Readers and patients often ask me how they can begin to expect respect in a relationship and finally have a relationship on their own terms – the Be Your Own Brand of Sexy way. We’ve talked before about why respect is essential in every relationship and how to know whether you’re asking too much from dating, but how can you actually implement these ideas? Is there a secret to how to have a good relationship? Maybe the most important question is:
How can you make sure you are getting the respect you deserve in your relationship?
Unfortunately, it’s easier to talk about how to have a good relationship than actually doing the work to have one. Deciding that you will only accept respect in a relationship and good treatment from a man means knowing what your priorities are and sticking to your guns when the time comes. It’s about respecting yourself. It may not always be easy, but requiring that men give you the best treatment possible will help you stay true to yourself and be able to create the relationship you have been hoping for. Expect respect and you’re much more likely to get it.
The Difference Between Expecting and Demanding Respect from Men
What is the difference between only accepting respect in a relationship and demanding it?
Let me clarify. I am not suggesting that you should try to push men to do things your way or be different than who they are. A nice man who is interested in you should already be considerate of your feelings and treat you with respect, without you having to fight for it. And realistically, you wouldn’t be able to make him submit to your terms in the end anyway. A lot of guys might not be experts on how to have a good relationship and may need a few dating tips, but respect should be there from the start.
There are so many different ways to communicate your wants and expectations – you have to work towards finding the ones that best work for you. If he’s into you, he’ll try to meet your needs. Although he may not always understand you, making an effort says a lot. And if he isn’t in to you, why keep wasting your time? He won’t make you happy in the long run.
Take Beth for example. She learned this lesson the hard way:
Beth and Bill have been dating for six months. At this point, they have a pattern: when they are out with their friends, Bill tells dirty jokes in front of everyone even though Beth has asked him not to. When she complains about it, Bill tells her to grow up and stop being so sensitive. Beth doesn’t like his dirty jokes, but she’s practically given up trying to make him listen to her pleas.
Finally fed up one day, she decides to bring it up again and be as clear as possible, “Bill, I’m embarrassed when you tell dirty jokes in front of me. It’s demeaning. I’m tired of you ignoring how I feel about it. Would you please stop?” Surprised, Bill responds, “Are you kidding? That’s just who I am. You knew that from the beginning. Why would you expect me to change now?” Beth realizes what she should have known all along – Bill does not respect her feelings and will not in the future. She finally breaks it off.
Looking for Respect in a Relationship? Start to Respect Yourself
Why did Beth wait so long to end it with Bill? For a long time, she didn’t realize that he was showing her lack of respect by not listening to her request. She had given up trying to change him, because telling him how she felt and arguing with him didn’t get her anywhere. Eventually she had to deal with her dissatisfaction in their relationship. Only by finally confronting the real reason he was ignoring her simple desire – that he didn’t care enough to change his behavior – was Beth able to understand that he was not the right guy for her.
You don’t have to date someone for six months to tell that there is a deal breaker in your relationship. All those times that she listened when Bill told her that she should grow up and stop being sensitive, she was choosing to ignore her feelings too. Bill’s actions were speaking clearly to Beth all along that he wasn’t interested in how she felt. Ultimately, Beth had to realize that her challenge was not how to make Bill respect her, but to figure out whether he respected her enough to care about her feelings and create the relationship she desired.
Actions speak louder than words. If he’s not giving you what you need, then it may be best to stop seeing him. If he doesn’t care how you feel, then don’t go out with him again. It’s not useful to argue with a man who isn’t interested in your feelings or treating you well. A good guy will want to understand you and make you happy. Respect yourself by accepting only respect in your relationships.
Still not sure how to move forward toward your relationship goals? It’s okay – it takes time. You can begin the process now by checking out the dating tips in my latest video series, How to Be Your Own Brand of Sexy in 5 Simple Steps. Why not jump start your love life today?