How respecting your boyfriend can save your relationship

Published: 13th March 2009
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by Sylvher

Truth be told, many girls start off a relationship with respect for her man. However, along the way, as she discovers more imperfections in him, she loses respect for him.

When something disappointing about her boyfriend is discovered, a girl makes a grave mistake (usually on a sub-conscious level), thinking, "I'll wait until he changes THAT thing before I can respect him."

Such a decision is usually the start of an irreversible journey of discoveries of more flaws and problems with the man and a downward spiral towards more resentment, greater dissatisfaction and less fulfilment in the relationship. Thus, these very same girls wait for far too long and the respect that she has tagged to his change never surfaces.

If respect for your boyfriend is tagged to a condition, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. In fact, girls who do that almost always end up breaking off the relationship.

Why wait for him to change? Why not just respect the man in spite of his flaws? Chances are, if you do that, you'll find yourself more fulfilled in the relationship and your boyfriend eventually learns to rise to the occasion.

Respecting him is easier than you think. Here's how:

1) Respect His Space

Stop putting your mark on him.

Some girls insist on putting something obviously girly or couple-ish (like soft toys or ornaments with love imprints) in their boyfriends' car. Some expect their boyfriends to use the heart-shaped mugs they bought in the workplace (or home, especially if the guy stays alone). Then, there are those who insist that their pictures be displayed as the wallpaper of their boyfriends' mobile phones.

If the guy is truly alright with such "markings", that's fine, If your boyfriend ever does any of these on his own initiative, congrats to you. You've definitely captured his heart completely. However, many guys are actually uncomfortable when their girlfriends propose such arrangements.

Firstly, the guy feels that his space is being invaded upon. Secondly, the girl appears insecure and needy with such requests.

Result? The guy loses some respect for his girlfriend. Though such actions will not result in break-ups (unless the requests are truly overboard and frequent), these

little actions are often tell-tale signs that you don't respect your boyfriend as much as you think you do.

2) Respect His Decisions

An average girl in Singapore is self-sufficient and her earning power can easily match her partner's. As such, reliance on her boyfriend as her future provider greatly diminishes as her income increases. The problem with this is that she starts being too confident in her own decision-making abilities and forgets to respect her boyfriend's.

Yes, the girl often proves to be right. And it's true, the female usually has the higher IQ & EQ in a relationship.

Nonetheless, she mustn't forget that eventually, the man becomes the head of the household, not the woman.

Challenging his decisions is like making a human walk around with two heads. Who truly leads? What if both heads say different things? How can anything get done properly?

Respect his decisions enough to not say, "I told you so..." - even in non-verbal cues- when his decisions end up in the wrong results.

Respect his decisions enough to not bring up his track record each time a similar decision has to be made. Treat his decisions as how you'd like yours to be treated, especially when it turns out to be wrong. Better to have a man who was wrong than a wimp who can't make decisions.

3) Respect His Time

Some girls need to have their boyfriends "report" to them by a certain time everyday. This is very suffocating to a man. Guys generally don't like to FEEL chained even though he is. Doesn't every girl want to believe that her boyfriend is hers and hers alone?

Men are generally more task-oriented and sometimes, taking time to even make a call breaks his work momentum. Normally, a guy will not tell the girl that he is feeling suffocated by her demands on his time.

Furthermore, if he loves her to a certain extent, he will not want to hurt her feelings unnecessarily.

When a girl insists on an arrangement that will encroach on a man's time, the man will very likely start feeling pressurised. If this goes on, the pleasure he feels on meeting or calling his girlfriend quickly fades. When that happens, the danger is that he may intentionally spend his time on anything and anyone else just to escape this pressure. How healthy can a relationship be if so?

4) Respect His Sharing

Many girls' knowledge are on par with or even more so than guys' these days. So what happens is that a girl becomes very quick to dispute the facts her boyfriend says and pass judgement on some experiences he shares.

When a girl does that too much, the man feels belittled and disrespected.

He starts being discouraged with talking to his girlfriend. Very soon, he shares less and less. In fact, if the girl bothered to take note, she will notice that when she is too quick to cut the man off, he usually ends up shutting up abruptly and the whole episode he was talking about suddenly stops short. That's the beginning of the end.

She should heed the warning signs before it's too late.

If you are that girl aforementioned, it's not too late. From now on, when your boyfriend tells you something that he understood wrongly, listen to the entire text first. Let him finish, respond to his conversation, then say, "By the way..." and correct his mistake (which you spotted earlier and just HAD to correct) gently. Chances are, he'll accept your correction and even thank you for it if you do as such.

5) Respect His Family

The last thing you need is for your boyfriend to be caught between a rock and a hard place. That's because you are the rock, which can be moved and REMOVED, whereas his family is the hard place, which is immovable and unchangeable.

If you don't respect his family and even manage to pull him over to your side of the argument, you need to know that you must be prepared for a LIFETIME of having to do that.

Even if he already hates his family, you don't need to intensify his negative feelings and add to his pressure by complaining about what-is-to-come before the family gathering even takes place.

Grumbling and griping about an unexpected or upcoming family event helps nothing. On the other hand, handling such affairs with grace only serves to make him appreciate you more. He may not express his appreciation of you aloud but you can be assured that your respect for his family is not without rewards.

Many married men have revealed that the girl they choose to marry over another who could have been better-looking, richer or more fun to be with, is the girl who displayed such qualities. To a man, any girl who can show respect to his family, especially if he is very close to them, for his sake is worth spending a lifetime with.

6) Respect His Friends

No matter how you dislike your boyfriend's friends, it never hurts to have a possibility of them rallying around you should he confide in them after you two have had a fight. And fights will happen.

Most men turn to their friends after they have quarrelled with the girlfriend. If such friends have never known the girl, they are likely to fully believe his side of the story and join in his girlfriend-bashing rants.

However, if your boyfriend's pals have a good impression of their buddy's girlfriend, they may even speak up for you. This can only be to your advantage. Relationships have been known to make or break due to friends' input, so don't under-estimate the power of peer influence.

If you have never done any of the above "Respects", you must be wondering how you can do all six at once. Don't fret. Any effort on your part to work on any of them will eventually be noticed by your partner. Moreover, from a start in respecting one aspect, it is much easier to transfer this respect to the other areas mentioned above.

Respect doesn't mean you have to be a doormat and allow him to step all over you. By

all means, tell him your opinion. Give him your suggestions but do so gently, calmly, respectfully, without an expected timeframe.

Give him the allowance to have his own response to your outpour of thoughts and emotions. Stop expecting change, improvement and a certain set of words or action from him. Don't disguise your demands as suggestions.

These are easily exposed when you react upon seeing that your "suggestions" were not taken.

Remember, respect should be given, not earned (by his credits). When you respect your man, you have nothing to lose. In fact, you'll have much to gain. After all, you've tried almost everything else to make your relationship work. Why not try respect from now on?

About the contributor:

Sylvher personally went from someone who was emotionally empty, dateless and hopeless about finding the right man in the past into a "highly date-able" and happily-attached woman presently.

As a Dating and Relationship Advisor to women in Singapore, she has coached many women into successfully enjoying their dating lives and entering into fulfilling relationships. She conducts trainings and personal coaching sessions (upon special requests) specially for women.

*Earn Additional Income*

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