Updated: Jul 22, 2021
"A great relationship is about two things:
First, find out the similarities. Second, RESPECT the differences."
We get so excited about someone we meet, all the good things we share, the good qualities about them, but sometimes we fail to notice the differences.
The thing is, the differences are just as significant. It's what makes them unique. All those parts make a person whole, all those parts combined, that is why they are the way they are and what makes up their personality.
We can't only respect the opinions and values that match our own. We need to make a conscious effort to hear and listen to everything someone is sharing with us.
Don't disregard their opinion or correct them if it's different to yours.
Value their view of the world, and in turn, they should value yours.
Respect creates a feeling of safety.
When you respect someone, you are giving them permission to show every part of themselves to you, knowing you will not reject them.
They will feel safe, heard and seen.
That can only create a stronger relationship.
There are many aggressive memes, quotes and marketing around having respect in a relationship. It's generally geared towards avoiding a toxic relationship and demanding to be treated a certain way etc.
But I feel that's quite an aggressive, emotional response.
Respect has such a positive effect on relationships and people that, to me, it just makes more sense to embody it rather than demand it.
(Side note, if your partner isn't respecting you and your values, I'm not suggesting staying, but it's always about how you are showing up yourself. You cannot control someone's actions. You can respect yourself, recognise the relationship is not respecting you, and choose to walk away.)
When we love someone, we want the best for them, so it stands to reason that we should give them our utmost respect. And you do that by the way you behave towards them, the way you listen to them, the way you think about them, and how you express yourself.
Here are some little things you can do to ensure your relationship is respectful.
First of all, see them as deserving of respect.
I know it sounds simple, but often we can be caught up in the day to day that we get used to them being there. We can take them for granted and start to miss the things we admire about them.
Think about all their qualities. What are they good at doing? What are the things they are most passionate about? What are the little things they do that make you laugh or feel loved?
You recognise the things that make them unique, the things that make them who they are. You are seeing them, just as they are. And there is nothing more respectful than that.
Secondly, appreciate them for who they are.
Many people have an idea about the qualities that make up their ideal partner. This issue is that we can be so focused on our perfect partner's attributes that our actual partners are failing just because they are not living up to the fantasy we have created in our heads. Put it aside and see your partner; celebrate who they are instead of complaining about who they are not.
And finally, communicate your respect.
How do you feel when someone nags at you for doing something the wrong way or not doing something at all?
Now, tell me how you feel when someone notices you doing something and takes the time to admire it, acknowledge it or even compliment it?
It feels fantastic; you feel valued, feel respected, and, most importantly, feel loved. No matter how big or small, take the time to communicate your compliments.
We are more inclined to show respect back when we feel respected.
It can feel like the work is all on you, and the truth is, right now, if you are the one reading this, it is.
That doesn't mean you don't deserve it too, you most certainly do, and by learning to communicate clearly through respectful conversations, you are allowing space to deal with conflict in healthy ways. To enable you to make better decisions as a couple and, in turn, enabling you to enjoy each other's company more.
For respect is one of the greatest expressions of love.
Here's to love, laughter and living your happily ever after… xxx