Components of Respect in a Relationship

Your guy needs to respect your physical boundaries.
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Grimacing and groaning when your guy tries to update you on his favorite football team's stats may not seem like a big deal, but it actually shows a lack of respect for him. While you don't have to praise everything your partner enjoys -- and vice versa -- valuing him and his ideas is an essential component of respect within your relationship.

1 Boundaries and Privacy

The doorbell rings and you drop you phone to see who's there. You walk back into the room only to find your girlfriend sneaking a look at your cell. She nervously looks down and drops the phone back onto the table where she found it. Her snooping is a sign that she isn't respecting your boundaries. Going through your texts, logging onto your social media page to see if any other girls are messaging you or telling you that you can't go to a boys' night without her by your side, are all ways that a lack of trust can lead to disrespect in a relationship. If your partner truly trusts you, she will respect your boundaries and your privacy.

2 Values and Beliefs

You faithfully go to church every weekend with your family. Not because you mom makes you, but because you believe that it's the right way to live. Whether your boyfriend is religious or not, he can show you that he respects you by understanding the importance religion holds in your life. Valuing other people's beliefs -- even if they aren't the same as your own -- is a key component of respect when it comes to romantic relationships.

3 Taking You Seriously

Respecting you means that your romantic partner also respects your ideas and opinions. For example, if the two of you are talking about an upcoming political election, and your girl rolls her eyes every time you ask a question or express an idea on the subject, she doesn't respect what you have to say or your right to say it. Even if her eye rolling isn't across the board or doesn't happen every time you open your mouth, in a respectful relationship, your partner takes your ideas seriously no matter how much she disagrees with them.

4 Two-Way Street

Whether you're talking values, beliefs, boundaries or ideas, having a healthy relationship means respect is a two-way street. While having your guy value your opinion is ideal for you, if you don't give him the same respect, your relationship will suffer. The same goes for knowing and not pushing each others boundaries. For example, if you both agree that seeing each other every day is too much, but then you constantly call your guy asking to go out, you're not observing the mutuality of relationship respect.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.