It’s love of course! Perhaps it should carry a health warning.
In my youth I had no selection process at all, I just loved without question and suffered the consequences, the hurt, when it came along. As I get older I have become aware of keeping the “essence” of me, my soul, safe in my relationships with others. But how can I love with the “safety” on?
Am I now going through life carrying out risk assessments before I decide to invest in loving someone or not? And for those I already love, am I taking a part of me back; holding it in safe-keeping?
Well, I still do love, very much, but with different levels of expectation. I love now in a simultaneously selfish and selfless way; selfish in that I give what I can of me, and selfless in that I give it without demand for anything in return.
The all or nothing approach to love is too exhausting and yet too limiting to be sustainable, and laden with disappointment.
I am thankfully long past the naive love of my teenage years, where I imagined all kinds of perfection in those I handed my heart to, and thank God. What a recipe for disaster. Now, I take people for what they( we) are, flawed human beings; and if those flaws are ones I can cope with, and the positive in them offsets any negative aspects, then great.
I haven’t dropped my standards. I just love those I do in a “perfectly” accepting and embracing way.