Question of the Day – No. 204

Have you loved unconditionally or do you think you could love anyone unconditionally (besides your kids, if you have them)?

proposed by Sharon

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67 thoughts on “Question of the Day – No. 204

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  1. I take this question to mean that regardless of what that person does, you would love them no matter what, correct? (Besides my family lol) I love my two best friends unconditionally. One we have been through the same stressful childhood, he does things I don’t agree with but he has my love regardless; the other, we are kindred spirits (she’s a Leo & I’m a Virgo) we think alike and we have been rolling ever since.

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  2. I have a few (very few) good friends that I love unconditionally. We have been there for each other for twenty years. (I met all three of them around the same time.) Not sure if this is what you were looking for, or in a significant other sort of way – which I have never had, but believe I could if the right one came along.

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  3. I believe that it is really difficult to love unconditionally, even certain members of my own family have betrayed me enough that I have lost love for them. I don’t have kids but I did have a miscarriage so I know I can love unconditionally. I just think it is very difficult. We don’t know if we love unconditionally unless they do something to make us stop loving them… Does that even make sense?

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      1. Realistically, love doesn’t go away because one think it should. In this journey I’ve learned it’s important to realize a connection like that must not be consiously held on to, but the seeds or rhizomes are perennial, and hidden from even ourselves. As a result, learning to be a better person is possible.

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      1. Unconditional love is about the person. Behaviours don’t define the person, so I think behaviours can be unacceptable without diminishing the love for the person at all. I’m thinking in particular in the context of addiction.

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  4. I do … though we’re not married, we have that sacred unity. Learning to love ourselves in the process has substantially helped us to love one another. I’m constantly asking myself, what would love do in this situation. It’s work.. but, it’s every bit worth it!

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  5. It would be my best friend. No matter what life has put us through, we haven’t left each other’s lives. It’s strange to me, that I can talk through anything with her, and we’re ok. But it’s not like that in my marriage…though it should be. I find myself being more selfish in my wants/needs with my marriage. Which means if I want to live like Jesus, I’d better figure this out.

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  6. Good question, because ‘unconditional love’ isn’t well defined, so it has a different meaning for everybody.

    My concept of love separates the feelings of love from the actions and behaviours within relationships.

    I definitely feel unconditional love- for my mum, my grandparents, my siblings, my closest friends, my dad and other family members. Regardless of how they are or what they do I will always feel love for them and always feel care about their lives and their experiences, and ideally want to be a part of their lives as much as is healthy.

    These unconditional feelings don’t mean unconditional involvement or unconditional caring if needs they have that they’re unable to learn meet themselves, but could have the capacity to, mean that my needs aren’t able to be met by providing for theirs. These sorts of ‘unconditional’ imbalanced relationships are damaging to both people over time, and actually erode the ability of people to continue acting with true love and care. For me, in order to keep providing them with the most love and care I can without sacrificing my needs, I’ve had to establish boundaries and unfortunately this means more limited relationships.

    As someone mentioned above, cases of addiction are good examples of the need for this. Abusive situations are too. But there are many other more subtle dynamics in which one person seems to need more from another and also not be able to give to another in a way that considers their needs.

    I’m very lucky that there are only a few important people who I love unconditionally who I’ve needed to establish boundaries with. The other important people I feel unconditional love for are also very actively seeking to balance their own needs with others, so the relationships are close and less limited.

    Does this distinction make sense?

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    1. Yes, it does! So it seems it’s harder to have unconditional love i a relationship compared to friends and siblings. But of course, that depends. Only a few can “earn” that unconditional love. Is that right?

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      1. For me there’s a very definite distinction between having the feelings of love, and all the much more complex elements that form an actual relationship.

        I don’t feel it’s hard at all to feel unconditional love- love that I will keep feeling for a person regardless of what they do. I actually have no choice in experiencing that feeling or the thoughts of care and concern that are driven by it.

        That feeling of love will always drive me to want to act with care towards them for their sake as much as possible, but unconditional acts of care are different from unconditional feelings of love.

        I suppose it could be interpreted as ‘earning’, my perception is less transactional or ‘reward’ or threshold based in the sense that when two people are working together to balance each other’s needs, the reciprocal acts of care are naturally forthcoming. It seems to me it’s less for a goal of receiving returns or being deserving as those mental concepts don’t seem to be the motivators in the actions of care in genuinely caring relationships.

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  7. Yes. It is possible. Apart from family,I have a friend I met in school. I would even be ready to lay my life for her. She is everything love personifies. She has her quirks but at the end of the day they do not really matter. Also there is this man I fell in love with 10 years ago. He left me bitter at the end of that relationship. He had too many flaws to count and yet I loved him. I still feel only love when I think of him. Maybe because he was my first love too. Does that count?

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    1. It counts! It’s probably because it was your first love. But do you love him or the idea he represents to you? Maybe to you he represents true love and you love the idea of true love.

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  8. If one puts conditions/requirements on ones feelings, it is not love for love knows no conditions… 🙂

    “Love is the expansion of two natures in such fashion that each include the other, each is enriched by the other.” Felix Adler

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    1. Well, I think it’s related to our expectations. If we expect things from the other as prof for one’s feelings, isn’t that conditioned? Moreover, we can say we feel love if that other expresses the same love too. That’s… strange 🙂

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      1. I see… soooooooooooooooo you are saying that if someone doesn’t meet a certain criteria, they are not acceptable??.. “While you’re busy looking for the perfect person, you’ll probably miss the imperfect person who could make you perfectly happy”.

        Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd, you are saying I should grade love on a scale of 1-10 and if that person doesn’t meet a 7, that person doesn’t deserve my love??.. “Just because you feel someone does not love you as much as they should, does not mean they don’t give you all the love they have”..

        Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, that thinking is why I don’t follow the crowd, I am not part of the “we”… if it is all the same to you, I believe I shall stay on the path least traveled, it is a lot better place to be than the world of “we”… 🙂

        “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
        ― Bernard M. Baruch

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      2. Actually, no. What I’m saying is that people think it’s unacceptable. I’m not saying that’s how it should be or if it’s fair. It’s one thing to see how the world works and it’s a totally different thing to agree or disagree with it. 🙂

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  9. Interestingly enough, I feel like the only possible answer is yes…. Because, in my mind, love itself is unconditional. Once earned, love is love. You can’t just all of the sudden stop loving someone because of some condition or another…. If a person can stop loving someone for any reason, then was it ever really love?

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  10. Very good point. I don’t know if there is a complete, undisputed definition of love… It’s so complex and abstract. But one thing I do believe is that if I love someone today, that’s always and forever, because that is part of my definition. Love, to me, doesn’t go away. That’s what makes it love. I’ve had many relationships not work out. If I ever loved those people, I still love them now. This is even true of my emotionally abusive ex husband. I never stopped loving him, even when I knew I had to leave in order to protect my self.

    And, I love my daughter, and my family – unconditionally. I love my students. I love some of my friends. I believe if a person is able to stop loving someone, it probably wasn’t complete love to start with. The love might change, somehow… but it doesn’t go away.

    Of course, that’s just my perspective. What a fascinating topic!

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  11. Of course, always and all my life loved nothing to ask in return, just making his life wonderful. Guess what I got? He found that one who has too many conditions and demands. Even though I thought that may be he is happy with her and then I can be happy for him too. Well, I think people don’t get unconditional love, it is too much and too complicated for them. So another question Do people worthy enough to be loved unconditionally?

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  12. I love my husband, my friends, my parents, and my dog unconditionally. I don’t believe love should ever be conditional. You can love someone unconditionally, say a spouse for example, and not necessarily be in love with them at a specific moment or time. You can be frustrated, or hurt by someone but you can still love them unconditionally. We should all strive to love this way. That is what love is at its core principle.

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