Before we get to the importance of respect in a relationship, let us first understand what respect really means. We have all read endless accounts and had heated discussions about the value of love in formulating deep, nurturing and lasting relationships. However, what interests me even more as a fundamental component, is what marks the quality and, ultimately, the future of a relationship? The answer is, the element of respect in it.
Love, in a relationship, especially a man-woman one, follows its own rhythms, independent of the will of the lover. We can neither know its arrival or departure, nor can we predict its source, and to know its trajectory seems even more far-fetched. In fact it wouldn’t be too preposterous to say that we continually surprise our own selves with regard to the way we experience or feel love.
While we may be able to temper our response to it based on propriety or societal acceptability, none of us can claim that we can control the feeling itself and that is what makes ‘love’ at once so charming as well as elusive! Interestingly, consciously or subconsciously, we use this very devil ‘love’ to excuse our disrespectful behavior toward our loved ones, which is why the importance of respect in a relationship cannot be stressed enough.
5 Reasons Why Respect Is Important In A Relationship
At times ‘love’ rages like a tornado, trampling all else in its wake, and at other times it lies calm, like the still water in a pond, hibernating (where we start wondering if there really is something wrong with our constitution), and yet there are times when ‘love’ treads the mean between these two states, leaving us even more confused than we ever thought possible. It always stays a step ahead of our understanding and a stride beyond our conscious purview.
The very nature of love is at best mercurial — waning, waxing and, at times, disappearing completely like the moon (only to appear again) while we struggle not just with our changing love for the significant other, but also the shift in the love they profess toward us! For what is good for the goose is good for the gander, isn’t it? I use the same argument to present my case for respect in a relationship or marriage. Let me explain through an example.
We want our partners to shine. For them to be the best. Sometimes, that ‘best’ is clouded from our own vision — we want our version of ‘the best’. And so, we start to drop ‘helpful’ advice for their self-improvement. A gentle nudge to the loved one about their flaw, may grow in intensity and become more insistent over time. What starts off as, “I love you and want the best for you, that’s why I think you should…” eventually becomes, “Look, I’m only saying this for your betterment…” The loved one then is not permitted any weaknesses or lapses, or at least, they are constantly reminded of them so that they can shape up. When and how these reminders turn into a blatant transgression of the other’s personal space and sense of ‘self’, is normally just a question of time and the state of love that we are in. Respect in a relationship shouldn’t have to demand changes of the self.
Related Reading: 5 Qualities Of A Conscious Relationship With Your Partner
We forget to respect love. We forget to make the basic space for allowing the other to choose their own pace of growth and learning. Behind the intention of what we think they can be, we refuse to let them ‘be’ who they are. The interesting thing is when it comes to our own selves, we expect understanding and respect for what we are! This kind of a double standard is especially pronounced in the relationships we cherish and hold deeply precious. One rule for us and another for our loved one.
What is the importance of respect in a relationship then? Why should partners respect each other? While love is an important aspect and the reason why two individuals enter into a relationship, respect is the key that binds them together. It makes for a strong foundation for a relationship. Here, we list 5 reasons why respect is important for a relationship to survive:
1. Respect allows you to accept your partner for who they are
Why is respect important in a relationship? Because it makes you accept your significant other with their strengths and weaknesses. No one’s perfect. We all have both good and bad within us. You may love someone for the good in them, for the positive qualities they possess. But when you respect love or your significant other, you choose to accept and embrace their flaws too.
If you’re trying to understand how to be more respectful toward your partner in the relationship, accept their past, embrace them for the person they are, not what you want them to be. When you accept your partner completely with their beauty and flaws, you lay the ground for respect in a marriage. You learn to adjust with and compromise for each other.
2. Respect makes you patient
Trust and respect in a relationship makes you more patient toward your partner or spouse. It also makes you patient toward yourself. You learn to deal with conflict and arguments in a patient and respectful manner. Respect teaches you patience. You learn to be careful with your words when you feel like your patience is being tested.
There may come a change in attitudes and feelings. Your partner’s flaws or weaknesses may get on your nerves at times but if you respect each other, then you’ll patiently find common ground. If you are confronted with a situation that requires both of you to stick together as a couple, your respect and patience toward your partner will help you find ways to deal with the conflict as one unit.
3. It builds confidence and support
The importance of respect in a relationship can be seen in the way you feel about yourself as well as the kind of support you offer to your significant other. Respect in a marriage or relationship will never make you feel bad about yourself. It will never make you feel hesitant or afraid to be yourself or pursue your interests and goals because your biggest cheerleader is right by your side. That is what respect really means – to support and lift each other up.
Wondering how to respect your girlfriend or boyfriend or significant other? Make them feel good about themselves. Celebrate their achievements and encourage them to pursue their goals. Assure them that you have their back, no matter what happens. Your words of praise and encouragement can work wonders for their self-esteem and motivate them to be the best version of themselves.
Related Reading: Expectations In Relationships: The Right Way To Manage Them
4. Importance of respect in a relationship? It fosters trust
Trust and respect in a relationship go hand-in-hand. When you respect each other, you also learn to trust each other. You trust your partner to not intentionally hurt you. You trust them to understand your emotions and support you when you need it the most. You acknowledge their potential and capabilities and trust them to handle situations by themselves, while you assure them of help if they need any.
Why is respect important? Respect in a marriage fosters trust. Both are closely linked, which is why you lose respect for the person who breaks your trust. If there is lack of respect in a relationship, it will eventually come to an end. Even if it does survive, it’ll be an unhealthy one. But when you respect each other, you trust your partner to decide what’s best not just for themselves but also for both of you as a couple.
5. Respect creates a safe space and makes you feel valued
Still thinking about how to be more respectful in a relationship? Well, creating a safe space that allows them to be vulnerable is one way. This is a major tip on how to respect your girlfriend or boyfriend or partner in a relationship. You should feel valued and safe in a relationship – that’s what respect really means.
If there is respect in a relationship, there is no space for judgment, mockery or humiliation. If your partner respects you, they will not judge or dismiss your feelings. They will try to make it easier for you to share your troubles and emotions and empathize or find ways to help you deal with them. Mutual respect in a relationship should make you feel valued and appreciated. It should be your safe space.
While loving another may/may not be the current state of our mind, respecting the ‘other person’ always can and should be. Trust and respect in a relationship should be of utmost importance. While we may/may not desire ‘love’ of another, we definitely want the other to respect us. While we cannot demand that ‘I love you and so I deserve your love’, we can surely ask, ‘I respect you and hence I too deserve your respect’!
Related Reading: 15 Characteristics Of A Healthy Relationship
Every relationship goes through its own share of ups and downs. But, then, how to be more respectful?
Simply remember the saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
In our case, do not do unto others what you would not want the other to do to you.
If we respect each other, perhaps our relationships may have a chance…
Respect is one of the key foundations of a relationship. It is reflected in the way partners treat each other on a daily basis. Accepting each other for who they are despite disagreeing with them, building trust and confidence, creating a safe space and looking out for each other is what respect really means in a relationship.
Yes. It is key to a healthy relationship. Respect is not just important in love or romantic relationships, but also the different friendships and social relationships we form in life. While love is one of the most important aspects of a relationship, respect is crucial for a union to thrive.
It is unlikely for a relationship to survive without respect. If it does, you are probably in an unhealthy or toxic relationship. It isn’t true love if there’s no respect. While it may not be sufficient, mutual respect is crucial for a healthy, lasting relationship.
Respect definitely fosters trust. Both go hand-in-hand. If you respect your partner, then you probably trust them as well and vice-versa. You earn someone’s trust based on the amount of respect you show to them.