Secrets to a happy romantic relationship: Respect

Respect is one of the foundation stones of all happy and fulfilling relationships. Respect means recognizing our own worth—and the worth of others. Now that you’re a couple, you’re a team that are mutually-supportive. This takes work as nobody is perfect. Be honest and considerate to your partner. Be compassionate and forgive mistakes your partner makes and apologise for your own as soon as you can.

Be respectful partners

familyHealthy self-respect is when you know that your thoughts, feelings and body deserve respect. To truly be respected, we must also respect. You’re individuals with your own strengths and weaknesses. The yin to the other’s yang. As a couple mutual decisions will sometimes need to be made by compromise. Being respected doesn’t mean your needs always take priority over your partner’s. When making individual decisions, always think how this will impact your partner.

With your partner, you’re a united front. Though you don’t have the same thoughts, you can reach an agreement with kindness and dignity. Take time and make the effort to really listen to your partner, and allow the conversation to flow. Put away your phone and give your partner your full attention when they’re talking. Do not dismiss an idea or suggestion unkindly if you disagree with it as it will make future conversations difficult. How you say something is just as important as what you do, so don’t be aggressive, angry or make your partner feel small. If you feel you’ve hurt your partner – apologise to him and buy him something for excuse – even if there is no current occasion like your wedding anniversary. After all this is the path to it and when it comes you can get a perfect 25th wedding anniversary gift from here.

Appreciate your differences

Accept, or at the very least tolerate your differences. Be respectful of each others boundaries and protect your own from being undermined. Understand and respect your partner’s personal boundaries regarding time together/apart, physical contact, etc. Accept that you can’t change your partner. If your partner likes eating smelly cheese and you hate the aroma, find your own way to learn to live with it.

Acknowledge contributions

Let your partner know when they have done something you appreciate. Don’t ever take your partner for granted. Acknowledging their help or support with a sincere ‘Thank you’, a love note or a little gift shows that you cherish having your partner in your life. Accept that your partner is going to let you down sometimes.

Choose your words carefully

wordsPractice thinking about your partner’s perspective and consider where they are coming from when you have a point to raise or a decision to make. If your partner is stressed and over-worked it’s not the time to bring up the topic of the toothpaste tube.

Consider the desired outcome of your words. Be diplomatic. Listen to each other and make sure you understand how your partner feels about the issue being discussed. Consider both sides and find a solution that you both agree with. For something that isn’t so important to you, let your partner be happy with their choice and it is likely they will return the favour another time. If it’s a small issue such as where to go on a night out, take it in turns to decide.

Admit when you’re wrong

Take responsibility when you do something that upsets a partner. You may have invited a friend home for dinner without letting your partner know. You don’t just need to apologise, but give a reason why this happened. You will both need to practice being accountable for the decisions that you make as well as being apologetic. Apologise when you make a mistake and don’t deny it or pretend it doesn’t matter.

Help your partner realise their dreams

Support your partner with their promotion hopes, help them reach their personal goals, and encourage them to achieve their dreams. You may have to amicably discuss who you are each going to be able to support the other to be the best you both can be in the time you have available.

Patience and compassion

Be there when your partner needs you. Your partner has their own way of managing difficult situations and they may be different to yours. Be patient, even if you do feel they are complicating a simple situation. Be compassionate and show your love for your partner even if you’re finding their struggles a personal challenge yourself.

Finally – have some fun with this video 🙂

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