Trust vs. Respect in Relationships

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Trust and Respect are two very important pillars of any relationship. However, people often use the terms interchangeably. Since getting into my relationship with my partner, these two words are recurring topics. Being the writer that I am, I thought it would be best to blog about it, so I can get my thoughts together and out of my head. This is my opinion, I’m not saying I’m right and my partner is wrong. I’m not saying trust is more important than respect or vice versa, I’m saying this is what trust and respect mean to me.

First of, trust is something that I usually give people from the beginning of our relationship/friendship. My motto is “I trust you until you give me a reason not too.” Now, in terms of my relationship, I obviously trust my partner. From the moment we decided to commit to a long distance relationship when I was in school, I trusted him. If he wanted to cheat, he was given more than enough opportunities to do so, and he didn’t. I know, if anyone’s partner is going to cheat, they will. I trust that he wouldn’t do that to me, as naive as it sounds, I trust him entirely. BUT my trust in him isn’t just about him being loyal. It’s about me feeling emotionally safe with him, me becoming more vulnerable with him. For me, trust isn’t an issue. My issue is respect.

Again I say, people use these words interchangeably. If you trust me, then you won’t have an issue with so-and-so, or if I do so-and-so. It’s always if you trust me than you would trust my decision. Thus meaning, if you don’t accept their decision, you don’t trust them, which isn’t always the case. It’s certainly not the case with my partner and I. However, what about respect? Respect for your partner? Respect for your relationship?

Respect means understanding that two individuals do not think exactly the same. I understand that my partner and I have different reactions, different upbringing, that we are COMPLETELY opposite, which means communication is very important. However, I trytry being the key word – to look through situations through his lens. I know I’m not perfect, I know I get it wrong sometimes. I know I mess up too. It’s important to note, it’s not about who is right and who is wrong, its about getting out of my own head, and looking at things through my partner’s perspective.

Most people think, “I wouldn’t have an issue if s/he did this, so s/he shouldn’t have an issue if I do it.” Or, “I trust my partner, so I don’t care if they do so-and-so.” BUT that’s still looking at things through your perspective, it’s not looking at things through your partner’s perspective. In order to do that, you have to get a sense of how s/he views the world, which in return will help you gauge situations and decisions, with your partner in mind. 

Thus, before you make any decisions in a relationship, think about how this decision will affect your partner? How it may look to them? How they may feel? NOT, how you would feel if the roles were versed.

This does not mean that you are not a individual, considering someone else’s feelings does not mean your individuality is completely erased. However, what it does mean is – you are sharing your life with another person. Sharing your life means taking them into consideration when making decisions.

Again I say, trust doesn’t always beckon respect nor does respect beckon trust, but you need both in a relationship for it to function. With all of that being said, I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

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