Love Conundrum: Is Love REALLY Unconditional?
Admin Note: Please welcome guest blogger K. Ferdinand. Enjoy.
So I was talking to my father last night and we were discussing each other’s Valentine’s day plans. My father and mother have been divorced ever since I was a baby, so the type of relationship that my father and I have is more of a friendship than of the traditional father and son. Overall, I cherish much of his advice, and seek his wisdom often to get through many situations.
He was telling me of his lofty plans. His plan comes down to which one of his women is going to shoot cupids arrow on him, and enjoy his company (We’re not just going for the usual dinner outing, but for the expected night-cap as well). So the conversation came down to this: “What is the true meaning of Valentines day”?
Many would say it represents the unconditional love that you want to express to the person you love. But my father broke it down for me and brought his insight into what he feels and the true meaning of Valentines Day and love represents. As I listen closely past his ultra thick Haitian accent he said to me, “Papa…there is no such thing as unconditional love, love is always conditional”. He went on to say,“When you enter a relationship expectations are set by both individuals when the union is established.”
After we sat around talking our shyt for about an hour or so, I was thinking about what he said, “…conditional love”. The term ‘Conditional Love’ resonated with me. I started to think of my past relationships (even my mother and fathers failed marriage) to dissect what and why my father said what he said. When you enter into a partnership with a person that supersedes one of a platonic friendship, there is a “social contract” that both people enter either knowingly or unknowingly that establish a sense of boundaries and guidelines that should not be breached which [ultimately] strengthens the bond of both people. The examples being: no cheating, treating each other with respect, holding the door open for your women…all that nonsense that ‘love specialist’ Steve Harvey discusses in his book.
But even women that I have dated say the number one thing that they want is to be loved unconditionally. Now I can say I never loved anyone unconditionally except maybe my mother and God, and maybe they too may question my love for them. To be loved or to give love unconditionally may be a blessing as it comes with great responsibility and must be handled with the upmost delicacy. Overall, in my experience I feel that most women that I have dated yearn for this feeling, but are confused when a guy does treat them like the queen they are. We all know the saying, “Women love A$$holes”, “The nice guy never wins”, etc.
I earnestly feel that individuals never appreciate a good thing until they no longer have it. Anyway, back to the topic.
As men we often witnessed conditional love with potential prospects or with women who you are currently dating or married to. Conditional love may display itself during dates. How so? Try not paying for the meal or outing and see if that woman goes on another date with you. Or like my father put it, “Try and not lick the pu$$y and see if you get the hole”. Those are just some loose examples of conditional love.
As I share this wisdom with my fellow readers, understand that men can possess and demand various aspects of conditional love as well. My mother sat me down at a very young age and said, “Listen son…when you find a woman make sure she’s a good woman and loves to do what she can to make you happy because a woman just giving up the pu$$y to make you happy doesn’t cut it anymore”!
So men, set your standards when it comes to the love that you want displayed in your relationship, because if you have a woman worth anything, she has her expectations and standards as well. Also, don’t get discouraged if you find yourself sleeping on the couch when you start to discuss your expectations to your woman. It may take her some time to get used to the new and liberated you.
I hope everyone had a great St. Valentines Day (who ever St. Valentine is because when I find you I am going to beat the shyt out of you) and stay tuned for the next article.
So OM readers, what say you – agree or disagree? Also is there such a thing as ‘unconditional’ love within relationships? Talk to me.
-The one and only,
I loved this! I don’t believe a romantic relationship should be unconditional. There must be agreed upon standards or codes of behaviour. Otherwise there are no boundaries and unless one cannot read the mind of the other. If romantic love were to be unconditional and one be abusive to the other, unconditional love would be the sign of dysfunctional codependance. Romantic love if not nutured, dies.
I do however, love my children unconditionally. No matter how awful they may be to me, I love them still. That is not to say, I will accept their poor behaviour, but my love for my children lives on, it does not die, even when my love for my former spouse has died. Perhaps unconditional love, a love that survives under extreme duress is possible between a parent and their child.
Firstly, welcome to the OM! *rolls out red carpet*
“Perhaps unconditional love, a love that survives under extreme duress is possible between a parent and their child.”
You know, I have to agree with this. You raise a rather interesting point too. We can love one another greatly, but we generally have a breaking point where that love may begin to waiver depending on what transpires during the relationship. However, in regards to our children, although we can become disappointed, never does our love actually cease or decrease. The parent child dynamic allows for greater room for error it seems.
Unconditional love is fine as long as reciprocity is a part of the relationship. However, I think when people speak of unconditional love today, it comes from a totally selfish point of view. Giving love to a sick spouse is very different from giving that love to a habitual cheater/liar/manipulator. And typically, it’s the party in error that expects this type of love. Basically unconditional love cannot be given in the absence of unconditional respect.
Welcome back ‘Shy Fran’!
It is true that the ‘party in error’ will typically expect a certain level of unconditional love. And I can agree that in an ideal world unconditional love probably should not be given without unconditional respect. That would be the recipe for a drama free relationship. Hmmn… Why do you think it is so difficult for people to continually do both in their relationships seeing as though 100% of relationships are not drama free?
Glad to be back 🙂 In regards to your question, there’s one word that sums up why unconditional love & unconditional respect are lacking in today’s relationship….Selfishness. My ex proposed to buy more time, rarely considered or appreciated me & finally cheated. Yet he had the nerve to be surprised and angry when I left. Pure selfishness. But hey, you live and learn right *wink*
Really enjoyed the writing style of Ferdinand! Well expressed and in a laid back manner..It is my belief that unconditional love only exists from a parent /child perspective. And that is coming from someone whose been ‘in’ loved(and in love returned) plus married/divorced and engaged,etc etc..In otherwords I’ve been involved in heavy type love relationships. Do we(women) say we want unconditional love from our man/spouse? Absolutely! I’ve said it & wished it myself about a cazillion times..But then reality hits..Or least it did for me..Once I really, really, really got deep and honest with myself about what type of relationship & man I desire as a husband. That meant dumping some of the superficial stuff off my must-haves-in-my-man list(though I still refuse to give up the Black, Tall, & etcetc)..What I’m attempting to say with all of my jibber jabber is this. We (women) don’t love unconditionally(except for our children)! So how in the hecks can we say we want it in return? It is dang near impossible; from the very inception to love without conditions. As for Valentines Day? It is an over priced commercial bunch of hype. Give me my flowers & my loving every single day of the year..24/7..anyways 2 thumbs UP on the write!
Sounds like you’ve experienced some personal growth via your relationship experiences that resulted in you making some decisions on what is important to you.
Its refreshing that you have that level of honesty with yourself in terms of expectations not only of your significant other, but of yourself as well.
Plus all you need for V Day is flowers and some loving? I’m sayin…
Fellas, take note.
Waving Mr Sobo! Its been a while..Now I’m not saying I’ve not been spoiled and over-spoiled on V Day and most days..From waking up to a brand new car in my driveway to a rose-petaled path of gifts for me to pick up along the way to a candle-lit bubble bath..I think guys figure I’m materialistic; and I am not. No material gift can replace love. And one day laden with flowers & gifts can replace a love relationship. So yes, all I need for V day is flowers, loving and a man that is in love with me all year round. (I should’ve added that the first time, lol) I’ve got very high standards for the man I claim as ‘my man’ ; but has nada to do with material gifts. I’d add more but I don’t know if everyone reading is grown and sexy. Ha!
very grown and sexy here *waves hands*
….Dope article and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the only unconditional love one can have is for their children, especially when they’re small. All love has conditions. However there are people who are with their spouses that have that unconditional love to the point where they’re mistreated and still stay. (and I don’t necessarily mean being physically abused either)
Totally agree..I think that is called something else though; mayhaps battered wife syndrome..Or lack of self-esteem. And you’re right; it isn’t always physical. I know someone who is a beautiful person on the inside & out..However, emotionally she’s been beat down by her husband(who I & many others feel is a jerk; but of course we can’t tell her that) and yet stays with him! She almost left once..And she’s even as much as said she knows he isn’t treating her well..But she stays in the marriage. I don’t even pretend to understand verbally. Sometimes I almost bite my tongue off so I won’t say anything against her husband…I just nod my head alot when she needs someone to talk to.
Lol@ that very grown & sexy comment.. I know I’ve read alot of your thoughts . Looking forward to your next write..As always
That’s very unfortunate indeed about your friend. Do they have children maybe that’s why she stays? hmmmm maybe another blog topic for me to add my dollar’s worth too. But at any rate it is sad when love as a whole becomes skewered.
Yep, they’ve got 2 young children..Which , imo, is even more reason to break away from a toxic relationship..Children learn what they ‘see’more than what they ‘hear’…Her daughter has already said she doesn’t want to marry , ever. Because she doesn’t want a man to treat her like Dad treats you..Her exact words! I almost SOL(screamed out loud) when she told me that..That is tragic on so many levels. And I’d piggy -back or comment if you blog on it..It seems to be one people don’t want to write often enough about
Very well written article….However, true love is unconditional but no one is going to stick around for the bullsh*t.
People can be loved from afar…unconditionally.
*rolls out red carpet*
Welcome to OM!
I just want to thank Cortonio for the opportunity to submit to Opinionated Male. Also I would like to thank all who took the time to read the article. I see the article has sparked interesting dialog. But lets not state the obvious of course MOST parents are going to love there children unconditionally, but even then there are limitations. Look how some parents cut there children off from money, housing and various luxuries if there child starts to dive off the deep end. Overall the topic of conditional or unconditional love can drive off into many lanes. To be honest I’m just grateful ya’ll dig the article, and I can wait to post the next one…stay tuned!
This was a refreshing article, Ferdinand. You’re writing style and humor made it a pleasant read. A romantic relationship should not be wrapped with the understanding of unconditional love but respect, friendship, loyalty, support, intimacy, and care. I think we must have standards for what we will and won’t accept with love in the equation or not. Thank you and keep ’em coming.
Welcome to the OM.
*unfolds red carpet*
I love this article and completely agree with you. I feel that women have lost sight of those standards and expectations they have of men because its not the norm for modern day men. I also believe a lot of men never set standards or expectations because they feel that is the woman’s responsibility to make sure they are in line. I would not go as far as saying unconditional love doesn’t exist but I believe it’s so rare to find someone who truly practices this doctrine. We live in a time where we have so many times to mess up and it’s game over. As long as you set limits and boundaries on someone’s actions you forfeit the ability to love them unconditionally. I believe there will always be conditions set on love because there will always be conditions set for a relationship. I think we are in a time and age where media distorts everyone’s perspective on what love means and subsequently desensitizes them to the natural chemistry of love.
*flashes red carpet*
Welcome to OM!
K. Ferdinand, love your writing style, looking forward to many more articles by you.
I tried unconditional love, and got my heart smashed to pieces. I believe Tracey expressed it best for me as a woman. “I think we must have standards for what we will and won’t accept with love in the equation or not. ”
I’ve used this metaphor often with my lady friends when it comes to love. It is like fireflies in a field: free, beautiful to watch (practically distracting) and just lights the darkest and the unknown. Some relationships are like jars for the fireflies (the conditional part where the expectation is to keep shining but separated from the very thing that made them shine, whatever that metaphorically means) when they really should be open windows to an indoor garden for the fireflies (again, metaphor…just stay with me on this). The word unconditional is an impractical word in relationships and people tend to blend the “r” word with love all the time. Since one person’s unconditional love differs from the next, why would we generalize it? Reminds me of those old school R&B songs that talk about making love all night long. Really? Eight hours or more? In the literal sense, that sounds like sensory overload and a candidate to physical & muscular injury. But, in the emotional sense, it sounded like the thing to say. And so did requesting and desiring unconditional love. We are better off making our own definition of love and stop comparing it to impossible adjectives like unconditional — it only comes with expectations and invitations to have others NOT in your relationship to judge how unconditional it is to very CONDITIONAL standards.
Very interesting. You sir are dropping some comment gems.