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Can you love someone you do not or no longer respect?

Some love, some say, is unconditional. I wonder: Is there such a thing? Does it bloom or continue even when respect has fallen by the wayside? Will you, can you, still love your spouse or friend if you learn they have acted in ways that have erased your respect? Can love and lack of respect co-exist? Why? Why not?

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    aj trip

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    Jun 21 2013: Love can exist even in the absence of respect for a person. In a marriage situation though, a relationship between the two can not exist. I love my ex with most of my soul, but I don't respect who she became, and so it's not possible for us to carry on in a healthy relationship. Sometimes when someone is wondering this question (I had to recently) there is another subconscious question being asked as well. Can I make it alone, or can/should I accept the way things are now?
    In my opinion, It is worth trying to find that lost respect if at all possible, but once you know if that's possible or not, you have enough information to make the right choice.
    • Jun 21 2013: aj,

      You're another winner of the HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD award.
      An opine for the history books.
      Thank you.
  • Jun 21 2013: I have experienced the answer.
    Love dies for a number of reasons.
    Expectation, then Realization, followed by Treachery.
    Other feelings can remain but Love dies.
    Only a sadness remains for both.
    Life continues.
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    Jun 20 2013: One condition.....

    If you love yourself, you love the world.

    you love the air,the tree, the bird, the stream, the child, the stranger, the uncle, the son if you love your SELF.
    • Jun 21 2013: Sheeesh, adesh,
      I love me, but that's a big big world.
      Stay out of a dark alley, things could get ugly quick...
      And when those politicians ask for money, just say no....
      I'm only joking...
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    Jun 20 2013: well, it's pretty rare to have no respect for a person. Every person has some good, respectable qualities. Thus you can feel some love for them, also you can love them for their potential.
    • Jun 20 2013: Greg, thank you for replying. It would have been more useful had I said "when respect is undermined. or challenged."
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        Jun 20 2013: Betsy,
        What do your mean by respect being underminded, or challenged?
        • Jun 20 2013: I should have written "undermined" -- was probably thinking "underhanded!"

          If someone lies to me about a matter of significance (in my view), I may have some remaining trust that would be a seed for rebuilding, but my full-blown trust would have been undermined or challenged by that behavior.
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        Jun 20 2013: Betsy,
        You wrote "undermined"......I copied it wrong.....sorry.

        OK.....I understand....and agree. I tend to trust everyone until I have a reason not to trust. So, I guess that means that my trust or respect may, in that circumstance be undermined or challenged.

        I asked the question to clarify, because our respect/trust could be undermined/challenged by behaviors on the part of another person, and/or by our own insecurity.
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      Jun 20 2013: Dear Greg,
      I totally agree..."Every person has some good, respectable qualities. Thus you can feel some love for them, also and love them...for their potential".

      That just warms my heart my friend:>)
  • Jun 21 2013: Kendall,
    It gets involved and complicated.
    I don't think of pity as having substance.
    Only as a description within your mind.
    A tort thrown, or as retort.
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    Jun 21 2013: Depends on what kind of relation is considered. Think of mother's love for her child , is respect to child is necessary for mother to love her child ?
  • Jun 21 2013: Yes,but just for relations:parents,sisters,brothers.Because nothing can change that they are my relations.maybe for sth they have done not deserve my respect,but I keep my love for them.If I don't love them who else?
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    Jun 21 2013: We're human; its not so easy to answer. And a generic answer, I'm not sure it would be accurate. Human passions are sometimes stronger than our willings.
    Good question, of course.
  • Jun 21 2013: What's the difference between love and respect.
    Love can mean a number of things from romantic love to agapi love but there are other meanings.
    Respect is a sort of deference or admiration. sounds very different from most kinds of love. We have to conceive of respect before we look at no longers respect or no longer love.
    These are different concepts
    So Why not?
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    Jun 21 2013: When there is a combination of lack of respect and love, I think it creates pity.
    • Jun 21 2013: Kendall,
      It sounds like pity, but it isn't that at all.
      To pity, one must judge from on high.
      That is conceit.
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        Jun 21 2013: You are right. Pity is a judgmental emotion.

        I think it can be necessary, depending on the level that respect was compromised. When respect is truly demolished pity can be the best alternative to hate. If respect is undermined but not destroyed then love is possible.I am not a fan of pity as an emotion but in some cases I think it is necessary for peace of mind. Only in extreme circumstances though (where your every interaction may include being attacked by that person).
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    Jun 20 2013: Sometimes the people you do not respect need your love the most. Also, sometimes you do not respect people who deserve your respect. A parent's love does not depend upon whether they respect their child, they love the child no matter what. Without a definition of love your quest will be a goose chase. What do you mean by the word love?
    • Jun 20 2013: Edward, thank you for your response.

      I posted this, curious about how others might answer, using their own definitions.

      Loosely, I'd say that "love" (for me) could be conditional or unconditional, depending upon the object. We see love perish every day for any number of reasons. Look at the divorce rate.

      Respect has dual, unrelated meanings for me 1)-- something accorded unconditionally to someone's innate humanity and 2. conditional, predicated on the way someone chooses to live.

      But anyone who answers will have their own definitions. What are yours?
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        Jun 21 2013: The etymology of the word "love" is not simple. There is sexual affection; brotherly, familial affection; social care and concern for others; fondness for one's children. My personal belief is that one ought not claim to love another person if one is not devoted to doing everything possible to achieve the very best God offers for that person. Otherwise the word is diminished and diluted.
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      Jun 20 2013: Good point Edward...."Sometimes the people you do not respect need your love the most."

      I also agree with your statement..."A parent's love does not depend upon whether they respect their child, they love the child no matter what"

      I believe we can respect and love a person, and not respect certain behaviors. What do you think?
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        Jun 20 2013: I think the two emotions (respect and love) are independent from one another. To commit an isolated act which rightfuly causes a loss of respect should not result in the loss of all respect for all time. I agree it is better to tell someone who acts on a poor decision that you do not respect their actions in that specific matter. As Mr. Dahlen says below, not many people act in a constantly dishonorable way. If folks love and respect only those who never make a mistake there would be no love or respect at all in this tattered old world.
      • Jun 21 2013: Colleen,
        "I believe we can respect and love a person, and not respect certain behaviors."

        I can say I love my children and grandchildren, directed to them, but in my mind,
        I separate my love of them, segregating family members, into 'friends and
        acquaintances'.
        I love my friends.
        My acquaintances?
        I put up with.

        My experiences are taken from the loss of the lives of 2 son-in-laws to drug and
        alcohol abuse, and with one daughter and her 2 sons who do the same, and
        with my other daughter, whom after being a widow found her way to normalcy.
        And with her son, who almost lost himself to drugs, but returned from the brink.

        My sons-in-laws were scallywags. Never sober. Too old for my daughters.
        I should have put them in jail, but, caught between my perceived loss of love
        from my daughters, I did not.
        Time wounds all heels, and in this case it did.

        Today, my daughter with her drug problem has gotten a bit older, and a bit wiser.
        I suppose she will soon reach the stage where I can once again love her.
        I can hope, I so want her to be my friend.

        Today, one of her kids is in jail because of drug use, and has a long rap sheet.
        But the other one is in a half-way house, going through a court-allowed drug
        program. Both are acquaintances of mine, my grandchildren.

        They stole from their grandmother, her money, in grand amounts,
        her coin collection, her computer, and other things they could sell.
        She still loves them? But she brings her cash to me for safe-keeping
        when they visit.

        If I let the one that today resides in jail enter my house, he cases it continuously
        while here, and can be assumed to be stealing my diabetic shot needles. Needles
        were found on his person when last arrested, a couple of days after his last visit.
        I have many friends with the local cops. We get a chuckle or two.
        Love can wait for him until he can waken to reality.
        Maybe 50 years from now.
        Ya think?
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          Jun 21 2013: Frank,
          I am very sorry about your losses and your challenges.
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    Jun 20 2013: People can love family members without respecting them, depending on how you define respect. For example, people can excuse many behaviors in their loved ones.
    • Jun 20 2013: Fritzie, you remind me that with any discussion, a definition of terms can be useful so everyone is replying to thesame intention. Good point you made!
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      Jun 20 2013: Fritzie,
      Is it lack of respect for the person? Or lack of respect for their actions/behaviors? If we can excuse behaviors, perhaps it is the behavior that we may not respect?
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        Jun 21 2013: I think of respect as being about behaviors. I know some people would suggest that one should respect people simply because of age or some other attribute not associated with behavior. To me. there is a difference between treating a person with respect and actually respecting the person.