Love; more than just a romantic word.
By: Allison Clymer
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is on everyone’s mind, usually meaning couples are mooning over how wonderful one another is. However, there has been an increased amount of "Galentine’s Day" movements, evolving the day into a day of womanly love or a self-care event. This Feb. 14, challenge yourself to look at another variation of devotion; unconditional love.
According to Dictionary.com, unconditional love is known as "affection without any limitations, or love without conditions.” As described in a Psychology Today article, it is the idea of being loved as we are, which includes unending patience and unselfish mutual love. Relationships that come to mind when faced with these definitions may consist of that of a parent and child, dog and owner, siblings or a lifelong friendships. These relationships may be pushed at times, but at the end of the day, the two care for each other in a way outside of the typical romantic love.
To understand different notions of unconditional love, I interviewed two women with distinctly different stories. The first being Oklahoma State junior, Alex Andrews, who recently rescued a stray cat she now affectionally calls Poke.
How did you meet Poke?
"My dog was attacking him in our backyard, so I saved him. I pulled my dog away and thought the cat would run off, but he just looked back at me like, 'Help me,' so I took him inside."
Did you feel an immediate bond?
"Yes, definitely! I have always loved animals, and there was something about him being so helpless. I knew if I left him he would have died so I couldn’t just leave him."
Do you feel a stronger connection to him compared to your other pets?
"No, I love them all equally. I feel Poke loves me the most, and I am not my other animals' favorites."
Do you think Poke realizes what you have done?
"Yeah, I do. One time I carried him outside, he started to freak out and wonder why he was going outside. We had to put food out sparingly because he would eat it all up ravenously like it could have been his last meal. Now he has calmed down and realized he has food and can take his time. He will only go to sleep if my mom wraps him up in a blanket that smells like me."
Thus, the bond between a rescued pet and their owner is cherished because of the realization that they have a strong, unbreakable connection. On a different note, I interviewed Eva Wiggers, an OSU sophomore, on her adoption.
Where were you adopted from?
"Seoul, South Korea."
How old were you when you were adopted?
"Five months old."
How did your parents meet you?
"They went on a trip to South Korea and visited the adoption agency. They came for 10 days and visited me for a few days before moving back to the states with me as a baby."
What does unconditional love mean to you?
"Loving someone through thick and thin, no matter what."
How do you think your relationship with your siblings [three brothers] is different from biological siblings?
"It didn’t feel any different growing up besides the physical differences, and they never acted like it was different. It felt normal."
Do you think your relationship is different with your parents compared to other peoples?
"A little bit. They came to South Korea, but in a general sense, it is pretty normal. We share Korea as where we met, especially when we went back for my senior trip."
What do you love most about your mom and dad?
"They’ve consistently supported me, and I feel like I can be myself around them. I feel the love they have for me even when I am away at school."
Do believe your love for your parents would have been different if they were biological?
"No, I don’t think so. I was adopted so young I think of them as my biological parents as they are my parents. It’s like the argument of nature versus nurture, and they nurtured me."
Though the feeling of unconditional love may vary in many different relationships, one keyword runs throughout, and that is the support felt. So, this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to show those all-around you, love.