All the relationship advice you get, is always big on ‘respect’, on giving and receiving respect, and for not settling for a relationship that has no respect. But what does it really mean? The ideal meaning of respect in a relationship boils down to these few things.

1. Respect means choosing your words carefully.

You have to observe a certain standard of behavior while talking to someone, no matter how close that person may be. Attacking your partner, saying hurtful things or name-calling, all indicate a lack of respect in the relationship.

2. It means keeping some thoughts to yourself.

Not everything needs to be said. There are some things you might not approve of, or feel that your partner should act a certain way, but if it doesn’t implicate you directly, you are better off keeping these negative thoughts to yourself. If it affects you, sure, speak up, but otherwise let your partner deal with their own issues.

3. Respect is about honoring boundaries.

Not everyone is the same. People have their own boundaries and rules about how much interference they accept in their lives. Do not overstep your bounds. That is never okay, even in a relationship.

4. It is about showing consideration and being willing to compromise.

Basic consideration for your partner is the very first step to respect. Make sure they’re comfortable at all times, and give in, if it makes your partner happy. Be considerate and caring.

5. Admit that you can be wrong sometimes.

You might not think you’re wrong, but neither does your partner. It takes humility and maturity to admit one’s fault and try to make up, but not doing it indicates a lack of respect. Nobody ever thinks they’re wrong, but sometimes you have to give in and admit your fault. Believing oneself to be right all the time, is extreme arrogance.

6. Know your own worth.

No one should be given the power to damage your self worth, or treat you like you don’t matter. If your partner dismisses your wishes, views and opinions, and doesn’t think they are worth giving credence to, then the relationship lacks respect.

7. Respect means keeping your criticism to yourself.

You have no right to dictate what your partner should or shouldn’t do, or how they should do it. You might not agree on everything, but you don’t have to make your all your criticisms public, either. You might not like certain things about your partner, or want them to do things differently, but you have taken this person for better or for worse, and it is your duty to accept them, with all their flaws.