Respect is an absolutely essential part of any healthy relationship. When your guy's lack of respect gets in the way, questioning whether you should stay or go is key to your own happiness. Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer, if your boyfriend's behaviors constantly bother you, staying together requires clear communication and setting boundaries.
More Than a Little Respect
He makes fun of your friends, puts down your opinions and laughs when you tell him what you're thinking. While this type of disrespectful behavior may not seem serious, it does show that he has little respect for you. In a healthy relationship each partner values the other for who they are, inside and out, according to the article "What's Your Relationship Reality?" on the Stayteen.org website. Before you bag your relationship, talk to your guy about the low level of respect in your relationship. If he laughs it off or thinks you're being silly, it's time to leave him. On the other hand, if he's sincerely sorry for the way he's been acting, keep communicating and consider working things out.
Kindness is key to a successful relationship. When your guy gets mean and isn't treating you right, he needs to either correct his bad behavior or hit the road. For example, you show up to your date in the brand new outfit that you just bought. You feel as attractive as ever, but he says, "What's with the sweater? You look terrible." Is he being brutally honest with you or just brutal? When he can't seem to say one kind thing to you or insults are more the norm than not, end things with him. If he truly thinks that he's being helpful or doesn't realize how mean he is, give him the opportunity to apologize and turn his actions around.
Trust and Lies
You walk into the cafeteria and see him flirting with a pretty cheerleader. When you ask him about it, he blows off your concern and says "It's nothing." Two days later you catch him kissing her in the stairway. If he's lying to you or cheating, you need to leave him and move on to someone who is honest. Keep in mind that your suspicion doesn't mean that he's lying 100 percent of the time. If you have your own trust issues it's possible that you may see his innocent actions as dishonest. For example, you see a text from his lab partner on his cell. You accuse him of cheating, but he was really just asking a question about their upcoming quiz. Instead of leaving him, you need to work on yourself and learn how to trust him.
You've told your boyfriend time after time that your boss absolutely won't allow personal calls at work. You specifically said, "Do not call me at work. You have to wait until I get done at 5:00." That said, he ignores the boundaries that you've set and still calls you saying that he, "just felt like it." If your guy refuses to accept and observe your boundaries, you don't need to break things off right away. Talk to him about why these boundaries are important to you, and remind him that he has his own ones as well. Make it clear that if he continues to cross your boundaries, you may need to consider walking away from the relationship.
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