I used to say that I loved unconditionally.  That is a total lie.  At least now I know it.

There is no such thing as “Unconditional Love.”  Why should there be? How could there be? There are conditions to everything in life.  What would make love an exception?

When I love someone, I give a lot of myself.  A lot.  In fact, that’s probably why I thought I’ve loved so “unconditionally” in the past.  However, I’ve needed someone to hit me over the head with a sledgehammer to clue me in to what is really the truth.  My wants and desires come with a price tag, just like everyone else’s.

Illusions aren’t what they are for no reason, either.  Every magician knows the secret behind the tricks.  PA has just pulled a rabbit out of her own hat.

Now something for MP3 of the Moment.  I give you:

“I Don’t Understand Anything” by Everything But The Girl

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  1. I disagree.

    There is such a thing as unconditional love.

    If we, you and I and the rest of us, *choose* to forgo “us” for the sake of the objects of our affection, unconditional love is possible.

    I believe we can love unconditionally. Granted, it is not easy and this is one area I can speak from experience.

    While it is true that us, as human beings, usually have -as you so rightly pointed out- a condition to love someone else (which can be anything from time to sex, from chocolate to adoration) love without these, is possible.

    We, however, have to choose to still love even if our condition(s) are not met. It’s a choice you see, it is not something that comes natural to us.

    An example. I have a very, very dear friend to me. She is someone whose life is difficult, full of discomfort, anxiety…pain. Ever since I met her she ignited in me a great sense of tenderness, of protection; suddenly I wanted to right all the wrongs she has had to encounter in her life. I wanted to care for her so she could know that goodness is possible, that trusting people is worthwhile. And I did.

    What is/was my condition?

    Time.

    I have always (and still do) wanted time to partake with her, to enjoy her extraordinary humour and exquisite intelligence; time to learn from her; time to relish in the goodness of her heart.

    Do I get such time?

    No, not as much. I rarely get to spend time with her nowadays. Sometimes she cannot, sometimes she chooses to spend it engaged in other activities or with other friends.
    At times it makes me sad and even angry. Yes. I wish she could spend more time with me, you see? Not fun.

    However, I have chosen, willfully, to still care for her in the same manner, whether my condition is met or not. Why? Because I can. Because I can still love, because I can still give of what I have. I can still care and wish and even protect. Like I said, because I can.

    So, at the end, yes, it is a matter of choice. It is a matter of us going beyond us for the sake of someone else. There is unconditional love.

    Love is a decision. Love is not something that overtakes us and does with us what it pleases. It is a conscious choice.

    It exists but only if we choose to make it happen.

    Anyway, my two cents. :)

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  2. I agree with Maria. When you love someone from your heart, all you care is care about him/her. If a particular person expects a lot of things in return, well, then he/she is in conditional love. This does not mean that unconditional love does not exist. It does; but it is rare these days.

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  3. *BIG HUGS*

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  4. Hi Maria. I knew you would show up for this one! *laughing* Also, I knew if anyone showed up to discuss it, the topic may be a bit “messy” as “love” is always messy.

    I think the one thing that I don’t like is the communication aspect. Like the word “love.” It’s misinterpreted and overused. But I wrote the post; my fault for bringing it all up!

    Anyway…

    Okay, I hear you about making the conscious decision about forgoing or forsaking ourselves for our objects of affection. You could do that. But is that really unconditional love? This is what I had thought of as “Unconditional Love” all along for me.

    By choosing to forgo one’s self, a condition has already been made. You have placed a condition upon yourself and actually upon the relationship already.

    You have explained that well with your friend and that your condition/s were not met. However, that is and was sort of the crux of my post. No matter how much we really want to believe such a concept exists there are always conditions. Even though we do make a conscious choice to forgo/forsake ourselves to whatever degree, there will still be conditions.

    Further, there are two people involved. The other person may end up dealing with whatever conditions (actually they always will) as they are part of the relationship. This happens despite whatever choices we make.

    I mean, as I wrote, I give and give and give too. However, I’ve seen the results.

    I know how good it does feel to love someone that way. Sometimes, you even get it returned. That feels so much better and seems to make it all worthwhile! But then, things can backfire (maybe not permanently) and…well, a whole lot of things can happen…. Maybe it’s then not so healthy to love that way. Choice or not!

    Which brings me to choice. Oh, boy. Maybe I’ve got defective wiring but at times I haven’t felt like I’ve had a choice in who I’ve loved. I’ve been so crazed and out of my mind with some people, I have acted completely irrationally! I’ve done things no otherwise “sane” person would do!

    I’m not sure what other people would say, but I’ll freely admit it! Maybe I’d be a happier woman if I had some “I Do Not Choose To Love You Switch” in my brain!

    You also mentioned “…going beyond us for the sake of someone else.” This is something I find interesting. I may be taking your words out of context so forgive me if I am.

    We are all human beings. I’m not sure how far beyond us/ourselves we can actually go, and if we can, for how long. We are all meant to survive and do have basic drives. Again, I’m going back to the point of giving so much of ourselves and way, deep down…there really is something in there we’re not aware of. We may not think so, but what we’re calling this “Unconditional Love” stuff…

    This operates on the same level as needs not being met etc… but I’m deviating also to a different kind of “condition” (or need) here, though. One that is completely irrespective of the relationship. Or should I say the other person? *laughing*

    So, I don’t know if any of that makes sense.

    Hi Sajib. Nice to meet you and welcome to my blog. I haven’t seen you here before.

    I’ve rambled off quite a bit there to Maria. I’m not sure what you think of that. I also feel that when you do love someone with all your heart, all you care is about them. That is the kind of person I am. However, that doesn’t translate to love being “unconditional.”

    When two people love each other in a relationship, both actually do have certain “needs” to be met. It doesn’t matter how many, to what degree, it is just a fact. That is what I was stating in my post and that I was blind to it. I felt that in giving so much, I had no needs of my own.

    That said, I took the concept of “Unconditional Love” as I understood it to be, and realized it was impossible. It could not exist.

    In fact, in thinking so, it was dangerous and destructive. By acting in such a manner, it was actually selfish in being unaware of needs in relationships. It was actually doing harm to people.

    Hi Svasti. Thanks. Big hugs back to you, too.

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  5. So you knew I’d show up for this one, huh? *Laughing* I like that…you seem to know me better than I thought. (And you still like me so, hey, points for me!) ~.^

    Funny, I don’t see love as messy. Never have and the older I get, the simpler I see love as an attitude, a concept, a verb and a noun. And yes, absolutely, the word has been abused to no one.

    But it has also being misconstrued. Love is not just romantic/erotic love and this kind of love is by no means, superior, to any other.

    I don’t see choosing to forgo me, as a condition. Perhaps it is a matter of semantics. A condition to me, is like a token; I give you this if you give me that and that is how I have always understood the phrase and the concept of conditional/unconditional love. a tit for tat. In addition, I think I have seen the result and not the process. You may be quite right when you say that I place a condition on myself; yes, I do. But what is the end result? Unconditional love to the objects of my affection. In this case with this friend, it’s love I provide for her sake and not so much for mine. The result is someone that cares for her without her having to do give me anything in exchange, except to be herself which can’t be a condition because she cannot be anything or anyone else.

    However, perhaps you are right. Perhaps we are *that* flawed and our pitiful humanness prevents us from ever reaching unconditional love. I give you that.

    Perhaps, I choose to believe it can be done and this, dear PA, may very well be. I have learnt to choose to believe things in life *can* be better than what they are. I choose to believe I can be better, than people can be better and that, by doing so, by attempting to become a better, more loving, more honest, more sensible beings than what we are, we can actually change this world and our lives for the better.

    So, I still stand by what I said. It may not be easy but I still believe it is possible and yes, if you think I am restoring to less than rational arguments at this point, you are absolutely right.

    But you know, friend? I really don’t care. It makes my life a better place to be in. Hahahahaha! ^___^

    <3

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  6. Hi Maria. No, it’s all good. I think I have become so jaded a lot of the time. I also think because of my life, I wonder if I can just handle things the way I used to in the past. I used to be such an…”Idealist?”

    Now, I fear I don’t know what I am. Perhaps there still is some of the “past me” or “older me” hanging around?

    I do see love as messy. In fact, that’s the only way I’ve seen it!

    I am always quick to say when I hear others look aside and think that some other couple looks so happy. I say you have NO idea what may go on behind closed doors. Fighting, yelling, whatever. Looks can always be deceiving.

    It’s funny. I seem to be contradicting myself now that I think back to another comment I made to you. Did I not tell you that I thought every person was essentially good? And now I sit saying I no longer love people unconditionally, whereas I always had before.

    *scratches sick head*

    I think I’m a bit confused. No, I know I am.

    There is still some of the “past me” hanging around with the “present me.” Yes.

    In youth, things are generally considered “reckless” and “uncontrollable.” Perhaps as I’ve aged, things have reversed. The “past me” has become that way? Or maybe it’s always been like that but since it doesn’t come out so often, I can’t control it so much.

    Huh. Self-analysis is fun when you feel like you’re on your deathbed, isn’t it? *laughing*

    Seriously, though. I suppose I do know how I love. Maybe what it comes down to, is that it is a semantic nightmare! In fact, there is no name for it at all!

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  7. Rahul

    If you have expectations, whether fulfilled or not, your love is conditional – that only means you had conditions which weren’t met, but you had them, Right ?

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  8. Hi Rahul. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I’m still not feeling well.

    I had to go back and try to read all of this as my brain is still not functioning. However, I really didn’t see any point in reading at all.

    The more and more I have been thinking about this entire issue in my life, I couldn’t agree with you more. I keep seeing it! I keep finding things in the smallest of places! And it’s not just me. It’s everywhere! Within everyone!

    Then I come home and quietly observe my life as well. Past, present, and future as far as I can imagine it–which I really can’t but I try.

    We all have conditions in our lives. It is only within love where they exist at their most powerful. It is in love where vulnerability is both beautiful and frightening; where we will always be wounded. Including pain from matters of “conditions.”

    That is not to say one can not get over the pain or one will not always suffer pain since a condition is not met etc… It is simply another way to look at the matter of “Conditional Love.”

    Take care Rahul,
    PA

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  9. Bocephus Bixby III

    I agree that, on Earth, there is no such thing as unconditional love. You can always brainwash, torture, or manipulate someone into believing and doing whatever you want them to. For sufficiently weak forms of affection, the simple passage of time can cool the flames of supposed love. The only question is how hard it is to do so – whether it takes a second or a decade, and whether it fades passively or actively.

    Just another reason why religion creates absolutes in a world without them, and in doing so, creates an axiomatic basis for thinking about the rest of life.

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  10. Hi Bocephus Bixby III. Nice to meet you and welcome. I hope you come back to read this as I’ve been slow in getting back to people here. I haven’t been well, and I’m still not so great.

    I find your comment very interesting, and I definitely agree with the first part. Although, I will add that some of these “manipulations” (for lack of a better word etc.) can be done without knowing you are doing them.

    That’s a much bigger “magician’s trick” than simply pulling a rabbit out of a hat (that I wrote in my post.) If you can realize that you’re doing it (or someone else is doing it to you) then you can try and work on what the hell is really going on within a relationship.

    I’ve been on the other side of someone manipulating me, and been forced to make some pretty tough decisions. Still, it’s very hard to clue in when you’re in the midst of a “loving” relationship.

    The second part (of your first paragraph) is also keenly noted. It’s very hard for me to think back on what I would refer to as “sufficiently weak forms of affection” in my life. However, I can definitely think of some and a time frame, how it has occurred, and such. “Love”, for me, is very complicated, as I throw my complete self right into it!

    Religion? Wow. That’s a big one. I was posting here about the personal–moi. I am not a religious person so I don’t think that factors into my form of thinking here with this post. Meaning, any absolutes regarding how I love–despite how I do it.

    Take care,
    PA

    Also, I’ve deleted some odd characters that have shown up in your comment. They’re not in English.

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  11. Aris

    I think there is no such thing as unconditional love, why?

    The meaning of Love was written in 1Cor. 13:1-10 (NIV)- 1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

    This is the true meaning of love, and this are the conditions of love. the said conditions applies only to the giver of love and not to the receiver. If there such as “Unconditional LOVE” then the 1Cor 13 should not be written in the Bible, and beside if we only read the Bible you will never find the word UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, and was never been written.

    The word Unconditional Love was only invented by human being to meet their needs, what needs? To be love unconditionally, to be love the way they are, to love and be love unconditionally. Love with out commitments? That is not love, love is invented and designed by God and that Love is conditional. Remember the 1Cor 13 is applicable only to the giver of love and not to the receiver. You will love because you want to see the one you love should have the qualities of the 1Cor 13, NO It’s not!

    Those quality are considered a condition to Love, if you don’t have that qualities then you don’t Love. That condition serves also as contract agreement of both parties. Unconditional love is not love at all. You may say Jesus died on the cross, is it unconditional Love? I don’t think so. Jesus practice Love under the 1Cor 13 it’s an act of kindness, He LOVE us that is why He died on the cross. How about God? Is HE love us unconditionally? I don’t think so, GOD also practice love under 1Cor 13, that is why He gave His only Son Jesus to die on the cross and Jesus is the perfect example of God’s LOVE.

    Unconditional Love? Is not Love at all, it’s selfishness. If there is other meaning of love other than written in the Bible, that is not Love, it’s a manifestation of being selfish.

    Love is conditional.

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  12. Hi Aris. Nice to meet you and welcome to my blog. I must say, I am seriously impressed!

    I’m not making fun of you, but did you quote that all from memory? Like in your head as you knew it all?

    The reason I ask, is that I’ve had discussions with my sister, and out of the blue, she’ll shoot out quotes and I’m stunned! It makes me think, ‘How much of The Bible has she committed to memory?!’

    I really appreciate your comment, though. It looks like you put a lot of hard work into it. When people do that, it does not go unrecognized.

    Also, another “vote” for “Conditional Love.”

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  13. j

    unconditional love is a nice airy-fairy idea in la-la land. you know?, the same place where lions don’t eat antelope and no-one ever dies. and doughnuts don’t make you fat.

    love, like everything else in the universe is, if not, should be conditional.

    cheat on me?, i love you unconditionally!?
    stab me in the heart?, i love you unconditionally!?
    steal my money?, i love you unconditionally!?
    push me down a hill?, i love you unconditionally!?
    poison me?, i love you unconditionally!?
    run me down?, i love you unconditionally!?
    cut my willy off?, i love you unconditionally!?

    all actual situations.

    no way, i have conditions, and standards! and guess what? i expect to be held to conditions and standards not only for you and your respect and the respect for you but for my own self respect in having someone to love worth respecting.

    to everyone, stop being so flakey!!!!

    respect!

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  14. j

    not everyone here, i mean just everyone in general. you know? that are flakey!
    :o)

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  15. Hi j. Welcome to my blog and sorry for the tardiness. Sick, blah. Too tired to turn on my computer, even if I really wanted to. My computer and I do not share unconditional love! *laughing so hard*

    Oh, I get you! Even now more than ever! I also think that people can “believe” they love a person unconditionally, but in reality, they are actually placing “conditions” upon the other person. Also completely unwillingly! Unbeknownst to them with not a shred of malcontent!

    It then falls on the recipient’s end. They may not have a clue. They see it as such “a pure act of love…”

    That is at least one example of someone possibly being deceived they are loving unconditionally. However, when conditions (or even demands) are placed under the guise of unconditional love? No. That’s control.

    In fact, even worse if the recipient becomes aware. Then, you’ve got a whack of imbalance and a shitstorm brewin’. Based upon the circumstances, some people (literally) don’t make it out alive.

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  16. Jim Andersen

    Renown for my own procrastination – I submit some thoughts now, this is because over the past year the “magician” has attempted new forgeries in my personal affairs.

    Greetings!

    Love can be diminished through several venues that may or may not be beyond our control. Love is a human emotion that is oft applied anthropomorphically to other real or imagined beings and objects.

    As a human emotion (love), is subject to change.

    Correctly noted by one poster, the definition of “love” is skewed, with its meaning subject to various and sundry forms of discipline (or not).

    There are rules we apply to arguments within logic – these rules are necessary because logic is the science of truth. Having realized this, we can then become informed about the oxymoron in the room.

    When we define love as “unconditional,” we have just placed conditions on the object “love.” This nullifies the very tedious attempts to qualify a form of “love” as unconditional.

    I also take note of the post containing a rather large amount of scripture, an exegesis lent to us from the Christian Bible.

    Indeed, these very documents place specific conditions that, with only a cursory inspection and no scholarly training, a novice can deduce the intent of the authors rather quickly. These writers placed eternal and terrestrial conditions upon love as they have it (love) rendered it in their letters written to various individuals and churches.

    If we are to place a relative worth on our understanding of “love,” it is ~ my opinion ~ that we “confess” our limitations and acknowledge that meaningful values are required in order for this emotional “verb” to possess any power or enforceable meaning.

    Thank You,

    Jim

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  17. Hi Jim Andersen. Thanks for coming by and welcome. That is, if the “magician” hasn’t absconded away with either you, or your words on my blog before.

    All I will simply say (apart from the fact to set up a “Procrastination Contest”) is this:

    I LOVE your comment.

    Take care,
    PA

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