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What makes a man feel respected?

What is respect in a healthy relationship?

People have a lot of different ideas about what the word “respect” means. Sometimes, it is used to mean admiration for someone important or inspirational to us. Other times, respect refers to deference towards a figure of authority, like a parent, relative, teacher, boss or even a police officer. In this context, it is presumed that respect should be given to those who have certain types of knowledge and power. And then other times, respect means upholding the basic right that every person has to make their own choices and feel safe in their own daily lives.

In this post, we’re talking about respect in the context of dating. In a healthy relationship, partners are equals, which means that neither partner has “authority” over the other. Each partner is free to live their own life, which can include deciding to share some aspects of their life with their partner. Respect also means that, while we may not always agree with our partner/s, we choose to trust them and put faith in their judgment. This trust can be built over time as your relationship progresses and you learn more about each other.

How do you show respect in a healthy relationship?

Respect in a relationship is reflected in how you treat each other on a daily basis. Even if you disagree or have an argument (and arguments do happen, even in healthy relationships!), you are able to respect and value each other’s opinions and feelings by “fighting” fair. Respect isn’t about controlling someone or making them do what you want them to do. Respect is actually about the freedom to be yourself and to be loved for who you are.

In a healthy relationship, respect looks like:

  • Talking openly and honestly with each other
  • Listening to each other
  • Valuing each other’s feelings and needs
  • Compromising
  • Speaking kindly to and about each other
  • Giving each other space
  • Supporting each other’s interests, hobbies, careers, etc.
  • Building each other up
  • Honoring each other’s boundaries, no matter what


While it’s important to respect your partner in a relationship, it’s also really important to have respect for yourself, whether single or dating. Self-respect is the key to building confidence and maintaining healthy relationships with other people throughout your life.

So, what is self-respect? Self-respect is acceptance of yourself as a whole person. It doesn’t mean you think you’re perfect; in fact, we all deserve respect even though we are NOT perfect. You have worth and value just because you’re you. Self-respect means you hold yourself to your own standards, and you try not to worry too much about what other people think of you. You take care of your body and mind (or you’re learning how!), whether that’s through eating healthy foods, moving your body in ways that feel good to you, reading and learning, going to therapy, practicing your faith or any number of things that honor who you are.

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Do you have questions about what’s healthy/not healthy in a relationship? Are you concerned that your partner doesn’t respect you? Call, chat or text with a loveisrespect advocate today and let’s talk it out.

Understanding the inner lives of husbands

I’ve lost count of how many times a woman has said something like this after I’ve given a talk.

When I interviewed more than 1,500 men for a book on the inner lives of husbands, I realized just how many misconceptions women have about men – and how often those perceptions affect our relationships. Do you want to see your man with new eyes? Consider just a few of these findings.

Love is not enough

«Love is all you need,» the popular song says. We women often agree – but men don’t. In fact, in a nationwide survey, three out of four men said that they would exchange feeling that their wives loved them if they could instead feel that their wives respected and trusted them.

As foreign as this may seem to us, respect feels like love to men. Loving your man the way he needs requires that he feel your trust and admiration. Most of us do respect our men, but we may not realize that sometimes our words or actions convey exactly the opposite.

We wonder why he gets mad at simple things, such as teasing him about his hopelessness as an amateur plumber or suggesting that he ask for directions. He’s mad because what he just heard was «You’re stupid!» And if he thinks this is what you are saying throughout the day – even if you never meant to – it drastically affects how he feels about himself and about you.

Our call to respect our husbands

God has given us many signposts for preventing these problems, and many of us have totally missed them. Ephesians 5, for example, repeatedly urges husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. We women excel at expressing love, but that’s not what a man needs most.

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Of course, you may not always feel like respecting him. But just as you want him to choose to love you even when you’re not lovable, your man needs you to choose to demonstrate respect unconditionally.

That choice does tremendous things inside him. Throughout my survey, men often told me they couldn’t become the strong, trustworthy, loving men they wanted to be without unconditional support and affirmation from their wives.

How do we do this? As a start, we can try to become more aware of our unintentional disrespect and choose respectful attitudes, words and actions instead. For example, he needs you to respect his judgment; questioning him makes him feel inept. And at all costs, avoid belittling words. Tell him, «I’m proud of you!»

Sex changes everything

Second only to your husband’s need for respect is his need for you to desire him sexually. It’s not exactly shocking to say men want sex more than women do. But wives often misunderstand what sex means to men. We tend to think of sex as a physical need for men. But as I researched, I found that sex also meets an incredibly powerful emotional need – his need to know that you desire him.

In a profound way, feeling wanted sexually gives a man confidence and a sense of well-being in every other area of his life. The opposite – no sex or mechanical sex because you «have to» – is as emotionally wounding to him as his sudden silence would be to you.

And believe it or not, getting enough sex isn’t the point. Nearly all the men surveyed – 97 per cent – said that even if their wives agreed to have sex every time husbands wanted, sex would still be empty if their wives didn’t seem to desire them.

When we say no to sex, we’re usually saying we don’t want sex at that moment. But he hears the much more painful message that we don’t want him. One man said, «When she says no, I feel rejected. ‘No’ is not no to sex; it’s no to me as I am.» By contrast, making the first move once in a while sends a powerful and affirming message to your man.

Be intentional

To connect with our husbands, we have to accept and work with the remarkable, God-crafted differences between us. And if we do so, we have a tremendous opportunity to give our men confidence to become the men God has called them to be.

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© 2007 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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How to Make Your Man Feel Appreciated: 7 Unique Tips

The Truly Charming

In this article we are going to talk about how to make your man feel appreciated and loved.

For some reason, it’s commonly accepted that men are meant to be romantic while women are meant to be the recipients of romantic gestures.

This is an outdated heteronormative standard that just won’t die.

We see it in movies and in the shows we stream. It’s everywhere — but it’s not the gold standard in healthy relationships, no matter what the media would like you to believe.

How Can You Make Your Man Feel Appreciated?

If you want to make your man feel appreciated and loved, the first thing you should do is remember that men have needs too. In particular, men need to feel respected, needed, and opened up to.

And they tend to feel disconnected from their partner if they feel overly controlled or criticized, according to Tony Robbins. If you start keeping these things in mind, you’re definitely on the right path.

Also, men deserve a little romance, too. We all need affection, attention, and to feel like someone we care about cares about us in return. It’s important.

What follows are seven unique tips that can help you make your man feel appreciated.

1. Speak his love language

Before you dive right in and become the romance you wish to see in the world, you might want to take a step back.

Romantic gestures are great, but for them to be meaningful, they also have to include an element of thoughtfulness.

If you want the man in your life to feel appreciated, learn his love language. Does he want words of affirmation? Is it physical touch that really makes his day? Would he rather have actions over words, little gifts, or just some companionable silence?

What you want may not be what he wants.

Before you launch into a serenade that will simply embarrass him in front of his colleagues and make him feel like you just don’t get him, show up with his favorite coffee or send a saucy text.

Whatever his love language is, speak that.

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2. Bring the romance

When you want to show appreciation to your man, it’s a good idea to figure out how to romance him.

It’s not a one-way street. If showing up with flowers just doesn’t seem like the romantic gesture that fits your relationship or his personality, think outside the box.

I once sent the man in my life bacon roses because I thought they might mean a little more than flowers (and they were delicious).

That would be a terrible gift for a vegan, would it not? It would be an epic romantic fail. That’s why it’s so important to customize romance to the recipient.

Don’t forget that gestures don’t have to be grand to be meaningful.

While a flight across the country could make the love of your life swoon, you don’t have to spend the big bucks to show appreciation. In fact, sometimes, the simple gestures are the most powerful.

3. Give him your undivided attention

If you really want to show him some appreciation, put down your phone.

Better still, silence it. Turn off the latest streaming show you’re binging. Stop over-thinking the workday or the latest family drama. Instead, tune into him.

I don’t just mean that you should ask him about his day. That’s a basic courtesy.

Really listen to what he’s saying. Tune into him. And if he would prefer to just tune out rather than talk about it right now?

Tune out with him if he’d like that or ask if he needs a little time to himself. Being sensitive to what he needs is the ultimate romantic gesture and the best way to show appreciation.

4. Remember the little things

The little things in life are rarely little. Remembering his interests, preferences, and important dates can show him that you care.

Being in tune with his desires communicates attention and appreciation.

You don’t have to buy a card for every occasion, although the greeting card companies would prefer it.

You can just send him a sweet message on the anniversary of a difficult day for him, or show up with his favorite beverage on what’s likely to be a challenging day.

Remembering the details shows that you’ve been paying attention and could make him feel appreciated.

5. Be a safe space

Can we please stop the misogyny that includes criticizing men for having feelings other than anger?

Men are allowed to be sad. To be disappointed. To have bad days and broken hearts.

Let’s normalize this.

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If you aren’t a safe space for the men in your life, you’re likely a toxic one.

Be the person they can cry around if they need to or the person that they can let their guard down around.

Don’t expect them to be strong all the time because you’ve been socialized to believe it makes them more of a man. There’s no such thing.

There’s not a spectrum of more or less masculine. That’s just a social construct that keeps men from connecting and women from advancing.

6. Say thank you, often

One simple way to show your man he’s appreciated is to thank him often. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a long-term relationship and he buys you coffee for the millionth time. Say thank you.

Thank him for the effort he makes. Show gratitude for the qualities you appreciate about him. Too often, our relationships break down in criticism.

It can be easier to tell the men in our lives all that they do wrong and forget to tell them all the ways they make our lives better. A simple “thank you” can go a long way.

7. Shower him with genuine compliments

Most people enjoy getting compliments — even if some of us don’t quite know how to handle them. It makes us feel good, and it’s flattering — especially when it comes from someone we care about.

Tell him he looks good. Tell him he smells good.

And tell him that you love the sound of his voice or his smile or the way he laughs. Do you love his swagger, his terrible dad jokes, or how awesome he is at being the big spoon?

He needs to hear those things, too.

Final Thoughts

Appreciation doesn’t need to be something we put on a to-do list and check off when we get around to it. It’s a natural part of any healthy relationship — not just the romantic variety.

Tell your dad you think he’s great. Tell your brother you love his stupid jokes and that they always make you laugh.

And tell the man you’re into that he’s got the best eyes or is a great kisser or whatever other thing you appreciate the most about him. Don’t assume that he knows it — no matter how confident he may seem.

Say it. It might mean the world to him even if all it does is make him smile.

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