- He always snapchats you right when he wakes up.
- He wears nice jeans when you go out together.
- His favorite color is red.
- He only chews spearmint gum.
Does anyone else come across advice as meaningless as this list as often as I do? There is no shortage of subjective articles on how to interpret the spineless romance our generation has now settled for. But these articles, while usually well-meaning, are most often hollow and misguided. They promise sound advice, but are frustratingly devoid of legitimate substance, throwing out inconsequential examples of affection with little to no relevance to true respect. Sometimes, the people clicking on these articles are genuinely desperate for tangible advice, and petty examples just don’t cut it.
I believe my generation especially is suffering from a lack of understanding in this area. It seems like we are struggling to identify true respect. If you’re not happy with the relationship you’re in, no matter how serious or casual it is, let’s be real.
You don’t need an article to tell you if you’re being disrespected- you already know.
If you’re reading this with a specific person in mind, chances are that you already knew if they respected you before you clicked on this. You can tell if you are being treated honorably without reading an article about it. But sometimes, it takes a little encouragement to come to terms with the truth.
I’ve been in several relationships that I knew I shouldn’t have been in, but continued to accept disrespect simply because I didn’t have the courage to fight for anything better. (Read more about that here)
So my aim is to encourage you not to do what I did. If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who does not know your worth, it’s not a bad idea to rethink your participation in that relationship. Or, at the very least, consider how you might open up communication about improving your relationship. Often times, your guy might just need a little clarification as to what you expect from him. For example, communicating that you’d like to be walked to your door or to your car when being dropped off is something that can easily be worked on. But if you are seeing consistent red flags that you know aren’t going to change, that’s a different story.
1. admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
To break it down: when you are being shown respect, you are being admired for your:
(*Side note: Although our physical qualities can be beautiful, true respect is not earned based on physicality. Respect is earned based on character qualities. If a guy is interested in you only for what you look like, or what you can give him physically, you are not being shown respect. I could write a whole book about that from personal experience, but I’ll save that for later.)
Although I believe most people know when they are being respected, I can give three personal examples of how I know my boyfriend Devon respects me:
- He listens to me. He values and trusts my opinion, and makes it a priority to listen to what I am thinking and feeling. He works to understand me, and asks questions when he doesn’t get what I’m saying. He makes it a priority to know what’s going on in my heart and in my mind!
- He builds me up. He encourages me every single day, and pushes me to be the best version of myself. He helps me set personal goals, and celebrates my victories as if they were his own. He also builds me up publicly, telling others about how proud he is of me and showing me off. He makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to!
- He sacrifices for me. He does this with little things- like walking on the side of me that’s closest to the street to protect me, giving me the best bite of dinner, or paying for my food. He also does this with bigger things- like giving up sleep to stay up late with me when I’m feeling lonely, spending time with me even when he has a crazy schedule, and working really hard to be able to take me out to nice places and make me feel special. No matter what it is, I know he is willing to sacrifice for me.
I’m never left wondering if Devon respects me. I am confident of it without a doubt, because of these reasons and so many more. He respects me, and I respect him- it’s a two-way exchange. In a relationship, respect needs to be mutual. So if you clicked here knowing you’re not being shown respect, I’ve been there too. Just don’t stay there.
“Be devoted to one another in love, and outdo one another in showing honor” Romans 12:10