Monday, August 9, 2010

I Love You If ...

There are basically three ways of behaving in relationships that people routinely label as “love”: 1) I love you if …, 2) I love because …, and 3) I love you, period.

The first one is: “I love you if…”. Qualified love, if love, is conditional love. It is given or received only when certain conditions are met. The only way to get this kind of love is to earn it by performing in an approved way. Some parents love their children if they behave well, if they get good grades, or if they act or dress a certain way. Among married or dating couples, love may be withheld if one partner fails to do or be what the other expects. “I love you If ...” is basically selfish--it is a bargaining chip offered in exchange for something desired.

Many young women have only experienced the kind of love that says, “I love you if … you give me what I want sexually” or “I love you if … you have sex with me just this once.” Another subtle sexual if pressure is found in the common misconception that all dating couples are having sex. The message is, “Since everyone is doing it, you will love me if you do it too.” What these girls don’t realize is that the love they expect to win from a boy by meeting his sexual demands is only a cheap imitation of love. It compromises their character. It cannot satisfy the need for love and in the end it is never worth the price of sexual compromise. To be continued.

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