in Living

The Tao of Love Part 3

On the Importance of Mutual Respect and Understanding

All should know that respect is an imporant part of any relationship, but it is especially important between a couple. Respect relates to the two previously mentioned requisities for healthy love, sacrifice and balance. Respect for your partner should lead you to both of these.

What does respect encompass exactly? One must never dismiss their partner by ignoring their words or by being deaf to their requests. If one partner asks something of the other, it is up to that partner to listen and understand that request. Through thoughtful communication, earnest attempts, and careful understanding, some conclusion should be reached that satisfies both parties. Compromise will be necessary in many situations, but the final decision should be acceptable to each partner.

Respect entails understanding in other senses as well. There will be times during the relationship when one partner is going through a difficult time, which should (since we are assuming they are deeply intimate) also gravely influence the life of the other partner. It is up to the partner who is not actually experiencing the turmoil to do his best to understand his partner’s situation, and help that partner cope with it.

This is still the case when both partners are going through trying times. Each partner must help the other cope, and attempt to be selfless enough so that they can support the other. One must sacrifice and cope with his own pain, in the interest of helping his partner’s pain.

Men and women who came from patriarchial households may also interpret respect to mean that between a man (as head of the household) and woman (as his subordinate). I will attempt no discourse on this as ones perspective originates with the environment of his youth. The only comment I must add is to emphasize again, that respect, like love, should be mutual.

Respect in a relationship comes in many other forms and is by no means limited to the situations which I have noted. Again, it is up to each person herself to decide and interpret the importance and impact of respect in her relationship.

Part 4: On Devotion and One’s Motivation For It

or back to

Part 2: On the Importance of Maintaining Equilibrium in Love

  1. Respect is a deep seated need in men, from my observation. I agree that mutual respect is a must in any successful relationship. A study was done asking a group of men if they would rather be alone and unloved or feel inadequate and disrespected. 74 percent of the respondents said they’d would rather be alone and unloved than to feel inadequate and disrespected.

    Men desperately need respect!

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