If there is principle that every self-help guru and relationship specialist can agree on, it’s that the only way to lasting relationships is through ‘unconditional love’.
It could be the worst advice possible.
Unconditional love, as we understand it, is either unattainable or undesirable. Either way, it isn’t really love at all, and we would do best to quit fooling ourselves that it is.
The confusion stems from a common misunderstanding. When considering unconditional love, we typically think of examples such as a mother, who loves her son even when he disobeys, or a wife who loves her husband even when he wrongs her, or, notably, God, who loves his children even though we sin. The thought is that the love of the mother, the wife, and God, is given freely no matter what the other does, and so it is thought to be unconditional.
But is this truly unconditional?