Unconditional Love: Is it a myth?

Everyone wants to be in a secure relationship at some point in his or her life. The kind of relationship where one emphatically feels at last their heart has found a home. This means a lot of things to different people.

Home

Robert Frost stated, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Home is also the place where you let your hair down, kick off your shoes, relax, and be your “authentic self”. We say what we want and do what we want without concerning ourselves with being “politically correct”. Home is the place where I’m free to be me. Billy Sunday said; “Home is the place we love best and grumble the most.”

Romanticism

For many people being at home in a relationship or marriage means unconditional love. No matter what one says or does they are assured their mate will never abandon them. There will be laughter and tears throughout the years but at the end of day when it’s all said and done they will find themselves in each other’s arms. Breaking up and divorce are not options. Always And Forever!

Contradiction

The problem with holding onto these definitions of home and the romanticism of unconditional love is each of us has an ego which requires certain things. We want our mates to be considerate of our feelings. We want to be respected, appreciated, and adored by our significant others. A person who says whatever comes to their mind without using an “edit button” or taking into account their mate’s feelings is not likely to be in that relationship for very long especially if their partner has any self-love for themselves. Truth be told not many of us want a doormat for mate. Therein lies the contradiction.

Deal Breakers

The most common examples of “unconditional love” are often attributed to god’s love for mankind and a parent’s love for their child, especially a mother’s love.

Everyone else has “deals breakers” whether it’s verbal/physical abuse, cheating, financial irresponsibility, compulsive lying, and hidden addictions such as gambling, drinking, drugs, and pornography. Deal breakers are boundaries or a “line in the sand” which serves to measure how much value we place on our relationship and those we are involved with. To knowingly commit an act which your mate considers to be one of their “deal breakers” says a lot about how much you care about them.

Loving in Reverse

Quite a few people practice loving in reverse. In other words they subscribe to the notion of bending over backwards to please someone new whom they are attracted to in order to win them over. They remove the word “no” from their vocabulary. They agree to every suggestion this person makes. Odds are both people are behaving the same way which leads them to believe they have found their “soul-mate”. After there is an “emotional investment” and time goes by there is an expectation that giving one’s best is no longer a requirement to maintain the relationship. We make ourselves "at home" and "relax". In fact the longer the relationship lasts the less concerned we become with our appearance or pleasing them. If for some reason the relationship ends we go back to being on our "best behavior" in order to attract a new person. One would think we’d be much kinder to someone who has been with us through the ups and downs over the years than someone we are trying to get to know. We treat the “new” better than the “tried and true”.

Unconditional Love

Aside from god’s love of mankind and a mother’s love for her child the only real unconditional love left is the love we have for ourselves. Wherever you go there you are. No one else is going to stay with you “forever” if you don’t make them feel special, loved, and appreciated. Long-term relationships come with a price. Both people have to put in the effort to nurture the relationship. You have to respect and value one another. However most importantly you have to understand no one is “stuck” with anyone. Everyone has “deal breakers”. Unless one lacks self-esteem unconditional love is a myth!

“Parents were the only ones obligated to love you; from the rest of the world you had to earn it.” - Ann Brashares

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Comments 13 comments

msorensson profile image

msorensson 4 years ago

Hardly. It is not at all a myth. I saw it with my parents. They loved each other unconditionally.

I never heard them fight with each other nor did they ever say anything unfavorable about each other, ever. So it does exist.

This is so true...

Long-term relationships come with a price. Both people have to put in the effort to nurture the relationship. You have to respect and value one another


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

msorensson, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing when it comes to "unconditional love". Are you saying there is (nothing) either one of your parents could have done to the other that would have caused them to fight or breakup? For example if one cheated, abused the other verbably or physcially they would have stayed together? I think what your parents had was a loving commited marriage where there was (mutual respect and consideration).

By contrast that is not the same as saying no matter how bad someone treats me I'm going to stay with them. When people talk about "unconditional love" they generally mean love that is "tested" with pain, betrayal, or abuse of some kind and the hurt person declares "No matter what you do or say to me I'm going to stay with you!"

That's what people call "unconditional love".

From what you described of your parents it doesn't sound like either one of them had to (deal) with an "unloving spouse" and make a decsision on whether to stay or not. I still believe most of us has a (line) that if crossed by our significant other; we will end the relationship. The "condition" is if you don't treat me right, show me love, respect, and consideration then I will not be here. Very few people would stay in a relationship/marriage where they are not getting the things they want out of it. Nor would we advise our friends or loved ones to do so. One man's opinion! :-)


msorensson profile image

msorensson 4 years ago

I think what your parents had was a loving commited marriage where there was (mutual respect and consideration).

Yes, but also, the fact that they even married each other already proved that they loved each other unconditionally..

It was not a culturally accepted union. Few people would have dared..I think there is this line in The Great Gatsby..so cold but so true, especially during their time. "Rich girls don't marry poor boys.."


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

When I speak of having "conditions" I'm talking in terms of people (mistreating) each and choosing to stay together. From what you say it sounds like both of your parents were happy with one another. The majority of people who get married love one another.

Divorce generally takes place when someone is unhappy with how things are going in the marriage or someone has hurt the other to a point where they don't have it in their heart to stay with them. These are the instances where the question of "unconditional love" comes into play. Naturally if both people are loving towards one another regardless of backgrounds and are happy together then no one is being mistreated. The marriage isn't being "tested" from the inside.

Being open to dating or marrying someone out of your race or economic status means one doesn't "discriminate". I wouldn't say it means either person is willing to (allow) the other to walk on them or mistreat them and they will stay with them no matter what.

I think we may have to agree to disagree on how the words "unconditional love" are applied. I'm talking about being "mistreated" by your mate or spouse and having to decide whether to stay or not. Clearly this has nothing to do with being in a loving marriage but rather being in a horrible one and electing to stay no matter what the condition it is in.


flashmakeit profile image

flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

Maybe there are not enough people with integrity, people who attempts to keep commitments and is able to identify another's point of view. They are usually found in a wonderful upper class area. I think you can find unconditional love if that is what you really like. You will never find any one as civilized and loving as Jesus.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 4 years ago

Unconditional love is NOT a commitment. One is given freely, the other, volitionally..with will and intent.

Commitment to stay married is NOT a proof of unconditional love.

I can love a person without bounds. It does not mean I have to be with him for one reason or another. It means he is free to walk away at will, if it will make him happier, and I will love him just the same.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

flashmakeit, Thanks for your comment. There is only one Jesus or God. It has been said that god is able to love you regardless of your sins or actions. God loves a murderer no less than he loves a devout follower. There is nothing you could ever say or do that would cause him to abandon his love for you. This in my opinion is "unconditional love" in it's truest sense.

msorensson, I believe "unconditional love" is MORE than a commitment. Love is an emotion or adoration one feels for another person. To have that feeling not wane despite being mistreated by the object of your affection is unconditional love. It's not just about staying with them becasue of a commitment that was made.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 4 years ago

Indeed....so much more..


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

msorensson , In a word, Amen. :-)


Captainausume profile image

Captainausume 4 years ago from New Jersey

Love can't be unconditional. Love, in itself, is a condition. When you ask yourself why you love a person, the answer usually revolves a feeling you get when you are with them. That feeling is created by visuals, sounds, thoughts, and touch. Were all of these things to change beyond recognition, either your idea of love changes with it, or the love disappears. If you are lucky, your love is FLEXIBLE.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

Captainausume, I agree with you! Everything has conditions. If your company stops paying you, odds are you would stop working there. If someone constantly hurts you or causes you ill will you're going to try to avoid them. To love someone "unconditionally" or "no matter what" in most instances is a sign of low self-esteem. Every (healthy person) has "deal breakers".

- One man's opinion! :-)


Ana Kolomeka profile image

Ana Kolomeka 17 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Thanks for being so honest about this sensitive subject. Really there is no such thing as unconditional love. Parental love may come close to it, but it is something that is learned; the proliferation of child abuse proves that. It may be painful for people to realize, but no one has the right to abuse another and still demand approval. Love is a two-way street; once you're in a relationship, good morals and manners become even MORE important.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 17 months ago Author

Ana, Thanks for taking the time to read and post a comment to my hub.

Unfortunately I believe a lot of folks insist upon believing there is a such thing as "unconditional love" and in fact many of them are in search of it.

Naturally having "unrealistic expectations" leads to disappointment and frustration. Anyone with an ounce of self-esteem has a "final straw" or "line in the sand" which if crossed will cause them to walk away.

"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

- Oscar Wilde

If someone is constantly taking advantage of you or is inconsiderate of you then it clearly means they don't think you're all that "special".

Thankfully however there are more than 7 Billion people on the planet! Odds are in everyone's favor there is more than enough people for us to love and be loved without a ton of drama! :)

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