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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Respect vs. Love

This post was originally posted on April 16th, 2007.

At my birthday dinner last year, my friend Chris brought up this interesting tidbit: If people had to choose between being loved OR being respected, almost all men would choose to be respected (but unloved) and almost all women would choose to be loved (but not respected). We went around the table, and all our friends fell on those sides. Fascinating. You guys, too?

(Photos by Loretta Lux)

48 comments:

ma vie en rose said...

i think your friend Chris is generally right on that one...I at least, would fall into the "wants to be loved category" - though respect is very very important to me. Very interesting. Though I'd have to say the Lux photos top all...I love her work.

lucy gk said...

as a woman, i'd rather be loved. as a doctor, i'd rather be respected. hmmmmm. maybe it could be like having two names, one personal and one professional.
- Dr. Respect / Mrs. Love

p.s. i missed (the electronic version of) you this weekend!

Anonymous said...

i'm a girl and i'd rather be loved.

Jordan Grant said...

So...just to make sure i understand correctly...women would be loved and disrespected yet men would be respected and unloved? So...nothing would be changed in the world? I kid, i kid...

well, slightly...

Men equate love and respect whereas women have kind of accepted the whole lack of respect thing so it's not even on the table. But love is a real viable option so when given the choice between a fictional dream and something could actually occur, i feel they will pick love 10 out of 10. I kid, I kid...

well, slightly...

Men of course are mostly dead inside so love is off the table for them and respect is always nice. Though i wonder if we ask men a similar question and just substitute anything for respect like, "would you rather have a turkey sandwich or be loved?" they might take that sandwich and run.

Anonymous said...

I am a guy and I would rather be respected. Hey, it works!

Stockton Hercules said...

I'd take loved over respected in a heartbeat. I would say, in many ways, the words really overlap in the behaviors they describe, and it's hard to have one without the other. The best examples I can think of to separate the two: love without respect (e.g., my parent's relationship to me) versus respect without love (e.g., my professors' relationship to me) -- no contest.

Anonymous said...

ditto, stockton.

jmg said...

The little girl on the right in the top picture reminds me of Auntie Lucy when she was little. (It is so weird to think I knew her when she was nine!) Also, I love and respect her.

Anonymous said...

hard to choose. i would say respect if you are talking about the short term; i would say love if you are talking about the long term. i think this distinction is because it matters to me that a lot of people respect me, but i only need a few people to love me. i don't mind generally being disliked if need be, and sometimes consciously have to choose to have someone respect me vs like me in a professional situation. but love is more important if you have to choose for the long run.
interesting, jo. thx for posting.

CJ said...

Wow. I must be an odd one. I got here because I'd just figured I wanted respect more than love - and i'm definitely a girl.

cassaundra said...

ooohhhh, it's so hard to decide!
i guess being loved.
but i feel like you can't have love without respect.

love first, and live incidentally said...

In my life I've seen so many loved yet unrespected woman. I don't think I could bare not being respected. Maybe I'm like a man in that way, I don't know how one can have love without respect.

Courtney said...

Can't have my cake and eat it to? Well, I guess I'd also fall into being loved. But not being respected is awful isn't it....

Melissa de la Fuente said...

yep! Being loved....so interesting!
I am going to ask my hubby what he chooses!
xo
Melissa
ps I think my mom would choose respect and my dad loved! Isn't THAT interesting!

"bigcanadiangirl" said...

There's a book on this.

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Respect-Emerson-Eggerichs/dp/1591452465

Caroline said...

I don't think you can be loved (I mean, really loved) without being respected. I don't feel like I could be anyway...I wouldn't feel as if I was being loved if there was no respect. So, I guess I would go with respected as my choice.

P said...

I am totally stumped. Loved? But I agree with Cassaundra that it's difficult to imagine being loved without being respected.

Anonymous said...

weird, i'm a caroline too and was going to say the exact same thing as the caroline at 2:37. respect isn't just in regards to one's profession or successes, to me it's first and foremost about valuing someone's thoughts and feelings.

naphtali said...

Seems to be a resounding theme since forever! Even the Bible states for "husbands to love their wives..." I definitely would choose love from my husband! Being loved by him is a sign of respect for my feelings. My husband would take respect first...because that translates as love to him.

beccajanie said...

I think that is a pretty accurate assessment.

I am also LOVING these pictures!

...love Maegan said...

i want them both.

Alexis said...

I think there's no real love without respect.

Lindsay R.T. said...

very interesting- although i am girl and i think i would rather be loved than respected.

molly said...

i want them both, too.
and, i'd rather be one of those little girls in the photograph than....

Jeannie said...

To be loved IS to be respected, of course!

house decor said...

Hmmm, love or respect. How can you be truly loved without respect

Jeannie said...

To be honest, this is a silly question. You have basically redefined the words. "Respected" here means to be looked as an authority, or equal, while to be "loved," sounds like it means adored or ....eh superficial love? Ha I can't explain how terrible love without respect is.

And, as a gender thing, it's a wee bit (okay, very) sexist...anti-feminist!

In those redefined terms, it's to say that women would rather be adored, admired but NOT to be taken seriously.

Sorry I don't mean to rant (eh, sort of), but it bothered me; this is just how I read it.
I mean no disrespect ;) as I love this blog.

Jessica said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you have many more.

I love Loretta Lux and her pictures are so haunting. I would never part with the book I have of her work.

I think when you are loved you are respected.

Joanna Goddard said...

keep in mind, jeannie, that this was a question about sociology that my friend Chris had heard, not what i think SHOULD be the case...i also agree that everyone needs both love and respect. so we are on the same page here.

Anonymous said...

i don't think love, at least in the form i have and crave, is possible without respect. so in this case, women are smarter to pick love as this by virtue includes respect!:)

Stacy said...

women choose love because we know it's impossible to be loved without respect.

interesting post.

Erica Ortiz said...

I would also choose love, though I disagree with the fact that you can't be loved without respect.

I know a lot of people whom I love, but cannot respect due to their actions. Doesn't change the fact that I love them as a person, I think love is involuntary sometimes. We FEEL love, we choose whether to respect.

Julie said...

I haven't read the previous comments, so I don't know if this was mentioned, but there is a book called Love and Respect that discusses this very thing. Since I read it, when I want my husband to understand that something he did or said made me feel unloved, I switch out the word to feeling "disrespected" and he instantly seems to understand my pain now.

Julie said...

And I might add, we can choose to act loving or act respectful of another person, regardless of them deserving it or not. That's another principal in the Love and Respect book.

TheSundayBest said...

How can you be loved but not respected? I would think whoever loved you necessarily respected you.

rafaelsoldi said...

well.... I'm a guy and I would much rather be loved!

angeles said...

To be loved, definetly.

Anonymous said...

I'm female.

I agree with Cassaundra: there is no true love without respect.

There is no slow, seeping resentment like knowing the man who THINKS he loves you does not, in his heart of hearts, regard your thoughts and ambitions as carrying quite the same weight as hi own. It means he doesn't really see you at all. That's the beginning of the death of love.

As for me, I'd rather be respected.

Christie Lavigne said...

I love Loretta Lux - the images she produces are photographs that are manipulated, just slightly (like elongated arms or neck) so that the result is a bit eerie yet beautiful. Thanks for sharing within a larger context. :)

~*"'*Dia*"'*~ said...

You know what the interesting part is? There is a chapter in the Bible where the husband is advised to "love his wife as himself" and the wife is advised to respect her husband! Wow, it really fits our psychology! This makes me belive that it's not an old book, but it contains divine wisdom.
Diana-Romania

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chess said...

It’s difficult to choose between the two because I want to be loved and be respected at the same time.

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Melissa said...

I think they go hand in hand. It would be hard to choose only one.

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