One of the most important aspects in a healthy relationship is self-respect, because if you have respect for yourself, it is unlikely that someone else will be able to make you feel bad about yourself, and you’ll have the confidence to end the relationship in respectful way before it gets bad.
Respect also means accepting your partners’ opinions. This doesn’t mean agreeing with your partner about everything. Sometimes it can mean that you agree to disagree. But it does mean that if they have made an informed decision about an issue that is different to yours, they can freely express their opinion.
Respect yourself and others will respect you.
Respect for your partner also includes respecting their sexual desires. Essentially, you don’t have to agree with everything your partner sexually desires, but it is a good idea to listen to the stuff they like and be able to negotiate with your partner about what you would both like. Some useful things to consider are:
- Is this something I am going to enjoy doing? Is this going to turn me on?
- Is this something I would like to try? How do I know if I would like it if I’ve never done it before?
- What are the sexual activities that I would never want to do? Can I let my partner know that I do not enjoy these things?
Of course, in a healthy relationship, your partner should be returning the favour and listening to your sexual desires. This is when you can start to negotiate what you would both enjoy doing. It is important to have the confidence to discuss your ‘turn-ons’ with your partner. To find out more about sexual consent and negotiation of sexual activities, click here.
Love is an empty word without respect.
Sometimes, as good as a relationship is, people are not sexually compatible – they simply want different things. If you are in a relationship where you can’t seem to enjoy sex, then you may need to get some extra help, such as a relationship counsellor or sex therapist. Or, you may come to the conclusion that you are not suited to each other and go your seperate ways. Click here for more information about ending a relationship respectfully.
It is also important to respect your partners’ body. This means always negotiating sexual contact, stoping any sexual contact if your partner says “no” at any point, as well as making your partner feel secure and desirable in their body. Respecting your partner means knowing that no-one is perfect and everyone has their flaws, so we should all make our partners’ feel good about themselves.