In the world there are three kinds of love. Even though we call them all “love” they are different in motive. The first kind of love comes with an “If”, it is conditional. If we meet certain expectations we receive “If” type of love. For instance: If you are a good boy/girl your teacher will love you. As my spouse, if you meet my expectations I will love you. If you are successful I will love you, etc. This kind of love sets pre-conditions in order to give love in return. It is a give-and-take type of love. Love is given only if certain conditions are met; therefore, this is a selfish, egotistical kind of love. The marriages built upon “If” kind of love are short-lived as it is hard to keep up with the expectations or whims of the other party. It is laden with stress; when the expectations of the other party are not met the disappointment sets in and the love turns sour.
The second type of love is “Because” type of love. This kind of love is based on logic or reason. Here also there is a stipulation, but this is a passive stipulation. Therefore, this type of love is preferable to “If” type of love as we are being loved for something we already possess which boosts our ego. A person is loved, because either that person has extraordinary attributes, or he or she possesses something quite uncommon, like good look, wealth, fame, etc. For example, I love you, because you are beautiful / handsome. I love you because you are popular, rich or famous. I love you, because you make me feel secure. I love you, because life is fun with you. Unlike “If” type of love this kind of love does not impose any burden on us; therefore, it is relaxing.
Yet, there is a catch in the above both kinds of love; they are not enduring. They are always on the balance. In the “If” kind of love, if we do not hold our side of bargain we are bound to lose the love. In the “Because” type of love, If someone else turns up with better qualities, again, we may lose the love. The other person may steal our love. So, neither type of love is everlasting.
Then, is there a love true and abiding? Not provisory, not contingent upon any pre-set conditions? Yes, there is. The answer is “Despite” kind of love. It is unconditional. There is no expectation in return, no stipulation. In that regard it is different from the two previous loves. Someone is loved not because he or she is behaving in a way that suits someone’s whims, or he or she possesses exceptional qualities; rather, that person is loved “Despite” his or her mediocrity, flaw, frailty or failing. This kind of love is born at the heart, not in the brain. He or she may be poor, ugly, drunkard, lacking in ambition…You name it, but is still loved. This is the kind of love we all need. This is true love.