Here I go again, raining on your parade. But I guess better to hear from me than from someone more important to you …

Unconditional love between partners does not exist. 

Because, accountability counts. It is possible to erode love, whether slowly or quickly, with disrespectful, unloving behaviors. 

The only unconditional love that is available is from parent to child. “Accept me” makes sense in the developing world of a child in the context of a hierarchical familial relationship. 

After that, we are thrown into the world and our behaviors will dictate how loved we are. Which, of course, does not mean I am not unlovable. If someone sticks around with generous understanding, they have an opportunity to understand my story and feel genuine compassion and warmth. But my bad behavior might prevent this from happening and the sad takeaway might be that I feel unlovable.

Better to get rid of the false fantasy, the romantic notion of unconditional love, and replace it with … 

Love me enough for who I am – the totality of my humanity – all my good and all my not-so-good – WHILE loving me enough to encourage me to keep growing into the best version of me. In other words, compassionate understanding plus accountability.

That sounds like a winning recipe. Or, at least the best one we got.

For the rise of your life …

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