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Respect Is the Basis of Love

Jonathan Riley

“Respect is one of the greatest expressions of love.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Respect is important in all human relationships. Philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that everyone deserves basic respect just by being human. But what exactly is respect? Respect, also known as esteem, is an attitude or behaviour demonstrating admiration for someone or something held in high esteem. It is also the process of honouring someone by demonstrating care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings.

Respect is essential to any relationship’s foundation because love alone is not enough to keep two people together. The emotional bonds that strengthen a relationship through challenging times are forged through a combination of respect and love. Like love, respect can be defined in a variety of ways, and it is arguably one of the most essential qualities necessary to love another person. When two people enter into a relationship with mutual respect and love for one another, it grows into something that makes them both stronger, happier, and more fulfilled. Respect is the cornerstone, after which love can grow.

What does respect in a relationship look like?

  • When you are together, you feel secure.
  • Both of you can be yourself without fear of judgement.
  • There is respect and patience between you even when you disagree.
  • No one raises their voices or talks over the other.
  • Neither of you has any influence over the other person’s decisions.
  • Neither of you is afraid to express what you want or need.
  • When one of you needs time alone, the other respects that need.
  • Both of you are capable of acknowledging when you’ve been wrong.
  • There is no abuse or neglect.

When two people respect one another, it shows that they see each other as equals, which is important in any relationship. No one stands above the other and everyone’s voice is heard. Respect means that you accept the fact that your partner has different life experiences and perspectives from your own. When partners treat one another with dignity and consideration, each partner is free to pursue their own goals in life and express their own thoughts and emotions without fear of being judged or punished. Successful relationships depend heavily on mutual respect, which is often valued more highly than love itself. After all, one usually cannot exist without the other.

Showing respect may sound complicated, but it’s really not. Ultimately, it comes down to being positive, helpful, and considerate to one another. However, if your partner constantly asks you where you are, accuses you of lying or cheating, belittles you, calls you names, or behaves physically aggressively in any way, you may be in an abusive relationship. Abusive relationships are based on power and control, not respect, and you should consider whether your partner respects you, because if they don’t respect you, they don’t love you. When one partner is abusive, it changes the dynamic of the relationship so that love becomes a burden rather than a blessing. As you can see, mutual respect is crucial for building equal and healthy relationships. Unfortunately, even those who have the healthiest relationships sometimes begin to doubt whether their partners truly respect them.

Finally, relationships can be hard. But, when you begin a relationship with love and respect, it fosters feelings of trust, safety, and well-being. Experts agree that if people showed each other more love and respect, it would lead to more harmonious relationships. When you and your partner respect each other, you create a healthy relationship in which you can both mature and gain personal strength throughout your lifetime.

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