Are Love and Respect the Same?


Respect is different than love. We respect our boss, but we do not feel love for our boss.

We feel love for our teen son, but we do not always feel respect for him.

Love and respect are not synonymous.  

A mom, for example, can internally feel disrespect for her son all the while feeling deep love for him, but of course she must guard against showing the disrespect she feels!

An older boy knows this difference. Ask him, "Does your mom love you?" Inevitably he will reply, "Yes."  Then ask, "Does your mom respect you?" He might answer, "No, not really. Not today."

Some contend that if you love a person you will show respect, and when you respect a person you will show love. To that I agree, but the concepts still differ.

By way of analogy, I contend that if you wear a left shoe you will wear a right shoe. They go together. Who walks around only wearing the left shoe?

Who loves without respect? Who respects without love?

However, because both go together, that does not make them the same. Aside from 3-year-olds and clowns, no one wears the left shoe on the right foot under the pretense that they are the same.

Though the left and right shoes are extremely similar, they are not the same.

Likewise, love and respect are extremely similar on many levels, but they are not the same.

I share more about the concept of love and respect in a few of the following blogs:

Do You Only Give Love and Respect When Your Spouse Deserves it?

Do Men and Women Need Both Love and Respect Equally?

My Situation Is Complex, Beyond Love & Respect!

-Dr. E