So many people I talk to are struggling with some kind of relationship issue….most often a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Just about everyone seems so hungry for insight and wisdom into how to make a relationship with their bf/gf work better. One of the best ways to make a stronger, more long-lasting relationship is by learning how to treat each other with respect.
I have come to the conclusion that everyone longs to be respected. What is respect? Respect is showing someone extra special attention, or high regard, based on a desire to show them how highly they are valued.
The desire to be respected by someone of the opposite sex is something that runs deep within everyone, even though most people don’t take the time to find someone who truly respects them. It seems like people are just looking for someone to show them the slightest amount of attention, settling for something much less than respect. I am convinced one of the best ways to help any relationship grow is by showing respect.
How does this play out in real life? For example, how does a guy show respect to a girl? How does he show her she is valuable to him? I’ve come up with a list of ten things.
How Does a Guy Show Respect to A Girl?
1. He talks with her in a courteous way.
Put another way, he doesn't talk trash to her. He doesn't swear, tell dirty jokes, or use filthy words around her. Making jokes about her body, is never appropriate or talking behind her back. He never texts her with cruel or biting comments, and he is there to defend her if somebody does. Kaitlyn wrote, "Guys should respect the girl by always encouraging her and NEVER ever putting her down in any way!" Jose said the way he shows respect to girls is by talking to them in a positive, affirming way. "I do not strip them of their dignity, like many guys do. Many guys my age feel it's okay to make remarks about their bodies in a sexual way, and they have to know that it's not okay. It's wrong. Girls deserve all the respect they can get, and more, but our society isn't doing that."
2. He will never try to take advantage of her sexually.
This is a big one. Sarah agrees, "My wonderful boyfriend shows respect to me by not pressuring me to do things I don't want to do." Brittany uses the word "no" to find out if a guy respects her. "I know they respect me when I say no and they lay off me and aren't grabbing at me all the time." Kaitlyn said a girl should be seen as a treasure, not a magnet for the guys to be attached to. "If the guy wants you only for a sexual relationship then he has no respect for you. He is only thinking about himself and how that one night or so will benefit him and his social status."
3. He gives her time and attention.
All women love the gift of time and attention. It's a gift that can't be bought. It's also a gift she can clearly see and experience. A guy gives her this gift by talking with her and asking questions about her life. He refuses to brag about his own accomplishments to try and impress her. Amy expressed how when a guy truly respects her, she can feel it. "He shows it by his actions, by his words, by the way he looks into your eyes. When a guy respects you he listens to your feelings, and even if he doesn't agree with them, he lets you express them to him. When a guy respects you he knows that small things matter to a woman, something as [simple] as giving you his jacket when you're cold or holding open a door."
4. He knows when to joke and when to be serious.
Dobrinka said there are a lot of guys, when hanging out with their girlfriend, who act as if they are with their guy friends. "Girls are more sensitive in certain situations, and guys don't always know when to be serious and when they can be playful and joke about stuff. If a guy truly understands you and your feelings then he should know when is the right time to be serious about a situation and when is the right time to play around."
5. He doesn't flirt with other girls.
When a guy is dating a girl and he flirts with other girls, he shows her he’s not committed to her, and that she is no more special to him than all the other girls. Erin had a bad experience with a guy who did this. "The guy I just broke up with, I broke up with because he flirted with other girls right in front of me…not respectful at all!"
6. He points out her strengths.
Let her know how amazing she is and how impressed you are by her talents and gifts. Everyone needs to be encouraged.
7. He shows respect for her family and her friends.
Let’s face it. A person’s family has a huge impact on the person you are dating. To disrespect that family is to disregard one of the most vital parts of their life. Celeste said this is really important to her. If you respect her, you should also show respect to her parents, siblings etc. Even if you don’t get along with them.
8. He helps her feel welcome and comfortable in a group of other people, especially in a group of guys.
No girl wants to look stupid or feel uncomfortable in front of other people, especially guys. Many guys have made the horrible mistake of ignoring or belittling his girlfriend in front of his buddies. This is relational sabotage.
9. He is trustworthy.
Keep your word and do what you say. Lynn has some advice for guys, "Girls take what you say to heart. Say what you mean, and mean what you say."
10. He trusts her.
You can show tremendous respect to your girlfriend by showing her you trust her. Celeste said a big way to show respect is to give her the space she wants and needs. "If she says she’s going out with her friends, then she’s going out with her friends. Let her go have fun without calling her every five minutes to see what she’s doing…she’ll call you when she gets home. She doesn’t need to check in with you...you’re not her dad."
Show me a guy who treats women with respect, I will show you a guy who receives respect in return.
I’ll leave you with a great comment I received from Jonathan who said the best way a guy can show respect to a girl is by recognizing that she is a precious creature carefully crafted by God: Once this realization sets in most everything else will follow. "Holding the door, listening, being sensitive to their needs and sensitivities, treating them like people and not sex objects, opening the car door, walking them home, listening and talking to their face and not their chest, defending them verbally and, should the need arise, physically…I could go on. Everything in this world is a gift from God, and women are the most beautiful, precious gift of all. That fact alone charges us to give them all the respect we can."
I've also written a blog about how a girl can show respect to a guy. Showing respect is a two-way street. If you are in a relationship, these two blogs could serve as a great discussion starter.