In a world of strings, high demands and conditions placed on us, it's no wonder society has made the condition of love to be placed under glass...no wait, make that a concrete jail cell. Confined to a small space, conformed by strict rules that suffocate and do not allow breathing space.
We place restraints on our loved ones: Buy me this, do that one thing I asked for, color your hair like this...maybe, just maybe, if you obey my demands, I will love you in return.
The whole scheme of it makes the term 'Unconditional Love' seem like an oxymoron. How can a person have "love" for another when they are not speaking from their heart? I have never comprehended how people go to the altar with their robotic vows of "I promise to love, honour and cherish you...till we part in death." Love, like respect, should be earned in the simplest terms, with a fair exchange of human energy that flows naturally, not forced under a façade of string-pulling, wooden marionette-like moves.
Valentine's Day is a prime example I like to use for the model of "conditional love." People, pick ONE day out of the year when we proclaim our undying love to one person...while 364 other days, we wrestle against flesh and blood, demanding our partner "bends" to fit our pre-conceived fantasy of what a perfect partner should behave like, forcing our alleged "life mate" into a weird, twisted prison.
I'm qualified to discuss this topic, and I speak passionately about it, having been through failed marriage myself and other relations -- becoming, as a result, an expert on love and other fatalities.
For singles, dating in this modern age can be a real nightmare. First, depending on what age group you fall under, the amount of "available" people has diminished greatly. I'll use the 35-45 age range as an example. Let's get one thing straight: we ALL come with baggage, those fragments from our former lives with failed relations, some of us with children (making it hard to blend them into a new or mixed family), others showing emotional scars from love gone wrong.
Finding a sincere, "legit" partner who is willing to take you on -- scars, baggage, and all-- can be so daunting. What if one of you comes to the table with full authenticity, willing to accept whatever the other person is carrying? ie: smoker, has 3 kids, shorter than your normal criteria of 6 feet tall, lives 80 miles away, isn't necessarily your "type" in the looks department, you somehow clicked during online chats and phone conversations, on a deep emotional and spiritual level, so what the heck right? Why not give it a shot?
These are traits of someone willing to go the extra mile and take a chance on love. Sounds like it could be the start of something "unconditional," to me.
Then, there's that other partner, trying to mold you into someone you're not. "Lose a few pounds," they suggest. "Dye your hair blond, be a little crazier, or less emotionally honest, act aloof, and not so into me. And by the way, could you please be a little more like my mother? Maybe then I'll love you."
All these encompass the profile of a person who wants to trap you, so they can "win" at a sick, twisted game of love -- and getting themselves nowhere in the process. They just wind up even lonelier and more isolated.
I've discovered that though men are extremely superficial in their criteria to finding the ideal partner, they too, like women, crave emotional intimacy, but sadly, they were programmed since childhood to be schooled in masculine ethics of "don't show emotion, or you'll look like a pussy." Opening up too fast...no dude, that's not manly at all.
Gentlemen, why not try holding a door for her, greet her at the train with flowers, text her in the morning with "Hello beauty." All romantic gestures that melt an Evolved Woman's heart. But again, society has placed restraints on a man's behavior and attitudes toward love, so the dashing hero of yesteryear has become nearly extinct.
Who, then, is to blame for this? Men? Or is it women?
Have we ladies emasculated men so badly in our quest for "equal rights" and independence that we have unknowingly "killed off" the one type of man we unconsciously crave? I think it is safe to say that we're almost all guilty of sabotage here.
What's my version of Unconditional Love, you ask? Well, for starters, if the man wants to grab food with the boys at Shoeless Joe's to watch a Leafs game, let him go. With the shoe on the other foot, I'd like to see him try to stop me from enjoying a fabulous girls night out at karaoke with my fiery sidekick Susan, who happens to know I deliver the best rendition of "My Guy" in the whole region.
Unconditional Love works both ways, people. What if your man forgot the shopping list at home and overlooked the fact that you wanted avocado to make your world class guacamole and nachos for American Idol night? Are you going to crucify him over it, and make him sleep on the sofa tonight?
These forms of punishment are not only petty, they're downright childish. Everyone screws up once in a while, so we should show mercy on our partner and drop the issue altogether. I have watched long-married couples bicker over the smallest things, and it rips me apart inside, knowing they are headed for divorce court in mere months.
It would appear that Unconditional Love is reserved just for saints and angels, because these days, I come across very few people practicing it. We are all tied down to false pretense, financial demands, chasing the Joneses, competing with one another neck-and-neck, because Jane has a hotter husband/bf or she works out constantly and her body is fitter. Such nonsense!
Where is the real human connection, in this digital age of iPhones, iPads, Escalades, yoga studios, fancy vacations, and Coach purses?
One of my own personal criteria for the ideal partner is finding someone 'real' who speaks from the heart, not hiding behind grand schemes and tactics to I'll fall prey to his mind games. He should be healthy -- yes, mainly in the mind-- but he doesn't have to look like Simon Baker or have the abs of Mr. Universe to make my mercury rise. Honesty, humour, romance, spiritual connection...these are what I consider "hot."
As I get older, I realize the things that seemed important in my '20s are no longer valid in my '30s. Money is great, it buys cars, houses, security, a better dental plan, that trip to Ireland that I always yearned for...but worshipping money and seeking a partner primarily for that falls under the "conditional" love category.
What if we all just sat down right now and conjured up a list of the ideal partner -- without the trappings of status, power, money, looks etc?
I wonder what our list(s) would be comprised of?
Here's a peek into mine:
- Funny (Because if he can't make me bust a gut on my worst day from hell, then I will have to pass)
-Spiritual (Read me some Eckhart Tolle, the Holy Bible, or Celestine Prophecy)
-Snuggly (During a movie at home, he will let me lay against his chest, hold my hand, or caress my hair)
-Respectful (He knows I need an hour a day to debrief from stress, go for a run with my iPod, or to work on my novels)
-Attentive (He knows what I like to eat for dinner, or he's aware that my musical playlist is a mix of oldies, R & B, Top 40 pop, and a LOT of Mariah!)
-Romantic (Thinks up little things to do for me "just because.")
Sounds simple, right?
Well, just try finding all these amazing traits in one man. Not an easy task to do. Notice how I left out eye color, height, weight, body type and career? (Superficial, I am not)
In 37 years, I have found it next to impossible to find my so-called 'perfect' man, as outlined by this list. (He isn't perfect though, ironically; he has flaws, battle scars from love gone wrong; mistakes from the past and childhood wounds; he seeks a Higher Power and is in tune with the universal flow, and all this makes him an Evolved Man....and so irresistible, in my eyes.)
I have a feeling he is much closer than I think. I'd like to believe that 'Unconditional Love' is at the core of his heart, too, and it will follow him right to my doorstep.
Who wants to find a pen and start their list tonight of an ideal partner with these Unconditional Love aspects?
Try it on your significant other, perhaps, and see what good transpires tonight. You'll be surprised how easy it is to try this Unconditional Love thing.
Love and Peace,