- Gender and Relationships
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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”.
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