10 ways to earn your partner’s respect
Many relationship experts talk about respect in relationships, but it is not something that exists with the flick of a switch. Respect from your partner is something that you earn over time. It is the key to building true friendships and also the key to building a solid, long-lasting relationship! It may take a while to build a solid foundation of respect but it only takes a minute to lose it all. The following list contains ten ways to earn your partner’s respect…
1.) Have strong boundaries:
Early in a relationship, it is important to clearly identify how you want to be treated and define what behaviour is acceptable and what is unacceptable. You don’t need to be ruthless with your values or constantly say them out loud, but the moment you let your partner disrespect or manipulate you even once, is when you start to lose respect. The same applies in reverse. You should be willing to respect your partner’s boundaries even if they differ from yours.
2.) Allow your partner to earn your respect:
Respect is a shared quality in a fulfilling relationship. It is actually beneficial to the relationship as a whole if you allow your partner to earn your respect rather than offer it unconditionally. Humans are more willing to work at something if it isn’t a free pass. In a relationship this means you both know that respect is a two way system. It requires effort from both of you to exist.
This does not mean that there should be no leeway regarding inconsequential things. If the core intentions are always that of mutual trustworthiness and respect, lovingly discussing and resolving an issue together actually strengthens respect.
3.) Be honest:
Honesty is always the best policy in a relationship, regardless of any supposed best interests for your partner. If you are always one-hundred percent honest, your partner will find it far easier to trust you.
One of the hardest things for someone to overcome if their partner has been unfaithful in any way is how to trust their partner again, which is a perfectly legitimate feeling.
As long as you are always honest, even with seemingly trivial things then you will always have your partner’s respect in this department.
4.) Be authentic:
Being authentic means being true to your core values, beliefs and aspirations. It is an extremely admirable thing in a partner and is useful on many levels.
Don’t be afraid to disagree with your partner; it’s actually healthy as long as it is done in a respectful manner, calmly and politely.
You should also never feel the need to change your beliefs, values, sense of humour or bend the truth to either please your partner or win them over. Having integrity is something your partner will respect, even if they disagree on the details.
5.) Keep your word:
A surefire way to slowly lose your partner’s respect is to be unreliable or flaky. Even small things such as promising to do chores around the house and not doing so, or standing them up on some arrangements without valid reasons will count against how much respect your partner has for you.
This also works on a larger scale too regarding long-term goals and ambitions. An authentic and powerful person is resolute towards achieving their ultimate purpose in life and any goals along the way. Refusing to back down in that life quest will gain a wealth of respect from your partner, however successful you are currently and however many setbacks you have along the way.
6.) Give praise when it is deserved:
Make an effort to notice all the positive things your partner does for you. Being sincerely grateful for these things and praising your partner whenever relevant will enrich your relationship dramatically. If you limit your sincere praise for times when you partner truly deserves it, you will not only help your partner to be their best self but you will also have all their respect and admiration.
7.) You are never overly jealous:
Most people have experienced jealousy at some point in their life, so most people can also empathise when their partner is getting jealous. Even so, an experienced and confident person can use certain techniques to control feelings of jealousy and fully trust their partner.
This is not to be confused with warranted reactions to vindictive behaviour. I have talked about jealousy in greater depth here and here.
8.) Be self-reliant:
Without becoming too preachy, no one can change your life apart from you! People who live their life through their partner or carelessly depend on their partner to guide their choices will start to become a burden over time.
You can ask for favours and advice from your partner just like you would from any other friend, but it should always be a request for support rather than a request for approval or control.
9.) Resist becoming changeable or complacent:
As a relationship progresses, it is common for couples to become complacent or negligent, especially regarding how much effort they put towards remaining attractive and interested.
As long as you don’t make obvious sudden changes in character or think “my partner will stay with me no matter what I do” then it will be clear to your partner that you care about how they perceive you.
10.) Be well-rounded:
This last point intends to encompass the majority of the other points. Being well-rounded, having an open-mind and looking for solutions in life will always have a positive influence on how much respect you receive. As long as you strive to be the best person and ultimately the best boyfriend or girlfriend you can be whilst constantly trying to improve on any areas of weakness, you will always have your partner’s respect. 🙂
I like the article and its message.
We have to be careful not to expect people to behave perfectly all the time and there is a fine line between feeling controlled and pleasing you partner.
I have an example with my partner where he was never particularly bothered about how he dressed, common in some men, but it mattered to me and there was a particular incident where he threw on an old work shirt to go out with me and when I commented he said “oh it doesn’t matter we’re only going down the town” and I felt it would have been respectful to me if he had understood my wishes that him making the effort to look smart and make me feel proud of him would show his respect for my feelings. This unnecessarily developed into an argument and I realised afterwards how a trivial thing can make you feel unloved.
On the other hand you could end up, to keep the peace, always telling them what to wear or do which sounds and feels controlling. What I’m really trying to say is respect for the other person’s wishes and not their demands is a very important thing. Like you say Sam that shows mutual respect.
I agree with what you say about not expecting other people, namely a partner, to behave perfectly all the time. First and foremost, who’s to say what ‘perfect behaviour’ is! That is why I talk about, as a couple, knowing what each other’s idea of perfect behaviour is and then crafting a joint adaptation of the term as the ideal resolution.
The example you give with your partner being seemingly not bothered about looking smart for you is definitely a tricky situation. As you say, making too much of a big deal of it makes you seem bad or controlling whereas letting it slide completely will do your desires and satisfaction an injustice. That’s why you want to find the right balance between letting him know your feelings in a way without blame whilst at the same time not letting yourself get negatively affected by something that, as you say, is not that important in the grand scheme of things.
I love what you say at the end of your comment about how respecting your partner’s wishes and not their demands is important. I recommend couples take the time to really understand what their partner likes and dislikes so that they can CHOOSE how to accommodate these. Doing things for your partner should always be done because YOU want to, not because you feel obliged to.
Thanks for your comment… Some great ideas! 🙂
Hey, nice work.
Not in a relationship so wondering if this stuff works for casually dating girls too?
Awesome blog btw!
Hey Danny, thanks a lot! 🙂
Respect is useful in every form of relationship: from meeting someone of the opposite sex for the first time right up to marriage. The method and intensity does differ slightly between them all though.
The points above are always useful to keep in mind but be aware that respect should be a mutual progression as relationships progress.
There are guys out there who have very little respect for women (verging on misogynistic) who are also very successful with women. This is because attraction doesn’t necessarily involve respect as a dominant factor. These sorts of guys however often find it hard to keep lasting relationships unless they change their mindset along the way.
Basically, respect in the sense I’ve been describing is always ideal to have but it is not as important whilst casual dating as it is when in a long-term relationship.
Hope that explains it, 🙂
This is fab Sam, I agree with every point you make here. I also believe honesty is definitely the key in a relationship, especially for earning respect : )
I look forward to next weeks article!
Thanks Eva 🙂
A humorous quote that I like, which I think was said by Abraham Lincoln: “No person has a good enough memory to be a successful liar!” 🙂
Thanks for reading,
These are great pieces of advice Sam. I’ve seen too many people close to me put up with being walked over by a significant other because they didn’t have strong boundaries set up. I had met a guy a few days ago who “liked” me but had no respect for my boundaries. Needless to say, after the fact, it was a huge turnoff. (That other relationship didn’t work out.) Really, reading this post couldn’t have come at a better time. Funny how coincidences work. 😉
I think a person needs to have a good sense of self. That’s a big part of respect in a relationship. I also couldn’t agree with you more about honesty. It has been said that the best friendships are really judged by how honest you can be with one another. Since a big part of relationships is friendship, I think that would apply. Well thanks and have a great night.
You’re right! Relationships are a LOT easier to shape with boundaries in the beginning. Once someone is allowed to not have or give a certain level of respect, then it is a lot harder to change that further down the line. Consequently, you were wise to notice that guy not having respect for your boundaries early on as a red flag. Sometimes these things can be a man’s misconstrued method of flirting or ‘being cool’ but it will be obvious if it is a more concrete part of their personality.
A good sense of self is also a great point and knowing exactly what you want in a relationship and how you want to be treated is very important… It’s hard to fully show your respect for someone if you’re not aware of what each other’s personal views of respect are!
I totally agree with your closing point too. It sounds kind of corny but relationships really are just a deep and intimate friendship!
Thanks a lot for writing Elena, 🙂
So what about love being unconditional if you bees to set boundries? Just curious because I am confused.
Love is such a complex emotion that it is difficult to quantify on its own, let alone whether it is possible to categorically state if it is unconditional or not.
The sentiment of unconditional love is a nice one but there is a big difference between telling your partner that you will love them forever, and telling them that they can do whatever they want, act however they like and treat you in whatever way and you will still love them!
Having said that, I have seen exposés on women in abusive relationships who claim that the reason they stay with their partner is because they “love them”.
Respectfully setting boundaries is important in both romantic relationships (regardless of love) and just generally when cohabiting with someone, and as such, the act of setting boundaries is actually mutually exclusive from love.
I hope my explanation is clear and thanks for reading, 🙂
I have always been struggling to maintain respect in my fiance` but i have not been successful ,i simply take every insult and dis-respectful behaviors lights and simple,i can`t now stand into ma fiance`s sight and express my point ,what do you think,can i quite her?,how can i revive my respect?.or is that i showed her too much love.
please advice me.
As the above article states, respect is something that is gained over time purely by the way two people treat each other. Disrespectful behaviour is something that is learnt and it continues to grow whenever that behaviour goes unchallenged. If your fiancée’s disrespectful behaviour is aimed exclusively towards you, then it is most likely due to the roles that have slowly been established as the relationship has progressed.
Changing this setup will be a gradual process if you want to keep things amicable. The sort of things you want to start to do more often is being more open with expressing how her insults and disrespectful behaviour make you feel, as well as being more assertive with establishing boundaries of what you find acceptable behaviour in a relationship.
This should most certainly still be done whilst showing love but with the added confidence and conviction that prevents someone being treated badly.
All the best,
im reli and truthfuli guilty of some points u made here
1. Im not strong financiali,she has been assistin me seriousli n even when some rich guys hit on her she just ignore them totally,but now she’s growin tired of my financial status,cos she’s not gettin d good material tins she deserves from me,but d most pressin one is even to communicat on phone for longer duration is immposible cos im not dat bouyant..but now she hv started workin is it a crime for her to jst call for long period whn she feels it? cos im not askin her for money anymore,n mind u dat whn i ask for assistance from her i always pay her back,n even with my brokeness i never cease to buy her gifts whenever im opportuined
2. At a point in our relationship b4 she cheated on me she use to complain dat we were on a passive relationship,dat im not concerned abt her,n i always cheat on her bcos i believe she’s always there for me…dat is one of d reasons i 4gave her whn she cheated on me, cos she made dis comment then, n i was 100percent guilty…
But again she also said sometin i want u to help me confirm
SHE LOVES ME BCOS SHE CHOOSE TO LOVE ME THAT LOVE IS NOT FEELING FOR HER BUT CHOICE….is is rite????
We didnt start off as lovers,we were friends for some months n den she was havin a brk up with her ex,who massively cheated n was still cheatin n take advantage of her,then i approached her n she said we shud giv it a trial,dat was how my love for her started growin,not from d start,but it grew overtime….n she never gave in to her first lover who persistentli disturbed her over sex…..but 3yrs afta our relationship,with less pressure from me,n also bcos she wanted me to stop cheatin on her,she gave in to havin makin love with me….now my question is …..
IF SHE TRUELY CHOOSED TO LOVE ME WONT SHE HAV LEFT INTACT WHEN SHE DISCOVERED I WAS CHEATIN ON HER?
N even afta she gave in i still messed up again n instead of her to back out,she cheated to pay me back….
Wat do u classify her reactions to be???
Although money is often thrown about as the number one attractive trait for a man, what is far more important is having goals and ambitions. Financial situations are fairly easy to change but it is your attitude towards money that is most important.
For example, thoughtful or creative gifts don’t have to be expensive, and a woman of integrity will actually appreciate those gestures more than expensive ones. As long as you are never a financial burden on your girlfriend (and it sounds like you are striving not to be) then that aspect of the relationship should be fine.
As for your second point, emotions are often hard to comprehend and verbalise. Unless there are other psychological issues at play, a woman will stay in a relationship because she actively wants to. The reasons for wanting to can vary considerably though and respect in a relationship is most certainly not automatic.
If you work on achieving the ten points listed in the above article then you have the basis for creating a fulfilling relationship in whatever way you choose.
All the best,
well i’ve bein workin on d aspect of always calling her after work,cos dats when she’s free to answer d call…..n dis has been on for about a week plus….but she still cant get over her numbness….she said, d feeling from her to me are not there n she thinks it shud come naturally,dat it will come bck in due time n she does not knw if i shud minimize putting much effort for d relationship to work….
D tin is when she felt numb b4,she complained n i cared less n funny enough she snapped out of the numbness in few days….but now, dat im puttin much effort into d relationship still she finds it very difficult to experience dem feelings for me…she said i shudnt let it border me dat she believes it will soon be over…
Im confused…..wats d meanin of all dis challenges??
Whilst calling regularly seems like a nice thing for a boyfriend to do, I would only recommend calling every day if you actually have stuff to talk about and a mutual excitement and desire to speak to each other that often.
Numbness suggests routine and monotony. Calling every day without progressing or exciting the relationship reflects this and could be a contributing factor for why she currently feels the way she does.
The reason that her numbness seemed to subside when you backed off a bit is because it would have evoked new feelings. It sounds counter-intuitive but toning down any behaviour that could come across as needy will invigorate the relationship once more. It will make it less predictable and the whole thing more of a challenge, which is inherently attractive.
Point number two in the above article is one that relates to your situation and you want to take control of the relationship and spend some time thinking of ways you can get some of the excitement and passion back.
tnx sammy. M currently in a relationship that my girlfriend has completely lost all respect for me. I dnt realy know what the problem is. I keep trying to find out bt she never tells me. Its been like this for almost 1 year now. I keep trying to hang on and find a solution to it js because I love her somuch. Somany times I almost give up and let go of her but somehow I come back in and try to fix it. Right now I’m tired of the whole relationship. Iv tried somuch bt nothing is working.
If your girlfriend isn’t being obvious or specific with where her feelings of contempt are stemming from then there might be external causation, or she might be losing respect for the relationship as a whole.
It may sound counter-intuitive but a good mindset to have is to assume everything is fine and concentrate on being the best version of yourself you can be, rather than primarily trying to please your girlfriend or constantly seeking a solution from her.
You don’t want to distance yourself from the relationship in any way but if your girlfriend is not giving you specific feedback, working on each area of the relationship separately will always have a positive effect. The ten points in the above article are a good basis to start from, as well as other advice given throughout the website.
Instead of focusing on winning back the respect of your girlfriend, focus on being the person that gains respect from everyone around you. Respect isn’t necessarily about the actions you do, it is about the beliefs you project!
Take care and thanks for reading,
what if the my boyfriend never tell me his problem or talk to me and he always ask me to do something. i always tell him whats the things i dont like but he kept on doing it all over again so i feel neglected and i cant controll my emotion so i shout and angry.. one more thing im 6mos pregnant and i try to save money for us but my boyfriend keep on wasting it if i dont gve him money he tell me im stingy and bad it hurts me well coz i only want to save the money matters to me
The relationship issues you describe are not necessarily about respect, or lack thereof. It is difficult to quantify respect when between two people seemingly not communicating effectively, which it seems is the crux of the issues you describe. As such, I have highlighted three “Cs” that are what I think you should be focusing on: communication, calmness and compromise.
Back and forth arguments and bickering will get you nowhere. This is something to work on together, so agree to put aside any “blame” and simply think about how you can have a relationship that you are both fully committed towards. Really listen to each other and think about how you can get what you want without restricting the other person’s desires.
Being pregnant shouldn’t be used as an ultimatum, but it should certainly act as an incentive for both of you to work at the relationship, always making sure that the three points I highlighted take priority during your interactions.
my girlfriend is loosing patience very often now, shouting and getting angry for small reasons,
before she was completely opposite type, like very caring and understanding….all this problem started when we had a fight, which had no big reason she started it, and she told to breakup now…..then i cried, begged for forgiveness, then she forgived…..after that, im being very caring and understanding then before…but she changed completly opposite….i want her to be like before…..please please suggest…
The first thing to do is establish where your girlfriend’s frustrations stem from. If her negative emotions are solely aimed at the relationship then perhaps there are aspects of your own behaviour that are a contributing factor. If her negative emotions span across several areas of her life then it is more difficult for you to directly influence her, but the steps you can take are still very similar.
All you can really do is concentrate on being the best boyfriend you can possibly be, using the ten points listed above as well as advice throughout this website. If you epitomise a boyfriend that she unreservedly respects and desires, you are far more likely to be a positive influence on her.
If your relationship used to be happy and fulfilling, something has changed. You can’t revert back to that state without dissecting and working on those original changes.
All the best,