Determining if a love is truly selfless is sometimes hard to do. One can love someone else with their whole heart and truly want what is best for the other person while harboring selfish motives. An example of this would be trying to get someone you love who does not feel the same way about you together with someone you know so you can still be a part of that person’s life. While you really want what is best for that person and you may even think they would be a good match for the person you are hooking them up with, the motives are still selfish.
If a person truly loves another person with all of their heart it is often hard to keep his or her own wants and desires out of the picture because everything the other person does affects the one who loves them in some way. In a sense you cannot think about what is best for the other person without thinking about what is best for yourself. The other person has become so much a part of you that you cannot love them with a truly selfless love. You have become one and it is therefore almost impossible to determine where your own wants and desires end and the other person’s begin.
Is this necessarily a bad thing? If you have reached this point and you are not in a serious relationship with the other person it could be bad thing. However, in a marriage or a fully committed relationship this can be a good thing. It can also be a bad thing if you automatically assume the other person thinks and wants the same things as you. Of course, even at this point one can be totally selfish. On the other hand, one can still attempt to be selfless.
Essentially, the whole thing comes down to one’s definition of selflessness. Does selfless mean not putting any of yourself in the picture? If so then it is very hard to truly exercise selfless love. Does selfless love mean putting the other person’s wants and desires ahead of your own? That can also be difficult to determine. Maybe unconditional love is a better term to use. Unconditional love means loving the other person no matter what and always wanting what is best for him or her.