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How to Maintain Respect in Male-Female Relationships

MsDora, writes on moral integrity, especially for women, and encourages appreciation for the men in their lives.

All male-female relationships are special. Some have the potential for progress to marriage and family. Others remain in the cherished mode of friendship and operate on a less intimate level.

In either group, respect is the relationship ingredient that determines whether the friend says, “Just the way I like it,” or “Something’s missing; not good enough.” Respect outlasts temporary friendships, and help creates positive memories.

Whether or not the friendship becomes permanent, these guidelines will help you to build on respect and enjoy your time together.

Photo by Peter Griffin

Photo by Peter Griffin

Establish Premise

Are you just tennis partners, or are you pursuing a more intimate relationship? What do you expect from each other? It is not unusual for the man and the woman in the same relationship to answer these questions differently. In such a situation, it is clear that they have not discussed the premise for the relationship.

The woman may cherish the friendship because he is very effective at helping her develop her backhand stroke. He may enjoy her attention because he likes the way she strokes his ego, and he envisions transforming her from tennis partner into life partner. If one does not understand the intention of the other, she could feel disrespected when he tries to invade her personal space; he could feel slighted when she refuses to let him hold her hand.

To ensure and appreciate mutual respect, discuss purpose, direction and expectations for the friendship. No, there doesn't have to be a questionnaire. Early in the relationship, find a way to steer the conversation into an analysis of your options.

Boost Self-Respect (87 Seconds)

Establish Self-Worth

Know and protect your identity. Shape your concept of you by your beliefs and your goals, not by your friend’s opinions or preferences. Insist on being respected for who you are.

During the early stage of a special friendship, either the man or the woman may try hard to please the other and compromise in areas where they hold different views. Truth is, respect accommodates individuality and differences. True friendship allows friends to develop into the unique masterpiece each was designed to be. It is the responsibility of each friend to paint a portrait of the desired finished product for the other to see.

Establish Boundaries

Decide what is and what is not acceptable. If you’re just tennis partners, why use names like “sweetheart” and “honey bun”? Why the tight clasp around the shoulders like a property owner marking territory? If you don’t appreciate it, don’t just squirm. Say something; say it friendly.

Many adults continue with unacceptable behavior because they were never reprimanded by former friends. They may offend in what they say or how they say it; what they wear or not wear in public; flirting with other friends during the house party; trying to steal an intimate kiss; taking it for granted that they can use a friend’s car without permission, or that they can spend the night at the friend’s house.

Express your disappointment and discuss alternative behavior when you need to. You may become an agent of positive change in your friend’s life. Of course, if your friend knows better but insists on being disrespectful, respect yourself by changing or ending the relationship. It is possible though, in the absence of abuse, to change the level of friendship and maintain respect for each other.

Establish Trust and Honesty

James Langdon Hill wrote: “Friendship . . . is an indefinable trust we repose in one another, a constant communication between two minds, and an unremitting anxiety for each other's souls.” This kind of friendship is desirable in all meaningful friendships, but especially between two people who consider the possibility of becoming man and wife.

Respect feeds on trust. Trust feeds on honesty. Honesty is a virtue which cannot always be proven; but among friends who learn to trust each other, there will be no need to prove it.

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Establish the Golden Rule

Contrary to what some say, respect does not have to be earned. (Trust, not respect, must be earned). Everyone deserves respect on the basis that everyone has value. The Golden Rule requires you to be the kind of friend you want to have. In other words, give respect in the same manner and measure you would like to receive it.

Respect each other despite your differences. Respect the other person’s self-worth. Respect the boundaries you establish.

Develop such respect and appreciation for each other that even if the friendship ends, you and your friend can maintain mutual respect.


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 04, 2013:

Thanks, Hendrik. I hope those who need it will read it. It is one of my more popular hubs. Cheers!

HendrikDB on April 04, 2013:

Very good! This is a must-read article for all ages and everyone will benefit from it.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 31, 2012:

Thanks Tonipet. I agree. Respect for rules so shows respect for the people to whom they relate, and also respect for ourselves.

Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on March 30, 2012:

Hi MsDora. Golden rules are really basic and I for one always go for rules, regardless. Some find me funny but I don't see anything wrong with rules, I guess. If we value the reasons why rules are rules, there comes our self-worth. A very interesting article. Thank you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 23, 2012:

Thanks savvydating. I agree that self-worth should included in our daily prayer.

savvydating on February 21, 2012:

Self-worth should be our mantra. Great post, Ms.Dora!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 06, 2012:

I know that I couldn't have said it any better. Thanks for your input, Vinaya.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on February 06, 2012:

Every man and woman is a distinct individual, and their different personalities lead to different attitudes. male female relationship is all about accepting these differences. You might be thinking your partner should imbibe you thoroughly. However, such kinds of thoughts are disastrous. Apparently, partners throw a lot of surprise, and you must be prepared for it. You have to accept differences, but also at the same time you have to be supportive to your partners.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 09, 2011:

Thanks for your kind comments, Injuredlamb. I agree that this topic needs to considered again and again.

Injured lamb on December 08, 2011:

A subject that deserves to be brought up, and you have done it with great and insightful points here...agree much with you that -

"Give respect in the same manner and measure you would like to receive it...",

"Respect the other person’s self-worth."

Thanks for sharing this with us blessed...

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 29, 2011:

Thank you, Fiction and Life, for your comment and your support. I appreciate you!

Fiction and life from Miami Fl on October 29, 2011:

nice hub my friend, an article many young ones should take a look at. I will follow

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 21, 2011:

Glad you found my hub useful, ambassador. Thanks for commenting.

ambassadornchains on September 30, 2011:

This is great!! I even linked this hub to one of mine to promote it! Great advice! =)

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 19, 2011:

Thank you, Denise and RJ. Those of us who care, an at least try to prevent respect from becoming extinct.

RJ on September 19, 2011:

Thank you Ms. Dora for your thought provoking hubs. I especially liked the part about respect vs trust. Respect goes a long way towards observing the golden rule. Our lives would be so more enriched if we considered being more respectful of others.

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on August 15, 2011:

Very insightful information on building positive relationsips with others. I especially like the note that respect does not have to be earned, but trust does.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 14, 2011:

Eiddwen, I admire your profile picture of two. Thanks for your encouragement.

Eiddwen from Wales on August 14, 2011:

Great hub and here's to many more to share.

Take care


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 13, 2011:

Thanks also to Reena J and Manthy. Your time and opinion are also very meaningful to me.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 13, 2011:

Thanks Reynold Jay, for your support and encouraging comments. I appreciate you.

Reynold Jay from Saginaw, Michigan on August 13, 2011:

You lay out a great HUB. The videos really work well with your writing. This is not the simplest of subjects to tackle! I enjoyed this very much. . Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and awesome.” I'm always your fan! RJ

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Mark from Alabama,USA on August 13, 2011:

Nice hub you have made some great points here, I am following you I would appreciate it if you followed me back.

Reena J on August 13, 2011:

Great hub... Interesting to read and trust is the most important in every relationship....

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