7 Signs Your New Partner Doesn’t Respect You & What To Do About It
Some people will tolerate certain behaviors from a new partner even if they're kind of questionable. For instance, if your new partner doesn't text you back right away, you might tell yourself that it's OK because you haven't established what you want your communication to be like. When you first start dating someone, it's easier to let things slide because you're excited and you want to see where things can possibly go. But according to relationship experts, you need to be aware of signs that indicate you new partner doesn't actually respect you.
"The beginning of the relationship subtly sets the tone for your future relationship with this person," dating and relationship coach, Carla Romo tells Bustle. "If someone is disrespecting you this early on, then it could get worse. This person may be testing the waters as to how far they can push this behavior on your relationship."
People don't easily change over night, Romo says. So you can't really expect your new partner's behavior to quickly dissolve or go away if you continue dating. That's why finding someone who respects you from the very beginning is essential.
Here are some signs your new partner doesn't actually respect you — and what to do:
1. They Constantly Interrupt You
If you notice that your partner has an annoying habit of interrupting you while you're talking, that's not only rude, but also a pretty good indicator that he or she doesn't respect you.
"This becomes an issue if it happens frequently as it's a sign they put their needs above yours," Jennifer Seiter, relationship expert and co-owner of Ex Boyfriend Recovery tells Bustle. "We deal with a lot of breakups and find this is a common issue that leads to the downfall of a lot of relationships."
2. They Arrive Late To Dates More Than Once
"We're not just talking a few minutes here," Romo says. "If they leave you waiting for a while, that's a major sign of disrespect."
3. They Bring Up Past Relationships And Complain To You About Them
If your new partner can't stop whining about how their ex was the worst, Romo says that's another sign they don't respect you. It says a lot about their character. If they're calling their ex disrespectful names, what makes you think they won't do the same to you? "Walking away early on when someone is disrespectful can be a challenge, but it ultimately can save you from a toxic and unhealthy relationship," she says.
4. Their Phone Habits Don't Make You Feel Like A Priority
"I think in this day and age, if your new partner is always on their phone when you’re around, that this is very disrespectful behavior," professional women's counselor, Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, tells Bustle. "It’s basically saying they are more interested in what is going on elsewhere. They are not being present and in the moment with you."
Same goes for texting. As Romo says, if they can't call or text you back unless they're ready to make plans, that's a pretty good sign they don't really respect you or the relationship you're trying to build.
6. They're Condescending
"Most people feel disrespected when their partner is being condescending," licensed marriage and family therapist, Erika Labuzan-Lopez, tells Bustle. "This can also look different for different people, but when one person feels put down or less than, disrespect is often brought up."
Eye-rolling, name calling, mockery, contempt, attacking personalities, and generally being harsh are all things that can be perceived as disrespectful.
If someone is doing these things early on in the relationship, it could indicate they never learned how or are willing to fight fairly and constructively. "The discomfort from conflict can lead to disrespectful behaviors as a way to push your partner away and protect oneself, which can be damaging in relationships," she says.
6. They Always Leave The Bill To You
Money and finances is one of the major issues long-term couples fight about. But if it's already a problem at the start of a relationship, that's not a good sign. "I am all for splitting the bill if thats what both people are comfortable with," Romo says. "But if they constantly leave it to you, it's just rude."
7. They're Not Fully Honest About Their Intentions With You
If you want a relationship but they're not ready to fully commit to you and still want to keep dating you, that's a sign they don't respect you. As Romo says, "It's disrespectful because they are not respecting your needs of wanting a relationship but they will still keep seeing you." In this case, your "relationship" will likely be all on their terms.
If your new partner is showing signs of disrespect early on, what should you do? "First, let me just say trust and follow your gut," Romo says. "If this person's actions are feeling a bit off, more than likely they are. If you are still not sure, create a list of positive characteristics that you want in a partner. Go over that list and see if this person is checking the boxes. If they are not, really dig deep as to what they are doing and why you are giving it the OK."
Talking to your partner directly can also help. But ultimately it's up to you to decide whether or not you can put up with someone's disrespectful behavior or not. If it's bothering you, then it's a problem. When that happens, it's best to decide early on what you won't tolerate in a relationship.