Sophisticated Love Lesson #12: Unconditional Love
"The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love" Stephen Kendrick

Unconditional love is not a dating stage. Unconditional love is a love lesson because it is a level of attachment between two people that might not ever happen. Unconditional love can evolve after years of working at a marriage that both people believe is worth the time and effort. 

When my mom was first diagnosed with cancer, a friend who had been married for over 20 years and who had a daughter talked to me about the parent-child relationship. She said "No matter how long you are married to someone, the love you have with your father or mother is always stronger. You will never find someone who loves you more than they do." 

After thinking about her comment I realized she was right. While dating I was looking for unconditional love right away. I was looking for someone who was going to duplicate the amount love that my parents had for me. A HUGE  mistake. After having more discussions with married couples through the years I learned that when you are dating or have a relationship or marriage with someone you never really understand the another person completely. Yet, that is supposed to be the best part of a marriage. The continual discovery of another person, yourself, and consequently, the two of you as one.  

How does a Sophisticate know when unconditional love exists? 
When she doesn't feel the need to ask the other person 'Do you love me?' 

Not only does a Sophisticate never have to ask the other person whether she is loved, the thought of asking seems ridiculous. The question of whether another person loves her is absurd. Love that is given to her from another person without question, without strings attached, without fear or doubt, is a sign that unconditional love exists.

Does a Sophisticate have control over whether she has unconditional love in her life other than her parents? Yes and no. She has control over who she allows in her life. She has control over working at her marriage if the relationship and the other person is worth it. A Sophisticate does not have control over the result. The result cannot be forced. If nothing else, in the end she will have unconditional love with her parents, her children, her pet, and most importantly, with herself.

Sophisticated Love Lesson #12: Unconditional Love: Unconditional love can't be found in the beginning of a relationship or in the beginning of a marriage. In fact, unconditional love may or may not exist after years of being married.  

In the end, a Sophisticate knows that unconditional love is  not something that is found or given easily. She knows unconditional love may not exist at all in her life beyond the relationship she has with her parents, her children, her pet, or most importantly, the unconditional love she has for herself. ;D