I saw a woman on the beach this weekend with a horribly disfigured face.
I’m ashamed to admit I was curious why. Was it some genetic issue? Of course, you don’t stare, so I only gave discreet, peripheral glances.
What was interesting about this woman though was she was clearly in a relationship. The man she was with was out of shape, but not disgusting; in fact if he lost 40 pounds and cleaned himself up he’d probably be handsome.
He was very affectionate with her, often kissing and caressing her. She was so happy with him. At one point he let her know he was going somewhere — perhaps the ocean, I don’t know — and left her alone.
You could tell when he was gone, she became self-conscious. Her eyes looked scared; she shrank. It was very difficult for her to be out in public, and it was like he shielded her — made her accepted. Without him, she didn’t belong.
After a minute of anxiously looking around, like most of us, she went to her phone. And that’s when I noticed something else: she only had stubs, she was missing the ends of her fingers. Then I began to understand.
Of course, I have no idea what actually happened, but it seems this woman had been in a terrible accident and had been badly burned. I realized her skin had a certain pink shiny quality to it, her hair was short and thin; she wore a baseball cap to cover up the scalp.
Likely, they had been together before the accident, and he had stayed with her through it. She had probably only left the hospital half a year ago.
Why am I telling you this story?
Because much of what you hear these days about the relationships between men and women is that they are transactional. You have TikTok whores demanding tall, rich men and red pill players fixated on 20 year old virgins, urging you to discard a woman the moment she hits “the wall.”
Dating culture today presumes you are using the other; there is no trust between the sexes. When you go on app to meet someone, you are shopping — every person sold as a commodity. Mention the concept of unconditional love in a romantic context, and you are called blue pill — naive.
And maybe it is naive. Attraction isn’t a choice. I’m sure this man, for instance, struggles from time to time seeing his woman’s disfigured face and feeling desire for her. I’m certain part of him has wanted to leave, knowing he can do better.
But he stays. And while I’m sure guilt at key moments has stiffened his resolve, guilt does not make him want to kiss and caress her. He does not do this out of pity.
He does this because he loves her.
Unconditional love like this is not a privilege earned up front. That girl you just met, that you are infatuated with — there is no unconditional love there yet. You are still fulfilling each other’s fantasies. Until you can see the other for more than how they make you feel about yourself — until you have been disappointed by them, yet choose them anyway — your love is still conditional.
Yet unconditional love is also not a right you earn simply by sticking around. Many red pill guys resent the premise of unconditional love because they believed they deserved it simply because they got married. Then they found themselves divorced. These guys thought if you just checked the boxes you’d get a participation trophy; when they lost, they consoled themselves that the game was rigged. They didn’t realize this love exists, but part of you has to die to get it; you must see your woman in a different light.
A parent loves their child unconditionally not simply because in most cases it is their flesh and blood. A parent loves their child unconditionally because they have seen that child in its most raw and vulnerable states. The son who gets into drugs in his 20s and becomes a shell of his former self was once a little boy, learning to walk, singing songs, reading stories. He was the toddler who snuggled up to you on the couch that you had to take to bed. They saw his innocence, they saw his humanity — his soul. Regardless of what he later did, this part of him was impossible to forget and love.
You must see this humanity in your woman to love her unconditionally, as she must see it in you. You must witness her inner child and love her. And to do this, you must witness and love your own.
But if a man does not think he is good enough, he will struggle to do this. If he judges himself, he will judge her. And so his loyalty to her will be transactional. Their love may be real, but it will not root as deep as it could, and will be more fragile to the winds of life.
This doesn’t mean with such a love attraction doesn’t matter. This doesn’t mean you should not aspire to seduce your lover, or that you do not need to offer anything to them, because their love should be unconditional. A “should” itself lacks love; it demands rather than accepts.
This is about potential. This about anchoring all of the basics into a deeper source of connection, that will allow your love to endure even when you are frustrated. Love has layers: what we call “unconditional” is an infinity point that exists on the far end of the spectrum; it is a love that transcends the human condition.
But that does not mean we cannot aspire towards it.
The degree of love possible in your relationship isn’t fixed by biology. It is contingent upon your own capacity to accept imperfection in the human condition.
And the place you must first address this imperfection is in yourself.
Self-hate is projected outward as contempt; self-love as compassion.
You must address your inner dialogue to truly get the relationship you want.
Which is why Module 1 of my masterclass lays out this groundwork in detail, while the remaining 15 hours build upon it with.
Buy it here: https://masterclass.patstedman.com/sales-page