Is unconditional love a myth?
Unconditional love, the word says is all: love without conditions. Love without expectations. Love thatdoes not fade with the times or succumbs to the chaos of the world. It means loving someone for all eternity, no matter how they change or what they do. Unconditional. Not something I would promise to someone easily, because it’s a hard one to keep. Is unconditional love a myth?
The only form of unconditional love I can think of that occurs quite common is the love between children and their parents. My parents. They loved me and my brother quite unconditionally, each other not so much, but us… I would say so. Parental love feels unconditional. There is no one in your life you will ever repel so much as you repel your parents. Only two years after your parents have lovingly welcomed to mother earth you enter that lovely ‘NO’ phase. Looking for that first independence. When you enter your teens, your parents become less and less cool and interesting. After years of love and devotion they are set aside without a pardon, because you are ready to separate yourself from the collective. (Borg-style – for all my Trekkies out there) You are ready to see yourself as a real individual now. Never to forget that you always have them to fall back on, to support you with advice you rather not hear.
And maybe after those months (or even years?) of intense puberty you will start letting them back into your life, even kiss them again now and then. But they had better not meddle too much with your life choices. No comments on the new ditsy boyfriend or on the money spend on clothes, you can make your own choices. You are a grown-up. But those parents who have love you for so long will still admire you, and help you out when you are low on cash. They will loan you the first down-payment on your car and let you eat in 3 times a week, because your low on cash or can’t even boil an egg. They will see you through.
And when you have fallen out of puberty and start a family on your own, they’ll gladly let your kids put their sticky fingers on their furniture or stay at home to babysit them when they are sick and you need to work. They’ll change those diapers instead of lying in the sun somewhere. If that isn’t unconditional?
What about the rest of your relationships? Your friends, partner, colleagues? Not that easy to love them unconditionally I would say. Parents will always be parent, you only have one set, but friend and partners change. Maintaining those relationships isn’t so self-evident. Your life changes constantly and investing time in that friend you met in high school can become a real task. Maybe you will like her pictures on FB or text her on her birthday, but would you call her in dire need? Do you call each other when you need it? Do you when she changed jobs? Or when she’s feeling down? Have you seen where she living now that she moved?
Even partners change. Alot even. And when we have that special someone in our lives, we expect them to provide us with 80% of the love in our lives. Every day and all the time. (I am not unfamiliar with the Marie-Antoinette routine myself) But how long will it last? And is it unconditional ? Can you only tell at the end of the line? As a conclusion, but never a promise? You may feel it is unconditional, but when does it stop being so? Do you stay together unconditionally? Love is a verb, but when does that stop? When do you go on strike and decide the labor is in vain? And what do you do then?
Unconditional love might be so rare, we continually go looking for it. We all look for ‘true’ love, a ‘best’ friend, the ‘coolest’ colleague. And maybe we will only understand it when we have children of our own. Something you have created in the feeling of unconditional love, can only be just that right?