Respect: Do You Show It?

Dating
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Everyone knows that mutual respect is desired, appreciated, even required when it comes to choosing a partner. However, while we can likely identify respect (or a lack thereof) as it applies to us, we might not always remember the many little ways we can display respect for our partner. Here are just a few:

The easiest way to demonstrate respect for others is simply to listen to what they have to say - and remember it. No, you don’t have to become a walking encyclopedia of every bit of trivia your date imparts, but you should aim for at least a passing grade if you were to be given a pop quiz on the evening’s conversation. This goes double if the trivia in question is an answer to a question you asked; asking a question and not listening to the answer proves you’re not really interested in what your date has to say.

Again, you don’t have to remember every tiny scrap of information; however, remembering a small detail and bringing it up later is a considerate move that goes a long way. Maybe on the second date, you bring a movie you both had said you were interested in seeing. Maybe you heard their cat was sick, so you text them the next day to ask how the cat is doing. There’s no need to go overboard with “inside jokes” or the recollection of facts and figures, but a small gesture is a good way to indicate that your date left a big impression.

Basic common courtesy never goes out of style - and it’s gender-neutral. Opening doors, offering to grab drinks for the two of you, asking about their day before starting in on yours - these are simple manners, but when you’re stressed on on a first or second date, they might be actions that slip your mind. Keeping your mind where it should be - focused on your date - can actually help calm your nerves, as well.

Not only should you listen to your date’s responses - you should respect them, as well. For example, if they say they don’t like a certain food, don’t order it anyway and tell them they’ll “love it this way.” If they tell you what their favorite movie is, don’t mock their choice. No, you don’t have to agree all the time, but over-the-top criticism - or, worse, outright ignoring their opinions - should be a red flag to you as well as to them.

Showing basic respect is likely something that’s already ingrained in your behavior. However, when the pressure mounts on a first date, it can be helpful to remember that making a good impression can be as simple as displaying good manners and common courtesy. Focusing on such basic qualities as respect, instead of stressing about, say, your hair, directs your energy in a far more useful direction.