Growing up, I was taught that there are different variations of love. For example, there is the love you have for your parents, that differs to the love you have for your friends, your pets and the love you have for your teachers. They have different gradients and lengths. I toddled through life with this knowledge. I knew of it but never really fully grasped the concept.
I wandered through life experiencing friendships, crushes, dates, and relationships. I honestly thought that this search for love, finding it and holding onto it would complete me.
After traversing a path full of lessons and take aways, I never really understood conditional love.
In my opinion, conditional love can end based on the actions and choices of both parties. There is no guarantee that the love will last a lifetime. Staying in a friendship or a relationship is based on decisions and experiences that involve the heart, mind and instinct.
Until having Butterball, I have made the realisation that my love for others is conditional. I would do absolutely anything for him because he is my life. I would not do absolutely anything for anyone else. My heart and my soul are completely connected to him.
I also realise that I always have had an unconditional love for myself. My parents taught me this. I put my own needs, health and self worth first. In the end, I needed to work on taking care of myself because everyone else’s love for me is conditional.
When trying to explain these feeling of unconditional love to Partner R, he honestly admitted that it made him feel rejected.
This open discussion led me to think, how many other men feel a sense of rejection once their partners have had children?
I was glad to have talked to Partner R about this as it made me reflect on my role in a relationship, as well as a mum. I personally believe open communication, although it can be uncomfortable at times, is what powers us forward to avoid resentment and an understanding of one another through each new phase life poses.
Love is multifaceted. Love has variations. My love has terms and conditions because I have unconditional love for myself, but so much more for Butterball.