- Does Unconditional Love Make for Healthy Relationships?
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- 3 Things You Can Do To Show You Love Your Partner Unconditionally | Thought Catalog
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This suggests that unconditional love may be rewarding without receiving anything in return. The question becomes whether adults in relationships can also show each other this type of unconditional love. To feel safe in a relationship, it makes sense that you need to feel as though the other person is not going to abandon you based on a whim. You need to know that person is committed to loving you unconditionally no matter what the future brings. The problem is that this definition in romantic relationships can break down under numerous conditions and for good reason.
As much as you might love an alcoholic , a liar, or a cheater unconditionally, this isn't healthy for you as a person.
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This means the definition of unconditional love in romantic relationships needs to be expanded a bit. For love to continue, there must be mutual respect, not an attitude of your partner that "you will put up with me, no matter what I do. This brings us to the topic of unconditional positive regard , probably a closer approximation of what we mean by unconditional love in relationships.
In this sense, unconditional love doesn't mean always giving people what they want or always accepting what they do, at the expense of your own needs. Instead, it is a mature type of love that means treating the other person with love and respect, even while maintaining your boundaries and protecting yourself. Whereas the immature version of unconditional love would have you feeling as though you must be everything to the other person, the mature version has you recognize that your only obligation, in the face of the other's behavior, is to communicate your message with love and respect.
This means being attentive and attuned, even while you are setting limits and boundaries. It also means honoring the requests of others when you are able to do so without harming yourself. It means not being harsh or dismissive, as this does not lead to compromise or solutions. At its core, this is assertiveness —letting the other person know where you stand so that together you can work out the best outcome for the two of you together.
Does Unconditional Love Make for Healthy Relationships?
When we think about how to go about loving someone unconditionally in a relationship, the following points emerge:. We are programmed in life to have conditional love. You love your husband because of his unique traits and qualities that attracted you to him. It's why you love him and not another man.
The question becomes, if he changes, at what point is love withdrawn? True mature love should come with no strings attached. It is a behavior, rather than a feeling, a point of confusion that can lead to the breakdown of romantic relationships. The satisfaction of unconditional love should come from the act of giving it to the other person, not from what you receive in return. If we think about unconditional love as the "expression of our kindest self," it can be maintained even if a relationship does not survive.
You might know couples who still love each other but are no longer together. If a relationship is hurting you more than it is good to you, it is okay to feel unconditional love but let the relationship go. Unconditional love is the choice to strive for the well-being of another. To love unconditionally is to act with love under all conditions. If you have to do something, or be a certain way, in order to receive love, that love is conditional.
If it is given to you freely and without reservation, it is unconditional. Love yourself unconditionally. Unconditional love starts at home, with oneself. Being able to love yourself despite this unsurpassable awareness of your own faults puts you in the position to be able to offer the same to others.
3 Things You Can Do To Show You Love Your Partner Unconditionally | Thought Catalog
You must be able to recognize, accept, and forgive your own imperfections in order to do the same for someone else. Make the loving choice. Love isn't one size fits all; what might be a loving act toward one person could be harmful to another person, in that it doesn't help them get closer to becoming a truly happy human being.
Unconditional love is a new decision you need to make in every situation, not a hard and fast rule you can apply to everyone all the time. For instance, if you have two friends dealing with the loss of a loved one, being the shoulder to cry on and engaging in long talks may be the loving choice for one, while granting some distance and silence may be so for the other. If you aren't sure what is the best way to help someone, you can ask them "How can I help you with this right now?
Forgive those you love. Even if someone doesn't apologize , it's inherently loving to both them and yourself to let go of your anger and resentment toward them. Keep in mind Piero Ferrucci's advice that forgiving "is not something we do, but something we are. Help them to grow and yet know that they are loved. But don't mistake being willing to forgive for letting people walk all over you.
Extricating yourself from an environment in which you are repeatedly mistreated or taken advantage of can be a loving choice for both yourself and the other person. Part of loving someone is fostering their growth as a person, and pain and discomfort are an inescapable part of growth in this life. Unconditional love means doing what you can to make the other person happy and comfortable, but also helping them grow through their inevitable experiences of discomfort.
For example, lying about a dire financial situation to spare pain is likely to foster more pain and distrust in the long run. Instead, be honest, supportive, and eager to work together to find solutions. Accept yourself and those you love as is. You are far from perfect, and yet you are perfectly capable of offering love; they are likewise imperfect, but worthy of being offered love. Unconditional love is about acceptance—about not expecting others to make you happy through their choices and how they live.
Your brother may be notorious for his bad choices, but that should have no bearing upon your love for him. Don't love because of how someone lives, but simply because they live. How do I know if a relationship is emotionally abusive or codependent?
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If you have to ask, there's a good chance something is wrong. If your partner makes you feel like you can't have a life outside of them your own friends, your own hobbies and activities, etc.
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Yes No. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 6. Yes, everyone makes mistakes, and you should be understanding of that. But that doesn't mean you should accept someone making the same mistake over and over again or doing something to intentionally hurt you. Not Helpful 2 Helpful A person makes me unhappy and uncomfortable when I am around them, but I know staying away will hurt them. What should I do? You should do what's best for yourself, because it's ultimately what's best for them too. Even if they can't see it, they deserve to be with someone who is actually happy to be with them, and that person isn't you.
Not Helpful 2 Helpful 8. You just tell them. Give then small surprises that show you're always thinking about them. Spend time with them and make sure they never feel alone. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Luna Rose. It depends on the situation. Your best bet is to ask him. Use "I" Language to express your feelings about what happened. For example, "I felt sad and confused when you didn't answer me yesterday when I tried to talk to you.
What's going on? Good communication is the best way to get to the bottom of what happened. For more ideas on how to start the conversation, check out How to Practice Nonviolent Communication. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 4. Get help. Accepting you for who you are is unconditional love. Making you up into a false image they have created for you is conditional love.
Passion is conditional love. This is why, when the passion runs out, sometimes hatred takes its place. Both are incredibly strong emotions, and when someone we're passionate about does something to hurt us or otherwise change our opinion of them, that passion can turn to hatred.
This is why passion and hatred are both sides of the coin that is conditional love, and this is why neither emotion can or should be present in a mature, long-lasting relationship. You may ask yourself: is it possible to fall in love with someone unconditionally? And the answer is: absolutely! It's not something that just comes along easily, though. Unconditional love is mature love, and so it may be too much to expect someone to love us unconditionally if we become clingy or overly dependent on the other person to fulfill our needs.
You may have heard that it is unhealthy to make your life all about your partner, and this is true. You need friends, hobbies, and other interests besides your partner to balance yourself out. Relying too much on your partner to fulfill all your needs can burn a relationship out, and frankly, it's unfair to your partner.
You need to take care of yourself so that your relationship becomes the cherry on top of the cake, as opposed to the whole cake. Once you ensure that your own needs have been met, then you have a much better chance of seeing your relationship blossom into one that is respectful and filled with unconditional love. Else, your relationship will be barely above that of a relationship between a parent and child: "I expect you to love me forever, no matter how badly I may treat you.
Unconditional love isn't just for parents and pets. Romantic love can become unconditional love, too - in fact, "true love" is synonymous with unconditional love. You'll know you have unconditional love for another person when you don't judge that person for his or her faults, and when you feel and express empathy when they've had a bad day.
Ultimately, unconditional love boils down to something you've heard all your life: you accept your partner when he or she is at their worst, and enjoy them when they're at their best. This is one of those bits of advice that are offered when you're trying to decide if the person you're with is the person to marry. If they've seen you at your worst and they're still in love with you, that one's a keeper. When you love and are loved unconditionally, you don't feel the need to play head games with each other.
You know not to take it personally when they're in a bad mood, and you encourage them to talk about their feelings and offer them the patience and compassion they need to get through it. Above all, you know you're both in it for the long haul and can't see yourselves ever being with anyone else. It is easy to misconstrue the unconditional love meaning by interpreting it to mean that you're justified in loving your partner no matter how they badly they treat you.
While this may be unconditional love, it's also unhealthy. Your partner may feel unconditional love for you, too, but this does not give him or her carte blanche to abuse you, knowing that no matter how badly they treat you, you will always come back. Unconditional love is meant to overlook the little annoyances in a relationship, like eating the last donut and leaving the empty box on the counter or forgetting to put the toilet seat down. Unconditional love is not meant to forgive your partner being physically, emotionally, or verbally abusive toward you.
If you are in an abusive relationship, it is important that you get help and get out.