Unconditional Love

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    Dec 01, 2008 5:41 AM GMT


    We've both read many posts over the months that state the poster believes in unconditional love and will hold out for a relationship with another man that is just that. Unconditional.

    While we appreciate the sentiment, and indeed, it's an ideal, a sought after type of love, what is it?

    There are enormous downsides in a truly unconditional in-love relationship that few truly ponder.

    For example - it means that no matter how much your partner beats you, cheats you, steals from you, abandons you or otherwise lets you down or hurts you, your feelings can't change and you can't react by withdrawing, chiding, leaving, retaliating, disapproving or anything else because by doing so, you have added conditions to the love you offer.

    Unconditional love happens over time - long lengths of it, and even so, depends on how well each party is willing to give of themselves and give up themselves to the other.

    Those beating the drum of unconditional love need to understand that sex would be absolutely unnecessary in such a relationship, the same with friendship. The same goes for your partner being attractive to you (example: in shape physically). Again, any requirements for the above are conditions.

    Those in unconditional lover relationships (and we doubt there is such a thing) cannot have needs or have needs met. We believe unconditional love is to be sought after once a relationship is established and successful, and only possible if BOTH parties are determined and can guarantee their feelings will and can never change under any possible circumstances.

    Gentlemen, the floor is yours....

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    Dec 01, 2008 5:45 AM GMT
    i don't believe the concept of unconditional love is realistic, healthy, or mutually beneficial.

    i have standards, both for myself and for anyone i date. if one of us doesn't maintain that minimum level of civilized human behavior the other should speak up and remind the person at fault to shape up or ship out.

    unconditional love implies that i'd stay with someone even once his "a" game has slipped to "b," "c," "d," or "f."

    fuck that. i fell in love with "a," not "f." get back on track, or get off my train (i'd expect him to expect the same of me).
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    Dec 01, 2008 7:59 AM GMT
    Well, I agree with Meninlove in that, "Unconditional love happens over time - long lengths of it, and even so, depends on how well each party is willing to give of themselves and give up themselves to the other."

    To me, unconditional in-love does not exist. But unconditional love does. For instance, no matter what a person does to me, I'll do my best to be able to love and respect them - this was an ethic instilled in me early on and I'm yet to see it whither. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean I'd continue to jeopardize my future by continuing an unhealthy relationship. I'd do what I have to do, and just continue loving them (i.e. maintain friendship and emotional support) with my own personal boundaries for protection. This doesn't change love, it just changes the type of relationship.

    I've had, like many, very unfortunate circumstances with people that mean so much to me. But that doesn't mean my love has changed. It means the people involved in that relationship have to change to maintain a lasting relationship of some sort. Even with those that have denegrated me, I've always attempted friendships...as I see all humans as infinitely flawed. That's an addition I would make to their definition. You can't just give of yourself, but you have to accept that all humans make mistakes and will, and as such any expectation is fruitless and a setup for a failure in the relationship. Your emotions will change if you have an expectation of any person. I prefer it that way, as with many relationships - especially romantic - you can be very happily surprised!

    Unconditional love should be something we all have for each other, much less for the people that mean the most to us. It's absolutely healthy and if we were able to have unconditional love for and with each other we would be a much more rational and charitable society.

    As for in-love, taking into account my opinion above, I feel that it must be a combination of unconditional love and many happy surprises that create that "spark." As long as those surprises keep coming and the relationship is nurtured, it can last.
  • reload16

    Posts: 267

    Dec 01, 2008 8:10 AM GMT
    meninlove said
    There are enormous downsides in a truly unconditional in-love relationship that few truly ponder.

    For example - it means that no matter how much your partner beats you, cheats you, steals from you, abandons you or otherwise lets you down or hurts you, your feelings can't change and you can't react by withdrawing, chiding, leaving, retaliating, disapproving or anything else because by doing so, you have added conditions to the love you offer.



    I agree with this. I don't believe unconditional love is healthy in relationships. I think pets have unconditional love toward their owners/masters. Atleast for me, I do want a loving relationships but there are parameters that I want intact in the relationships. For instance, treat each other with respect, no beating, no cheating, mutual love, monogmy. And if I did something wrong to my partner, I woud expect him to tell me. And I would do the same thing.

    But then again what do I know? I am still single icon_confused.gif
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    Dec 01, 2008 8:20 AM GMT
    I love Sushi unconditionally. This positive regard didn't happen instantly. At first I was like "you look kind of fishy Sushi" but Sushi was like "just try me. Stick me in your fucking mouth you little bitch" and I did. I wasn't sure we were compatible, but Sushi was always comforting and made my mouth feel like a classy clean two-dollar hooker.

    Once in a while Sushi abuses me by filling me up too much, or giving me plosive diarrhea. One time I felt so sick I ran to 7-11 to get a Coke. Came home and passed the fuck out on my living room floor. The only time I woke up was cuz fucking Sushi was beating my ass up and I had to fight it by drowning that bitch in the toilet. Then I passed out again. This happened about five times that night.

    But I keep coming back to Sushi.

    The positives outweigh the fucking negatives because god damn fucking Sushi is so good in my fucking mouth!
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    Dec 01, 2008 8:49 AM GMT
    roflicon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gificon_lol.gificon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gif.....you are too much Jake....got to love you manicon_lol.gificon_exclaim.gif
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    Dec 01, 2008 8:53 AM GMT
    I'm sure that there are many who "unconditionally" love your ass...well... mabee not when its in an "explosive diarrea mode" icon_lol.gificon_exclaim.gif
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    Dec 01, 2008 9:17 AM GMT
    on a serious note: I feel that unconditional love DOES exist but it seems to be rare these days, life seems very fast, chaotic, turbulent and no body wants to make sacrifices, or compromise....My grandparants had unconditional love...they were married for over 60 years and went through heaven and hell and back....but loved each other through it all....as far as unconditional love is concerned I feel that the purest and truest can be between a mother and child....I love my mother unconditionally, and she loves me unconditionally(thats saying alot because I was a HANDFULL growing upicon_rolleyes.gif ) yeah, yeah, I am a momma's boy, not ashamed to admit it, damn proud of iticon_lol.gif....as far as romantic love without "conditions" is concerned...I dont want to sound like an Ignorant synic....but it seems to be a complicated "state of being" to achieve...but anything is possibleicon_wink.gif
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    Dec 01, 2008 9:29 AM GMT
    I could love Jakebenson unconditionally with that sense of humour. HAHAHA sushi... that was classic. Anywho, I think meninlove is missing the point that the most important aspect, and truly only essential criterion, for an unconditional loving relationship is TRUST. Trust = Love. If you can actually find someone who you can trust absolutely then you know that they will never "beats you, cheats you, steals from you, abandons you or otherwise lets you down or hurts you." The point is that unconditional love only exists as a two-way street. It means you both trust each other to put the other one ahead of of yourself.
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    Dec 01, 2008 9:43 AM GMT
    I think unconditional love can develope over time between a couple. However, most unconditional love--I imagine--is shared with our mother/father/sibling(s)/guardian(s)/mentor(s).

    My test for unconditional love is as follows.

    --If my ("insert special person here") murdered a baby, would I still love them and support them in a court of law--emotionally at least--besides being greatly upset, sad and disappointed over their actions?

    That question is my test. I'm not sure if I would still stay in contact with some of my friends (not including my best friend) if they murdered somoene--but I only have one mother, and I have the best anyone could ask for.

    I have Unconditional Love for the following people:
    -Mom
    -Dad
    -Sister
    -Maternal Grandmother
    -Aunts & Uncles
    -Best Friend
    -My dog lol
    -My best friend and 1st grade teacher, Mrs. W
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    Dec 01, 2008 9:48 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidi don't believe the concept of unconditional love is realistic, healthy, or mutually beneficial.

    i have standards, both for myself and for anyone i date. if one of us doesn't maintain that minimum level of civilized human behavior the other should speak up and remind the person at fault to shape up or ship out.

    unconditional love implies that i'd stay with someone even once his "a" game has slipped to "b," "c," "d," or "f."

    fuck that. i fell in love with "a," not "f." get back on track, or get off my train (i'd expect him to expect the same of me).


    What if after ten years together (say you're the top)... let's make it fifteen years... you develope testicular cancer---Your nuts and penis must be cut off in order to save your life.

    Would you except your "partner" (I put that in quotations for a reason!) to leave you? If the roles were reveresed, would you leave your "partner"

    If your partner caught HIV, would you leave him... or care for him till his dying day?
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    Dec 01, 2008 9:54 AM GMT
    your arguments generally get on my nerves, but this one completely pisses me off.

    shut up.

    that isn't what i meant, and you know it.

    i get very tired of being told how the world works by people who have been on it for less time than me - in fact, it's one of the MANY reasons i stopped being an educator. one can only be told by teenagers/undergrads so many times about reality before it becomes obvious that there's no point in teaching them anything (since they already know everything).

    keep your aggressive quotation marks and your post-enlightenment buddhist mantras to yourself.
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    Dec 01, 2008 11:01 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidyour arguments generally get on my nerves, but this one completely pisses me off.

    shut up.

    that isn't what i meant, and you know it.

    i get very tired of being told how the world works by people who have been on it for less time than me - in fact, it's one of the MANY reasons i stopped being an educator. one can only be told by teenagers/undergrads so many times about reality before it becomes obvious that there's no point in teaching them anything (since they already know everything).

    keep your aggressive quotation marks and your post-enlightenment buddhist mantras to yourself.


    Whoa... slow down. I knew exactly what you meant... or I believe I do. You were implying that one stay in shape and stay healthy--if one falls into a rut and gains weight or becomes unhealthy, you would except them to work on getting healthy again--not only for themselves but for you. Is that correct?

    What I was wondering is what would happen if something happened to you or your partner (I used the quotations to imply that you 'love' your partner, though not necessarily unconditionally) that couldn't be "fix and/or changed"... something out of their control.

    PS: about my posts. I never mean to "tell" anyone "how the world works." I am young, inexperienced, and ignorant about certain things. But I have been through a lot in life--more than most people will have to go through in a lifetime. That does not make me special, and I don't see myself that way.

    Your posts never piss me off even though we have different opinions most of the time. I learn a lot from the views of others... and try to see their side. We obviously grew up in different households and in different communities. It saddens me that I have offended you or anyone else; I only mean to share my worldviews... and learn a little bit more from other people--including yourself.

    I never meant to imply that I "know everything." Everyone is always learning, you, me, and the teenagers/undergrads you equated me to.

    If other people feel as you do perhaps this is not the place for me... maybe I should leave in all seriousness. I would hate to offend anyone or degrade anyone based on my worldviews which are constantly changing and evolving.
  • GQjock

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    Dec 01, 2008 3:24 PM GMT
    I get unconditional love from a dog or my pet parakeet
    I don't need it from another human being

    This idea of unconditional love is a misnomer
    we romanticize it but don't really understand what it means

    Do you want a man who would love you under any circumstances?
    and would you do the same?
    Would you love him if he cheated on you?
    if he did drugs?
    became abusive?
    If you answered no to any of the above...welcome
    To the sane and normal
    Unconditional love would mean you'd love him no matter WHAT he did
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    Dec 01, 2008 4:09 PM GMT

    Pedrosxxx said "Anywho, I think meninlove is missing the point that the most important aspect, and truly only essential criterion, for an unconditional loving relationship is TRUST. Trust = Love." Thanks for an interesting point, Pedrosxxx!

    Bill and I trust each other completely, but there are still conditions. We each have a set. We trust each other to meet them, such as we each do our best to maintain the others' lover-type happiness; a huge condition that will have the independent among you gritting your teeth, but there you have it. In our particular instance, (examples) this means a monogamous relationship, creative romance, creative physical demonstrations of love, and extending olive branches (sometimes really really long ones) to recalcitrant extended family members. Families, sometimes...ugh.
    It meant giving up our 'selves' quite completely to the other. No problem as we each immediately gave complete control (autonomy) BACK to each other as a 'gift'. Guess what? Neither of us wanted it. It felt too much like severing an arm or a leg.

    Does any of the above sound chore-like? Nope. Our magic talisman is our combined sense of inspiration. With that anything is possible.

    We believe unconditional love in our relationship is more than possible, and that we grow closer to it every day. The need for sexual gratification is falling away, very slowly. The need for constant reassurance fell away years ago, the need for obvious expressions of love has diminished as our ability to pick up subtle clues about how each other feels at any given moment has become magnified to near-telepathy.

    We think, though, that many guys want to START this way, but think that a lot of blending and meshing (bleshing?) is required first before that's possible in a lover to lover relationship..

    There are many other types of unconditional love as mentioned by some very smart young guys here. Family and pets are good examples.

    As a (grit your teeth!) christian that refuses religion, I (Doug) believe god loves us all unconditionally, but also believe that religions, hypocritical in the extreme, say this and then add a mountain of criteria for that love, justifying retribution for any erring, which makes that love purely and toxicly conditional in the end.
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    Dec 01, 2008 6:30 PM GMT
    you assume too much, scuba. i don't feel obliged to explain that which is already explicitly contained within my original response. reread it.

    if you think only on the level of being in shape or healthy when discussing someone's "a" game, despite the fact that i never even mentioned it, then that's your deficiency, not mine. use more of your huge life experience to inform your response to me next time (and do stop playing the martyr - it's tired).

    as for whether you go or stay, i won't notice. make that choice on your own; however, the tone of your "i'm always growing and learning" rhetoric was just as smug as your original "would you care for you hiv-poz lover?" posting to me.

    and for the record, yes, i did take care of my hiv-poz lover... until he cheated on me with 30 people, stole $20 k from me, and tried to get me arrested for bad checks he wrote. now... please refrain from instructing me in a sideways fashion. i used to be a teacher and a college professor, and it won't matter which tactic you use, i will detect a didactic tone no matter how you try to camouflage it.
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    Dec 01, 2008 7:00 PM GMT


    "We may be unable to live with them, we may be furious at them, but the love stays even if it changes."

    Unable to live with them is a condition. If love changes it's no longer unconditional, because it had to change.

    Your post is interesting but blurs loving unconditionally and being 'in love' unconditionally.

    The love of a family member is completely different from the love of a lover, Oedipus complexes and incest aside!

    We beg to disagree that conditional love is a paltry thing in a lover-to-lover relationship. Having standards in a lover relationship are conditions. Without them, we condone a battered wife staying with her husband, as an illustration.
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    Dec 01, 2008 7:29 PM GMT


    "The relationship changes, not the love. Just watch a long divorced couple at the birth of a grandchild. Or a former lover at a funeral weeping for someone he maybe hasn't seen in 15 years."

    Again, you blur the line between unconditional altruistic love which should exist between all people and the dance of a lover-to-lover relationship.

    If the lover's love was unconditional, why is that person now a former lover? If the love was unconditional, how was it possible to end up divorced?

    Again you're skirting the focus here. Should a battered wife stay with her abusive husband til he kills her? If she's doesn't then their relationship cannot be considered unconditional.
    If she, years later, goes to his funeral, is it out of love, or sympathy, pity or compassion for his family?

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    Dec 01, 2008 7:31 PM GMT
    Unconditional love is a theistic construct from what I can see.

    Specifically it is the main attribute of the Christ in Christian faith.

    I don't literally believe in the Christ, and I believe that the faith is a projection of our own need to believe in the existence of a G-d with the capacity for unconditional love.

    Having said that I consider myself spiritual, theistic, and Christian (Episcopalian to be exact).

    In my view wouldn't be possible for man to imagine concepts of unconditional and even infinite love unless somehow we were capable of manifesting that love in concrete, three-dimensional, touchable, and tastable terms.

    To me the Christ is a reflection of what we could be (and if for no other reason than that valid).

    Note - please - I beg of you - distinguish an argument about the Christ from Christianity and the deplorable and inane things that have and are being done in the name of religion. We have been through that 99 million times. If you don't agree flame me personally. I am cold anyway (London is drafty).

    Neither does it seem to me that we project these qualities on a deity if they were easy to achieve. We would, rather, identify them in Saints or Heroes - beings closer to our own capacities.

    The story of a Saint is usually the story of redemption and sacrifice. Hardly ever (that I can think of) is the story of a Saint about Earthly gratification. Rather, those concepts seem to be about overcoming he need for Earthly gratification.

    (While I have written this in Christian terms it is, obviously, exactly the same in most human culture and religion.)

    Human love is conditional. It is subject to and defined by conditions - always.

    The only way to surpass the conditional state of humanity is to leave the plane of the human and join the club of the deities (which is what Saints do in their Pilgrim's Progress toward an ethereal plane).

    What we are capable of conceiving we are capable of being. Therefore, there is a path to sainthood that is open to all of us. Few will ever walk that path and that is as it should be.

    Conditional love is altogether satisfactory for me. Also, even a vainglorious egomaniacal douche bag like me is capable of momentary flashes of selflessness (in between shoe shopping and fisting).

    I don't believe that most of us ever achieve more than that.

    That is, perhaps, why the concepts of absolution, forgiveness, and infinite unconditional love that we have collectively invested in our deities is of some relevance and importance. I know that I need absolution often.

    Terry


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    Dec 01, 2008 7:37 PM GMT


    Ah, Terry, we love you so!

    'Flashes of selflessness' is one of our self-imposed conditions in our 19 year relationship.

    XO -Doug and Bill of meninlove
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    Dec 01, 2008 8:18 PM GMT
    There seems to be a good bit of conflation of "unconditional love" and so-called "codependency" in this thread.

    It feels like a semantic argument.

    You might also ask if "unconditional love" is a feeling or a behavior. You can certainly love someone unconditionally without enabling destructive behavior.
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    Dec 01, 2008 8:35 PM GMT
    I'm cynical and jaded so I kind of have to laugh when I hear that phrase in regards to gay relationships because of the implication that someone within a gay relationship can be less than perfect. This has not been my experience. Though I'm sure my biases need to be placed into check I can do that later.

    What I perceive to be the gay man's definition of unconditional love in the form of a prayer. icon_biggrin.gif

    I demand a lover
    Tried and true
    With hair of gold
    And eyes of blue

    Give him broad shoulders
    A muscular chest
    Grand arms to hold me
    So my head may rest.

    Make him a humanitarian
    with a heart of gold
    Can I have a saint?
    Should I be so bold?

    He should be forgiving,
    of my whims and flaws
    Another man cometh
    I'll bring out the claws.

    Oh, for this one wish
    I'll be eternally grateful
    May he always love me
    Even when I'm frightful.

    So here you have it
    I deserve the best
    No hairs out of place
    I won't settle for less.
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    Dec 01, 2008 8:43 PM GMT
    MenInLove:

    We've both read many posts over the months that state the poster believes in unconditional love and will hold out for a relationship with another man that is just that. Unconditional.

    While we appreciate the sentiment, and indeed, it's an ideal, a sought after type of love, what is it?

    There are enormous downsides in a truly unconditional in-love relationship that few truly ponder.

    For example - it means that no matter how much your partner beats you, cheats you, steals from you, abandons you or otherwise lets you down or hurts you, your feelings can't change and you can't react by withdrawing, chiding, leaving, retaliating, disapproving or anything else because by doing so, you have added conditions to the love you offer.

    Unconditional love happens over time - long lengths of it, and even so, depends on how well each party is willing to give of themselves and give up themselves to the other.

    Those beating the drum of unconditional love need to understand that sex would be absolutely unnecessary in such a relationship, the same with friendship. The same goes for your partner being attractive to you (example: in shape physically). Again, any requirements for the above are conditions.

    Those in unconditional lover relationships (and we doubt there is such a thing) cannot have needs or have needs met. We believe unconditional love is to be sought after once a relationship is established and successful, and only possible if BOTH parties are determined and can guarantee their feelings will and can never change under any possible circumstances.

    Gentlemen, the floor is yours....




    MenInLove...

    Where in the hell did you come up with this "unconditional love" mess? You might as well settle for someone the moment they show you the slightest bit of attention. I have conditions UNTIL that certain someone meets the needs at hand, therefore, I wholeheartedly agree with dancerjack. If you fall in love with an "a" & he turns out to be an "f", then he needs to shape up or ship out, simple as that. That "unconditional love" mess does nothing more than make you a...what's that fave term? Anywho, I took my shot at awaiting "unconditional love" & if patience is req'd, then I don't want to be growing old & alone, finally have my shit together & then without a man. That takes patience & I'm not sorry for saying I don't have any. Tolerance is about as close as you're gonna get when it comes to a man putting his hands or cheating on me or however many times he lets me down. If you bring about that kind of thing when I meet & choose to be with you & you don't make the effort to change, then I get exactly what I ask for.

    There's my say...call me bitter, jaded, unbending, or even hard-headed.
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    Dec 01, 2008 8:56 PM GMT
    TheWayItIs said

    "Where in the hell did you come up with this "unconditional love" mess? You might as well settle for someone the moment they show you the slightest bit of attention. I have conditions UNTIL that certain someone meets the needs at hand, therefore, I wholeheartedly agree with dancerjack. If you fall in love with an "a" & he turns out to be an "f", then he needs to shape up or ship out, simple as that"


    Au contraire to what ever point you may be attempting to make, we agree with dancerjack, and his post was agreeing with ours.

    ...And you've just agreed with our point as well, so what's with the fightin' words?

    Hey Obscenewish, thanks for your post! This is not so much about semantics as it is about the difference between being IN LOVE with another person as opposed to simply loving another, which is universal in its scope.

    Would you stay in a relationship and be in love with someone who beat you and could possibly kill you? We doubt it. A condition that you remain in such a state would be that the other seek help. If not, you would be forced to leave, and your love would no doubt morph into a love other than the sexual, romantic, trusting emotional love of a lover.

    But then, a lover is different things to different people, hence again its nature of being conditional.
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    Dec 01, 2008 9:08 PM GMT
    Runninchlt saidI'm cynical and jaded so I kind of have to laugh when I hear that phrase in regards to gay relationships because of the implication that someone within a gay relationship can be less than perfect. This has not been my experience. Though I'm sure my biases need to be placed into check I can do that later.

    What I perceive to be the gay man's definition of unconditional love in the form of a prayer. icon_biggrin.gif

    I demand a lover
    Tried and true
    With hair of gold
    And eyes of blue

    Give him broad shoulders
    A muscular chest
    Grand arms to hold me
    So my head may rest.

    Make him a humanitarian
    with a heart of gold
    Can I have a saint?
    Should I be so bold?

    He should be forgiving,
    of my whims and flaws
    Another man cometh
    I'll bring out the claws.

    Oh, for this one wish
    I'll be eternally grateful
    May he always love me
    Even when I'm frightful.

    So here you have it
    I deserve the best
    No hairs out of place
    I won't settle for less.




    Don't we all wish that we could have this kind of thing in a man? Well news flash---This is the REAL WORLD.

    MenInLove...

    "Would you stay in a relationship and be in love with someone who beat you and could possibly kill you? We doubt it. A condition that you remain in such a state would be that the other seek help. If not, you would be forced to leave, and your love would no doubt morph into a love other than the sexual, romantic, trusting emotional love of a lover."

    Hell to the no I wouldn't stay with someone who is bold enough to beat on me. I would be awaiting trial for aggravated assault if that were to be the case. 5 things must be achieved then the "unconditional love" mess you're spewing will come into play. Some have all the luck, others just don't. That's the way of the world. Either you can suck it up & deal with the real world or let it eat you alive. Simple as that.