Saturday, April 12, 2008

Love and Respect Checklist

It was my birthday weekend and that means party time. I got flowers, chocolate and lots of presents. But most of all I felt really loved, cherished and respected. If you've read any of my columns or advice, you know that I believe that a woman wants to be cherished and that it's the man who wants to be admired, respected and appreciated. I also believe that we all want to be respected. So I thought I would make it the subject of this week's column.

The definition of respect is "to esteem and have regard for." There is no higher honor we can pay another than respecting him or her for who they are. And the greatest gift we can give another is to love that person. Before we can love or respect someone else, we must love and respect ourselves. We can only give what we have, so the love and respect must first come from inside. Everything else evolves from that. I've compiled the following love and respect checklist. Use it as a barometer to measure if are being loving and respecting of your partner and if your partner is loving and respecting you.

  • Good communication and exchange of ideas and feelings. It's okay for you to express your feelings and opinions. It's equally okay for your partner to express his or her feelings.

  • It's okay to say no when you or your partner doesn't want to do something.

  • It's safe for you or your partner to admit when you're wrong.

  • Fully present in the conversation. That means you are really listening and participating. And you are being listened to.

  • Feelings of acceptance for who you are just as you are. Don't have to fix or be fixed.

  • Feeling nourished and safe. You nurture feelings of worthiness in each other and foster a sense of well-being.

  • Genuinely interested in who the other person is. You want to know his or her hopes, dreams, fears, wishes, thoughts and feelings. And your partner wants to know who you really are.

  • Respect for your feelings and wishes. Don't have to manipulate, control or be controlling.

Being loved and respected I feel safe and valued. There are no greater feelings in the world. If you are in a relationship, I hope you are you feeling loved and respected? And if you're not in a relationship now, add love and respect to your deal-maker list of Mr. or Ms. Right.

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