Saturday, January 06, 2007

The family's love as a backdrop for relationships

A parent asks Thomas Moore about our understanding of love, to help a daughter navigate her close relationships. Moore responds with "The Illusion of 'Unconditional' Love" for Beliefnet and suggests,
"You could imagine love as made up of unconditional and conditional components, but the truth is, I don't like to use these words. "Unconditional" suggests perfection--not the human condition. Let's try "open" and "undefensive" love. You can find such love with people today, but it will always be mixed up with some hesitation, holding back, and illusion.

Love is dynamic. It can keep getting better as people get to know each other. But that implies that it's not perfect in its beginnings. It needs room to grow.

This kind of realistic, imperfect, growing love is much better than the extreme romanticism of pulp novels. Realism adds to the pleasure, because when you acknowledge the holes and dents, your love isn't threatened by illusions of perfection."
Read Moore's full answer and add your comments to the discussion area.