So, we're diving deep into the heart of what makes or breaks relationships—respect. Yep, that big word that's more than just opening doors and remembering anniversaries. It's the secret sauce that keeps the love tasty, or in some cases, just palatable. So, grab your favorite snack, and let's dive into the nitty-gritty of what makes respect the MVP in love.

What Are The Main Signs That Your Partner Respects You?

1. Listening & Hearing

Ever had someone listen to you and yet you felt unheard? Annoying, right? Well, respect starts with genuinely listening to your partner—like, really hearing them out, even if they're ranting about how their favorite character got written off the show. It's not just waiting for your turn to speak; it's about understanding their point of view, their feelings, and where they're coming from.

What to Ask Yourself

  • Does your partner actively listen when you speak, or are they just waiting for their turn to talk?
  • Can you recall a time when they not only listened to what you were saying but also understood the emotion behind your words?

2. Knowing How to Disagree

Disagreeing without turning it into the third world war is an art form. It's totally okay to have different opinions. I mean, imagine how boring it would be if you both agreed on everything? Like, "Yes, darling, broccoli ice cream sounds divine." Nope. But here's the kicker: respect means you can have those differences without losing your cool or making it personal. It's the "agree to disagree" vibe, but you still pass the salt at dinner.

What to Ask Yourself

  • After a disagreement, do you feel understood and respected, even if you didn't reach an agreement?
  • Do your arguments lead to constructive outcomes, or do they leave unresolved issues in their wake?

3. Granting Space

Just because you're in a love bubble doesn't mean you need to do everything together. Respect means giving each other space to grow, breathe, and pursue individual interests. It's like saying, "Go climb that mountain, babe. I'll be here binge-watching our show without you." It's not about being apart; it's about respecting the need for personal space and time.

What to Ask Yourself

  • Does your partner celebrate your successes and support your individual interests?
  • Are you encouraged to pursue your hobbies and passions, even if they don't participate in them?

4. Giving Support 

Being in a relationship is like having a cheerleader by your side, pom-poms and all. It's about supporting each other's dreams and aspirations, even if you don't fully get it. Like, maybe you're not into interpretive dance, but you're still front row at their performance, clapping like a seal. Why? Because respect means supporting each other, even through weird hobbies.

What to Ask Yourself

  • In moments of doubt or fear, does your partner offer encouragement without taking over?
  • Can you think of a time when they had your back, no questions asked, just pure support?

5. Respecting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is like drawing a treasure map of your relationship. It shows where the 'X' marks the spot for comfort and where the no-go zones are. Respecting these boundaries is key. It's not about restricting freedom; it's about creating a safe space for both of you to flourish.

What to Ask Yourself

  • Are your personal boundaries respected, or are they often crossed or ignored?
  • How does your partner react when you express a need for space or a particular boundary?

6. Choosing Critique over Criticism

Offering feedback doesn't have to be a minefield. There's a thin line between constructive critique and flat-out criticism. Respect means you can point out that they've got spinach in their teeth without making them feel small. It's the "Hey, I've got your back" instead of "How could you not notice that?"

What to Ask Yourself

  • When giving feedback, does it come from a place of love and wanting the best for you, or does it feel critical and demeaning?
  • Can you give each other constructive feedback without it leading to defensiveness or arguments?

7. Showing Gratitude

Saying 'thank you' might seem small, but it's mighty. It's about acknowledging the little things they do for you, from making coffee to putting up with your snoring. It's a way of saying, "I see you, and I appreciate you." Simple, but powerful.

What to Ask Yourself

  • Do you regularly express gratitude for the small things, and do you feel appreciated in return?
  • How often do you both say "thank you" for the everyday acts of kindness and partnership?

8. Knowing When to Apologize

We all mess up. But admitting it? That's where respect shines. A sincere apology shows that you value the relationship more than your ego. It's not just saying "I'm sorry" but understanding what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future.

What to Ask Yourself

  • Is "sorry" a word that's freely used in your relationship, followed by genuine change or improvement?
  • How do you both handle apologies? Is it seen as a sign of weakness or strength?

9. Loving Consistently

Respect also means keeping the connection alive, not just through grand gestures but through the daily grind. It's choosing to love each other, even on the days when you're both running on empty. It's the little texts, the inside jokes, and the knowing looks across a crowded room.

What to Ask Yourself

  • Do you both make an effort to keep the relationship exciting and not just comfortable?
  • Can you remember the last time you both tried something new or surprising together?

10. Having Equal Say

True respect is rooted in equality. It's about sharing the stage, the microphone, and the spotlight. It's a partnership of equals, where both voices are heard, both dreams are pursued, and both challenges are faced together.

What to Ask Yourself

  • Do you both have an equal say in decisions, big and small, within your relationship?
  • Is there a balance in giving and taking, or does one person seem to do most of the heavy lifting

11. Trusting Each Other

At its core, respect is built on trust. It's the confidence in each other's love, loyalty, and intentions. Trust is like the roots of a tree; it keeps the relationship grounded, no matter how high you aim to grow.

What to Ask Yourself

  • Do you feel secure in your relationship, or are there lingering doubts and insecurities?
  • Can you confidently say that trust has never been breached, or if it has, that it's been fully restored?

12. Communicating Honestly

Let's not forget the role of open, honest communication. It's the lifeline of respect, ensuring that both partners feel seen, heard, and valued. Additionally, honesty was found to be the top feature of respect in this relationship study.

What to Ask Yourself

  • Is communication open and honest, even about difficult topics, or are there things you feel you can't discuss?
  • How well do you feel your partner understands you? Are your thoughts and feelings valued and considered?

In the end, respect is both the glue that holds you together and the glitter that makes your relationship sparkle. It's about valuing each other as partners and as individuals. So, here's to respect—may it always be the foundation and the fun in your relationship.

What Should You Do If You Think Your Partner Doesn't Really Respect You?

Alright, let's tackle this together. If you're feeling like respect in your relationship is a bit lopsided, here's a game plan to turn things around:

1. Self-Reflection Time

  • Take a breather and think back to those moments when you felt a bit sidelined. Any patterns popping up?
  • Got your boundaries laid out clearly? Make sure your partner's got the memo.

2. Honest Heart-to-Heart

  • It's time for a sit-down. No holding back, just open up about how you've been feeling. Keep it real and ditch the blame game.
  • Give examples of those times when you felt like respect was MIA.

3. Set Those Boundaries

  • Time to reinforce those boundaries. Make 'em crystal clear and let your partner know what's off-limits. In case you're struggling with this, turn to this Couply article for help.
  • Got consequences in mind for when those boundaries get crossed? Stick to your guns.

4. Reach Out for Backup

  • Lean on your squad for some support and advice. Sometimes an outsider's take can be just what you need.
  • Thinking about couples therapy? It's worth a shot if you're both up for it.

5. Take Stock of the Situation

  • Let's get real—how often is this lack of respect happening, and how's it affecting your happiness?
  • Is your partner showing any signs of owning up to their behavior and trying to make things right?

6. Focus on You

  • Remember to take care of numero uno—yep, that's you. Find joy in the little things and don't forget to treat yo' self.
  • Keep those emotional boundaries in check and make sure you're putting yourself first when needed.

7. Weigh Your Options

  • If things aren't improving despite your efforts, it might be time to ask yourself some tough questions about the future of your relationship.
  • Does your partner's behavior line up with what you want in a relationship? Can you see a way forward where respect is back on the menu?

Remember, you deserve a relationship where respect flows both ways. If your partner isn't stepping up to the plate and making things right, it might be time to reassess where you stand and put your happiness front and center.