Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is Respect in a Romantic Relationship?

Eye Candy Girl Emily - Courtesy of Terri Jean Photography

By Barbara Alvarez

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” We’ve all heard that old Aretha Franklin tune. Mom and dad gave that song to me – in the form of a 45 rpm vinyl record when I was but a teen. (Now that you know my vintage ...) Aretha sang about respect and Tina Turner sang about “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” in her movie. (Turner wrote a book, then adapted the book into her movie, “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” referencing her years of isolation and abuse.)

Eye Candy Girl Brandi Reminding You To Respect Yourself!

Respecting Yourself 

Know what your self-worth is. “I’m always getting yelled at and put down. Why?” Could it be the message you’re putting out, even if you’re not aware you’re doing so? Before you can receive respect from others, you have to respect yourself.

You’re not truly better than others, but you do have worth in this world. With your circle of friends, family and coworkers, you should be communicating, “I am worthy. I know what I know.”
Nobody has the right to put their hands on you in anger, especially when you do not want that. When you communicate with others, they should respect you in word and deed. You are worth more than put-downs and swear words.

Respecting Your Partner

If you expect to be respected, you need to demonstrate respect to your romantic partner, as well as to coworkers, family and friends. When you’re angry at him, think before speaking. Yes, in the heat of the moment, blurting something out just to punish him feels good – but what about later?

Your words and actions act just like the sharpest knife in the drawer – they cut and hurt. It’s impossible to take them back. Throttle those words and say, “I need some time.” Walk away, go for a run or hit the punching bag. Once you’re calmer, come back and discuss the issue – rationally. 

Eye Candy Girl Natalie Communicating! 

Ways of Showing Respect

 Because you want to be respected, you need to be ready to show respect. After all, part of showing you’re worthy of respect means you need to give the same consideration. We’ve already covered careful word choice. Let’s cover a few other ways:

√ Respect his emotional and physical boundaries. These include his time, touching and honoring his need to be with others or by himself;

√ Be considerate, thoughtful and helpful;

√ Notice when he’s done the laundry or made dinner reservations for you. More than just 
“noticing,” speak up and say, “I appreciate this;”

√ Compromise. Give and take builds a relationship;

Establishing Your Expectations 

This takes place at the beginning of every relationship – or it should. Here’s a few ways of doing so:

√ Be honorable. Be where you say you’ll be and do what you say you’re going to do;

√ Understand your own self worth. This includes your body, feelings and opinions;

√ Practice good character. Earning respect is much easier;

√ Establish firm boundaries. Don’t make excuses for poor behavior, especially when they cause harm to you;

√ Give respect. If you can’t, why are you with him?

When you’re able to see yourself with respect, others sense this and are less likely to act against you. If they do, take appropriate action and cut them out of your life. In the words of Miss Abileen (“The Help”), “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” (Source)

Barbara Alvarez earned her journalism and mass communications degree in December, 2006 and has been writing professionally since that time.

Alvarez has written and self-published two books, one non-fiction and one fiction. The non-fiction is intended for a military spouse niche. This book is written under a pen name: Diana M. Lopez.

The fiction is intended for anyone who loves to read about strong men and stronger women who confront conflict even as they learn to adjust their beliefs about relationships and love.

Alvarez plans to write until she is very old – it is in her blood, along with crochet and cross stitch. She is the mother of two grown sons.

You can keep up with Barbara at her website, or follow her on Facebook.  Of course you can also keep an eye out here for more of her work on I Feel Delicious!

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