I think this is a brilliant question. It’s about the difference between Unconditional Love and Conditional Love.
I’ll come back to this question in a moment. Let me first tell you a story.
Barb, aged twenty-one, and Baz, aged twenty-four, have known each other for several years and are planning to marry someday soon. Both of them are still discovering who each other is and, like all young couples, have certainly had their fair share of ups and downs.
Barb has had some questions more recently about whether Baz really loves her while Baz is having his own concerns about Barb’s seeming constant need for attention. It seems that Baz is starting to pull away somewhat as he claims his own life back while Barb is feeling her self-esteem is being challenged.
In truth Barb and Baz are a fairly normal couple and are doing exactly what all normal couples should be doing at this stage of their relationship. Having passed through the “honeymoon” stage of their relationship, where everything is rosy and it feels like you have found your soul mate, you are now going through the stage where you actually can see each other warts and all.
This is now the stage when you are making the decision about whether you like each enough to want to spend the rest of your life together. It is the stage where you must separate somewhat from each other as you reclaim your identity separate from each other. Normally this also means that one of you will start the process before the other as the pull will be stronger for one of you over the other.
It is also a time where relationships are either made or results in you separating fully from each other because of the impact of this stage on your self-esteem.
There are many questions being asked at this time not just about your compatibility but also about whether you are committed enough to this relationship to continue to work on it as you work on your own personal growth.
As you both go through this mini separation you also are challenged by the learning that maybe you don’t know each other as well as you may have once thought and indeed at times it might seem like you don’t really know each other at all.
The difference between conditional and unconditional love is that conditional love has some proviso attached to it: “I’ll love you if …” Sometimes this is actually spoken out loud but as often it is just a silent thought, maybe only heard unconsciously.
Unconditional love is love that is given regardless. It has been said that the only time we really experience unconditional love is just after our birth and even then maybe only for as long as our mother and father are able to stay awake till they need to get to sleep themselves from exhaustion.
You then spend the rest of your life searching for that unconditional love again most often to no avail until you meet the love of your life. And even that only lasts for a short time before it too seems to be taken away.
And that’s when you are left with questions like the following: “When you ask your partner to hold you, and they do, are they holding you just because you asked them to or because they want to?”
In our fairy tale world we would like our partners to instinctively know what we want and provide it unconditionally. We are still seeking our mother substitute.
The sad thing is if we believe this we will never enter into a relationship at all. This is for the simple reason that there is no-one in the world who can know you as well as your mother did when she gave birth to you. Your very survival depended on her knowing what you needed and to understand what every utterance you made meant before even you did.
As adults, we are no longer connected with another human being that way, and it would be unhealthy if we did, which also means that if you want something from your partner you will have to ask for it or else they won’t know.
If they then fulfil your request don’t look too deeply into the reason why, just accept it as a sign of their unconditional love for you for which you need do nothing in return other than give them your love unconditionally when they request something specifically from you.
So until next time – Relate with Love