My surprise was great when, one thing led to another, we ended up talking about probably the most important and yet most complex feeling: Love. It is a heavy subject and it is highly unlikely that this simple article will explore all its facets. I will therefore limit myself to sharing our exchange without more and without even giving you my opinion on the subject.
According to M, «the only unconditional love we can receive is from our parents! » For M, this love has no preconditions. A parent normally gives you unconditional love in the sense that he or she may not even expect anything in return. This parent is just your father or mother, two unique beings for each of us.
M’s reflections seemed obvious to me, full of the common sense that I have known him for more than 20 years now. So, I wanted to know more and understand the implications of this unconditional love that parents show. In particular, what questioned me was the relationship to the Mother. The latter is in my eyes a pivot, an anchor and above all in our social insights, the embodiment of affection, gentleness, parental understanding. And I would like to continue with a question: « Can one grow up without the love of a Mother? »
M pointed out to me that the person who grows up without the love of his Mother, for example, once he is an adult, develops certain behaviours which can, without awareness, penalise his relationship with others. According to M, this would be all the more impacting for the behaviour, since, for example, the Father would not have compensated for the affective inadequacies of the Mother.
Among these behaviours, she quoted me as « the art of dodging ». In adulthood, the person can dodge without apparent reason in the relationship to the Other (spouse for example), or even from one relationship to another. She also talked about another behaviour that she described as “the art of testing” related to dodging. In adulthood, the person always asks the Other for more with aplomb, but once that more is obtained, forgets how it was obtained, and then moves on. In short, the person is testing his or her power to get what he or she wants. Until the day when the Other’s test has gone too far and the Other, in order to protect himself or herself, has « cracked » and refused to answer further to the test and thus provides the proof unconsciously sought by the person, of « I was right, the Other doesn’t love me enough, I did well to test, the Other is not reliable, doesn’t fit me… »
Unconsciously, this unconditionality that he or she has lacked through the parental channel, it is in the Other that the person seeks it. Yet this unconditionality cannot exist with the Other, because the latter is neither his father nor his mother.
In essence, what I retain from this fascinating exchange is that it would be essential for each person to understand that in our relationship with another, we can only receive as much as we give and that we can only give as much as we receive. In short, if there is no reciprocity in the relationship that our parents can have with us, reciprocity is indispensable in the relationship with the Other once he or she is an adult. It is the very basis of mutual respect with the Other, without which no construction is possible … because « The only unconditional love we can receive (without being asked for anything in return) is that of our parents! »