Mutual Respect in a Relationship

Relationships are give-take partnerships. For a relationship to be successful and positive, there needs to be a big level of respect both given and taken. So, if you’re in a new or long-term relationship and you want to do some exercises to cultivate mutual respect, here are some suggestions:


  1. Take Each Other Seriously

When one partner belittles the other in terms of career, hobbies or activities, it’s a sign of a lack of respect. If you fully accept and respect your partner, you’re ok with their entire personality. So, if you want to work on this aspect of mutual respect towards your partner, do the following exercise:

Sit across your partner and grab a pen and a piece of paper.

Divide the paper into life categories outside your relationship. You can divide them into categories: Family and Friends, Career, Money, Hobbies, Goals.

Now, write down a couple of sentences for each of these categories, related to your partner. List all the things you admire about your partner’s approach to these parts of life.

For example, if you’re talking about career, you could say “I love that you’re passionate about your work“, even if your partner is still in a junior, low-paying position. This will show that you respect their efforts in the workplace.


  1. Listen To Each Other

When it comes to communication, not listening is the number 1 sign of a lack of respect. You would never cut off or interrupt someone you respect, wouldn’t you?

Therefore, when you’re talking to your partner, always listen carefully and don’t let your mind wander. Sure, you may face many problems and obligations in your everyday life, but you should take advantage of every quality second with your partner.

Listening is a two-way street, and both of you should do it when you communicate. If you try really hard and actively listen to your partner, but they don’t listen back, you should express this issue. Try working on it by notifying your partner that he wasn’t listening to you.

You can even have a fun focus/listening exercise where one of you tells the other person about their day. Then, the other person tries to recollect as many details from the story as possible.


  1. Practice Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent communication (NVP) is a tool used in conflict management and therapy to promote healthy, productive communication and cultivate mutual respect.

The exercise basically goes like this:

When facing an issue, you start every sentence with the following opening statements:

  1. I observe… (see, hear, touch, feel)
  2. I feel…
  3. I need…
  4. Please, do…


This is a proven formula for successful and respectful communication. When you come across a problem in your relationship, you can use this communication pattern to resolve it, while maintaining respect for each other.


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