Friday, December 6, 2013

On Unconditional Love

So Katy Perry has a song out called "Unconditionally."

Come just as you are to me
Don't need apologies
Know that you are worthy
I'll take your bad days with your good
Walk through the storm I would
I do it all because I love you
I love you
Unconditionally


We need to have a chat about the concept of unconditional love.  It can be familial, it can be romantic, it can be friendly.  But it's a messed up concept.

The idea behind unconditional love is that it can overcome any obstacle and weather any mistakes.

But the thing about love is that it's not supposed to be unconditional.  Love is meant to be conditional -- it's based on how you treat one another, whether you trust each other, and the foundations of a strong bond.  No one deserves your love in spite of how they treat you.

The idea that someone has a right to your love in virtue of anything other than the fact that they have earned it and you have freely given it contributes to child abuse and spousal abuse in a way that's really unhealthy.  Most people think that the concept of unconditional love is cute.

But think about a dog who loves his master unconditionally, who comes when he's called regardless of how many times he's been kicked.  It's not cute; it's sad.  But we expect people in families or relationships to "work through" the rough times and love each other anyway.

Unconditional love shouldn't be praised as this amazing feat: you have a right to withdraw your love whenever you feel you need to, whenever the bad begins to outweigh the good.  Loving someone regardless of how they treat you isn't endearing or romantic.  It just hurts.

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