It created some discomfort within me when I heard people talk about being grateful for love, but I didn’t know exactly why. I couldn’t agree with it, but I chose not to dwell on it at that moment and just ignored it. Recently I revisited that thought and realised exactly why it bothered me. [Now, I don’t mean to ruffle any feathers, rub anyone the wrong way, etc.; I realise that you may not share this perspective, so if you read on, do so with an open mind.]
I don’t believe one should be grateful for love. I believe love, like everything else, is earned by one’s values, by one’s actions, by virtue of each quality one has which deserves to be loved. Love isn’t charity; it’s too valuable to just be given away. Love, like respect, must be earned and in the most honest manner. One can’t pretend to be a different type of person, or behave in a manner foreign to one’s nature to obtain love.
If you work hard to earn an honest living, would you be grateful for your wages? Wouldn’t you believe that you deserve to be paid because you’ve earned it? Surely, if a person loves you, it’s because you deserve to be loved, isn’t it? You aren’t being granted a favor, are you? Maybe you’re lucky to have found the person who recognises the qualities that earn you the right to be loved, but in no way does that warrant gratitude!
Once this is realised, it’s easy to not compromise your person, your values and all the things you hold important. We all live our lives differently, but if and when you reach this understanding, you won’t love someone unless they deserve it, unless they have earned it! When that person does come along, there will be no compromise.
Edit: It must be clarified that the love between a parent and a child is different in that they did not consciously choose each other. Ideally, the parents would see in the child the manifestation of their own values, morals and ideals; that is not always the case and there are parents who love their child regardless…and vice versa. But in any event that is a unique relationship, with different motivations and expectations.