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Why Unconditional Love Is Conditional


How can you learn unconditional love if you’re married to a woman who meets all your conditions? – Paul Washer

This is a quote one of my friends posted on his Facebook wall a couple weeks back. It got me thinking. I’m single and there are attributes I’d like a woman I date to have. Many of us probably get caught up with the things we deem necessary. This quote showed me that maybe sometimes we’re too concerned trying to find someone who has it all.

Love should be tested.

I think a series of challenges is what really tells you how you feel about someone. Women can grind our gears in a whole bunch of ways. Men can do the same for women. Maybe he leaves the seat up constantly. Maybe she never gives you a chance to have a useful debate with her. Maybe he doesn’t take enough “gram” pictures with you. These may seem like trivial flaws, but they’re contemporary examples.

Chris Rock says in an old stand up that “You’ve got to love the crust of a motherfucker.” And in essence, that’s what the opening quote pretty much means. When we love, we really have to love the great things about someone and their shortcomings.

We have to bear in mind that as much as we like ourselves, we ain’t perfect either.

We won’t know what real love is ’til our partner becomes vulnerable enough to have all their flaws seen. This is a barometer I’ve used that you should consider if you’re confused. It separates love from infatuation. It also takes work to get there.

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How do you guys feel? What measures do you use to know if you really love someone? Have you thought you loved someone only to look back and realize it was something else?

These are my words and I make no apologies.

DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS  – Damn He Got A Point” (My Column) on Viral Status





  1. The measures I use to know if I really love someone is that I will wake up thinking of different ways that I can make her life easier and bring a smile to her face. Accepting someone, flaws and all, is the key to longevity in my opinion. I have witnessed unconditional love up close and personal so I know what it looks like.

    I look back at all of the relationships I have had with women and I realized that I never was in love with any of them, except one…and I wasn't even in a real relationship with her. I think the thing that allowed me to open up and be completely vulnerable was she accepted me for me. I never experienced that before then or since then. Now that I have found myself i'm excited about the prospect of sharing who I am with whomever God has for me 🙂
    My recent post Thursday’s Thoughts

  2. I figured out a long time ago that love is conditional. Folks that toss around “unconditional love” also believe in unicorns and racial equality, but I digress. I’ve found that when I was willing to go past a point that I used to hold up at…without it possibly benefitting me in a tangible way, that’s when I knew I loved someone.

  3. I don't believe that you can unconditionally love someone who you can replace and I had this discussion with a friend not too long ago. I've been in a relationship with a guy who was controlling and emotionally manipulative and we would get into it a lot because of it. He pretty much said that I needed to learn to take more of his shit and love him anyway and he would use this term "unconditional love" a lot. He said that he wanted me to love and respect him the way that I love and respect my mother because she was an example of how I loved unconditionally. My answer, of course, was "never".

    Firstly, I could count every star in the galaxy before I could fully explain the depth of my love and respect for my mother. Plus, she's the only mother I have. I don't have to put up with a significant other who makes me unhappy because I can replace them with someone who will make me happy. If my mom does something to upset me or hurt my feelings I'll talk to her about it and I'll get over it. With a significant other, there's only so much talking I'm gonna do before I decide it's not worth the struggle. I've heard of people telling their wives/husbands "I want you to love me the way you love your kids" and while I understand what they're trying to say, the answer just has to be "never".

    1. I believe in unconditional love I just don't believe that most people can love that way and that most people are worth that kind of love. I do disagree with you @Renee when you say that the love between a parent and a child is unconditional. From the beginning of time Son's have been killing their parents same with daughters.

  4. Honestly, the ONLY UNconditional love is God's love. He loves us REGARDLESS of the shit we do. But even He has conditions on salvation, getting in to heaven….for every day mere mortals, of course love is conditional. Don't kid yourselves folks.

  5. The measures I use to know if I really love someone is my ability to be completely selfless and to accept that individual for who they are and not for who I want them to be or who society says they should be. When you accept people for who they are, people are more willing to be vulnerable with you about their feelings and past experiences.

    Overall, I do believe we as people can love unconditionally, we just have to take ourselves and what we can get from the experience out of the equation. Unconditionally love is about focusing on how you can make the other person happy, not worrying about self and accepting that person for who they are.

  6. @jtSolBroSupreme-that depends on a person’s outlook on divine matters. That fact not withstanding, I agree about even God having conditions.

    Something I think that may help in the wider discussion is a break down of the different kinds of love…Agape, Eros, and Philo (sp?). None of these have an unconditional.component to it.

  7. I think people often mix up love and attraction and automatically assume that the two go hand in hand. Then when they stop being attracted to a person or vice versa, they believe they've fallen out of love. That's not true. I think once you truly love someone, all of the flaws in the world won't prevent you from loving them. Therefore love really is unconditional. No matter what, you will always love that person. But on the other hand, attraction is very conditional. So while those flaws may not make you stop loving the person, they can definitely cause you to lose that attraction for them. And that's when things start to get tricky….

  8. I believe you can grow to love a partner unconditionally. I just think you have to be an extremely tolerant, understanding and selfless individual to do so. When you truly love someone, you will always love them, but this doesn't mean you all should or will be together.

    I know I'm in love when I visualize that person in the worst situation possible (at least in my eyes) and picture myself by their side.

  9. No such thing as unconditional love. Period. Everybody has a limit.

    Children yes. Relationships (wife, significant other) Hell No.

  10. Hmm, this post came at the right time. I definitely agree with geehooks and bellatrice1 on the is love unconditional argument. I'd be interested to hear more of the measures people use to decide if they love someone. Also, loving someone versus in love: which is greater if you believe there is a big difference?

  11. I won't get into the debate on the term "unconditional." Love functions best when given at a person's worst. That takes work. It's easy to love when someone is at their best, but when a person is not their best self, that's where love really takes shape. Problem today most folk don't want to put in that work, or are selfish and want to be loved for who they are, but want to love people only how they want them to be.

  12. Here's the thing: Unconditional love (agape) isn't the same kind of love that sexual/romantic love (eros) is; people keep getting those two confused. Then again, a lot of people don't understand that there are different kinds of love to begin with, so I'm not surprised. You can love somebody and realize that you shouldn't be in a relationship with them. You can unconditionally love them, without diminishing the love for yourself in the process. When loving them causes you to hate yourself by settling for mistreatment, belittling, marginalization, and/or abuse from them, it's time to pump the brakes on the association. That goes for any type of relationship as well. I know I can love you, and still walk away from you for my peace of mind.

  13. The biggest problem of relationship is the "Expectations". We always expect something in return for what we are giving. Unconditional love means do everything without any expectation. If you keep on doing everything without any expectation, I am sure, sooner or later, you will get alot more than your expectations.

  14. A lot of good responses. I don't believe that unconditional is impossible it is for the people who just can't see themselves caring that much for anyone and pitting that much work. And since more and more people are like that, unconditional or true love is a rarity. I do believe there are levels to love ( levels to this ish) and true or unconditional won't be rolled upon but built and worked for. To be like Paul D there is Aphrodite Pandemos and Aphrodite Ourania : a common kind of love and a kind love that transcends.

  15. I once read a book where the author says that to give a reason for loving someone, is conditional. Because that means we have aligned our love of that person to that reason. So if that 'thing that makes us love them' changes, then our love changes. An unconditional love demands that regardless of the change, love remains in tact. Love itself is an unconditional idea.


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