25 Small-But-Beautiful Ways To Show Your Partner Respect

It will mean so much to them.

couple holding hands on the couch fizkes / Shutterstock

To have a great relationship, there needs to be a high level of respect on the part of both partners. Couples who are less intentional and accomplished in this area will find that their lack of respect holds their partnership down to a lower level of well-being.

There are some simple steps one can take to stop habituated patterns that are disrespectful and replace them with more responsible ways of relating. The following steps, although not necessarily easy, will teach you how to show respect in your relationship so that it can grow and thrive:


Here are 25 small-but-beautiful ways to show your partner respect.

1. Listen attentively to your partner's needs, desires, and concerns.

Actively engage when your partner shares their needs, whether it's something as simple as what they want you to do around the house, or as complex as their dreams for the future. Maintain eye contact as well as other gestures that show you are paying close attention.

RELATED: 9 Signs A Man Will Make An Excellent Life Partner


2. Show that you notice your partner's needs, desires, and concerns by acting on what you discover about your partner.

They say that actions speak louder than words, so show that you're paying attention to your partner's desires. If they mention their ideal cup of coffee, make it a point to pick it up at the coffee shop. Surprise them with something sweet — a small, thoughtful action that shows how much you care.

3. When your partner is direct with requests, respond to what he or she asks for and act on those requests in a timely fashion.

Rather than waiting around to do the dishes, mow the lawn, or get your taxes sorted out, do them willingly and promptly, without complaining. You're not only letting your partner check that item off their own mental list, but you're showing how reliable you are.

4. Speak words of acknowledgment, appreciation, and gratitude — not only for what your partner does but for who your partner is.

When you express appreciation, you're proving to your partner that they are much more than just your spouse or significant other. You're showing that you see the unique qualities they have, like empathy, or resilience, or honesty.

5. When using humor to enliven the relationship, be careful to only playfully tease and not to wound with sharp barbs.

Make the effort to use humor daily in your relationship, steering clear of sensitive topics and sticking to more light-hearted ones. Playfully teasing your partner means having them laugh without unintentionally harming them.




6. Only make comparisons to others for the purpose of calling attention to your partner’s strengths and talents.

Never compare your partner to someone else for the sake of being mean, to tear them down, or to make a negative point. Instead, use positive comparisons, like your admiration to how hands-on as a parent they are, to emphasize their impressive qualities.

RELATED: 30 Incredibly Sweet Things Men And Women Adore About Their Partners

7. There are intimate details that only you are privileged to know; never violate confidentiality.

The cornerstone of a lasting relationship is trust. Without that, your relationship is doomed to fail. Respect the stories your partner tells you in confidence, and honor that confidentiality to create security in your relationship.


8. Carefully spar with your partner to work out differences during conflicts.

Arguments in relationships should never be a reason to put your partner down. Approach arguments or conflicts in a positive way, focusing on using them as an opportunity to better understand one another, find a constructive resolution, and strengthen your bond in the process.

9. When bringing a complaint, be careful not to go over the line to criticism.

When you criticize, you're not doing yourself or your relationship any favors. Rather than complaining, voice your concerns in a non-aggressive way, being sure to focus on solutions instead of making matters worse.

small but beautiful ways to show your partner respectPhoto: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels


10. Replace cutting sarcasm with gentle language.

There's nothing wrong with sarcasm, but sometimes, it may rub your partner the wrong way. Instead, lead with kindness and use gentle language, as it creates understanding and prevents harm.

11. Speak directly to your partner rather than sharing your complaints with others.

When an issue arises, don't immediately call your friend or family member for advice. Share your thoughts openly with your partner, letting them know how you feel about that particular problem. This will help you avoid creating any misunderstandings.

12. Banish all forms of contempt, including rolling of the eyes.

A major sign of disrespect is rolling your eyes when your partner speaks or says something you don't like. Be mindful of your body language, making an effort to refrain from any dismissive gestures that undermine respect.

RELATED: The 2 Ingredients Couples Need In Order To Be Truly Compatible


13. Omit impatient and irritable tones from your communication.

Don't act defensive or emotionally reactive when you become irritable. Doing so can create a rift in your relationship and diminish respect. Instead, use patience and calmness when you talk.



14. When your partner makes unskillful choices, be compassionate and reassuring by saying something like, 'We all make mistakes and can learn from them.'

Mistakes will happen; it's just part of being human. But rather than putting your partner down for the choices they make, come to them from a place of understanding and empathy.

15. Validate your significant other's offerings with encouraging words, such as, 'You’re full of good ideas.'

A great way to show respect is by being encouraging and supportive, not demoralizing your partner. Validate their ideas using affirmative words, boosting their confidence.


16. Make room for your partner's style.

If your partner's physical aesthetic isn't like yours, don't disregard it! Embrace and respect the unique qualities they possess. Go out of your way to make them feel accepted for who they are.



17. Assure your partner that there is room for many opinions.

Couples are going to disagree, and that's perfectly normal. You will no doubt contribute different opinions from time to time, so create open space for understanding those viewpoints.

RELATED: 10 Micromoves You Can Make Today To Drastically Improve Your Relationship


18. Support your partner’s choices whenever you can.

You may not agree with their choices, but it's your duty as a loving, respectful partner to support them in any way possible. Stand proudly behind their decisions, and show that you trust their judgment.

19. Acknowledge whatever level of financial contribution your partner makes to the family expenses.

It doesn't matter who the breadwinner is in the relationship; what does matter is that you don't put your partner down for a "lack" of contributing to finances. Acknowledge their contributions to your finances, and appreciate their unique role in supporting your unit.

20. Acknowledge how much your partner contributes to you and your family on the non-material, emotional level.

Express gratitude for the sacrifices your partner makes and recognize all the effort they have put into emotionally supporting you.

small but beautiful ways to show your partner respectPhoto: Katerina Holmes / Pexels


21. When you make an unskillful choice, apologize as soon as possible.

Don't go to bed angry. When you realize you've made a mistake or have hurt your partner, apologize promptly and take responsibility for your actions.

22. Take responsibility for the ways you harm your partner.

Get busy learning from your breakdowns so that you don’t continue to harm your relationship. Take ownership of how you act and how it affects your partner, and then commit to building understanding and personal growth.

RELATED: 30 Extremely Easy Ways To Be A More Generous Partner


23. Be quick to offer forgiveness when your partner makes unskillful choices.

Just like they offer you grace when you make mistakes, do the same for them. Quickly forgive them so you can get back to creating a trusting, respectful environment.

24. Tell your partner that you are proud of her or him.

It may not be something you say very often, but your words impact your partner, whether you realize it or not. Make it a point to verbally express your admiration for all that they have accomplished.



25. Declare your respect for your partner in front of others.

Be sure to tell your partner that you're overjoyed with the partnership you're co-creating and that you're pleased to have a partner who's worthy of your respect.


These ideas are just a starter kit; you can certainly come up with some splendid ideas of your own. If you follow these simple guidelines, you have a right to expect that you will soon find yourself in a more enriched partnership.

Don’t take our word for it — look to your own experience and see what you discover. And be sure to enjoy the process as much as you can.

RELATED: The Hidden Obstacle That Stands Between You & True Love

Linda Bloom, LCSW and Charlie Bloom, MSW are psychotherapists and relationship counselors who have worked with individuals, couples, groups, and organizations since 1975. They have taught seminars in many countries throughout the world and are co-authors of four books.