Unconditional Love Doesn’t Mean Tolerating Abuse


What is Unconditional Love

When people say, “I want someone to love me unconditionally,” what they really mean is, “I want someone to love me and stay with me without holding me responsible for my actions and without my holding myself accountable for the things I say and do.”

Here’s Susan’s story as an example:

I met Robert a few years ago. He said he wanted somebody to love him for him and love him unconditionally. He asked me out on a couple dates, was charming, and seemed adventurous. The first month went well.

The second month began revealing Robert’s nature. He began complaining about things I did and what I did never seemed good enough. He complained I cooked heathy foods a lot, didn’t have fabric softener, waited for him to open doors for me, didn’t have money to loan him, and didn’t buy him gifts. He told me a couple times, “If one woman won’t do things I want you to do, another woman will.” “What the hell?” is what ran through my mind as I’d shake my head as if shaking his words from my memory.

Robert would mention one of his ex-girlfriends with a comment that “She was on point from the door. You’re getting on point, but maybe it’s because she kids that she was on point from the beginning.” “What?” was all that would cross my lips as I felt my blood pressure rising. “Like, she wanted me to go to an event with her. I went to her place and she gave me a bag with a suit in it, pants, shirt, tie, jacket, everything. She’d got me a pair of shoes, too. I don’t know how she knew what size shoe I wore, but she got the right size. That’s what I mean; she’d buy me things and just give them to me. You don’t do that.”

“Let me ask you this,” Susan asked Robert. “If she was so on point from the door as you say, why aren’t you still with her? And, if I’m so off point, why are you here?” “Well, it just didn’t work out.”


“Really? Because you compare me to her and tell me how great she was and how she’d spend money on you all the time.” Susan paused before adding, “This is what I think. I think you need to be by yourself for a while. Or at least away from me, that way you’d be free to find the perfect person you’re looking for.” “I’m not looking for a perfect person. I just want someone to love me unconditionally,” Robert replied.

“Loving someone has nothing to do what that persons tolerates from you. Loving someone unconditionally doesn’t mean they accept being mentally or verbally abused,” Susan told him. Robert asked Susan what she was saying. “To make this simple,” she said to him, “I’m breaking up with you. I do love you unconditionally, which means I love you for who you are. Loving you for who you are doesn’t mean I have to be with you and listen to you constantly putting me down and comparing me to a woman you’re no longer with.” “What?” Robert’s voice raising a bit. “You’re breaking up with me? I’m Robert Everly. No one breaks up with me. No one has ever broken up with me. I’m Robert Everly.”

“You say that like you’re Jesus Christ,” Susan laughed realizing how skewed Robert’s self-perception was. “You’ve repeatedly complained about what I don’t do, complain about what I do, compare me to you ex, want to argue about almost everything, never accept responsibility for anything, and you really think how you treat me is good?” Susan continued without giving him time to respond, “You should be glad we’re over. Now you’re free to find someone who doesn’t mind tolerating you and your pompous attitude.” “See,” Robert said. “I knew you didn’t love me unconditionally.”

“You’re so blind.” Susan told him. “I do love you. I simply dislike how you treat me and so I’ve decided to love you from afar. All of your complaints and comparisons showed me that you didn’t love me unconditionally. If you loved me unconditionally, you’d have loved me for me, not continue to compare me to another woman, especially one you say you broke up with. If she was so on point, go back to her.”

The above story is unfortunately typical of those seeking “unconditional love.” They want to be loved for who they are while being abusive toward you. Sadly, they don’t recognize their own faults. They don’t see how their words and actions affect others. Their only concern is how you treat them. They’re blind as to how they treat you. Essentially, they’re selfish, egotistical, and immature.

I saw a saying on social media that read, “Givers have to set limits because takers never do.” You have to set limits to protect yourself from being used and taken advantage of. Friendships and relationships are supposed to be give and take, actions are reciprocated; if they’re not … you’re being mistreated and you should decide what to do about it. Allow it to continue or learn to love from afar. Of course, the person will say you never loved them without realizing they never loved you. You don’t repeatedly hurt the one you claim to love.

Something to think about … some people don’t know how to love. What you should know is that it’s not your job to teach them. Love yourself. Value yourself. Disallow others to mentally, verbally, or physically abuse you. Learn to love abusers from afar and not make apologies for it.

What are your thoughts on Susan’s story? Do you have a similar one you’d like to share? How do you define “unconditional love?” I look forward to reading your thoughts.

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I journeyed from GED to a PhD in Psychology. I decided to focus on my writing once I retired from the clinical field. I write in various genres and have several WIPs for publication once edited. I post articles on this website for intellectual and entertainment purposes.

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