The 5 Keys to Respect in Relationships

March 15, 2017
Respect shouldn't be taken for granted in any relationship. Learn about the 5 keys to maintaining respect in your relationship, from simply saying

We shouldn’t take respect for granted in any relationship. Respect in relationships has to be earned every day. We need to care for it mutually with the true 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. However, very 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, at the same time, forget to offer it first to the people around 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 in relationships 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 in relationships requires purpose

Girl crying in a relationship

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.

There are many more dimensions which give a relationship its full meaning. Therefore, respect in relationships is about showing respect daily by caring for and being cared for. It’s about showing interest in and actively listening to the other. We need to reciprocate and be able to anticipate each others’ needs. To summarize, it’s all about emotional nourishment.

Discover: 5 Exercises that Will Improve Your Relationship

2. Empathy: a fundamental pillar

Two people feeling empathy

No one can show true 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 in order to take care of this person that is so important to you.

3. The importance of knowing your partner

Some people say they know their partner as well as themselves. However, what they’re actually 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. As is knowing who they are, what they don’t like, what makes them uncomfortable, and aspects of 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 person’s needs that we’ve already “labeled” as unimportant, thus disappointing our loved one.

Read this, too: The Key to a Healthy Romantic Relationship

4. Thankfulness

A couple talking sitting on a wall

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 and appreciating them. In addition to that you’re showing them how important they are to you.

Thankfulness shown with humility strengthens any kind of bond, even more so for romantic relationships. This is what respect in relationships is all about.

5. The importance of the little details

We can’t show respect 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 and intuitive. It also knows how to shed light on what’s important.

At the same time, we can’t forget that we share these details 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 sure these aspects form a part of your relationship by incorporating them into your daily life.