June 24, 2008

Love vs. Respect

I think there's a misconception that love is the most important factor in a relationship. While there are many, many elements that are necessary for a successful long term relationship (in my novice opinion), I think the most important element is RESPECT. Once respect is gone, everything else follows suit. Respect is what causes you to to considerate, respect is what causes you not to cause hurt and pain to your significant other (hereinafter referred to as "S.O."), respect is what makes you care and want to be the best you can be for your S.O.

I think Machivelli had it right when he said that he would rather be respected than loved (or rather, have respect based on fear rather than love... but whatever); love is fickle, respect is more enduring. Because I'll tell you a secret about "love" in marriages and other long-term relationships: it ebbs and flows, rises and falls like the tide, and unless you have something stronger than love... which has to be MIGHTY strong... to anchor you down, the ship that is your relationship will go right out to sea with it, or end up washed up and stuck on the beach.

Just think about other relationships with people. I'm sure everyone knows that person at work who may be the most callous asshole on the face of the earth, just a cantankerous SOB.... but he/she is extremely well respected. You aren't going to do wrong by that person because of that respect. That respect is stronger than the like or dislike of the person. There's a scene at the end of Anchorman where Ron Burgundy is climbing out of bear pit (after Baxter saves him and Veronica Corningstone), and Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn... I love him) grabs the ladder, seemingly about to push Ron back into the bear pit and be rid of him once and for all. But then he sets the ladder back down and says: "I hate you more than anyone else on Earth, Ron Burgundy. But damn it, I respect you!" and gently kisses him on the forehead. Now THAT is the power of respect.

But you may say "Hey! What about trust?? That's pretty damn important too!" Agreed.... but I see trust as a subset of respect. When you trust a person, that is a form of respect.... respect for their word. So that takes care of that.

So, ask me which I'd rather have: Love or Respect? If I had to pick one, I'd choose the latter. I don't want to be the lovable idiot who's never taken seriously. But to make a serious relationship work, you gotta have both.... but you gotta, gotta, GOTTA have respect as that anchor. So don't ask me what happens when respect is lacking, or how to find it if it's come up missing.... if you have any ideas, fill me in.

(Originally posted May 29, 2006)

Well, I found out what happens when respect is lacking...... PEOPLE CHEAT! More about that another time, loved ones.......


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