A big part of healthy relationships is respect but this isn’t something that happens instantly, it’s something that takes time and effort to build between you and your partner. If you’re in a new relationship or want to improve the one you’re currently in you can learn a couple of key skills you can use in your everyday life to build respect between the two of you.
1) Accept your partner for who they are
If you try to change your partner and do it in a subtle way because you think they won’t notice then you’re not showing them respect. You’re telling them that they’re not good enough for you and this is something that they do notice, even if they don’t bring it up. Over time they get tired of feeling this way and the relationship will end unless you change your behavior. You need to accept them for who they are and don’t do things like forcing them to like the things you do, making fun of what they like until they stop liking it or buying them clothes because you want them to dress a certain way.
2) Don’t criticize them
Everyone has flaws and you’re not giving your partner respect if you constantly criticize them for things that you consider to be wrong about them because this is hurting their self-esteem. They’re not going to feel good about themselves and this is going to make them avoid physical intimacy with you because they don’t feel beautiful or confident. In healthy relationships you overlook the minor flaws and talk about the major ones so that your partner is aware of them and the two of you can work together to find a solution if it’s something that truly bothers you. This makes them feel like you value their feelings and are giving helpful criticize instead of trying to tear them down.
3) Genuinely listen to what they say
It’s easy to tell when someone is genuinely listening to what is being said because they make eye contact, participate in the conversation and doesn’t act bored. This is how you need to listen to your partner because this shows them respect and that you care about what they have to say. They’re going to appreciate this and are going to act this way when you talk to them which is going to help strengthen the bond between the two of you. It’s also important to be supportive when they’re talking about something that’s bothering them and don’t get upset if they say something you don’t like. Talk to them about it in a calm and open-minded way so you can see things from their point of view and understand them better.
4) Remember what’s important to them
In healthy relationships you pay attention and remember what’s important to the other person because it shows them love, thoughtfulness and respect. By ignoring these events or interests you letting them know that you can’t be bothered to make an effort. You need to remember events like birthdays, anniversaries and job promotions and interests like their favorite movie or local attraction. You can make a mental note of these things or write them down and ask your partner about them, give it as a gift or celebrate the occasion depending on what the important thing is.
5) Don’t badmouth them to others
You’re not going to build respect or increase physical intimacy if you badmouth your partner to other people. If you do it jokingly in a social setting or they find out that you’ve been saying stuff behind their back they’re going to feel unloved and betrayed and the trust between you will be broken. They’re going to constantly wonder what else you’ve been saying about them that they don’t know about and they’re going to pull away from you. To build respect you need to say positive things about them and only joke about your partner if you know that it really is okay with them. You can talk about what they’re good at or an activity they did recently if you need to say something or keep it loving but vague by saying that you’re just lucky to be dating them.
6) Treat them as an equal
Equality is the main part of healthy relationships and if you don’t practice this then your partner is not going to feel like you respect them. You need to treat them the way you want to be treated, talk to them and get their opinion on any decisions you make that will affect you as a couple, partake in hobbies that interest them, watch their favorite movies and TV shows and cook their favorite meals. You have to find a balance between what makes you happy and what you want and what your partner enjoys.
7) Express how much you love them
If you want to build respect and improve physical intimacy then you need to make your partner feel loved. You can do this verbally and physically while making it something you do regularly so that it comes more naturally. You can show love verbally by telling them that you love them when they’re not expecting it, thanking them and letting them know you appreciate it when they do something for you and by saying how happy you are to be with them. You can express your love physically by cuddling them or giving them a little kiss when you’re relaxing together, making them dinner when you know they’re tired from work or giving them a back rub. You should do these things in a loin way and not expect it to lead to sex because you don’t want your partner to think that your gestures aren’t genuine.
8) Be supportive
Find out what their goals are and help them achieve it if you can, listen when they need a shoulder to cry on, give them space if they need it and don’t belittle them if you disagree with something. Having your support is going to make a big difference to them and your relationship so have it be something that you do as often as you can until you do it without realizing it.