Straight from the Hartsock: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Relationships are unique in ways that general advice can’t cover. What works for one couple is completely wrong for another. When we go through a rough patch, seeking advice from others is helpful, but comparing one relationship to another is never a good idea. Should the lovey-dovey couple tell an independent couple to spend more time together? Should a dramatic couple tell a mellow couple to have more excitement?

When one thing works for them, but not for us, how do we fix our problems?

Above love, above communication, and above trust, there must be respect.

If you love each other, but don’t respect each other, there is room for selfish words, harmful actions, and a toxic relationship. Love does not always entail good love.

It is almost, if not entirely, impossible not to have productive communication without respect. Conversations run in circles, and the problems at hand are not confronted, nor dealt with in a constructive manner. Pride blocks the ability to value their perspective, as well as reach a mutually comfortable conclusion.

This is true for trust: Mutual trust entails mutual respect. One may trust his or her significant other, but this does not mean one respects him or her. This is when manipulation and ill treatment finds itself in the relationship. This also means that the person being taken advantage of should not trust his or her partner, whether he or she’s aware of this, or not.

Without respect, love is not good love. Without respect, you cannot have constructive communication. Without respect, trust can be misused.

When you respect someone, you want the greatest possibilities for them, and any hindrances falls to the wayside, or are dealt with fruitfully.

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