Danielle Keeler

think about it.

Can love be unconditional?

with 5 comments

Let me start of with a disclaimer: I am only talking of human love here.  Spiritual love is not included in the following topic, as I know that there is no swaying or debating that topic in some people’s minds.  That’s fine.  Just don’t bring it into my discussion please.

Can love really be unconditional?  I’ve been seeing quotes that say things like, “Nothing you could ever do would make me love you any less.”  It’s a nice thought; comforting, soothing, nice to hear when you’re afraid you’ve made a mistake.  However, is it true?  There have been times when I would have sworn it was.   I had a best friend who meant the world to me.  I told him everything, and trusted him more than I have ever trusted anyone.  However, that was months ago.  The two of us have drifted apart.  I realized he’s not trustworthy, he’s not dependable, and he was only pretending to care about what happened to me.  When we were still close, I thought that no matter what he said, no matter what he did, I would love him the same way.  I thought that he could tell me he didn’t care about me, and it would hurt, but I would still love him because I knew he didn’t mean it.

I was wrong.

Those things happened.  And as much as I hate to say it, I love him less for it.  I’m not sure I love him at all anymore.  He’s changed so drastically that I no longer see my best friend.  I don’t know how he feels about me at the moment, but to me he’s little more than an acquaintance.

I’m not trying to get your sympathy here.  I’m just using my relationship with him as an example; I was sure my love for him was unbreakable, and I was proven wrong.  But is it possible that love can be unconditional?  Or is there always something that could change your opinion of a person?

Pick anyone.  Someone you love.  Someone you think you will always love.  Now imagine discovering that they never truly cared about you.  That they never loved you the way you loved them.  Imagine them telling you that you mean nothing to them.  Can you honestly say your feelings for them wouldn’t change?  That your opinion of them wouldn’t be changed in the slightest?  Mine would.  When someone betrays me, I never think of them the same way again.  Is that just me, or is it humanity as a whole?  Tell me.  Comment.  I want to know.


Written by Danielle Keeler

July 29, 2011 at 5:19 pm

5 Responses

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  1. My experience is that the only truly unconditional love is as a parent for my childhood. I’m sure that with seven billion people on the planet there are seven billion different experiences, though.

    James Stafford

    July 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm

  2. Er, “children,” not “childhood” :)

    James Stafford

    July 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm

  3. Is there any other emotion that you’d feel unconditionally? Would you feel unconditional sadness for someone? Emotions change. They grow, they die, they shrink, they grow. I honor our shared past, but realize that nothing is unconditional…ever. Kind of in the same way there’s no such thing as forever (http://www.martiabernathey.com/the-loss-of-innocence.htm).

    When relationships end, I think of it as they’re encased in a cryogenic chamber. I honor the life of the relationship and how I felt then. It doesn’t mean that I want to go back to it, that I long for it, or that I even like them now. But saying I don’t love them anymore seems impossible to me.

    Martha Abernathy

    August 1, 2011 at 11:22 am

  4. If you’re talking about simple, human, finite love, without any reference to spirituality or Jesus Christ, then no, love can not be unconditional. Apart from the Holy Spirit, love can only be self-centered and self-serving. I know that this definitely sounds harsh, but one who does not have the power of Christ in his/her life can never love apart from his/her own selfish desires. And yes, I know that spiritual love wasn’t supposed to be part of this discussion, but it is a contradiction to say that unconditional love is possible apart from the spiritual. Unconditional love is only possible when Christ empowers us to serve, forgive, and sacrifice for others, even as He has done for us. “We love, because He first loved us…” (1 John 4:19-21).

    Anchored Soul

    August 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm

  5. I had a falling out with my dad but I still love him very much – even though he told me that he didn’t have me as his daughter. You can get a deeper understanding about my feelings towards my dad in my blog http://accumulatingwealth.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/i-dont-have-daughters/

    I think my love for my dad is unconditional. I recognize that our relationship is not exactly healthy because he is sadly a narcissist but I look at it as a kind of sickness and try to find the person deep deep inside who once showed love and empathy to others. I feel sad and a lot of mixed emotions when I see him, and even though he is no way perfect, I still love him because no matter what, he will always be my dad.


    August 2, 2011 at 1:08 am

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