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Love, true love, is that which can give the most, without asking or demanding anything in return - Mazie Hammond

The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance - Brian Tracy.

Love is said to be blind and deaf. Anyone and everyone at some point in their lives, will fall in love with someone and such feelings cannot be controlled or filtered. Whether myths, like opposites attract or birds of a feather are true or not, one thing is for sure: love is very unpredictable in its occurrence and life-cycle. A rather pertinent question is if love is blind, does it remain blind? Which means can you fall in love with someone unconditionally? Loving someone for who they are, no conditions, no beliefs, no rules or regulations, does such love truly exist? For example if the one you love today, turns out to be someone he/she is not, will you still love them? Love no matter what, come hell or high water, rich or poor, healthy or disabled, bad or good.. such love seems to be the stuff of fairy tales and Mills and Boon novels and is usually called unconditional love.

Love without Conditions

Unconditional love is considered a pure or true love, whether there are no expectations or rules levied on the love being given. So if looks fade away or today's success and fame slowly disappears, it doesn't matter, the love still remains. Materialistic goods aside, what about feelings and emotions? Sometimes if a person's love is not reciprocated, then his/hers love dies or reduces in intensity. You can love someone and yet one show of temper or some negative point in his/hers behavior and you find yourself thinking "Do I really love this individual?" Loving someone also means doing something that they love, something you might not be so fond of or hate doing. With unconditional love, you are willing to sacrifice or do anything for that person, without expecting a return gesture or a token of appreciation.

Is unconditional love real? To illustrate the "unconditional" concept behind this sort of emotion, consider the following examples:

There are few beings as faithful or loving as a dog. It waits for its owner to come home, and is happy to see him/her, irrespective of whether there is food or anything for it. A dog will lay its head on your knee to comfort you in times of sorrow and will frolic and laugh with you, when you are happy. Even if today you cannot feed it, it will not turn its back on you or treat you any differently. To a dog, its owner is its world, for better and for worse. In fact, any animal's love for a human is essentially unconditional, though the extent of such love varies from animal to animal.

The love parents have for a child is truly unconditional and completely blind. From the moment a child enters the world, he/she is loved, unquestionably and unconditionally. In a mother's eyes, her child is the most beautiful and the best child anyone could ask for. As the child grows, no matter what he/she does, parents are the first to forgive and forget. They do not base the degree or extent of their love on conditions such as financial success, fame, material gains, beauty and personality. Parents are also willing to move heaven and earth for their children. Because they really care, not because it is expected of them or so in the future their child will return the favor.

Unconditional Love in Relationships and Friendship

OK, it exists. Yes, it is possible but is it good for you? Unconditional love between a child and parents, between a pet and its owner is all well and good but human relationships of the non-familial kind are a lot more complicated. Take friendship for instance. True friendship ideally should be unconditional. You shouldn't be friends with someone, as long as they are nice to you, or only if they listen to your every word. Friendship is a two-way road, you are there for the other person and likewise, there is someone for you. But in reality, does that happen?

Loving someone unconditionally can lead to your love being taken advantage of. Doing things for your friend, such as extra work or favors, taking the blame, even when it's not your fault, always being there casting others aside.. if your friend does the same, it's a friendship otherwise you are being suckered. And you should wake up and realize it. Unconditional feelings should be reciprocated in a friendship.

In a romantic relationship between 2 people, is unconditional love healthy? If a man is abusive and violent, if his actions only serve to hurt the woman he loves, should she love him unconditionally, blind to his faults? What about those who cheat and have affairs? If your loved one cheats on you regularly, should it make a dent in your love? Yes, it should. It is very hard to distance yourself from someone you love deeply but you need to face facts and accept that may be that person is undeserving of your condition-less love.

Then there is the "advantage" part, that comes into this picture. In an abusive relationship, someone is taking advantage of your love, using your emotional attachment as a way to get things done, as a way of excusing him/herself. Your attitude here should not be to simply put up with such behavior but encourage the person to seek help and support them through this. Loving someone unconditionally does not mean blindly tolerating their faults, especially when they do nothing but hurt you badly.

In summation, you can love someone unconditionally and that makes you a much better person. Loving someone through thick and thin, faults and plus points, even if that love is not returned in full, is worth anything and everything. What goes around, comes around.