5 Signs That Your Partner Respects You & Sees You As Their Equal

There are a lot of different values and behaviors required to build a strong relationship, like honesty, trust, and communication. I could go on, but there is one thing that is actually more important than all of the others — because, without this, none of the rest have a strong foundation. I'm talking about respect — the key component of any healthy relationship. If you and your partner don't share mutual respect, then you might not be on the right foot. Not sure how they feel? There are plenty of signs your partner will always be your equal just in the way they speak to and treat you.

Why does all this matter so much? According to Laura Holtz, writer and advocate for domestic violence awareness, lack of respect is often a sign that your partner is trying to manipulate and control you. "Disrespect is a red flag that there is an imbalance of power in a relationship. A respectful relationship is one where there is a conscious effort to maintain equilibrium," she tells Elite Daily. Disrespect is totally unacceptable, and you should never feel as though you have to settle for less. "Respect from your partner is your right," says Holtz. "They, in turn, deserve the same level of respect from you."

Here's how the experts say you can be sure that your partner respects you and sees you as their equal.

Communication is a two-way street.

What is your communication style with your partner? Do you feel like they are speaking with you, or at you? “When you are respected, communication is a two-way street,” says Holtz. Whether you are arguing about something petty or something serious, a partner who respects you will communicate in a healthy and productive way. “Rather than punishing you with the silent treatment, or ignoring your position, they listen,” Holtz says. “Communication without alienation bolsters both partners by providing the sense that their grievances are being heard and not disregarded.”

They include you in decision-making.

Fran Greene, licensed clinical social worker and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting, tells Elite Daily that one of the clearest signs that your partner sees you as an equal is if they value your input and opinion in decision-making. “Whether it’s what to have for dinner, where to go on vacation or how to deal with a difficult situation — including each other in the decision-making process is necessary for a relationship to last and flourish!”

“If [they] respect you, [they’ll] want to know what you think," Laurel House, relationship expert and host of the Man Whisperer podcast, tells Elite Daily. She also says that if your partner seeks your insight and your advice, that’s a clear indication that they consider you an equal. “[They] see you as a partner,” she says.

Ultimately, it just comes down to having a voice in the relationship, says Greene. “It’s all about having an equal voice and especially knowing that your partner truly wants to hear your take on the situation or problem at hand. You are not dismissed, talked over or patronized while you are pouring your heart out or trying to get your point across.”

Your partner is considerate of your needs.

Holtz shares that another way to be sure that your partner respects you is if they are, as she says, “considerate of your needs, your time, and your commitments.” It’s all about having a team mentality, where you needs are seen as just as important and valued as their own. “Consideration supports a healthy relationship because it demonstrates openness and thoughtful respect, leaving both partners feeling supported,” explains Holtz.

They support your career.

How invested in your success is your partner? Can you count on them to cheer you on even when it means some sacrifice for them? If the answer is yes, then Greene says your partner sees you as an equal. “Being your partner’s cheerleader for their accomplishments, being a sounding board when you are stressed beyond words, and being patient and understanding during busy work times is a huge sign that your partner sees your career as equally important as theirs.”

They are open to compromise.

If your partner refuses to compromise, or has a “my way or the highway” attitude, then Holtz warns that's a red flag that they do not respect you. “A respectful partner will compromise with their mate,” says Holtz. “Compromise is about leveling the scales, it’s about give and take.”

What to do if your partner doesn’t see you as their equal.

First and foremost, you deserve to be with a partner who respects you, because whether they realize it or not, you are their equal and should be treated as such. “It is absolutely essential that your partner respects you and that you respect your partner,” says House. “A lack of respect can lead to insecurity, feeling not good enough, shutting down, retaliation, acting out, resentment, and the relationship ending.”

However, Greene says there is some hope for the relationship so long as you can address the issue head on — and your partner will hear you out. “Communication is key, and if you are feeling disrespected and not valued, it’s time for a heart-to-heart talk. It’s best not to blame your partner, be specific and let your partner know what you need.” That being said, if your partner is unwilling to listen or disregards your feelings, then Greene says it's time to end the relationship for your own health and happiness. “Don’t walk away — run as fast as you can. You deserve better,” says Greene. Hard agree.