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Loyalty vs. Love: Which Is More Important?

Sophie Simons
May 8, 2023

In every kind of relationship, like family, workplace, organization, or romantic couples, there are always numerous factors to consider in order to make everything work. Relationships are like brittle objects that should not be taken for granted. The said factors include acceptance, faith in God, happiness, love, loyalty, understanding, and trust, among others, unique to every individual.

Every person has different personalities, principles, and upbringing, so the said factors should be present and agreed upon before establishing an intimate connection. When some of them become unclear or problematic, a misunderstanding will surely occur, which can lead to a major conflict. 

Two of these factors will be discussed in this article, Love and Loyalty. Which is more important? Can we choose one and disregard the other? How do these two affect relationships?

What is Loyalty?

Loyalty vs. Love

Loyalty is a general term that signifies a person’s devotion or sentiment of attachment to a particular object, which may be another person, an ideal, a duty, or a cause. It can be seen as an act of intimate fidelity, adherence, or allegiance between individuals or groups of people as well as to a certain belief or principle. It can be expressed both in thought and in action. When we say we are loyal to a particular person, we accept that person into our life wholeheartedly and give our full support to him. As for beliefs and principles, we tend to stick only to what we believe and not consider any other thoughts that contradict them. Some examples include different kinds of religions as well as national cultures and traditions.

There are different characteristics of being loyal. One of which describes the fact that a person wholeheartedly accepts another person for who he is and will support him whatever happens in the future. His treatment of that person will always be consistent, and he can always rely on him unconditionally.

He can be assured that the loyal person will be 100% available whenever he needs help. There are also instances that whenever a person commits a mistake, the person loyal to him will still understand him and forgive him because he believes that the person who commits a mistake will eventually regret his wrongdoings and change for the better. They became blinded by their loyalty and might even disregard what was right and cover for them if needed. People also tend to show honesty and transparency to anyone with whom they are loyal in order to strengthen their relationships and avoid misunderstandings. 

There are pros and cons to being loyal. The pros include the assurance that no matter what happens, you will help and support each other when needed. Your relationship with each other will be very strong because you always trust each other and believe that both of you will be faithful and truthful to each other every time. The fear of being abandoned or disregarded will be suppressed because you know you will always have each other’s backs no matter what. 

The cons, on the other hand, include the fact that loyalty can be harmful to a relationship because too much of it can make a person prone to abuses and one-sided commitments, being blind to the mistakes of the person you are loyal to and the bad things that may happen when you are doing ridiculous acts just because you can’t say no to the said person. A bad individual can utilize this loyalty to his advantage and exploit everything that he can to that other person who’s loyal to him.

This particular person, who is very loyal, can be easily manipulated because he is too attached and doesn’t know how to set boundaries or say no to requests. Numerous ways to avoid being used due to too much loyalty are to set limitations between you and the person you are loyal to, learn to say no when something bad is being requested, and seek some feedbacks from some of your acquaintances to see if you are showing bad acts towards other people. These are good countermeasures to avoid getting used and abused for being loyal. 

What is Love?

Loyalty vs. Love

 It is said that being in love is one of the greatest emotions a human being can experience. It is defined as a profoundly tender and passionate affection for another person. It depicts a feeling of warm, personal attachment or deep affection for an individual like a parent, child, or friend. When you love someone, you feel attracted and attached, and you do everything for that person unconditionally. Every person has different interpretations of what love really is, but one thing is for sure, love makes any relationship bloom like a beautiful flower.

According to a Cosmopolitan, love has different kinds, namely colleague or friendly love, family love, and romantic love between couples. We can also add the love for non-human beings like animals, objects, places, and beliefs or principles. All of this is self-explanatory, and everyone has experienced all of this in their lifetime. 

You will know that you are romantically in love if you always think about a particular person and can’t concentrate because of it, feel uneasy and ridiculously happy when he is around, feel the need to be with him every time, and feel jealous when another person shows affection to him. This will be a good or bad occurrence for you, depending on how you handle this situation. The moment you commit a bad mistake or make a bad decision because of it, this will affect your life and your perception of love.

Love has many forms that depend on a person’s description of himself, like his gender. It is common for a man and a woman to enter into a romantic relationship, but being in love is not just limited between a man and a woman only. A lesbian is a categorization of a woman who loves another woman, a gay person is when a man loves another man; a bisexual love both a man and a woman; and a pansexual person loves people of all genders.

A polyamorous person is described as an individual who loves multiple partners all at once, while on the other side, an aromantic is a description of a person who doesn’t feel any love at all. Every living person has the right to fall in love and receive love, whatever they categorize themselves into, and should always be respected.

Like loyalty, love also has its pros and cons. Its pros include the fact that an individual who falls in love will be dedicated, faithful, and will do everything to help and please the person that he fell in love with. He will feel a sense of belonging and care that he never felt from other people. Loving someone will bring happiness, peace, and stability to each other’s life, knowing that you will be with each other no matter what happens. This will be a good character development as being in love will shape how you look at things and how you act in front of people.

The cons of being in love or giving and receiving love are similar also to loyalty, prone to abuse, and one-sided commitment. Many people take advantage of an individual whom they know fell in love with them. They will utilize any resources that they can get and seek advantage or protection when available. There are also many instances where love is not required due to numerous reasons like loving another person, not being permitted by his parents or other people in authority, and many more.

Knowing and implementing the right decisions will help avoid these instances. Another con of love is being blind to the wrongdoings of the one you love because you are afraid that something bad will happen or you and that he will eventually leave you. You are afraid of being abandoned and disregarded. Knowing what is right or wrong, along with some parental advice or other kinds of advice, will surely help you overcome the hardships of being in love. 

What is the Difference Between Love and Loyalty?

Both love and loyalty are very much related in so many ways in the sense that love will not work without loyalty and vice versa. Their main difference, though, is the deeper feeling of attachment towards another person, which we describe as affection or intimacy. When you decide to be loyal to a person, you can just decide to stay close to him without having the feeling of deep affection like caring for him, thinking about him, or being happy when he is around.

It is not required, even though it is needed, to show affection or care towards the person for you to be loyal to him as long as the other factors have been taken care of, like trust, faith, and dependability. Examples of these include the relationship between coworkers, an employee, and his boss, and the criminals and their leader. 

On the other hand, love will never be called love without affection or emotional attachment. It will never work if one person will never show that he cares or feel numerous emotions with another person whom he loves. It can be related to someone eating bland food. In order for love to continue and grow over time, you and the one you established a relationship with should have that emotion or affection that is unique to that person only and keep the communication open at all times.

This will avoid misunderstandings that may result in a change of mind or emotion that will eventually result in the dissolution of your love for each other.

Which One is More Important?

Loyalty vs. Love

 Both love and loyalty are very important factors in strengthening the relationship between two individuals. It is very hard to choose only one as they are both essential factors for a relationship to remain strong. Loyalty will keep a person on your side, while love gives a sense of affection that makes a relationship enjoyable, fruitful, and inspiring. Disregarding one another might complicate your commitment to each other, which may lead to misunderstandings and, eventually, the end of your relationship. 

Can You Have One Without the Other?

As stated above, there are numerous factors to consider before a person can establish a normal or intimate relationship with another person. Each factor should be executed in order for that relationship to not create conflicts or problems and for it to last longer. There are numerous cases, however, that some of these factors are omitted depending on a person’s current state or circumstances. As stated above, you can be loyal without showing affection or emotion. You just have to make sure that the other relationship factors are being carried out in order for it to still work, even though it is not ideal.

Can You Love Without Being Loyal?

Loving someone doesn’t necessarily mean you should be loyal, although it is a huge factor in order for love to remain, prosper and bear fruit. As discussed above, there are different kinds of love. Many of them don’t even require physical or emotional engagement, like loving a heroic act of an individual or loving an animal, thing, place, or situation that you experienced.

Many cases of love being felt in the first place don’t even require loyalty. In fact, being loyal doesn’t happen before love is felt. It is mostly after. Love needs loyalty, among other factors, though,  in order to make the other party assured that his love won’t be wasted and he will not do anything bad, which will lead to numerous problems that will end your relationship. Loyalty keeps the love intact.

 In a romantic relationship, cheating is one of the most common problems that a couple can get into. You love him so much, but he still cheated on you. Would you still accept that person if he wanted to go back to you, apologize, and revive your relationship? Different people have different answers to this based on their experiences. Many might be hurt and end the relationship as one of the bridges that makes them engaged with each other is already destroyed due to the loss of trust and faithfulness. This just shows how important loyalty is, especially in romantic relationships. 

Can You Be Loyal Without Loving Someone?

In some cases, loyalty doesn’t even need sympathy or having a sense of affection towards the other person involved in order for it to happen. Maybe the person will be loyal just because he doesn’t have a choice, or he just wants something from another person, like money, privilege, or protection, in order to live. Obvious examples of these include the relationship between a leader of a criminal group and his men, as well as pledging allegiance to a belief, organization, or anything that makes you stick to them figuratively. As said above, both love and loyalty should always be present in order to keep everything in the right order and avoid problems and misunderstandings.

Conclusion

 Love and loyalty are both essential factors for a relationship to work satisfactorily. You can omit one of them and still establish a connection, but that connection will be unstable and prone to misunderstandings and mistakes. You just have to make sure that all other important factors are being carried out, like faith, trust, and understanding, in order for the relationship to continue and remain everyone engaged.

Both love and loyalty have different forms and kinds, as well as pros and cons, which is why everything should be decided, settled, and agreed upon in order to avoid serious problems that might lead to catastrophic consequences later on. All of us deserve to be happy, so keep everything in good condition, and we will be all right.

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Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons is a leading psychologist with a passion for enriching relationships. Through empathetic counseling and insightful guidance, she empowers couples and individuals to foster deeper connections, resolve conflicts, and create lasting harmony. Sophie's expertise in relationship advice has touched countless lives, making her a trusted source for building fulfilling partnerships.

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