How to be Respectful in a Relationship: 15 Thoughtful Ways

respect in relationship
Photo by Christiana Rivers

Respect is one of the most underrated qualities in a romantic partnership. In healthy relationships, one recognizes their partner’s worth, values their perspectives, and gives their significant other the freedom to be themselves. These things should come effortless, but some people tend to focus too much on themselves and forget the needs of their partner. This can be harmful in the long run. If you want your relationship to last, it’s high time you reflected on how you treat your partner, especially in terms of the quality of respect that you give them.

Here are the ways on how to be respectful in a relationship.


1. Let them enjoy the things that they love.

Partners should be supportive and should allow the other person to enjoy the things that they love. A relationship should not limit them to do other activities outside of it, especially if it’s something important to them. These include their hobbies, advocacies, activities with friends, sports, among others.

Also read: Top 8 Secrets To Be Happy in a Relationship


2. Allow them time for other people, especially family.

Let them be happy with other people, especially when it’s about spending time with their family. You should not think that just because you’re in a relationship, you should be the sole source of their happiness. This is very unhealthy and controlling. Let them feel loved. Let them appreciate the presence of other people, may it be their friends or their loved ones.


3. Respect their religious beliefs.

Most people try to take control over their partner’s choices, especially when it comes to their religious affiliations. Before being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t share the same belief or non-belief, make sure you are ready to make adjustments. More importantly, make sure you sincerely respect and support their faith.


4. Don’t invalidate their feelings and reactions.

It’s not about what you did but how your actions made them feel. Don’t invalidate how they reacted to situations, even if you know that you did not mean any harm. It’s important to respect their feelings and their emotions. Don’t dismiss them. Instead, talk about the issue and help them understand why you did what you did. If you think that you’re wrong, apologize.


5. Give them the space that they need.

Respect them enough to allow them some space and time for solitude. During a fight, it’s best to solve and talk about the issue once you’ve both calmed down. It’s also the same thing when talking about how a situation or action made them emotional. Give them the space to breathe and process things. Don’t rush them into making decisions. Don’t demand them to forgive you right away.


6. Listen to what they’re actually saying.

Be respectful by actually listening. Listen to understand and not to reply or rebut. It’s best to give them all the time that they need to express themselves without judgment or prejudice. Listen to what they are actually saying by setting aside your need to be right. Listen to their side and do not impose your own argument.

Also read: How to Make Your Partner Listen to You: 11 Ways


7. Don’t try to control their life.

Just don’t. Being in a relationship with them does not give you the right to make every decision for them. Don’t turn them into something that they are not. Do not control their life, who they hang out with, what activities or hobbies to pursue, etc.


8. Respect their boundaries.

In relation to the previous item, respect your partner by respecting their boundaries. Not everyone is confident enough to allow other people in their life right away. If you both are new to the relationship, make sure that you are giving them the time to adjust. Make sure that you are not forcing them out of their comfort zone. Be patient and be assured that all the waiting is worth it.


9. Give them the freedom to explore new things.

Don’t be afraid to let them fly and explore new things and places. You don’t always have to try new things together. You are two individuals with different backgrounds, different likes, and quirks. Let them grow and give them the freedom to do so with the assurance that you’ll always be there to welcome them home.


10. Don’t force them into doing something they don’t enjoy.

In connection to the previous section, this item explores the other side of it. If you want to do new things and explore new activities, don’t force them to try them with you. This is important especially if you know that they won’t enjoy it. Be respectful enough to ask them what they want and what they can handle.


11. Understand their decisions.

To be respectful in a relationship means to be understanding and accepting of their decisions. This is important, especially that they are an adult and are fully capable of running their life. As a partner, why not walk beside them and just be there to support them? Guide them but not dictate what they should do. Understand why they chose an option over the other before judging or rejecting their decisions.

Also read: How to be More Understanding in a Relationship: 12 Ways


12. Accept the fact that you’re not always their priority.

Sometimes, your relationship is on their number one list of important things in their life. Other times, family or career comes first, and it’s okay. Respect their decision to prioritize other things first, especially if it’s something very important for their future. It should not make you feel unloved or underappreciated. Life happens and you and your relationship should be adaptable enough to adjust and be resilient.


13. Stop demanding more than what they can offer.

Respecting your partner means stop demanding more than what they can offer. Accept what they can give you because it means that that’s all they have for now. Recognize that they are doing their best and they are doing what they can.


14. Without judgment, let them express their individuality.

Let them be who they are and who they want to be. Let them dress how they want to dress; let them eat what they want to eat, as long as you know they’re not harming their body; let them listen to the same music over and over again. Respect their individuality. Respect their uniqueness. They’ll really appreciate it.


15. Value their opinion and perspectives on things.

It’s not enough to acknowledge their opinion or to understand their perspectives. You should not stop there. For instance, it doesn’t count if you give them an opportunity to air their opinion if you still end up choosing your own decision because you think your views are more valuable. It’s not enough if you let them list the things that they want only to throw them out of the window in the end because you think you have a better list. You are not always right and your partner’s opinion should have equal weight.

Be respectful in a relationship by being able to consider your partner’s point of view and making them an important factor in arriving at a conclusion.


True love respects.

Just by treating your significant other as your equal and acknowledging their needs as a partner and as a person, you’ll be able to make them feel loved. As one of the qualities of true love, respect or being respectful towards your partner will help you live a happier, genuine, and more fulfilling relationship. Hopefully, this article has made you realize some things about how you are in your romantic relationship. Good luck and be happy!

Also read: How to be More Patient in a Relationship: 14 Tips

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