7 Signs Of Lack Of Respect In A Relationship & Its Importance

Respect in a relationship helps in strengthening the bond between two people. In most cases, respect is a feeling of commendation or admiration toward people who have something important to offer, such as knowledge or power. However, the respect shown toward an authoritative figure is different from that of a partner.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Partners are equals, and showing respect toward one another allows them to be independent individuals who can voice their opinions without dismissal.

Read further to learn about the key aspects of respect in a relationship.

In This Article

Why Is Respect Important In A Relationship?

As much as love is important in any relationship, so is respect. Without it, the bond can crumble into pieces.

1. It helps to bring a balance

Respecting someone means accepting their imperfections.

Image: IStock

When you love someone, you admire their best qualities and might overlook the negative attributes. Loving and respecting someone means accepting their imperfections too. It lets you accept and respect your partner’s differences and helps both maintain a balance in the relationship.

2. It teaches patience

Being patient with your partner is an important attribute in the relationship. Pointing out flaws or judging your partner too soon is quite hurtful and might even portray that you are disrespectful towards them. Hence, respecting your partner teaches you to be patient, which benefits the relationship in the long run.

3. It enriches your relationship

Honesty is another important factor in developing trust and respect in a love relationship. Respect makes you admire your partner’s qualities. When you trust them, the decisions they make will be the best for you both. Both trust and respect harbor a romantic relationship, which means that you are more understanding and nurturing. This way, you can let go of any arguments or conflicts and look for common ground.

4. It pulls you away from unadulterated thoughts

Love is a wonderful feeling. But sometimes, you can be tempted towards unadulterated thoughts, which can be hurtful for both you and your partner. When your relationship is built on the pillars of respect, you will know the point where to stop, otherwise it can crumble the relationship.

protip_icon Point to consider
Mutual respect in a relationship helps you to communicate more effectively and it will help you develop the patience of sitting down and discussing solutions to the worst of problems.

Signs Of Lack Of Respect In A Relationship

Respect makes partners feel safe and secure. But there are times when you might not notice the lack of respect that could make the relationship abusive and toxic. Here are a few signs that show that the relationship lacks respect.

1. Ignoring boundaries

The phrase “ignoring boundaries” has many connotations. If your partner invades your personal space and makes you feel claustrophobic without respecting boundaries, it shows lack of respect in your relationship. Also, dismissing your opinions as mere whims or trying to force you to do things you don’t want to is another sign.

2. Giving silent treatment

Silent treatment makes matters much worse.

Image: IStock

When you and your partner argue about something, do they shut you down or give you the silent treatment without finding the root cause of the problem? Silent treatment and passive-aggressive behavior make matters much worse and lead your relationship to a toxic path.

3. Pointing out flaws

During an argument, if your partner constantly brings up your shortcomings, it means they have not accepted you completely and are disrespecting you.

4. Not compromising

Are you the only person who is putting your dreams on hold or compromising for your partner? If yes, you may relate to blogger Brandee Monet Cannady’s story. In her blog on breakup lessons, she counts one-sided compromise as one of the reasons behind her separation from her boyfriend. Cannady says, “The thing was, he constantly told me that he wanted to do things for me, he even wrote on paper that he would make sacrifices for me. The truth is though, he made a lot of empty promises. I think he said a lot of things out of emotions that he didn’t realize held any real meaning to him in the grand scheme of things. He wanted to make me feel good by promising these things. I’m not saying he was being malicious, but I think that he felt bad that he knew he didn’t see himself with me forever even though he knew full well that I saw a future with him. So instead of crushing my dreams, he just fed them until I got tired (i).”

Compromise is necessary in any relationship, but it must be mutual. It means your relationship is unequal. If your partner respects you, they will understand and make adjustments for you.

5. Lying or hiding the truth

Dishonesty is not the best policy; maybe that’s why so many relationships break apart. When your partner is not completely transparent and truthful to you, it will only lead to mistrust and can be paramount to a messy relationship. Lying or hiding the truth is a sign of a lack of respect in a relationship.

6. Interrupting your opinions

Interrupting when you are talking is a sign of disrespect.

Image: IStock

Interrupting when you are talking or expressing your opinions is a sign of disrespect. It means they don’t have enough respect for your thoughts. A continuous interruption while you are expressing is also rude and shows that you are not valued.

protip_icon Quick fact
Giving more time to others than the partner, being late for commitments, and making decisions without taking the partner’s opinion are some more signs of disrespect in a relationship.

7. Controlling behavior

Trying to control a partner is also a sign of disrespect. If your partner makes every big and small decision for you, they are trying to control you. For instance, you want to spend the weekend with your friends, but they force you to do some household chores that are not urgent. It means they are trying to keep you under their thumb.

How To Show Respect In A Relationship?

Here are a few ways to show you value and respect your partner, which will strengthen your relationship over time.

1. Communicate

Communication is key to a good relationship.

Image: IStock

Proper communication and respectful listening between you and your partner is key to a good relationship. If you both have argued, instead of giving the silent treatment or shutting them out, try to communicate your feelings to them. Discuss the root cause of the argument and work on bridging the gap. It is absolutely fine if some of your opinions lead to disagreements. But telling your partner that you need some time alone to think through is a sign of a healthy relationship.

2. Take accountability

Accountability is a huge attribute that many people undermine. It’s normal to commit mistakes, but apologizing and asking them for forgiveness will make them appreciate and value you more. Blaming your partner instead of accepting your wrongdoings will not help you improve your bond with your partner, and can damage the support and loyalty that are essential to a successful partnership.

3. Indulge yourself in alone time

Learn to enjoy your time when you are alone.

Image: IStock

When you’re in the “honeymoon phase” of your relationship, it is quite natural to feel excited. But differences may arise over time when you begin witnessing their imperfections. So, learn to enjoy your time when you are alone. This way, you can assess what is wrong and learn how to make it right without getting into unnecessary arguments. Also, both of you can grow as individuals and contribute something good to the relationship.

4. Trust your partner

Trust is the key to a wholesome relationship. Constantly texting or calling your partner might make your partner feel suffocated. Instead, trust their decisions without making wrong assumptions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can the lack of respect in a relationship lead to?

A lack of respect in a relationship may hinder the choices, desires, and dreams of partners. It may also give rise to anger, shame, and confusion. This may lead to unclear thoughts, resentment, and stress and ultimately cause an unhappy and dissatisfying relationship.

2. What causes disrespect in a relationship?

Disrespectful behavior in a relationship may arise due to differences in thoughts, communication styles, and lack of compatibility, kindness, affection, and compassion. It may also be influenced by negative attitudes, unpredictable moods, and inconsiderate actions of partners. Some disrespectful behavior may be due to substance abuse, disruptive behavior, and personality disorders.

3. What role does empathy play in maintaining respect within a relationship?

Empathy is important in a relationship as it helps partners understand each other’s unique perspectives. It helps them communicate effectively and demonstrate affection, care, and respect in a relationship.

4. How can I balance respect for my partner’s autonomy with the need for compromise in a relationship?

Respect for autonomy means giving your partner freedom, while compromise requires them to find common ground with you. You need to acknowledge each other’s individuality, opinions, and boundaries to balance these two aspects of the relationship. You must listen patiently, consider one another’s perspectives, and find mutually beneficial solutions.

5. Can respect coexist with differing opinions and beliefs within a relationship?

Every individual is entitled to their views and opinions, and valuing this is known as respect. Respect enables one to observe diversity of thinking, accept differences of views, have an open and productive conversation, and refrain from passing judgment or being dismissive. Even if you do not agree with someone’s opinions and beliefs, you can still have respect for their unique views.

6. Is respect inherent in love, or are they separate entities within a relationship?

Respect and love are the two hands of a clock. Both are crucial regardless of how long or short they are. While love deals with the emotional side of a relationship, respect serves as its foundation. Respect is an essential component of love and cannot be separated from it because, without respect, it may be difficult to build mutual regard, communicate effectively, or comprehend one another.

Respect in a relationship is paramount and helps keep partners strongly bonded. It creates a sense of balance and teaches couples the importance of appreciation and patience. If respect starts diminishing from a relationship, you may often notice that partners give each other silent treatment or spend time blaming each other. Since a long-term pattern of disrespecting each other may damage the relationship, you should manage it before it gets worse. Communication and trust will help you overcome tough times and bring love back into your relationship.

Infographic: Signs Your Partner Respects You

Respect for each other is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship. Along with knowing the signs of lack of disrespect in a relationship, it is equally important to know the signs showing that your partner respects you and your opinions. Delve into this infographic to learn about the signs that indicate your partner’s respect for you.

your partner has genuine respect for you if they (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Mutual respect brings balance, while a lack of respect can make the relationship toxic and abusive.
  • Not respecting personal space, being passive-aggressive, and nagging are signs of lack of respect in a relationship.
  • Communicating effectively and being accountable could help develop respectful relationships.
Respect in a relationship_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team


Respect is essential for healthy relationships. Learn how to show respect and build strong, lasting connections with your loved ones.

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Lisa J. Hill
Lisa J. HillRegistered Nurse Therapist
Lisa J. Hill is a Registered Nurse Therapist having a private practice in Christchurch, New Zealand. She specializes in working with adults, particularly during life transitions and emotional crises such as parenthood, but also sees adolescents and is branching into using Emotionally Focussed Therapy with couples.

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