Respect in a Relationship

Only you can decide what a respectful relationship is to be. Some things to think about as you negotiate having a relationship are: how do you want to be treated Physically, Emotionally and Sexually in your dating relationships?

What are your bottom-lines or your non-negotiables: what are ways that you should not be treated and ways you should not treat others?

Below are some things teenagers, for example, have told us is important to them in having and maintaining a respectful relationship. They are as appliccable to seniors and the in betweens as well


  • Respect
  • No Abuse
  • Space and No Possessiveness: You and your partner can do things without each other and hang out with other people without you or your partner getting upset, excusing the other of cheating, etc.
  • Comfortable
  • Trust: No spying on, checking pagers, having other people give "reports"
  • Communication
  • Affection
  • Attraction


  • Respect
  • No put-downs, especially when fighting or angry with one another
  • Comfortable
  • No manipulation or blaming
  • Communication (if necessary talk about how you communicate when you fight and when you're not fighting)
  • Trust and honesty
  • Love
  • Friendship
  • Security
  • Understanding
  • Caring


  • Respect
  • Trust and honesty
  • Communication (talk about expectations of what you're willing or not willing to do, safe sex, history, and consequences)
  • No pressure
  • Comfortable to say "Yes" and "No" at all times to any activity

You have the right to:

  • Be alone.
  • Express your ideas.
  • Express your feelings, even if they're negative.
  • Choose your work and your religion.
  • Live without fear.
  • Have time to yourself.
  • Spend your own money however you want to.
  • Get emotional support from your family and friends.
  • Listened to by your friends and family.
  • Choose your friends - men and women.
  • Express your strengths, abilities, and talents.
  • Decide if you want to participate in sexual acts or not.