“Promise me nothing, live ’til we die…”



I want to put to rest a terrible, pervasive and damaging lie.

That lie is:

The existence of, and desire for, unconditional love.

Permit me to demonstrate:

I’ve murdered your best friend.

Would you want me hanged/imprisoned for life?



Now, suppose your child does the same.

Would you wish your child the same fate?

There will be, no doubt, those that respond:

“No, of course I wouldn’t want my child hanged! I love them no matter what; unconditionally!”



However, you haven’t proven your point.

You’ve proven mine.

You’ve shown that your love has a condition:

The condition being he or she is your child.

Granted, it is an unalterable one.

But it remains a condition.



Unconditional love is an illusion.

All love, from eros to fraternitas has qualifiers and conditions.

This is good.

This is healthy.



When love is correctly applied, it promotes growth, improvement, positivity and advancement (emotionally, spiritually, physically).

When love is incorrectly applied, it is a breeding ground for abuse, disenfranchisement, negativity and enervation.



Even if unconditional love were to exist:

It would be a worthless prize.

Nothing was done to merit it nor to retain it.



Thus, if you’re pursuing unconditional love:

Sit in the middle of the Sahara and fill your pockets with sand.

Then proclaim loudly how much you treasure every grain of it.

The benefits will be the same.





27 Responses to ““Promise me nothing, live ’til we die…””

  1. Emma the Emo Says:

    I used to think this way, and still see the merits of this thinking, to a point.
    But somehow, someone I know has proven to me a certain type of unconditional love could exist. It’s a bit of a trick, it’s not given blindly, but for all practical (that’s the keyword here) reasons it’s unconditional. It’s the love where you fall in love once and act beta for them until you expire.
    This is what I would call the ideal. It’s neither something silly, blindly given and reasonless, leaving you to wonder why you and not someone else; nor is it always demanding constant ongoing proof that you are still worth the love. I suspect this is what people want, even if they rarely get it. They want to be loved for “themselves”, but they don’t want there to exist any type of fuckup that they could do and not be deserving of the love anymore. And I suspect it’s tempting for people to misrepresent what they want as something given for no reason, and thus call it worthless, precisely because people have little hope to get what they really want.

    • Emma,

      It’s neither something silly, blindly given and reasonless

      You support my point.

      And I agree with you here:

      “…nor is it always demanding constant ongoing proof that you are still worth the love…”

      But the latter of your statements and my point are not mutually exclusive.

      Thanks for your comment.

      • Emma the Emo Says:

        Oh, I agree with your point that love is not given blindly. However, I just don’t know of anyone who wants to be loved for nothing. Where is the lie you described coming from?

    • Emma,

      Anyone that says:

      “I want to be loved because I’m me.”

      That’s circular reasoning based on nothing.

      Anyone can shoot blindly at a wall and paint a target around the hits.

      Also, trying to define what others should find attractive in one could be argued similar.

      One’s metric may be meaningless (hence, nothing) to others.

      Thereby, “unconditional”.

    • Emma,

      “unconditional after picking”

      How does that happen?

      I ask sincerely.

      So, if the man you love changes profoundly, you’ll still love him?

      Or will you love the memory of the man he was?

      Conditions suddenly disappear after a choice is made?

      Again, I’m not being difficult or acrimonious.

      I’m simply pointing out the arguments I’m getting seem to stem from a deep-seated female need for security over the long term.

      Now, I judge that no more than I do a man’s desire for youth and beauty in women.

      However, nor do I pretend both do not exist.

      • Emma the Emo Says:

        Nah, don’t worry, I like the topic and it’s interesting to me.
        I don’t fully understand why “unconditional after picking” happens. But it seems sometimes men pull it off. Granpa is still with granma, and as an observer I can tell it’s not simply for comfort in old age. She had a stroke and wasn’t herself for a while, you know. I have also seen men fall in love for the stupidest reasons, even when they knew they were not substantial, and kept at it. It almost seems ridiculous.

        As for myself, only time will tell. I can’t know anything for sure in advance, although I’m doing well right now. However, one can’t give up on someone when they go crazy, or going the wrong way. One should help them back to sanity or the right way the best one can (or at least make sure people don’t bother them), because you kinda have responsibility for them. People just don’t change dramatically in adulthood. Unless they are brain-damaged. Or something else horrible.
        That’s the theory. But in reality, one can get strained, and end up breaking oneself while trying.

      • Emma,

        “I don’t fully understand why “unconditional after picking” happens. But it seems sometimes men pull it off”

        Roissy claims:

        “Where pretty lies perish”.

        Yet he merely replaces them with those of his own devising.

        Thus, I’ll tell you the Truth.

        Some men “pull it off” because they are not pragmatic.

        [See many of my previous posts.]

        They gave their word; they keep it.

        They honor themselves and those they swore to love and protect.

        I recall my own mother, on her deathbed, saying:

        “Your father has been amazingly supportive throughout all of this [her uterine cancer].

        And it breaks my heart to know that I can’t say I’d have been the same, were our roles reversed.”

        Now, perhaps my experience is atypical.

        [Who am I to judge all by the actions/words of one?]

        But, then again:

        Perhaps not.

        Regardless, all the best to you.

  2. What is love correctly applied by a man?


    What is love correctly applied by a woman?

  3. lauratheringmistress Says:

    So does agape love not exist? Or after we only taking about human love, not divine?

    For that matter what definition of love is being used here? One thing i know, the things both God and my husband have done at their most loving didn’t feel particularly good at the time. Setting broken bones (metaphorically speaking) rarely does.

    I think when most peoplele say they want to be loved unconditionally, what they are actually saying is they want to be affirmed in their okayness. Given that their prayer language is something along the lines of “Oh God, you are so big. Help me to be big like You,” it’s no wonder they can’t conceive of what unconditional love actually would look like.

    Also, I do believe unconditional love exists. I don’t believe in unconditional like. Very different story there.

    • Laura,

      One could argue even God’s love is conditional since we are His creations.

      One could also argue we only love Him because He is God.

      “I think when most peoplele say they want to be loved unconditionally, what they are actually saying is they want to be affirmed in their okayness.”

      But if it’s “unconditional” how does that affirm “okayness”?

      One wouldn’t be “okay” or “not okay” rec’ing the love; it wouldn’t matter, therefore it would indicate nothing.

      Stalin and Mother Theresa would rec’ve the same.

      “Also, I do believe unconditional love exists.”

      As I said, if it does, what good does it do?

      It fails to reward, it fails to punish.

      It recognizes neither goodness nor evil.

      It would have no effect either way.

      Therefore, it would be ineffective and useless.

      Regardless, I appreciate your comment.

      • lauratheringmistress Says:

        The point of love is neither to reward nor punish. It is to do what is best for the beloved. Since only our Creator is omniscient, only He can know for sure what that is. But anyone acting in genuine love, conditional or otherwise, is at least trying to do that.

        I love my kids from day to day regardless of what they do. I am always trying to do what is best for them. (I don’t always succeed. I’m not a saint. Just trying to be one.) That doesn’t change. And my kids are not rewarded or punished by that. My pride or displeasure for them does change. Withholding my approval is a form of love if they need to be taught a lesson in self control. Both the hug and the spanking/time out/grounding are acts of love. I love the naughty child (even if I temporarily disliked them) and the obedient child equally, but show it very differently.

        God loves even the people in Hell. In fact even Hell might be a kind of love, since it places a limit on evil. But the people in Hell don’t love God. He died for all, in the sense that he loved every one of us, but also only for many in that only a portion requite that love. So he isn’t loving some as a reward and withholding love from others as a punishment. He offered an open invitation and then judges whether or not we accepted it.

        By affirming their okayness, I mean, not want to change them. That’s what most people foolishly think unconditional love is. As if that would be good, or even desirable.

        I may be using love differently than you here.

      • Emma the Emo Says:

        I think her comment makes some sense when I read my own comment (but if I’m interpreting it wrong, she will surely tell me). The love that affirms okayness is the one I was talking about – the ideal lots of people have. People want to be picked, and then the love should get “stuck that way”. It’s like that desire men have, for a woman who is hard to get for everyone else, but easy for him. People want someone to say “Hey, you make mistakes like everyone else, but I KNOW who you really are, and love you”. It’s like the voice people with healthy, realistic self-esteem have in their heads.

        The purely unconditional love as you describe it still seems alien to me. I can’t wrap my head around it. I still doesn’t sound to me like anyone actually wants that thing, forgive me if I’m missing something. But the “unconditional after picking” love seems more plausible. People want someone to love them for their good selves, but not merely for existing. This type of love, unlike the abstract purely unconditional one, does affirm your okayness.

        It can also reward and punish. Love means doing what’s best for the person you love. Sometimes it means there is punishment.

  4. Laura,

    Is not reward and punishment working toward the best interest of the beloved?

    A child running into a busy street is punished for his own good, is he not?

    And your words were predicted:

    “My child…”

    Again, they are your children.

    A condition.

    Would you put forth the same effort for a stranger?

    Be as merciful to a creepy paedophile?

    Make no mistake:

    I’m not saying love has no place, doesn’t exist or is not a worthy thing.

    Nor am I questioning your altruism, overall.

    I’m saying there is no such thing as “unconditional”.

    In fact, I’m saying the conditions are a good thing.

    Perhaps it’s how our brains are wired.

    Women gather in all they can.

    Men draw boundaries.

    Between the two, a worthwhile balance is found.

    • lauratheringmistress Says:

      Well if nothing else, I’m inspired to pick up C.S.Lewis’s Four Loves again. It’s been nearly decade since I last read it.

      I do think we’re speaking at cross purposes, but I’ll not sidetrack the conversation further.

      • Laura,

        That’s certainly a good thing.

        And you may well be right about the cross-purposes.

        Regardless, I appreciate your input.

  5. Emma the Emo Says:

    “Some men “pull it off” because they are not pragmatic.”
    That seems to make sense. Maybe you have to be a fool at some level to do this.

    That said, both of my grandparents on mother’s side had cancer and several other problems. They were, according to mom’s testimony, very doting on each other during those times.

    • Emma,

      Should you have the time and inclination, I suggest you read most of my previous work here.

      I build upon, and consistently reference, such.

      As I am fond of saying:

      I prove my honesty with my consistency.

  6. I initially answered your first question as:

    “No, as I know I can make new friends. And maybe I could befriend from one who vanquished my mate.”

    Then I read the rest of your post and the commentary.

    So we should at least recognize why we love things (the grains of the Sahara desert), and use our morality codes to determine if we should keep loving said items?

    • Mimic,

      That’s a pretty cool answer to the first question, I’ll grant you that.

      “So we should at least recognize why we love things (the grains of the Sahara desert), and use our morality codes to determine if we should keep loving said items?”

      Yes., essentially.

      I’m not advocating one be ultra-mercenary, loving only for pure gain while constantly evaluating and reevaluating every relationship (see Emma’s statement re: proof).

      I’m merely saying that one should, as you say, recognize and consider the “whys” and “whats”, at the outset and every so often.

      You’d be surprised how few do such a thing, just how much will notice if it’s done and how much it helps

      Thanks for your comment.

  7. […] There is no such thing as unconditional love. […]

  8. There is no such thing as unconditional love between or among humans. It does not exist.

    Even agape love between humans cannot be carried out perfectly, because we are imperfect humans.

  9. “Unconditional love is an illusion.”

    What about the Passion of Christ?

  10. Digger Nick Says:

    I have an unconditional love for destruction.

  11. […] “Promise me nothing; live ’til we die…” (Motörhead – Love Me Forever) […]

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