Is True Love Exclusive?

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Jamie from Australia recently wrote, asking:

I have just read your article, I Love You, and I’m curious to know what you think about this: Is it possible for a person to truly and unconditionally love two people at the same time?

I thought only a parent-child love relationship is unconditional. It is very difficult to find a man-woman relationship that is unconditional. Am I right to say that? Does pure love really exist? Have you come across a man or woman who is able to tolerate their loved one loving another person without any feeling of unhappiness, envy, or jealousy?

Jamie, love is unlimited. Love is freedom. Yes, you can love more than one person at the same time, but you need to be able to see past romance and sex, into pure love. Then, assuming that your relationship is True Love, you will know that loving a woman does not have to involve romance. If you have romantic feelings for two women, you have to decide. If you are clearly committed to one of these women, then let go of the romance with the other. You can still love her. You just can’t be “in love” with her.

Retaining her friendship is another story, as that requires her to have a similar mindset. It’s great if that happens, but if it doesn’t you may have to let go of an active friendship with her — unless you can bring her into this higher ground with you.

The bottom line is: You can end a romance without losing the sweetness of the pure love it embodies, even though it may be one-sided.

Pure Unconditional Love

Pure love is the underpinning of genuine romance. Sexual attraction and the type of attraction that fills voids or needs within us are separate from this, but are added into the mix in most relationships. If we can learn to identify these various aspects of attraction, we will also see and feel the underlying unconditional love, if it exists. J. Krishnamurti lectured around this subject quite a bit. His book, On Love and Loneliness explores this.

If we really and honestly look at why we are attracted to and “in love with” certain people, we often see that much of what we call love is really sexual attraction coupled with other “needs.” We try to complete the things we lack, satisfy our sexual desire, and cure our feeling of aloneness. It is often fear and need-based, and fear and need are the opposites of love.

When we employ a ruthless awareness toward our feelings and motivations, we begin to see these aspects. In this process we can discover many things. We may find that what we call love is actually a selfish desire. It is why we might feel possessiveness and jealousy.

But we may also discover that beneath our concern for our own needs and desires, is true love that is not dependant on filling our personal needs.

This true love is expressed and strengthened every time we support our loved one’s spirit and direction in life, even if our own base desires would rather have us maintain static, Freeze-Framed Relationships. When we do this we are practising unconditional love.

I agree that unconditional love is rare in most romantic relationships, at least on the conscious level. We are all learning every day. Most will learn more effective ways to satisfy themselves without regard for others, but some of us will learn the greater lesson that we are all connected; that our individual lives are like sprouts from the same rootstock.

The deeper satisfaction is in seeing and feeling this connection to the whole. It all becomes one, yet seen and felt from an individual perspective.

When we try to articulate these things it sounds intellectual or perhaps dry, but in practice it just feels right, it holds great power, and it frees us from the corrosive influence of selfishness, jealousy, fear, and anger, that destroys so many relationships.

It is a worthy pursuit and it all begins with close and quiet self-examination.

Over to you now…

What do you think? Is love exclusive?

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6 thoughts on “Is True Love Exclusive?

  1. Robin Easton

    I think you handled this in a very deep and beautiful way. And really got to the core of, what are for many, very touchy issues or misunderstood issues. You did an excellent job and shed light on all the key areas that people often get tangled up. This whole article is filled with grace and honesty and done so very articulately. I felt a great peace reading it. Thank you

  2. John Rocheleau Post author

    Robin,

    Thanks for your comment. It’s true this issue is often misunderstood. I see so many couples that do not see the difference between love and need. It is so sad to see these relationships deteriorate into possessiveness, jealously, and anger.

    Once we see the difference, we can more easily work on our own issues and express love freely, without guilt or the feeling that it is somehow wrong to feel true love for a person other our romantic partner.

    Love doesn’t need to be constrained by romance, and when we fully own our needs rather than transfer them as expectations from another, we can allow love to grow and blossom.

  3. David

    Great to see another post from you John!

    I do believe in unconditional love, and within the unconditional, exclusiveness cannot exist.

    To touch the real, unconditional love, is to touch infinity – it spreads and it spreads and it knows no boundaries. The human mind is not designed for understanding infinity, I sometimes think, and the unconditional can be overwhelming and frightening – but I still believe it is the road to walk.

  4. John Rocheleau Post author

    David

    I agree; the human mind has an inherent difficulty with concepts of infinity, especially so, because we usually try to figure things out intellectually.

    Human awareness can experience infinity though. We can lay our mind out like a blanket to absorb experience. The deeper parts of our consciousness can then understand. This silent knowledge is more powerful than intellectual understanding.

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