Good relationships involve respect...
Without respect, people end up feeling worthless, demeaned and unhappy – not a good look in a relationship at all.
It's easy to be confused about what a respectful relationship and respectful partner look like. You might respect lots of things about your bf/gf, but a respectful relationship involves seeing them as an equal person, not just for being a good cook, strong or really, really good looking.
Total respect involves:
- Respecting their opinion – It's normal (if not better) to have different interests or opinions ...otherwise you may as well be hanging out with yourself!
- Respecting their privacy – Just because you're going out doesn't mean you should be snooping through their texts or stuff. And don't be talking about their private stuff in public or post stuff about it online.
- Respecting their time and space – Hanging out with other people just makes for better times when you're together. And it's okay for both of you to have male and female friends – we're living in the 21st century, people!
- Respecting their mood – Don't be pressuring them to have sex or make them feel guilty if/when they're not up for it. Turns out guilt and pressure are not aphrodisiacs.
- Respecting their mistakes – We all make mistakes, and there's better stuff to be doing in a relationship than going on about your partner's mistakes, or refusing to apologise when you've made a mistake.
- Respecting goals and hopes – You're a team. Support each other to achieve what each of you want out of life.
- Respecting them after the relationship changes or ends – It happens. When and if it does, work on making yourself happy again. Don't be that lowlife who tries to get back at them.
The FETH Test
Reckon you’re in a respectful relationship already? Try taking the FETH test (Fairness, Equality, Trust and Honesty) [#1] to measure your respectfulness.
|We listen to what each other has to say||3||2||1|
|We’re happy to have different opinions about stuff and leave it at that||3||2||1|
|We know that each other’s texts and stuff are THEIRS and private||3||2||1|
|We stay cool when the other person says they’re not up for sex or physical intimacy||
|We both give and take about the same in our relationship||3||2||1|
|We share the decision-making equally||3||2||1|
|We feel that each other’s opinions are equally as important||3||2||1|
|We both recognise that sometimes one of us might not be up for sex or intimacy||3||2||1|
|We keep the private details of our relationship between us||3||2||1|
|We both know not to put the other person down or humiliate them||3||2||1|
|We feel we can be ourselves around each other||3||2||1|
|We’re totally comfortable with each other doing stuff together, alone or with other friends (male or female)||3||2||1|
|We both admit our mistakes and apologise when we’re wrong||3||2||1|
|Neither of us controls how the money is spent in the relationship||3||2||1|
|We both understand that it’s okay to have different interests and opinions about stuff||3||2||1|
|We feel safe to tell each other whatever’s on our minds||3||2||1|
|We make an effort to understand and respect each other’s differences||3||2||1|
|If we disagree with each other we will discuss it respectfully without putting the other person down||3||2||1|
|We support each other to achieve our individual and shared goals||3||2||1|
Over 50 = Niiice. You got some seriously high levels of FETH going on in your relationship ...according to you.
30 to 50 = Not bad, not bad at all. Some good signs of respect in your relationship, although there's some room for improvement. Maybe spend some time on the areas where you scored lower.
Less than 30 = Hmmm. Seems there are a few areas where your relationship could benefit from a little more fairness, equality, trust or honesty. Might be time for a sit-down with your partner to talk about what's going on. Or maybe you'd feel more comfortable talking to a counsellor – try calling 1800MYLINE (1800 695 463).
Note: These results reflect YOUR view of your relationship. Your partner may see things totally differently. Try asking your partner to take the FETH test and discuss the results. There might be some areas neither of you realised were crossing the line...
#1: 'The FETH test' is adapted from the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (2015) Are you living in a respectful relationship? Central Queensland University & Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services www.noviolence.com.au/public/factsheets/respectfulrelationship/qldwide.pdf