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Being in a respectful relationship

There are different ways you can be respectful in every relationship – whether it's with a romantic connection, a friend or your family.

In short:

  • There are many characteristics of a respectful, healthy relationship.
  • No matter whether you are online or offline, relationships should be respectful.

What does a respectful relationship look and feel like?

How do you know what is a healthy relationship? The participants in this video talk about what respect means to them.

Visual Audio


I predominantly think about safety, really.

You know, safety physically, emotionally, spiritually, culturally.

And having a relationship, that is really, at the heart, there for your best interests and for you to be the most authentic self, for you to grow and change, for you to set boundaries respectively, for you to learn about yourself in those kinda spaces.


I definitely agree with that.

For me, you said the word authenticity, and that's one of the first words I always think about, is being authentic with whoever it is, you know, whether it's a romantic relationship, your family, friends.

And when you're able to be yourself, when you're able to be who you are and navigate that, and people respect those boundaries, that's what makes a respectful relationship so dynamic and powerful.


One where you feel comfortable.

Definitely where you can be yourself.

You don't have to try to be someone else.

You don't have to try to fit in.

You just feel comfortable.

You feel like you've known the person for a long time.


Yeah, making each other better people almost, because you're trying to improve each other as you go along the way.

Understanding that disagreement doesn't mean the end of a relationship or doesn't mean we can no longer be friends, right?

Being able to have that disagreement means we're working together.

We're trying to understand each other better.


A relationship where there's mutual trust and mutual respect, no indifferences of power. 

Equality, really.


Somewhere that it feels safe, where it's not just a one-way street, where there's a listener.

Somebody that has an understanding or understands where you're coming from.


You listen. 

You listen to the other person.

You make sure that their voice feels heard, and not just feels heard but actually is heard.

So without that? Well, why are you even in a relationship?


So you have to communicate, and I would say communication is the key.

Because regardless of how much you love each other and how much you think you are compatible, there's gonna be differences and you might have disagreements.


A connection that is based on loyalty, honesty, and your values are being respected.

Your difference and your imperfections are being respected, and you're being accepted just the way you are.

It's connection that you feel comfortable being you.

You don't have to change.

The right person will not change you.

They will accept you for who you are.

We're all different and that's what makes us beautiful and unique.

What is a respectful relationship?


‘When you're able to be yourself… and people respect those boundaries…That's what makes a respectful relationship so dynamic and powerful.’ – Angelica.

Abdallah is a passionate youth worker, specialising in refugee resettlement with an educational background in Social Work. When he is not busy studying and working, Abdallah volunteers his time for the newly arrived young refugees, in their resettlement journeys.

Angelica is an advocate and researcher for youth affairs and equality. Angelica's advocacy has included being a Youth Ambassador with Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN NSW), founding member of the African Australian Youth Suicide Prevention Committee, and a Youth Activist for Plan International Australia supporting their work on online and street harassment. She is the 2022 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations. 

Aroha is a proud Darrriebullum, Kuku-Yalnji, Ngāphui and Ngātiporou woman from South-East Queensland. She is a graduate of NAISDA Dance College, co-founder of contemporary dance theatre collective, ‘Lost All Sorts Collective’ and is exploring writing and dance on film.

Domina is a South Indian woman occupying Darug Land. She works in the disability sector and is interested in equity and justice. She studies Social Work at University of Sydney and is a Youth Ambassador with Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN NSW).

Georges is passionate to provide value to young people of multicultural backgrounds in areas usually not highly prioritised. He works with youth soccer clubs on the inclusion and development of pathways to include more diverse young players. 

Nathan is a proud Worimi man from Karuah in Port Stephens. He is a production coordinator/producer in news and current affairs, and loves helping his Mob tell their stories. Nathan is a huge advocate for diversity behind and in front of the camera. 

Shahida is originally from Afghanistan and arrived in Australia in 2017. She is currently in university studying Bachelor of Business and Law. 

Shailja is a young Australian of Fiji-Indian descent who is passionate about building community and empowering young women of colour. She is determined to create change through collaboration and innovative problem-solving.

Things to think about

  • How respectful do you think you are? Does this change depending on the nature of the relationship and who it’s with? Or perhaps who else is around? 
  • Do you find how respectful you are changes depending on whether you are offline or online? How can you make sure that you are as respectful in online relationships as you are when face-to-face with the person?
  • What are some ways you show respect in your online and offline relationships?

Where to find more information

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Last updated: 25/01/2024