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Unconditional versus Conditional Love

I think we'd all like to be loved "unconditionally" Wouldn't it be great to just be loved and not have to earn it, but "just because"???? Can you imagine it?

I'd like to open up discussions about Conditional versus Unconditional Love.

I am thinking that "conditional love" gets a bad rap. I want to know what you think.

This quote resonated with me...

Unconditional love,” a love without conditions, is a lazy love. It overlooks rather than understands. It allows rather than safeguards

Another excerpt from an article I was reading said this,

God's love is a MORAL love and a conditional love. "Relationship love" is NOT unconditional!

Many have taught that the love of God is an "unconditional" love in relationships: That we are to "love" those who have violated us without seeking justice or protection from that violation. "Unconditional love" as currently taught by the church imprisons people in bad marriages.

So... Unconditional Love... what is it good for?



Jilly said...

for years i heard of this mysterious unconditional love stuff. i've never really encountered it personally, except for the love i have for my daughter. at this time, i love her without question and without conditions. If she pees in her pants, i won't stop loving her etc.

however, this cannot be said of my relationship i have with my mother. i know that my mother does not love me unconditionally. this is why we haven't spoken to each other since march. i wonder at what point the unconditional love became conditional, or if she ever loved me unconditionally at all?

i have only ever spoken of this rift a few times since it happened, and i've never gone into any details, it's too painful. I will say that she attacked my daughter and my parenting because of my daughter's disability and forced me to choose between my child and her. i chose my child, as any half-decent parent would do.

i hope and think that i will always love my daughter and pray that i don't make her "earn" my love or feel as if she has to earn my love. however, this is status quo in my family and my biggest fear is that i won't be able to break this family trend.

with that said, my relationship with my guy is based on conditons. I think all relationships romantic/friendship are based on conditions for good reasons.


doreenmary said...

Jilly, indeed you bring up an important exception.... a child.

And, of course for many of us, still someone's child, albeit now adult, it is scarring to have not been loved enough in childhood. I think there is a higher percentage of folks suffering Adult Attachment Disorder, which is a manifestation of early deprivation of love/attachment. This can cause anxiety, distrust, closing off in later/adult relationships. Nobody really "teaches" how to love, it is more by example. We're not born knowing despite the inklings God gave us, but many humans are pretty crappy with instincts. The traditional guiding forces (religion, family, etc.) seem to be fading and a sexier modality takes over: that is, the media. Somewhere is a balance to strike between conditional and unconditional...definitely. Thanks for your comment, Jillybeans.


Anonymous said...

My mom isn't perfect by any stretch of anybody's imagination, but I think she tries her best to love us all unconditionally.

Jilly said...

i also forgot to mention that we love ourself conditionally and this often leads to many problems.


sheila222 said...

I never had any inkling of the magnitude of God's love for me until I had children. It is a love that is entirely selfless and doesn't ask what the benefit to the giver will be.

I actually think that article is off the mark,, unconditional love doesn't OVERLOOK anything, it sees THROUGH the faults/slights/disappointments/ whatever and moves beyond them. We have unconditional love for our children because generally nothing fully severs those bonds even though they may change character over the years. That is different than spousal bonds and loves,, which,, let's face it,, can come and go and perhaps some feel need some safeguarding.

Anonymous said...


There is no such thing as “conditional” love. Love by it’s nature is “unconditional”. Love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes, always perseveres. There is no other “type” of love, there is only love, itself. You, who search so diligently for it, who feel it so deeply, and are so close to it, deserve to find it and I pray that you do.

All my best dearest Lucy,

John E. Killett