“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

The romanticism of our modern society likes to make such an ideal out of the concept of unconditional love – the self-sacrifice, the constancy, the faith.  But I think the ideal folds back upon us and paints us into a corner from which there is no escape.

It demands we love beyond the bounds of reciprocity.  It skirts the boundary between self-sacrifice and self-degradation.  Mutual respect is the foundation of love.  But unconditional love denies the consequences of disrespect.  We can not demand love and degrade ourselves before it.  We become objects of pity and contempt, not of love.

And so the spiral begins.  We demand unconditional love, and when it is given, we lose respect for the giver and we cannot promise love in return.  What was a relationship of equals becomes a dance between contempt on one side and despair on the other that is ultimately doomed.

Love should not be unconditional to be ideal.  It does not leave room for love to change and to grow.  Only reciprocal love, where a demand extended is matched by a willingness to give, to concede, to compromise in the name of the relationship, where the sacrifice is equal and mutual allows the conservation of the self, and self-respect that is necessary to maintain love.  Love should, at it’s best, be conditional.  We should run the risk of losing respect in the eyes of the beloved.  It keeps us honest.  It reminds us of the importance of the beloved in our life.  It makes us better people.

A little chivalry wouldn’t kill modern love.  It just might save it.

July 19th, 2007 at 12:57 pm
2 Responses to “The conundrum of modern love”
  1. 1
    CinnKitty Says:

    Wow! Have you been talking with Cathal again or is it that my brain is just too saturated in computer terms, right now, to actually understand this?

    Then again, I often feel a little lost when you start getting “deep” so it’s probably just me. 🙂

  2. 2

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