Should love be unconditional – what real people think
Love! How does one describe it? Philosophers, thinkers, experts, teenagers, singers, artists, and just about everyone worth their salt has tried to understand and explain what love is, and yet it baffles us. Among a lot of aspects that people attach to love, one common one is that it should be unconditional. At least, that’s what I thought, having grown up on a mushy diet of Yash Chopra and Karan Johar movies. Just to balance things out, I took a cynical look at love and questioned – should love really be unconditional? I did not want to just make an opinion but wanted to know what my peers thought, so I went asking them and here’s what I learned.
“I believe in healthy love and a healthy relationship, and that is why unconditional love in itself can sometimes be harmful. Why I say so is that at times, unconditional love can be stemming from one-sided love, and that without reciprocation can also lead to self-harm. Another situation where I feel unconditional love can be harmful is in a toxic relationship. Being with a toxic partner is challenging as it is, it will only make things more confusing, and detrimental, if the love one feels towards a toxic partner is unconditional”, says Srishti Patnaik, 21. Sharing similar thoughts is Sanobar Shaikh, who says, “While I believe that loving with all your heart is important, one should also keep their brain in place. Love should not be unconditional to the point that it leads to harming your own sanity. I believe that having trust and loyalty in a relationship is more important, and when you have that in place, love being unconditional becomes easy.”
Shivani, 26, is totally against the idea of unconditional love. “Each person gets into a relationship wanting and requiring certain things. The idea of unconditional love does not meet that, for me at least. In a relationship, one needs to feel right – they should be loved and treated with respect. The very idea of unconditional love defeats that. You should not continue being with a person who disrespects or abuses you just because you love them, and your feeling are supposed to be unconditional.” Urvi, 30, shares similar feelings, “It is not possible to love unconditionally. We always have some or the other expectations from our partners, and problems arise when they are not met. Loving a stable person is more important than loving unconditionally.”
I also met and spoke to another set of people who feel that love should always, and only be unconditional. Kazi Imam, 25, says, “Love isn’t love if not unconditional. Conditions make relationships constraining and congested. It takes away the freedom to be your true self, because you don’t want to be judged and put under a microscope. Love being unconditional helps in creating a healthy balance of trust and love.” Avanti M, 30, says love should be unconditional, but only for the right person. “When you love, you should love unconditionally. It should not come with any fine prints. However, it is first important to choose the right person. Someone who is respectful and a supportive partner. Loving the right person unconditionally is how I define love.” Aditya, 25, shared similar thoughts, “Love should not come with terms and conditions! Love for the sake of loving.”
“Love is a pure emotion, feel it completely or don’t feel it at all. One loves from the heart, and you cant monitor it based on how the other person is,” says Shubhankar, 22.
What I have understood from this little social experiment is that love is an intense feeling. It is all about finding the right person. A person with whom you can have a healthy relationship, and then loving them unconditionally just happens naturally!