I don't believe romantic love can be can be defind. It is too subjective. Love for family, friends, or even pets is fairly easy for most people to define. This other love, not so much. I don't believe unconditional love exists in romantic relationships. Family, friends, and pets yes.
I believe all of this. One day I may even find it. Pandora is my hero, for of all the things that she let out fo the box, she also gave us HOPE. I cling to hope as if it were a security blanket. It doesn't shield me from the pain, but it does give me the strength to carry on, move forward, and find the beauty in the world despite any pain that I might be feeling at the time.
I don't really think there is such a thing as unconditional love, nor should there be. If a person is abusive, and someone keeps giving to them, that's not love anyway. That would be some sort of pathology playing out. But in normal circumstances, I agree, you shouldn't have to change the fundamentals of who you are to please someone, they ought to accept you pretty much as you are. Doesn't mean they don't get to have needs, though, and ask for what they need and expect you to give something to them as well. I don't mean a tit-for-tat or anything so calculating or mercenary, but instead, the healthy give-and-take of equals or near-equals. I actually like an old communist motto (too bad it has so much political baggage): from each according to their ability, to each according to their need. That seems like a good model for love. Will you be there for me when, how, and if I need you? Will I be there for you the same way? If the answer is "yes", by and large, then it's love.
I'm on board with this statement except for the "they are too busy giving to you". I understand the sentiment but I don't think this aspect always has to be true. The "Giver" personalities (Enneagram 2 "expect to be appreciated in return. Two’s loving has an ulterior motive." [theworldcounts.com]
So IMO, saying unconditional love requires that you should be giving to me is putting a condition on unconditional love.
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are