April 12, 2016 at 3:18 pm #101649
I often wonder what unconditional love means. I recently lost my father and looking back I can see that he loved me a lot. I can see that he made me feel wanted. I don’t have a great relationship with my sisters due to circumstances like big age difference and living in different continents. When my father was alive, i use to think “of course he has to show he cares, i will be the one supporting him soon.” I was always called a “crutch” by my parents because I was the only one who got American education and who made money. I never thought their love was unconditional. So from the begining, i didn’t think anyone can love me unconditionally.
Now looking at romantic love. I have been in a great relationship for 5 months. the man is 3 years younger to me and we have a lot of fun together. I love him. But I can see that I love him when he is “good”. by that I mean when he is doing things to show me he loves me. Today we were having a discussion about his very low paying job and his delay in updating his resume and LinkedIn profile. I am successful in my field so I make double the money he makes and his lack of funds keeps us from doing things we can do together. He also doesn’t like doing things out of his comfort. Like going to an outdoor market when its cold out. Mind you we live in Ireland so its ALWAYS cold out. But he doesn’t mind playing soccer in rain and freezing cold.
All and all these things bug me and i “stop” having good feelings about him. Does this mean, i don’t love him unconditionally? I am so confused with this whole thing! I have finally started to love myself and I think my love for me is unconditional but will I ever give that to anyone? or accept that like me, everyone else is also imperfect and deserves love?
SApril 12, 2016 at 3:34 pm #101650
I believe the one love in a lifetime that is unconditional is a child’s love for his main care taker, usually the mother. A child’s love for her parent/s is truly unconditional. It is the child who will follow the parent wherever the parent goes and no matter who the parent is. A child will adhere to his parents no matter how abusive, no matter how unloving, no matter what… and intensely, often way into adulthood.
anitaApril 13, 2016 at 2:30 am #101691
Thank you anita. That sounds right! I do love my parents above all regardless of what they do or don’t do for me.April 13, 2016 at 7:11 am #101700
You didn’t mention your mother. Is she alive and are you in a relationship with her?
Regarding unconditional love of a child to a parent: a child has no choice but to pursue the parent for food and safety, true to other mammals as well. But as an adult, one has the choice because you can find food and safety on your own (and with the help of other adults, like your boyfriend). As an adult, if the parent still abuses you, verbally let’s say, there is nothing beautiful in keeping that relationship going. As in your relationship with your boyfriend, you keep evaluating if it is still a Win for you (Win-Win relationships with anyone is the thing to aim for).
Aiming at Win-Win relationships instead of Unconditional Love relationships, what do you think?
anitaApril 13, 2016 at 8:45 am #101707Leslie RichardsonParticipant
This is a very good question and one I have been spending a lot of time thinking about. Unconditional love should be between a parent and child, although we know sometimes it isn’t. As for adult love, it should be conditional to a degree, meaning that you cannot sacrifice who you are for the other person. If someone’s actions / behavior is at your expense this is not healthy and you should try to see if you can fix the problem. Right now it sounds like you two have some major differences which does not have to be a deal breaker as some people can learn to accept each others differences and be together. For your situation I would think very carefully about your future. If a man is with a woman who earns more and is more driven this can eventually start impacting his ego and he might do things to make him feel better – think affair.
Essentially the person who you choose to be your life partner is the most important decision of your life so you need to think not only unconditional love but long-term compatibility. From what I have learned is that there are times you might not love your partner but you choose to be with him and you choose loving actions. This is what people mean when they say relationships are work but it needs to be work from both sides.
Best of luck to youApril 13, 2016 at 10:35 am #101712UnconditionalPeaceParticipant
The title of your post caught my attention, because my credo is “Unconditional Peace.” I’m trying to figure out what the relationship between unconditional peace and unconditional love might be.
So you live in Ireland? It was that great Irish author, James Joyce, who wrote, “Love loves to love love.” One of my favorite quotes. I think what he was trying to say was that love exists for its own purposes. You don’t have to explain why you love someone, you just do. We make up all kinds of excuses why not to love others: “you don’t have the same hobbies I do,” “you don’t listen to the same kind of music I do,” “you don’t like going to the market with me,” etc. No one falls in love with someone because of these things, and so no one should reject anyone for these reasons either.
I think you need more time to decide what the future for you and your boyfriend will be. We should neither fall in love with someone nor reject someone because of a gut feeling. As time goes by, you will either naturally grow closer together or grow apart. Maybe you will love each other so much that the fact that he doesn’t like going to the market with you, or the fact that he doesn’t make much money, will seem unimportant. Or maybe those differences will prove to be symptoms of a larger problem that keeps you apart. I agree with jewels07 that love is not just loving actions. You will figure out in time whether you really love him or whether you are just going through the motions.
As to your last question, love becomes unconditional when you decide it is. All it took for me to accept peace unconditionally was to say, “I am at peace,” and believe it. I’m sure all it took for you to love yourself unconditionally was to say, “I love myself,” and believe it. And that will be all it takes for you to decide to love someone else, too. Sometimes believing what we tell ourselves can seem hard, but it isn’t always.
I think you may have hit on something in your last sentence. Maybe we love others not in spite of their imperfections, but because of them. Are you and your boyfriend imperfect in similar ways? If so, that can be a source of empathy between the two of you. I don’t know, maybe…April 13, 2016 at 10:42 am #101713keineParticipant
To me “unconditional love” means loving someone and accepting all of them, not just the “good” or the times when they behave lovingly towards you. I would say that I love my mother and sister unconditionally, though sometimes they make me so angry I could spit! I love my partner, although he annoys me to no end some days!
“Unconditional love” transcends negative emotions that pop up for all of us from time to time. We respect the recipient of our love–and they hopefully respect us–enough to forgive a little anger once in awhile.
Is this love perfect? Not at all. Love occurs between human beings, who are imperfect creatures, so it will be fundamentally flawed. Loving unconditionally means accepting love complete with human imperfections.April 14, 2016 at 9:10 am #101841
Thank you all for your wise words.
Anita, my mom is alive and very tough woman. I love her a lot as she has been my mom and friend for a while. She is very loving but she also has a strong sense of “showing off” to others. I am treated very much like a trophy child. I often wonder if she would like me if I was less than perfect. She is very much in love with my middle sister though who was the youngest child for 9 years before I came along. Nothing my sister could do would deter my mother from loving her from being lazy to having boyfriends from different cast who didn’t graduate high school. She complains about her but also loves her a lot.
As far as for the boyfriend, we talked about the parks. I do like that we are good friends so I can tell him my crazy thoughts. He said, he has been planing on going on a hike with me but doesn’t want to go when its so cold that we can’t even hold hands. he said, he can play in the cold weather cause he running. He gets so hot when he playing soccer that sometimes he has to take his shirt off. Fair enough. I don’t what will happen to him and I but I do need to let go of looking for “unconditional love”. I think my love for myself is the best I can do! or any of us can do for that matter!
namasteApril 14, 2016 at 9:45 am #101845
Good communication there with your boyfriend, and it makes sense. Now we know why it is not too cold for him to play soccer and why it is too cold for him to hike. I didn’t think of it yesterday when I read your original post, that this could be the reason. It is so important, for this very reason, to ask questions and listen and ask again, so we have the correct information.
Otherwise we act on assumptions that are often enough false.
I can see that you didn’t experience unconditional love from your parents, and from my experience this is very common. It was a surprise for me when I realized this very reality. I heard so often that there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love. No, I found out, there is nothing stronger than a daughter’s love.