7 things a man of high integrity does differently in a relationship

Every man wants to think that they’re a man of integrity, but some people demonstrate more integrity than others, especially when it comes to relationships. 

If you’re anything like me, you probably find that it’s easier to spot people of high integrity in other relationships than to look inwards and to evaluate yourself. The good news is that in today’s article, I’ve listed seven things that men of high integrity consistently do differently to other men in their relationships. 

Here goes!

1) Admitting their mistakes

I never make mistakes because I’m perfect.

Okay, so maybe I’m still working on this one. Or perhaps another way of looking at this is that I’m admitting my inability to admit my mistakes and saying that it’s one of my (many) mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes, and if you’ve read one of my articles before then you won’t be surprised to see what’s coming here. That’s right, it’s my favorite John Lennon quote:

“A mistake is only an error. It becomes a mistake when you fail to correct it.”

This is particularly important for relationships, because if you don’t own up to and admit to your mistake, no one’s going to stick around for long enough for you to form a relationship in the first place.

2) Being open to compromise

Compromise is vital for every relationship, and not just romantic ones. When I was a kid, I didn’t quite recognise its importance, which is why none of my early relationships lasted.

Then I started working as part of a team in an office, and that’s what really taught me the importance of being open to compromise. When you work that kind of role, everything is about compromise, and the skills I learned from dealing with co-workers have also been surprisingly useful for my relationships.

Men who are more open to compromise will be able to form more stable relationships because when both parties are willing to compromise, it’s much easier to avoid conflict and other toxic behaviors.

3)  Refusing to compromise their morals

At the same time, you need to know what you’re willing to compromise and what’s so important to you that you need to stand your ground.

For example, I’m big on animal rights and I follow a vegan diet, and that’s something that I wouldn’t compromise for anyone. It’s one of my core morals and one of the things that makes me, me. If I was in a relationship where my partner kept trying to force me to eat animal products, I’d leave.

There’s a difference between being open to compromise and compromising your morals. If something is truly important to you and it forms the basis of the person you are, you should stand your ground.

With that said, if you can find a compromise that works for everyone, that’s ideal. In my case, I wouldn’t cook animal products for my partner, but I’d be fine if they chose to order a steak at a restaurant, as long as I didn’t have to eat it. 

4)  Telling the truth even when it’s difficult

Oh boy, this one’s a tricky one. It can also come up because you’re refusing to compromise your morals.

The idea is that you should tell the truth to your partner as much as possible. The harder it is to do so, the more rewarding it usually is if you do it.

When you’re in a relationship with someone, you’re a team. When you’re part of a team, you tell each other the truth, no matter how difficult it is. In terms of your relationship, that means being open about things like your financial situation or when you talk about your past.

Don’t be tempted to lie just to make things easier in the short term. It’ll make them a heck of a lot worse in the long term.

With that said, it’s okay to tell a little white lie from time to time if it’s to spare your partner’s feelings. There’s a whole heap of difference between telling the truth when asked “did you sleep with that woman?” and when asked “does my bum look big in this?”

5)  Valuing their partner’s time

Nothing shows that you take your partner for granted more than you failing to value their time.

They say that time is money, but I’d argue that it’s even more valuable than that. When you spend your time, you can’t get it back. If you take your partner for granted and think nothing of wasting their time, you’re showing that you don’t care about their most valuable resource.

Valuing your partner’s time can occur at different levels, too. At its most fundamental level, it means showing up for date night on time or hopping on FaceTime when you said you would. At a more complex level, it means giving them your full attention when they come over instead of just sitting there playing video games.

If you think you’re struggling to value your partner’s time as much as you’d like to, I’d recommend talking it over with them and asking them to call you out if you’re doing a bad job. That’s what worked for me!

6) Obeying boundaries and personal space

Speaking of things that you should talk to your partner about, perhaps the most important thing of all is to set boundaries for your relationship.

This means outlining things that are and aren’t acceptable, as well as both of you agreeing on the list. It helps to set and manage expectations and can be a great way to practice the art of compromise, which we’ve already talked about.

As part of your boundary-setting, you should also talk about personal space. 

Different people have different needs, so while my partner could quite happily follow me around every hour of every day, I like to have a couple hours here and there where I can relax in my own company. Setting boundaries like those is a big reason for our relationship’s success.

Of course, setting boundaries and making agreements when it comes to personal space will only get you so far. You also need to make sure that you stand by them, which is where the “obey” part comes into play. 

If you agree to do something and then don’t actually do it, there was no point in making those agreements in the first place.

7)  Consistent behavior

Much of this comes down to behaving consistently. After all, it’s no good obeying boundaries at some times but not at others.

The men with the highest levels of integrity are able to behave consistently because that integrity is a core part of their character. It’s not as though they’re playing a part, and so it’s easy for them to keep being the person they are because… well, it’s the person they are.

Over the years, I’ve known people who’ve thought that they needed to dial down their personalities or to pretend to be people that they’re not if they want to attract and retain a romantic partner. This is a huge red flag and an easy way to make sure that your relationship isn’t for keeps.

Be yourself and be consistent. If you do that and you stick to it, you’ll be like a magnet and attract the perfect partner, and you’ll find it much easier to keep being consistent throughout the rest of your relationship.

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Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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