Respect Or Love?

“He who wants a rose must respect her thorn.”

“Choose one,” the command was loud and clear.

I was confused. How could I choose one? I didn’t know love and was too young to understand respect but I was argumentative and would always rise against the commands.

“I want both.” I spoke with immense confidence.

I was pushed aside. My turn was over. 

One by one each person was given a choice and they left the arena with the group they opted for. I kept on waiting. My blood boiled at the authoritative voice of the leader who took pleasure in his arbitrary designs on us. Who gave him this power to rule over our emotions? Why are we here? 

I looked around, trying to figure out the place. How did I reach here? Strange, stern faces stared at me.

“This is your last chance to choose,” I could hear some kindness in this voice.

“But why?” Before I could speak another word, I was dragged away into a dark alley and my sobs could be heard.


Some dreams keep coming back probably because some notions remain dormant in our subconscious minds. Whenever I read a disturbing book about injustice, my mind hurtles back and transports me into unimaginable lands that I could have seen in movies.

Love – the basic emotion that connects us with life and people.

Respect – the essential trait that raises man to his civilized state.

How could anyone survive without them? This question has always haunted my mind and keeps coming back whenever I see or hear about any atrocities being inflicted on fellow human beings.

Love can still be pretended but respect can’t be faked. It reveals itself through our body language. 

“I love you.” “You are my best friend.” I have heard many such refrains from people around me but I could make out from their body language and actions how selfish their love was. It changes its contours according to the situation.

Respect cannot be claimed. It shows itself, it reflects in the eyes. It is an offshoot of love.

Can you choose one? Yet there are people who have none. 

Thank you for reading and pondering. Please share your thoughts.

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49 thoughts on “Respect Or Love?

  1. Fascinating, Balroop. I think you’re right about respect. True respect is something earned and it’s connected with fairness and fortitude, even kindness and love. ❤

    1. They are undoubtedly connected Diana but imagine a scenario where one has to choose – that is the dilemma here and that’s the pondering challenge. 🙂

      1. I guess I can’t imagine such a scenario ( 🙂 ) though I can see how they don’t always go together. It seems I’m rather unimaginative in that for me love is love and respect is respect. They are present or they aren’t – one, both or neither.

      2. You and unimaginative? Lol, I can’t believe it Diana! I know these two terms are confusing and multi-dimensional… often avoided for discussion, may be controversial too.

  2. Balroop, I absolutely agree with the fact that both love and respect are imperative. If I am loved and not respected, then there is no love. Still, if I had to choose..respect it is. At least God is there to love 🥰💐❤️❤️

  3. Fantastic post, Balroop. Very hard to choose between the two, but I’m going to be sneaky and choose love, because if you love someone, by default you must also respect them, right? Or as Jill said, respect is a sign of love…so maybe we don’t have to choose after all!

    1. I am glad you haven’t seen people who love but turn a blind eye to respect. Yes, it’s hard to choose, that’s why domineering continues to thrive. 😊

  4. I was told long ago that women want love and men want respect as if they are two different things. They are not. A husband may say “I love you” to his wife but shows no respect to her individuality. A wife may respect her husband without passionate love. In that sense, I want complete respect then.

    1. What you were told Miriam was created by men! Women have broken the glass ceilings that had been created for them and know the difference. I am glad you have chosen respect. Love and hugs. 😊

  5. Wonderful piece of writing, Balroop, and a very strong and fundamental questions you so clearly take up.
    I would have answered the same as you. How can you have one without another?
    False answers break marriages, break nations.


  6. Love is often used as a tool to achieve a target, and then it vanishes. A common story. This is definitely a well written and thought provoking article. I guess you have written such write-up after a long time.

    1. You are so right arv, love loses its luster but respect doesn’t and sometimes love morphs into respect but that is an ideal situation. I know I’ve been writing more poetry, which comes naturally. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.

  7. What an interesting discussion. I’ve been loved before, but not respected. Isn’t respect a higher form of love? When the element of respect is in the relationship, it’s easy to love and the love returned is unconditional!

    1. See! that’s what I am trying to say – both are different and both are not given together. I agree with you Jane, respect rests at a higher pedestal and all don’t have the heart to give it. Thank you so much for the clarity.

  8. I’m like you, Balroop. I couldn’t choose just one. I think they come together as a package. If you lose respect for someone you love, it’s likely loss of love may eventually follow.
    There are some who claim to love you but their actions speak the opposite. It can be confusing when we’re young, until we mature and can detect that deceit.
    I enjoyed reading this and felt your dilemma. Love the image, too!

  9. Loved this thought entry today Balroop. Yes, how could you have one without the other in a relationship? I think those that love their partner but don’t respect, don’t fully love, more like they feel they possess someone. This resonated “Respect cannot be claimed. It shows itself”, dead on, you cannot hide disrespect, we see it, and we hear it. xx

  10. What a challenge you pose, Balroop! I think I would choose respect because if love is meant to follow, it will be identifiable. Actions speak louder than words. “I love you” can easily be said, but they’re only words that can be as hollow as a log. Respect is known by how one treats the other. A thought-provoking question!

  11. What a challenging and interesting question! Is that a dream in the beginning of this post? It is definitely a nightmare. I certainly cannot love someone without respect so perhaps respect comes before love? But both are equally important. ❤️

    1. Yes Pam, that is a nightmare. As I have shared in the post, they keep coming back whenever I read a disturbing book. Though I avoid such books yet some elements do creep in. Thanks for endorsing respect above love.

  12. Certainly food for thought, although I would beg to differ: Love can’t be faked. Hollow “I love you(s)” are easily detected. The hardest words I ever had to utter when I was once an aspiring actor (who knew?) were “I love you.” Faking respect? Fairly easy. Faking love? No can do, Charlie! 🙂

    1. I am glad you haven’t met fake love and when we say love, we refer to all its forms and dimensions, not just romance. Thanks for sharing your view Joe. Different perspectives make us human.

  13. Hi Balroop – long time not here but had to check in with you and say hi. YOu’re still writing very thought-provoking ideas 🙂 I would interestingly go for love over respect. I worked in politics so know many people who weren’t quite respectful or nice but were doing the right thing because they loved the cause they were working for. To me, respect seems more personality based and love is more character based. Of course, I wouldn’t want fake love and I could probably tolerate fake respect. Deep thoughts. Hope you’re keeping well Balroop.

    1. Thank you so much Vishnu for coming over. I hope you are doing well. I know how love is important in life, feeling loved is a wonderful emotion that drives us forward… you’ve expressed it so well. Stay blessed and stay safe in these horrible times.

  14. Hi Balroop, Wow, I was immediately pulled into this story and wondering where it was going. A very vivid dream. I also have had recurring and vivid dreams all of my life. Powerful words “love can still be pretended but respect can’t be faked.” A good point about body language. You have likely heard how communication is more than 80% body language. This was often brought up in dental courses. I am on the “both” team, love and respect. Thank you for a thought-provoking post. Take care and stay well.❤️

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