I’ve been thinking about love a lot lately. Specifically, the kind of love I’ve experienced in my life. For instance unconditional love. Which is the first love that we experience, if we’re fortunate, from our families. Sometimes that love lasts most of our lives and sometimes we lose that love early in life. It was the latter for me.
When my family found out I was a lesbian their unconditional love transformed in what seemed like a heartbeat into very conditional love. That was a horrible experience to see that love almost literally drain from my family right before my eyes.
As is the case with many young people who lose that kind of love way too early, I began to look for it in romantic relationships.
In my teen years I began to seek and expect unconditional love from my romantic relationships. I expected my romantic partners to be there for me all the time, no matter what I needed. I wanted from them the same feeling of security I had lost.
Love and happiness
Wait a minute
something’s going wrong
Someone’s on the phone
Three o’clock in the morning
Talkin’ about, how she can make it right
Well, happiness is when
You really feel good, about somebody
Nothing wrong with being in love with someone
What appeared to be that kind of love would often be given in the very beginning of relationships. In the heat and passion of new relationships we can become almost superhuman in the amount of love we give. The difference, however, between that passionate love and unconditional love is that passion wains. As the passion retreats into a more realistic everyday kind of love, so does the unconditional-ness.
In my early twenties I met and began a relationship with a woman whom I thought would be the love of my life. A woman who seemingly without much effort gave me the kind of unconditional love that I was so hungry for.
It was what seemed like the perfect relationship. She was beautiful, super smart, understanding, gentle and most importantly, loved me unconditionally. Our love continued to deepen as time passed. It seemed like our capacity to love each other was limitless. Finally, I had what I wanted. I was happy and I was content. I imagined a future filled with love and happiness. I felt so lucky to have found the love of my life at such a young age.
I also felt vindicated. I had listened to the little voice in my head tell me that I wasn’t going to find unconditional love possibly ever and certainly not so easily. But, I had. And, I was smug in that love.
The relationship seemed to just keep blooming, day after day, year after year. I shared all of me with her and she shared all with me. Having that foundation of love allowed me to be confidant as I navigated life. I already had what I needed from her, so out in the world I was bulletproof.
Actually though I was bulletproof until I wasn’t. There was a day. A day that it all blew-up. A very confusing day. One that I didn’t have even the slightest clue was coming. That was the day our relationship ended. It ended with her being gone. Just gone. No reason given. No goodbyes. No last conversation detailing why. She was just gone. To this day I don’t know what happened. I haven’t talked to her since that day. My tries to contact her were met with changed numbers and cryptic conversations with mutual friends.
Of course in the time, after the dust of the end of that relationship settled, I fantasized about her returning. How she would come back to un-break my heart. Since then I’ve heard things. I know that she’s okay. I’ve even been given her number a few times in the years since by mutual friends. I haven’t called though. What to say?
But, I’ve learned something from that relationship. Something that I really didn’t know for sure before it. I learned that I am capable of what I desire most, unconditional love. Because despite the pain of losing her. Despite the mysterious way the relationship ended. I still love her. Maybe it’s sad to say but, I’d take her back in a heartbeat.
That’s unconditional love, right?
Do you believe in unconditional love?
Am I the only one who craves it?