Black Relationships : Unconditional love? What is that?

Discussion in 'Black Relationships' started by NNQueen, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the thread "Friendship or Love" people discussed their thoughts and shared their opinions about love and what that entails. Some people gave examples of what love meant to them, others stated that defining love is difficult and challenging. Some great dialogue took place. Then toward the end of the thread someone asked why wasn't "unconditional" love mentioned earlier. It started me thinking about what that means.

    It's the latest "buzz" word when we speak about how we should love someone and usually in the context of the type of love between a man and a woman. I hear people use the phrase a lot these days but I'm wondering exactly what does that mean?

    Is there a universal definition of "unconditional" love or is it something that means different things to different people--the same way "love" means different things to different people?

    Is it more than just a cliche' or is it an emotion that we should all strive toward practicing?

    Is it humanly possible to do or achieve or is it something that some psychologist or relationship counselor came up with to respond to people's confusion about what it means to love someone?

    What's the difference between loving someone, being in love with someone and loving someone unconditionally? Isn't love, love no matter what, and could the reason we keep trying to define it prove that it's whatever a person thinks it is and not what someone tries to tell you it should be?

    How can you love someone without placing conditions on the relationship? After all, we're human so what is it exactly that we're trying to achieve in our relationships and how can you achieve it if you don't place certain conditions on the relationship?

    Does love with conditions translate into people being selfish or demanding?

    Can you love your best friend unconditionally and is that easier to do than it is a lover/spouse?

    Is it the same as agape love--the way that God loves His people and is man capable of that type of love?

    Can unconditional love be taught?

    What type of mental, emotional or spiritual state is required to love someone without placing any conditions on them or the relationship?


    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Kitana

    Kitana Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    In depth topic..

    Unconditional Love?

    to try and answer all your questions fairly I will do so point by point..

    What is unconditional love?
    to define it according to the dictionary would be to have great affection for, feel sexual passion for, to enjoy, or like another without conditions or limitations....

    to define it as from en everyday standpoint, I don't think such a thing exists...it is against human nature to accept anything unconditionally, even love..it sounds sweet and romantic and loving to say we would accept it, but is in our basic human nature to try and change things to suit us as individuals...

    Is there a universal definition?
    I would say it would have a different meaning to each individual depending on what you perceive love to be and what you expect from loving someone...each person would have their own idea on what makes loving someone worthwhile...

    Is it more than just a cliche?
    If the term is used broadly then I believe it is a cliche..if we look at it from an individual point of view it can mean whatever we want it to...what I see to be unconditional love may be someone else's definition of being a doormat and vice versa..should we all strive toward practicing unconditional love?..again I say it's against our nature for this to happen, but along the way we may learn to be more tolerant, more giving, more flexible in our relationship, if we look for the best, then we will find the best and vice versa....

    Psychologist or Counsellor's response?
    Any response would be speaking in broad terms, so it can only apply on a wider basis...is it humanly possible to achieve..I don't think so, but we may come close to it, many times I have read where two people have said they are each others soulmate and that they could not live without each other, and that they connect on every level, in my opinion this is as close to heaven as it gets in a relationship, and if you can find it, never let it go....

    What's the difference?
    In loving someone...we can love in many different ways..a friend, a parent, a child...each has it's own requirements...In being in love...specifically applies to a partner, when we find that special someone
    who makes our heart beat a little faster, who we are compatible with, be friends with, want to be with, share our dreams with, build a life with....In loving unconditionally..it's a childlike quality we all wish we had but never really obtain, we are contrary beings, always wanting change, always analysing...

    How can you love someone without placing conditions on the relationship?
    We can't...to not do so we would have to find a partner who is perfect, who has no faults, who we are completely satisfied with on every level..it doesn't happen..change is inevitable, and with change comes conditions..

    Does love with conditions translate into people being selfish or demanding?
    It depends on what those conditions are....if it means you expect your partner not to cut their toenails
    at the supper table...then no it's not selfish or demanding...if you expect your partner (who has a funny little laugh) not to laugh at jokes because it embarrasses you..then yes this would be selfish and demanding...trying to change bad habits would be negotiable, trying to change your partners personality or what makes them the person they are spiritually would be non-negotiable..

    Cn you love your best friend unconditionally?
    Again I would say no, but you would be more flexible with a friend than with a spouse...a friend you only see occassionally and you can leave whatever is bothering you behind until you get over it..a spouse you have to live with 24/7 so any problem would be there all the time, and if you did not address it would become a bigger problem...if you are mature in the relationship you should be able to sit and discuss problems until you reach a compromise...

    Can unconditional love be taught?
    No if we can't attain it..we can't teach it..

    What type of mental, emotional or spiritual state is required to love without conditions?
    In my opinion you would have to an angel?


    K
     
  3. A007

    A007 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Queen you took the thread right out of my mouth

    Kitina---

    Very well put. I second those answers.
     
  4. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    indeed i solo agree
     
  5. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is getting better!

    Dre', thanks to your thread, I think we embarked upon another great discussion! :)

    Kitana...great response. It makes a lot of sense and now you really have peaked my curiousity about this concept of "unconditional" love.

    Based on your perspective, that loving someone without conditions is not humanly possible, then why is a definition of it found in a dictionary AND why is it so widely talked about as something we should all try to do? Obviously someone believes that humans can achieve this level of emotional/mental state, or else it's nothing but propaganda.

    I had no idea you could even find it in the dictionary..*lol*...the definition you gave sounded doable until I got to the end where you stated, "without conditions or limitations...." What in the world does that mean? When does a desire become a condition? When does a standard become a limitation?

    I understand that love will differ depending on each individual's perception of it...but regardless of our different viewpoint...that definition tells me that they should all be the same: without conditions and limitations.

    Is unconditional love supposed to be a better type of love than just "love" or being "in love"? I know you don't think it's humanly possible to do, so these questions may be for those that do.

    Supposed someone says they want to love with conditions and limitations but not for selfish or demanding reasons. Is that supposed to be "bad" or a lesser type of love than the unconditional kind?

    According to your definition, you said that: "to define it according to the dictionary would be to have great affection for, feel sexual passion for, to enjoy, or like another without conditions or limitations...."

    I asked could you love a friend unconditionally? When I saw the part about "feel sexual passion for," I initially agreed and thought no. BUT, the more I thought about it, I wondered why not. Why does sexual passion have to be a part of unconditional love?

    A lot of people say they want relationships to start out as friendships, or you hear some say, "I married my best friend." Often you also hear that couples should be friends first, then become lovers. As humans, we often have different expectations of our friends than we sometimes do with our lovers/spouses. There are times when we can forgive our friends of things that we may not forgive our partners. Often we are more "relaxed" and tolerant in friendships. I would suggest that we are closer to loving close friends unconditionally than we get to with our partners/spouses.

    What do you think?
     
  6. PURRRfect

    PURRRfect Member MEMBER

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    i long for unconditional love...i havent recieved it yet in my life...not even from my parents...but for some reason i look for it a in a lover...i know that it can be attained cuz i believe in it so much....
     
  7. monetg

    monetg Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Keme,

    I agreed with you (OHMAHGAWD, ME AND KEME SEEING EYE-TO-EYE, LAWD TAKE ME NOW!!!) till the last 2 lines.
    I believe it exists outside of God as well.
     
  8. Empathy

    Empathy Member MEMBER

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    'What is unconditional love'

    It is pure love for someone, it is the hardest thing to find in the world, you either have it or you don't! I don't believe it can be attained, it just is. It is either there or it isn't you cannot try to love someone in that manner, it is a natural phenomenon. Also I agree with last point, it can exist outside of God.
     
  9. monetg

    monetg Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Keme,

    You're a parent--do you love your child unconditionally or do you love him only if he cleans his room, obeys you and behaves?
    So it does exist outside of God.
    Is love-love if it's conditional? Is it love if it's bound by restrictions, restraint, inhibitions and conditions? Isn't that more of a riddle than "unconditional love"?
    I believe unconditional love exists outside of paternal/maternal/ familial bonds. I love my friends unconditionally because if I didn't we couldn't/wouldn't be friends. If I couldn't excuse hurts and look past human fraility and loved my friends only on the premise and promise of perfection--they couldn't possibley meet that standard-love would/could not exist. Not to say that I don't have standards and any old bs-behavior is acceptable but I welcome and befriend people who embrace and employ those same standards so we have certain commonalites upon which friendship is based. That's not a condition or circumstance but a certainty--a reality.
    Queenie, I don't think it's the latest "buzz" more like the latest "label". It's always existed but in this age of 5-year warranties, refund/exchange policies and money-back guaranties we are accumstomed to sure-things and an easy-way-out. When the going gets tough, the masses have gotten lazy and noncommital. But that lil voice in most of us--craves the possibility that unconditional love is right around that next corner so therefore don't seek it but let it find you and be open to it.
     
  10. Kitana

    Kitana Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    NNQUEEN

    You chose a great topic, and you asked a lot of questions about that topic which require some thought before answering..

    I just have to clarify the definition though...there is not a definition in the dictionary of the term "unconditional love" but if you look at love (to have great affection for, feel sexual passion for, to enjoy or to like another ) and unconditional (without conditions or limitations) and put the two together, you come close to what I have given as a definition for the term...sorry for the confusion..

    I didn't mean to sound jaded about the topic, because I like to think of myself as a believer in love,
    of any kind...what would the world be without it?

    but to think of unconditional love as it is defined by those two words, for me it cannot exist, because as I said, we are human and we have faults and require constant change in our lives on every level, no matter how big or small, so therefore we also expect conditions and/or limitations....

    maybe if we disregard the proper meaning of the two words though, and think of it more in the light of an everlasting/truly,madly,deeply kind of connection, then yes I definitely think that can exist..

    K
     
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