Able to Love without Requiring Love in Return: Real Life
How do we do this in real life? How do we love someone without expecting them to love us back or at least expecting some kind of good return on our investment?
For starters, love is a choice. We are conditioned from an early age to associate love with good feelings, of warmth, hearts and red roses. When we understand love in this way, the focus is inward – it’s all about me and how I feel loved. We will never be satisfied with this kind of love.
The love that does not need anything in return is a much deeper, harder and more profound love. Rather than a love of self, this kind of love stretches beyond us and reaches to the other person. This selfless love seeks first the comfort, health, nourishment and safety of the other person, setting their needs above your own. A loving choice places someone else in the center of your focus, rather than yourself.
Think of someone who has shown you this kind of love, a love that put your own needs before their own. Reach out to them if you are able and thank them.