Real Love, Infatuation and Conditional Love

Excerpt from Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


Love (Infatuation).

This is the stuff of "falling in love," or living in a rosy glow. My beloved has no faults and is perfect in almost every respect. We shall live happily ever after. This is typically denial, overlooking many things all too obvious to most of those around me. This type of love does not last, though many wish it would. Many keep pursuing this type of love for years without realizing that it must fail because it is not reality.

Love (Real Love That Lasts).

This is the stuff of actively caring for another and accepting the other as they are. This type of love is a decision. One decides to accept the other totally, without reservation and with eyes open. The other's faults are both seen and accepted. The true practitioner of this type of love can honestly give their loved ones the message, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." For whatever so-called harm was done, the loved one is accepted and known to be OK no matter what. Many of us achieve this type of love only with pets or small children. Active involvement, while not essential to feeling love, is essential to an ongoing relationship; and its absence will typically be felt as a lack of love. In this culture many of us experienced the physically and/or emotionally absent father, who may have felt love for us, but from whom we often did not receive the feeling of love.

Love (the Bastardized Version Most of Us Give and Receive).

This is conditional love. I'll love you if you do this, or act that way or perform in some way that meets my expectations. Most of us received conditional love as children. Most of us needed then to hide our hating, our sexuality, our tears and/or our vulnerabilities because those human qualities were not accepted by parents or society. We put on a performance by denying those unapproved aspects of ourselves to get the maximum number of strokes. It was not real acceptance of ourselves we received as children, just an absence of condemnation of the aspects we hid. Conditional love is widespread today among adults in most relationships. We couldn't possibly love them if they do this, or hate us, or have the wrong views. If you don't act the way I think you should act, then I'll reject you. You are totally unacceptable to me if you lie, cheat, two-time me, hate me, treat my family wrong, or don't agree with me on issues. But if you do jump through my required hoops, then I'll love you (conditionally, obviously). Conditional love created many trauma knots in us as children which we then later as adults need to untie.

Book Excerpts

Real Love, Infatuation, & Conditional Love
Admiration Trap
"Sacred" Meditation Trap
Empty Mind Meditation
Is Your Meditation Valuable?
Attachment and Non-Attachment
The Path of Non-Attachment

© 2008 by Thayer White