Unconditional love- no going back?


#1

Hi all,

Here's my question. If you love someone unconditionally (in this instance a boyfriend or girlfriend) is there no going back? By that I mean can you ever love unconditionally again, at the same level you once did?

I ask because I just went through a painful breakup with a girl who I loved almost to the point of unconditional love. Now that it's over I feel like it will take a very long time to love anyone at that level again. Perhaps I don't want to get burned like I just was and I'm being defensive. But it does feel like I'll never love anyone the same way again. :(

Lastly, maybe this is a silly question. My emotions are still kinda wrecked and the pain is still there. I feel like I should ask anyway though.

Thank you,
Coolduude


#2

I have definitely been there. Took me about a year and half to pull myself out of it, and those were some dark times. To tell you truth I only completely pulled out of the rut when I met another girl who I fell in love with. It started out as a friendship and grew to point where we both knew we were called to something more thus we are dating and currently contemplating marriage (although there definitely are plenty of hurdles we have to find a way to jump over first). In other words don't give up and don't feel like you have to start dating anytime soon. Also if your having trouble thinking of her as just a "friend" and just can't wrap your head around that idea I would recommend you cut off communication so you have a chance of recovering (de-friend on facebook if necessary). I still keep the girl in my prayers and I don't deny to myself that I love her still in the sense of how I love my sister. Lastly in order to move forward I recommend working on developing your friendships and keeping yourself open to that. In my opinion all great relationships start on a premise of friendship and I know I consider my girlfriend right now to be my best-friend :D Also, talking to a priest about any guilt you still feel and getting that off your chest in the confessional may help you as well. I hope this has helped!


#3

We are supposed to love everyone unconditionally, so yes you can.
You can be profoundly attracted to someone again again,
but perhaps right now you’re too bruised to be really attracted to someone else.

"When we add “unconditional” to qualify love, we narrow the possible range of meanings considerably. If you really comprehend what constitutes a “condition”, you will find that the type of love which is truly unconditional is one with which we are not terribly familiar in our culture.
What does “conditional” mean?
Conditional – relating to conditions.
Conditions – circumstances, requirements.
So, if the presence of love relates to any particular condition (circumstance or requirement), it is not, by definition, unconditional."
ascensionlovespirituality.com/Love/UnconditionalLove.htm

"Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of the loved one’s qualities or actions. The paragon of unconditional love is a mother’s love for her newborn.
Unconditional love is often used to describe the love in an idealized romantic relationship. It may sometimes also be used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships.
The words ‘unconditional love’ can be manipulated and morphed by ‘abusers’ of any type; sexual, verbal, physical, etc., to manipulate the ‘victim’ into staying in these types of harmful, injurious, painful and dysfunctional relationships."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional_love


#4

If you mean can you have excited affection for someone, it depends on your make-up and the degree to which that affection reflected a naive view on your part of the whole enterprise. You can't get naivety back. That kind of love happens just once. Sometimes, it never happens to a person at all. If you buy the romance of that, it can be disappointing. Frankly, though, missing out on that is dodging a bullet, because naivety is an unknowing projection of the false onto someone. There is hurt in that direction.

You can think you've already met the love of your life, your soulmate of soulmates and then find that there is someone even more impossibly well-suited to you. That kind of love is unpredictable. Certainly you can think you've found your one-and-only, lose that person, and be terrifically overjoyed to find out that there is another "only" for you out there!

Fidelity, though, means that if you marry someone and promise to love them, then you honor that promise always....even if you find your "real" impossibly-well-suited "soulmate of soulmates". That kind of love is gold. Be it, look for it, pray for it. It is what marriage is founded on.

Unconditional love? That is the patience and kindness and generosity that you extend to someone that they cannot earn nor mess up. That has nothing to do with affection. It does have to do with grace, and cooperating with it. Having children often teaches it, but you don't have to be a parent to have it. It's probably why priests are called, "Father", though, because we all need it, even if we can't all do it yet.


#5

[quote="Nate13, post:2, topic:248457"]
I have definitely been there. Took me about a year and half to pull myself out of it, and those were some dark times. To tell you truth I only completely pulled out of the rut when I met another girl who I fell in love with. It started out as a friendship and grew to point where we both knew we were called to something more thus we are dating and currently contemplating marriage (although there definitely are plenty of hurdles we have to find a way to jump over first). In other words don't give up and don't feel like you have to start dating anytime soon. Also if your having trouble thinking of her as just a "friend" and just can't wrap your head around that idea I would recommend you cut off communication so you have a chance of recovering (de-friend on facebook if necessary). I still keep the girl in my prayers and I don't deny to myself that I love her still in the sense of how I love my sister. Lastly in order to move forward I recommend working on developing your friendships and keeping yourself open to that. In my opinion all great relationships start on a premise of friendship and I know I consider my girlfriend right now to be my best-friend :D Also, talking to a priest about any guilt you still feel and getting that off your chest in the confessional may help you as well. I hope this has helped!

[/quote]

I do plan on going to Confession soon and asking the priest how best to discern God's will. I feel that my relationship with this girl ended very prematurely for reasons I can explain later. During most of the relationship, and even now, I have been asking God daily to be able to know and accept His will. I know that if I follow His will I will be happy. But I haven't been able to adequately discern it yet and I want nothing more than to be able to. So I'll ask the priest how I can do that the best :thumbsup:

[quote="Trishie, post:3, topic:248457"]
We are supposed to love everyone unconditionally, so yes you can.
You can be profoundly attracted to someone again again,
but perhaps right now you're too bruised to be really attracted to someone else.

"When we add “unconditional” to qualify love, we narrow the possible range of meanings considerably. If you really comprehend what constitutes a “condition”, you will find that the type of love which is truly unconditional is one with which we are not terribly familiar in our culture.
What does “conditional” mean?
Conditional – relating to conditions.
Conditions – circumstances, requirements.
So, if the presence of love relates to any particular condition (circumstance or requirement), it is not, by definition, unconditional."
ascensionlovespirituality.com/Love/UnconditionalLove.htm

"Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of the loved one's qualities or actions. The paragon of unconditional love is a mother's love for her newborn.
Unconditional love is often used to describe the love in an idealized romantic relationship. It may sometimes also be used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships.
[snip...]
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional_love

[/quote]

Yes, my love for this girl was very, very close to unconditional. Of course, there were still conditions as we never took vows, made promises, or anything of the sort. If I had deemed it necessary to end it I would have myself. But I was willing to overlook many, many of her faults so our love could flourish. Unfortunately. she didn't want to do the same for me :(

[quote="EasterJoy, post:4, topic:248457"]
If you mean can you have excited affection for someone, it depends on your make-up and the degree to which that affection reflected a naive view on your part of the whole enterprise. You can't get naivety back. That kind of love happens just once. Sometimes, it never happens to a person at all. If you buy the romance of that, it can be disappointing. Frankly, though, missing out on that is dodging a bullet, because naivety is an unknowing projection of the false onto someone. There is hurt in that direction.

You can think you've already met the love of your life, your soulmate of soulmates and then find that there is someone even more impossibly well-suited to you. That kind of love is unpredictable. Certainly you can think you've found your one-and-only, lose that person, and be terrifically overjoyed to find out that there is another "only" for you out there!

Fidelity, though, means that if you marry someone and promise to love them, then you honor that promise always....even if you find your "real" impossibly-well-suited "soulmate of soulmates". That kind of love is gold. Be it, look for it, pray for it. It is what marriage is founded on.

Unconditional love? That is the patience and kindness and generosity that you extend to someone that they cannot earn nor mess up. That has nothing to do with affection. It does have to do with grace, and cooperating with it. Having children often teaches it, but you don't have to be a parent to have it. It's probably why priests are called, "Father", though, because we all need it, even if we can't all do it yet.

[/quote]

Your first paragraph hit close to what I'm really thinking (love is a very complicated thing). I want to experience everything that comes with love again- the feelings, the ups, the downs, and all the benefits of truly loving someone, and having that love reciprocated. And I want to love this girl, not someone else (yes, call me naive...). What I would do to get her back... :sad_yes:

But- May the Lord's will be done, not mine.


#6

It is OK to grieve when you’ve lost someone so dear to your heart. There is an added hurt when the loss comes because your love kept growing and hers did not. That is one of those pains that is worth going through, even though it is hard. As the saying goes, “Ships may sometimes be safer at anchor, but staying at anchor is not what ships are built for.” It is very much OK to love “being in love,” as long as you don’t make it out to be some need that comes before the demands of living a virtuous life.

The answer is yes, I’ve known many couples who break up for awhile, get back together somewhere down the road, and then wind up getting married and having a great life. The truth is, it is more common that this leads to a healthier relationship, while trying to stick it out from a false position because you don’t want to hurt a nice guy usually backfires. The most likely way to make the good outcome happen, though, is to go forward, not look backward. When and if you reconcile, you see, you won’t be going back to the old relationship. You will be building a brand new one. For that new one to go forward, you will eventually have to get back to the business of growing into what Matthew Kelly calls “the best version of yourself.”

Right now, licking your wounds, mourning, and yet saying, “Thy will be done” is movement in the right direction. As long as you bounce for awhile between the stages of mourning–you know, the old familiars: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance–and don’t find yourself getting bitter or resentful, you don’t need to do more than that for awhile. You can let yourself come out naturally, and not try to force it.


#7

[quote="coolduude, post:5, topic:248457"]

But I was willing to overlook many, many of her faults so our love could flourish. Unfortunately. she didn't want to do the same for me :(

Your first paragraph hit close to what I'm really thinking (love is a very complicated thing). I want to experience everything that comes with love again- the feelings, the ups, the downs, and all the benefits of truly loving someone, and having that love reciprocated. And I want to love this girl, not someone else (yes, call me naive...). What I would do to get her back... :sad_yes:

[/quote]

It sounds like maybe this girl was truly not "the one" you hoped she would be, and also that she realized the same about you. For you to say that you overlooked her many, many faults (and wanted her to do the same for you) makes me wonder what was actually there as a relationship. It is never a good idea to continue in a relationship that is not reciprocal and where you have to keep overlooking many, many faults. It sounds a little as if you are more interested in keeping a relationship alive for the sake of having a relationship, when you wish it to be with someone where you both clearly find so many faults with each other. Try and move on, God has someone special for you, but in His time.


#8

This is the advice I have given my friends in the past--so far I haven't been wrong once. :o

However much you love this woman, that love will seem silly in comparison to the love you share with the woman who will become your spouse. (And however much you love your wife on your wedding day, that love will seem silly in comparison to the love you share in 2 years time, 5 years time, etc.)

Let yourself grieve over the lost relationship, but understand that you are capable of loving EVEN MORE than your most recent "peek." There is no "maximum capacity" for the amount of love humans are capable of giving and experiencing.


#9

[quote="Irishmom2, post:7, topic:248457"]
It sounds like maybe this girl was truly not "the one" you hoped she would be, and also that she realized the same about you. For you to say that you overlooked her many, many faults (and wanted her to do the same for you) makes me wonder what was actually there as a relationship. It is never a good idea to continue in a relationship that is not reciprocal and where you have to keep overlooking many, many faults. It sounds a little as if you are more interested in keeping a relationship alive for the sake of having a relationship, when you wish it to be with someone where you both clearly find so many faults with each other. Try and move on, God has someone special for you, but in His time.

[/quote]

I didn't explain myself well enough. It's not that she had a lot of faults (though faults she did have- don't we all?). But what faults she did have I was willing to overlook for the betterment of our relationship.

My OP was poor wording on my part. Sorry. :o

[quote="Augusta_Sans, post:8, topic:248457"]
This is the advice I have given my friends in the past--so far I haven't been wrong once. :o

However much you love this woman, that love will seem silly in comparison to the love you share with the woman who will become your spouse. (And however much you love your wife on your wedding day, that love will seem silly in comparison to the love you share in 2 years time, 5 years time, etc.)

Let yourself grieve over the lost relationship, but understand that you are capable of loving EVEN MORE than your most recent "peek." There is no "maximum capacity" for the amount of love humans are capable of giving and experiencing.

[/quote]

This is really great advice. Thank you for it :) May I ask your age range?This advise seems to have come from someone who has been there through a lot of different experiences :o


#10

Hey Brother,

I just read your post about your breakup. I know that you are grieving and hurting and I know exactly how you feel. I am going through the same pains right now. My relationship with my girlfriend of 3 years ended yesterday. Saying goodbye at the airport before my flight home was one of the most difficult things I've ever experienced in my life. I love her so much, yet I had to let our relationship end so she (and I) may draw closer to God and truly let his will be done.

It's been a roller coaster of emotions for me. One moment I feel happy, for it brings me great comfort and happiness to know that God will take care of her. Whatever His plans are, will be most fulfilling for her. The next moment I'll be breaking down uncontrollably that His plans for her may be without me.

One thing that is helping me right now is definitely to continue praying that His will be done for both of us. And in God's time it will be revealed to us. We never know... God may choose to break us up now to grow individually and be in love with Him before rejoining us in the future to achieve a love we would've never achieved otherwise.

Perhaps some of the responses from my post may help you: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=580811

Keep your head up, stay positive, and close to God. That is what I'm trying to do.

I will be praying for you.
-Cal


#11

[quote="coolduude, post:9, topic:248457"]
This is really great advice. Thank you for it :) May I ask your age range?This advise seems to have come from someone who has been there through a lot of different experiences :o

[/quote]

I'm a very old 27. :) The advice comes in part from my own experience (all my past loves seem petty compared to my current one...including the love I felt for my husband on our wedding day 5+ years ago), and in part from the sage advice of others (including my in-laws whom I am not usually quick to quote.) :p

I know that you're hurting now, but I just want to reiterate there is hope for a future of even more love than you can currently imagine possible. :)


#12

Thank you for sharing your experience. I have realized that by moving on I heal faster. The pain is still there, no doubt, for I loved (and still love) this girl immensely. I believe that love is purely a choice, thus I keep loving her because I know it is worth it, or will soon be worth it. But at the same time, I have to accept the current situation as it is. It is too soon to tell whether or not I will be taken back or left high and dry. I leave it all in His hands.

Thank you for your prayers as well. I will pray for you too. The Lord knows what He wants to do; I just wish He would tell me :o Whatever He has in mind, I know it will be for the best. The hard part is trusting and waiting for things to pan out.

27? Not much older than me actually :smiley: But I must say, it is very sage advice. Like I said above, it’s hard waiting for this to play out right now. But I know when it does I will be extremely happy.


#13

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