Cupboard love

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"Cupboard love" is an English phrase referring to affection that is given purely to gain a reward.

The term derives from the way in which a cat will give the person who feeds it superficial "love" (which is not normally exhibited) when it wants to be fed.[citation needed] The phrase is most often applied to human activity, for example when a child will say "I love you so much" before or after requesting a treat, for example an ice cream.

Cupboard love is a milder version of conditional love, where love is given solely in response to certain behaviour. Some local authorities class conditional love as a form of emotional abuse.[1]


  1. ^ "Strange Justice", 2007-08-23. Retrieved on August 25, 2007.