Respect is more than holding open the car door for you and pulling out your chair at restaurants. It’s more than walking up to your front stoop to pick you up for a date instead of honking his horn from the driveway.
Respect is more than saying please and thank you, sir and ma’am. It’s more than practicing good manners at the dinner table and treating waiters with kindness.
Respect is showing up to your mother’s house with flowers during the holidays. It’s offering to pick you up and drive when he knows you’re tired. It’s calling you instead of texting when you have to talk about something serious.
Respect is sending a text when he knows he’s going to be late, so you don’t sit up wondering where he is or if you did something to make him upset. It’s keeping you in the loop, because you’re an important part of his life and you deserve to know what’s going on.
Respect is listening to your side of an argument, even if he completely disagrees with it. It’s letting you speak your mind instead of screaming over you, telling you that you’re wrong. It’s communication and compromise.
Respect is holding back from saying something cruel in the middle of a fight. It’s refusing to call you a bitch or a waste of space, even though he’s never been this pissed at you before. It’s treating you like an actual human being, regardless of the situation.
Respect is accepting when you’re not in the mood for sex instead of guilt tripping you into going through with it. It’s understanding that some things make you uncomfortable and should never be forced upon you. It’s hearing you say ‘stop’ and immediately stopping without a second thought.
Respect is being honest with you, even when the truth hurts. It’s telling you what happened, even if you’re not going to like what you hear. It’s being completely truthful with you — no exceptions.
Respect is treating you the same way, whether you’re wearing jeans and a hoodie or a skintight dress with fishnets. It’s realizing that a woman isn’t defined by how she looks or what she’s wearing — and understanding that her personality is what makes her who she is.
Respect is introducing you to his friends as his girlfriend. It’s defending you when his mother makes a rude comment about you. It’s deleting all of his dating apps, because he doesn’t need them anymore.
It’s doing little things that mean the world.
Respect is just as important as love in any relationship, because it shows how much a person cares about your wellbeing, about your happiness.
If he hits you, he doesn’t respect you. If he makes you burst into tears every other night, he doesn’t respect you. If he cheats on you again and again and again, he doesn’t respect you.
And if he doesn’t respect you, he doesn’t deserve you.