Love is not all that is need in a healthy relationship. Other factors like trust, fidelity, and respect play equally large roles. Often times people forget those other factors and focus on the rush of the in-love feeling. This can be very damaging as disrespect in a relationship can totally annihilate a person’s self-worth, and self–esteem. I came across this lady’s post on facebook and asked her permission to share it, cos it tie in well with my own concept of love (which I’ll be sharing later this month… watch this space) and we can all learn from each other.
With a few minor additions, here’s her post:
When considering a potential partner or whether to stay in a relationship or not, there are several questions you should ask yourself. Two extremely important questions are: “Does this person truly respect me?” and “Do I respect my partner?” Mutual respect in a relationship is one of the strongest indicators that the relationship is healthy and worthwhile. It is important to recognize that while love and respect are often connected, they are not the same, so evaluate both qualities independently when looking at your relationship.
They really listen.
One way that we show anyone respect is by letting them have the floor when they need to. If your partner has respect for your thoughts and feelings, they will listen closely to anything you have to say, instead of making conversations about themselves, and so will you.
They are proud of you.
A respectful partner is proud of you for how you are on the inside, not your outward appearance. They are proud to be your significant other because of who you truly are, not how you make them look to others.
They take advice from you.
A relationship with mutual respect means that one person is not “in charge” or “wearing the pants.” This means that you both value each others’ opinions and advice. Therefore, your partner will seek out your advice and take it seriously when it is given.
They respect your physical boundaries.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but even once you are deep into a serious relationship, your partner needs to show respect for your physical space. This can mean anything from refraining from PDA if one partner doesn’t prefer it, to understanding your comfort zone while being intimate. A respectful partner doesn’t ask questions or make you feel guilty for physical boundaries of any kind.
They don’t leave you hanging.
Relationships involve a lot of communication and time together. Therefore, a respectful partner won’t flake on plans or ignore your texts. If they respect your time and feelings, they will prioritize your relationship. If they are cancelling on you consistently or never returning your phone calls, they are disrespecting you.
They are honest.
Respect goes hand in hand with honesty. If a partner truly respects you, they will be honest about things that are harder to discuss, as well as their everyday actions. Hiding the truth or fabricating things shows disrespect.
They trust you.
One of the number one ways to know if your partner doesn’t respect you is if they are constantly policing your every move, especially if you have given them no reason by your actions or words to distrust you. If they have to know every detail of your whereabouts, who you are with, or what you are doing, they do not trust you. A respectful partner will trust you when you are not with them and won’t question your actions illegitimately.
They fight fair.
Another huge indication of a disrespectful partner is if fights get out of hand. This means derogatory or demeaning language, low blows, or physical violence of any kind (NEVER ok). While it is normal for couples to get into arguments, respect is still a key ingredient.
If an argument with your significant other starts to feel like a war, respect is not happening, and by extension, your love if real, cannot find true expression.
Author: Cynthia Valerian Raphaels
Edited by: Doctor Sade