “thank you always being by my side” or “thank you for making me happy” is all you need. It’s a way of showing respect based on acknowledging them, appreciating them, and showing them how important they are to you.
Thankfulness shown with humility strengthens any kind of bond, even more so for a romantic relationships.
5. The importance of the little details
Respect isn’t shown with isolated grand gestures. The happiest and longest-lasting relationships are those that know how to pay attention to the little things. It’s the little things that demonstrate how respect is wise, intuitive, and knows how to shine light on what’s important.
At the same time, we can’t forget that these details are shared via good communication. Here, we should always remember to:
- Use thankful words.
- Communicate without yelling and be careful of our tone.
- Use relational communication: I know how you feel and I respect that, tell me how I can help you. Tell me what I can do to make you happier.
Make these aspects a part of your relationship by incorporating them into your daily life.