Thought Catalog

1. Respect for both partners (and their genders).

If you respect your partner, you respect them when they get a little too drunk at a Christmas party. You respect them when they are naked. You respect them when they are crying. You respect them when they don’t look their best. You respect them when they are talking loudly or acting silly or being gross. You do these things because they are a person with flaws and strange habits and imperfections. You don’t get to have lines drawn in the sand about the way they can act, as long as their behavior is benign. The only way you don’t respect them is if they do mean or harmful things, in which case you hold them to the same standards you hold every human being. Because the second you start saying things like “man up” or “ladies don’t…” or “if you were…

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