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Unconditional Love: How to Identify, Give or Nurture it in Your Life

Unconditional Love: How to Identify, Give or Nurture it in Your Life

Updated on May 27, 2022 | Published on Feb 03, 2022

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Unconditional Love - How to Identify, Give or Nurture it in Your Life

Do you always fantasize about your partner showering unconditional love on you?

Do you also spend most of your time daydreaming about relationships?

Ah! If you said yes, you already know how rare unconditional love is.

You, me, infact all of us have our own definition and expectations from “unconditional love”. But, believe me, it is just the tip of the iceberg!

Relationships are not easy-peasy. Especially when you love without conditions. Sometimes, you get so involved in loving your partner that you do not know where to stop. This can be a harmful practice. It can hamper your mental health.

To protect yourself from spiraling down the cul-de-sac of a toxic relationship, I’ve done a threadbare analysis about unconditional love here. Everything from what it is and what it isn’t.

So, without any further ado, let’s keep rolling.

Unconditional Love Infographics

Unconditional Love - Definition & Characteristics
Unconditional Love – Definition & Characteristics
Unconditional Love - Benefits & How to Love Unconditionally
Unconditional Love – Benefits & How to Love Unconditionally

What is Unconditional Love?

Summary
Unconditional love means loving someone without being concerned about getting anything in return. You can have these feelings for anyone, even a random stranger. It is a rare sight to see a person loving someone unconditionally.

A significant problem with unconditional love in relationships is the prevailing ignorance of its actual meaning.

When asked about the meaning of unconditional love, people usually say, “a love that knows no bounds”.

Like, the love of a mother for her child. Motherly Love can be an example of unconditional love, but boundless love is not how we define it.

In the true sense, unconditional love means displaying genuine care and affection towards a person without being concerned about what you would get out of it.

It means being devoted to someone without expecting anything in return.

Unconditional love means loving someone through their thick and thin… through all the darkest hours, testing times or worrisome situations.

Even when they make blunders, push you on the edge, or press your buttons… You keep loving them, no questions asked.  This type of love is rare.

Now, these tender feelings can come out for anyone. It need not be your lover, children, or anyone related to you. It can also be a total stranger.

A perfect example can be Mother Teresa, who wanted happiness on the faces of poor people without expecting anything in return.

Now, that is just one beautiful example of unconditional love. Keep reading to know about more of such heart-warming examples.

Unconditional Love examples

Unconditional love is not just shared among romantic lovers. There are so many types of bonds that possess unconditional love for each other.

Here are some examples that will help you create a clear picture about unconditional love.

  1. When you are making a mess while eating cheese pizza, your partner says, I love how adorable you look with that cheese all over your mouth.
  2. When your Mom says that, she will always be proud of the person you are, irrespective of whatever major you choose in college.
  3. When your Dad cheers you up after you end up getting low scores in your SAT exams… and says that his love for you will never change, no matter what.
  4. After an argument, when your friend says they disagree with you, they understand your opinion and respect it.
  5. When you finally get into Harvard, your best friend congratulates you by saying how happy he is for you. He seems so excited for you because he knows you’ve moved mountains for this.
  6. When you check your bag after a long day of meetings and find a lunch box from your wife. It says, I know you have a long day today, so I made your favorite pancakes. Love, Honey.
  7. When your grandma sends gifts to you on Christmas along with a beautiful letter that makes you wiser every year.
  8. When your boyfriend gets you a scarf from the store because it was cold outside. Says how it reminded him of you when he spotted it at the store.
  9. When your Dad packs your lunch and asks you for a goodbye kiss before leaving for school. He asks you to have fun at school and enjoy your lunch.
  10. When the owner of a popular cafe provides free food to the few homeless people in his locality.

Now that we’ve read some examples of unconditional love in human relationships, let’s move on to understand what is NOT unconditional love.


What Unconditional Love isn’t?

As I said earlier, there is a common misconception about unconditional love. Many people are unaware of the boundaries they should set for themselves while loving someone without conditions.

There is a difference between forgiving and accepting abuse in the name of love.

So, to give you more clarity in the context of unconditional love, I have listed a few points that help you identify what unconditional love is NOT.

1. Not addressing the issues in your relationship.

It is normal to experience disagreements in a relationship. But unconditional love is not about ignoring your partner’s shitty behavior.

Let’s say your partner wants to buy an expensive television and spend all the joint savings for. But you were saving to buy a home.

You still love them but this doesn’t mean you must agree to their irresponsible act just for the sake of love.

Discuss it with them and if they disagree, move on. Trust me, It is the best thing to do.

2. You start being inconsiderate about your own needs.

Loving someone unconditionally definitely means that you care for them a lot. But this does not mean neglecting your own needs. You should avoid creating such an unhealthy pattern in your relationship.

Your wants and desires are just as important. If they cannot provide you with respect and support, they do not deserve your unconditional love.

For a healthy relationship, it is necessary to take care of yourself.

3. You tolerate their bad behavior in the name of love.

If you do not feel safe, the relationship is not worth it. It is a vital aspect of every healthy relationship.

Your partner might abuse you under the effect of too much alcohol. But you cannot ignore it by telling yourself that they were drunk and did not “mean” to hurt you.

If your partner cannot quit drinking, you must walk out of this toxic relationship. They are responsible for their behavior. You should not let any kind of abuse slide by.

Unconditional love definitely is rare and beautiful but love with conditions is not ALL bad.

There are subtle differences between conditional and unconditional love…. And you must know them to distinguish between the two.


Conditional vs. Unconditional Love

Unconditional love is more popular than conditional love, for sure. We have all heard more buzz around loving someone unconditionally than loving someone with conditions. But the reality is entirely different.

Most people fall in love to fulfill certain wants… It may be to satisfy a romantic love interest in life or just to feel special and valued.

But the primary question remains the same: how do you identify the two? Here’s how.

Basis of ComparisonUnconditional LoveConditional Love
DefinitionUnconditional love is about loving someone without conditions. But for the relationship to succeed, it is necessary to define healthy boundaries.Conditional love is the type of love that can continue only when certain conditions are met. But, usually, it is healthy because boundaries are clearly defined.
IntensityUnconditional love is deep and extremely passionate as the giver does not expect anything in return. This makes it profound.The reality of conditional love is that it sounds shallow. It is conditional and cannot be called love in the true sense. This is why it cannot be called profound.
ControlIn unconditional love, you are not controlled by any defined traits of your lover.In conditional love, you love someone because you feel controlled by some particular facet of theirs. If you are no longer attracted to that facet, it no longer drives you, and you fall out of love.
PassionUnconditional love might have passion, but it is not a prerequisite. Passion can fade with time, but unconditional love will not.Passion, in itself, is a condition. When a relationship runs out of passion, the emotion turns into hatred. You feel like the person has changed. This is because you loved them with conditions.
ManipulationIn unconditional love, your partner does not manipulate you to dress or behave the way they want. They love you for who you are.In conditional love, your partner is concerned about your attributes and constantly tries to manipulate you into behaving and dressing the way they want you to.
MaturityLoving someone without conditions is a sign of maturity. It indicates that you have found the spiritual treasures in life.Loving with conditions can be defined as immaturity or less maturity. It is indicative of the selfish traits in a person.
AttainableLoving someone without a single condition seems hard to attain. Only very few humans are able to offer this kind of love to another.Loving with conditions is a pretty common sight nowadays. For most people, it is easy to attain.
HealthyUnconditional love is healthy only to a certain extent. If a person does not know when to stop, it can become unhealthy and ultimately, toxic.Conditional love does not usually get toxic because some boundaries are clearly specified.
ActUnconditional love is a selfless act. It requires you to keep giving love to another person with no expectations in return.Conditional love, however, is self-centered. Your own desires are your first priority when you love someone with conditions.
HurtWhen you love someone without conditions, you prevent yourself from hurting them at any cost.When you love someone with conditions, you tend to hurt your partner if they do not meet your demands anymore.
BoundariesIt is important to set healthy boundaries in unconditional love so that you don’t end up sacrificing all of yourself in a relationship.Boundaries are not a mandate when you love someone with conditions. The conditions themselves act as boundaries in the relationship.
HatredYou are less likely to hate someone when you love them without conditions. Even if your partner is not appropriate for you, you choose to move on with forgiveness and love.When you love someone with conditions, you tend to stay with them till the time they make you happy by meeting your demands. As soon as it stops, you start developing hatred for the person.
ReliabilityWhen someone loves you unconditionally, you can rely on them. You know, your partner will be there for you, no matter what.When your love involves conditions, your partner might not be there for you if they feel that their demands are not satisfied. So, you cannot really rely on your partner.
ExampleWhen you love Taylor Swift because you have been mesmerized by her for your whole life without any particular reason. Whether she makes music or not, just knowing about her existence makes you feel giddy. It is unconditional love.When you love Taylor Swift because of her music, but recently you feel like she has not been producing the music that you like. So, your love for her diminishes when she does not make your type of music. This is conditional love.

That should be enough to help you spot conditional and unconditional love.

However, Unconditional love can quickly transform into abuse if there are no clear boundaries.

You can set boundaries only when you know the difference between abuse and unconditional love. It might get really confusing because there’s only a thin line between the two.  

So, let me help you define it.


Abuse vs. Unconditional Love

If you love someone without conditions, it becomes easy to believe that you are doing things out of love.

But in reality, you might be just tolerating abuse in the name of love. Loving without conditions does not mean letting your partner treat you like shit.

If you do not set boundaries and prioritize yourself, it gives your partner a clear pass to take you for granted.

They know that no matter how bad they treat you, you will always love them the same. This is not right.

It is important to set healthy boundaries to have a healthy relationship. If your boundaries are being violated, your relationship is not healthy.

It’s also a possibility that your partner pretends to love you just because they can treat you at their own will. They know they can ignore your feelings and still feel loved. These are definitely not the signs of a healthy relationship.

And, if you continue to love someone unconditionally despite the abuse, then your love is not true either.

You only love them because they manipulated you into doing so, or you might fear living without them.

All the things talked about here are sufficient to tell you the difference between abuse and unconditional love.

So, if you relate to it, stop lying to yourself and accept that the person you love unconditionally is not the right one for you.

Yes, unconditional love is all about compromises and sacrifices, but never prioritize it above your authentic self. You don’t deserve that, do you?


Unconditional Love Characteristics

When you love someone unconditionally, there is nothing in it for you. It is a selfless gesture. Sometimes, its characteristics might also overlap with that of other types of love.

Here are some key characteristics that will help you recognize unconditional love among all others.

1. It is beneficial for your emotional health.

A 2009 study found there were regions in your human brain that were triggered while experiencing unconditional love.

This indicates that the reward system of your brain works in unconditional love exactly as it does in romantic love.

In a nutshell, the act of loving someone unconditionally can instill positivity in the receiver.

Numerous researches suggest that unconditional parental love can contribute to the longevity and wellbeing of the child.

It also protects them from the despair caused by childhood trauma and abuse.

2. It provides you with a sense of security

Unconditional love brings security to your life. You feel confident in all aspects of your life when you know that someone will always love you and is there to back you, no matter what happens.  

This security increases your sense of self-worth. You feel comfortable about making your own choices and you are willing to learn from those choices as you go.

Unconditional love doesn’t wither away. It stays, irrespective of the challenges.

3. It is selfless

The most vital characteristic of unconditional love is that it is altruistic. Selflessness means giving with no expectations of any kind of return.

But, often, this act comes at your own expense. This makes selflessness a bone of contention in unconditional love.

Healthy relationships are supposed to make both parties feel good. It should not be about the happiness of just one person at the expense of the other.

This is exactly why you must have certain boundaries in relationships.

4. It is forgiving and accepts you for who you really are.

Well, everybody makes mistakes. Like it’s said, to err is human. But, unconditional love requires you to be unconditionally accepting towards your partner.

You are supposed to love someone even if their actions hurt you. Unconditional love does not change with a change in the actions of the individual.

But it is important for you to recognize when these hurtful actions might become a habit. Protecting your mental peace should be your first priority.

5. It is free of expectations

In conditional love, you want your partner to be caring and passionate towards you. You want to spend more time with them or at least talk to them once a day.

But unconditional love allows us to take a step further than this. It makes you free from the clutches of these expectations.

You start loving your partner for who they are. So, you accept them in every manner without expecting the same from them.

6. It does not play the blame game

Well, if you are in love, you wouldn’t want to hurt your partner. And if you do it unintentionally, you will want to take responsibility for it.

You will never want to put your partner in a spot where they are proved wrong. You will love working on your mistakes to see them happy.

Also, you will want to avoid all sorts of arguments with your partner. Hence, you wouldn’t hesitate to accept your mistakes.

When you are in love, you forgive and allow each other’s mistakes. You make every action of your partner a part of your journey too.

It helps you two share a stronger bond.

7. It includes letting go

Loving somebody doesn’t mean you have to control them. There must not be a feeling of inferiority or superiority in a healthy relationship. You must support your partner in whatever they want to do. 

A healthy relationship gives freedom to both partners. So, set your partner free, honey.

You must have heard the quote, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, then it never was.” Well, consider this as a golden rule for any relationship.

As a partner, you must provide them enough space to live their own life. They must not feel captivated in the relationship at any point in life.

8. It doesn’t mean you have to ‘be’ in a relationship.

Love doesn’t demand anything, right? So, it is not necessary that your partner has to be with you or you have to be with them to prove your love.

Often, it happens that you love somebody wholeheartedly, but you are not compatible with them. You two fail to stay strong together, or the person keeps disregarding or ignoring your feelings.

It doesn’t mean that you have to forget them. You can love them from a distance.

Nobody says that to love somebody, you must be with them.

9. It doesn’t believe in jealousy.

Jealousy finds no space in mature and healthy relationships.

When you love your partner unconditionally, you are never jealous of them.

There is a false notion among the youngsters that if you aren’t jealous of your partner, you are not in love with them. But why must you be jealous?

In love, you will not put anything above your partner’s happiness… even if it’s with someone else.

10. It makes you fearless

Being in love is one of the most special feelings, isn’t it? You feel appreciated, valued, contended, happy, and satisfied. There is no room for fear in your relationship because you know your partner will always be with you.

When you have someone, you tend to become fearless… and unconditional love gives you a chance to experience it. 

11. It is a burning desire

You will often find yourself in situations where you don’t know whether you actually need someone in your life or just admire their presence.

Well, let me burst the bubble for you. When you “need” someone, you will find it difficult to find a life without them. It leads to fear. But remember, where there is love, there is no fear.

So, you must always desire someone. Desires are liberating. It gives them the space to leave but doesn’t mean that you still cannot love them.

In simple terms, if they are with you, you appreciate their presence in your life. But if they are not, you are happy that they are living on their own terms. It doesn’t affect your feelings for them.

12. It is an action

We all long for love because it makes us feel special. We want to feel loved forever because knowing that someone values you feels like a blessing.

But let me tell you a secret here: The ‘special’ feeling might fade after a few years of togetherness.

No, don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t mean that you two don’t love each other anymore.

But with time, you feel that your partner already knows that you love them. So, you stop taking efforts for them like you used to.

However, this must not be the case. No matter how old your relationship is, always take action to show your partner that you appreciate their presence and the bond that you share with them.

13. It requires attention

Some couples have a misconception that being together is enough. That is the end of the story. But hey, no.

When you are in a relationship, you must give time to your partner. It doesn’t mean going out with them every alternate date or talking to them on the phone for hours.

It means undivided attention and unwavering commitment.

When you are in love with somebody, how can you even expect to ignore them? No. That is not what love does.

Moreover, giving attention to your partner’s details must not seem like a burden to you. It must happen willingly.

14. It varies for everyone.

People are different, and so is their love language. You cannot expect your partner to love you in the same manner as you do. But yes, try to discover how they feel loved.

Gary Chapman has explained five ways of giving and receiving love in his book ‘The Five Love Languages.’

He mentions that words, acts of service, giving gifts, spending time together, and touching are five common ways to make your partner feel special.

Talk to your partner and find out about their love language, and reciprocate the same.

15. It has empathy

Empathy is fitting yourself in someone else’s shoes and trying to observe a situation from their perspective. Where there is love, empathy comes naturally.

You will always try to be empathetic towards your partner and find out why they responded in a particular manner. It makes them feel valued and appreciated.

Always remember, unconditional love makes you feel good. There are no negative feelings attached to love.

And when you know someone is trying to understand you, it is one of the best feelings.

Now, you know the vital characteristics of unconditional love. But how do you identify it? Keep scrolling to know about the signs of unconditional love.  


Signs of unconditional love in a romantic relationship

Unconditional love can be in the last slice of pizza that you leave in the box by choice. It can be in the breakfast that you cook for your partner.

Or, it can also be in the random “I Love You” in the middle of the day.

Every human expresses love in different ways, no matter what kind it is.

But there are few things that never change, including…

1. They have your back no matter what.

A healthy relationship is one where the partners are always supportive of each other. You deserve a partner you can rely on.

Unconditional love can make you protective. But, it will never make you obsess over your partner to the point that it might suffocate them.

Your partner will give you space and appreciate your accomplishments. But, they will also be there for you when you fail.

In a nutshell, they will be with you through all… black or white!

2. You are honest about your feelings with them and vice versa.

When in love, it is easy to lower your guards. If someone loves you unconditionally, they will not judge you for your choices. You are not afraid to be vulnerable in front of your partner.

Your relationship feels safe. Both of you know every little detail about each other. From your icky nail-biting habit to your goofy expressions, they like everything about you.

3. They place you and your requirements above their own

What is better than a partner who can put you and your needs above their own? But this does not mean making endless compromises. Your partner is not supposed to make sacrifices every single time.

When a person is genuinely in love, prioritizing their partner does not seem like a sacrifice. They do it out of love.

When there is unmatchable understanding and mutual respect for each other, no surrender feels like a defeat.

4. There are discussions, not arguments

Well, it is normal to have a difference in opinion with your partner when you are in a relationship. But, when someone loves you unconditionally, they do not bring their ego into the conversation.

They understand that there is no right or wrong in the discussion. It is two mature people trying to figure out a middle ground that accommodates both of their POVs.

Finding a middle ground is necessary to avoid conflicts.

5. They forgive you for your mistakes from the heart.

 Your partner might get mad at you when you make mistakes. But, eventually, they will forgive you. They will not try to make you feel like a cheat for making mistakes.

They will look at the bright side and accept you for who you are. They are proud of your authentic nature and would not try to change it. 

Unconditional love definitely makes you feel delighted and wholesome. But that is not all. It also does a lot of good to your body and mind.

6. They will support your dreams.

You can be two different people working in different professions…. And still be in love with each other just the same.

A true partner will always support your dreams even if it doesn’t make much sense to them. They will help you follow your passion and ideals.

Your opinions can be different, but they will want you to reach the stage you always desired for. 

At times, if you need their help with something to move a step further towards your goal, they will be happy to help.

Your partner will try to understand what you are trying to do and suggest better ideas for excelling at it.

7. They handle the vulnerable you.

Life is not always rosy, and you will not always feel good. Yes, you have to be strong to deal with the problems.

But aren’t there times when you break down completely? Your real partner will be your support system in these circumstances. They will take immense care of you until you feel strong again.

It is a very important aspect of any relationship because love is not always about rainbows.

You have to surpass the rain to witness the rainbows. And only your partner can help you get out of this vulnerability.

8. They are proud of you.

Honestly, I have seen a few relationships where the partners are jealous of each other’s success.

One of them wants to be more successful than the other one. Can we really call it ‘love’ then? Of Course NOT.

If someone is in love with you, they will want you to succeed. They will be proud of how you have won over your battles and are still racing forward. 

A real partner will boast about your successes in front of their friends and family members. They will be the first ones to clap for you whenever you achieve something. 

9. They respect you.

There is no relationship without respect. And if your partner doesn’t respect you, please walk out. PLEASE! And when I say respect you, it not only means respecting in private but in public as well.

Your partner must not mock you in front of his friends and family members.

Rather if someone is crossing their limits and trying to pull you down, your partner must be the first one to raise a voice. Remember, respect is a sign of a mature relationship. 

A partner can only disrespect you when they feel insecure about you or don’t value the relationship.

10. They will let their ego stay aside.

Fights are a sign of a healthy relationship if you fight out of concern for each other. During times of heated argument, your partner will try to calm you down and not blow things up.

They wouldn’t play the blame game with you or let their ego ruin the situation. Instead, they will analyze the situation and figure out the solution rather than focusing on who is right. 

To know more merits of unconditional love, sit tight and keep reading.


Benefits of Unconditional Love

According to researchers, unconditional love plays a vital role in the growth of an individual. The love that you get helps you love and accept your own self.

A child with a healthy childhood and parents who loved them unconditionally tends to become more confident and developed as an individual.

Other than that, here are a few points that will shed light on how unconditional love can benefit an individual.

1. You experience more happiness

When you are less criticizing and more accepting, life opens a new door in front of you. The world is full of happiness.

The essence of euphoria arrives in your dull world. And, that is when you feel you can’t even make the people around you happy. 

This beautiful feeling is one of the benefits of loving unconditionally. Whether you get something in return or not, you always feel good about yourself.

The beauty of being a giver is not something everyone understands.

2. Your optimism is high.

Optimistic thoughts and opinions are commonplace when you love someone unconditionally. Dreaming about your partner gives you the utmost pleasure.

On dark days, just the sight of your partner fills you with a lot of positive energy.

You see the world with a new set of eyes. You embrace your flaws and move ahead with them because you know that no matter what, the love of your partner will never reduce.

Instead, it just keeps on increasing with time.

3. Your mood never sees a dull day

Positivity revolves around you. Yes, you are filled with optimism when you see your partner.

But, you continue feeling good, even when they’re not around. You see the positive sides of every aspect. Negativity stays miles away from you. 

You do not get irritated when someone is constantly honking at you while waiting in the traffic.

You do not get icky when the lift takes too long to arrive. You start loving life because of the unconditional love you receive and give.

4. You’re not as stressed as before

The stress of being criticized and not being accommodated into society is devastating. It can leave you in shambles. We humans usually take criticism to heart. 

Questioning your existence every minute can burden you endlessly. All of this can lead you to the path that spirals down to depression and other mental health issues. 

But, all of this can be eradicated when you practice self-compassion through unconditional love. It leads you to a stress-free life where you do not fear judgments.

5. You are becoming a strong individual by the day

Every minute you spend loving without conditions, you grow up to become a strong individual.

Circumstances often make you strong, but in some cases, it destroys your value as an individual. That can be restored when you practice self-care and love yourself with conditions. 

By exercising self-help, you become a strong personality with each passing day. It is also helpful when you receive love unconditionally from other people.

Like, your parents and your friends. Their affection helps you grow stronger.

6. You are filled with curiosity and need for exploration.

When you love someone without conditions, you are curious about everything they do. For adopting a healthy lifestyle, you have to be curious and possess the innate urge for exploration.

This way, you learn with each passing day. This also gives you a reason to keep moving. 

Have you ever tried to know if your partner sleeps with their mouth open or not? Or how they crunch their nose at the sight of broccoli in lunch?

If yes, well, the love is seeping deep in your heart.

7. You are considerate about others’ opinions

You learn to find a middle ground when you love someone without conditions. You try to understand their point of view and do not let your ego come in the way. You become more accepting. 

Acceptance brings peace and teaches you valuable lessons that cannot be learned if you stay stubborn with your beliefs.

You become more open to the idea of seeing things with your partner’s POV.

There is a sense of empathy in you for your partner. 

8. You chase perfection

You always want to impress the love of your life. This is why you try to attain perfection in everything.

You keep things spick and span so that your partner doesn’t miss out on the efforts you put in the relationship.  

This desire to impress your partner arises automatically because of your unconditional love for them.

Thus, you try to chase perfection in every field of your life but also understand that perfection is when you put your best… not when the world approves of it.

When in love, you love the things you do and do the things you love. This is beneficial to you… in both ways, physically and mentally.

 9. You find it easier to understand the emotions of other people

Once you are out of your cave, the beautiful world is standing there to welcome you. You may fall into the puddles, but there will always be the sun shining above to remind you to get up and move ahead.

The presence of a partner in your life is enough to provide you with all the support you need.

You become more empathetic towards everyone around you. This comes from the experience of trying to understand your partner. It also fills your life with positivity. 

10. You find it easier to explore your own feelings.

Yes, we talked about all types of unconditional love we receive from people around us. But, we cannot ignore the most important one. It is called loving yourself unconditionally.

Self-compassion is vital for every individual to grow and prosper in life. When you love yourself unconditionally, you start understanding yourself better.

I know it is difficult. But the day you start loving yourself will be the day when no criticism can become an obstruction. Remind yourself every minute that you are enough! 

But as we all know, thereromantuc  are two sides to every coin. So, after merits comes demerits. Some significant demerits of unconditional love are listed below. Sit tight and read ahead.


Dangers of Unconditional Love

Love is, indeed, blind. Sometimes, people are so blinded by love that they end up sacrificing all of themselves for it.

It should not be called love when only one person takes all the responsibilities. Or when only one person is compromising and accepting.

If you still don’t know the damage one-sidedness can do to your relationship, here are five dangers of unconditional romantic relationships.

1. Your partner might become too dependent on you.

Do not get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with doing things for your partner. But, love is not just about giving. It is also about receiving as much as you give.

If you do not share equal responsibilities with your partner, they will become lazy. Such laziness can cause conflicts when you have too much on your plate and cannot help your partner.

They might have a laid-back approach to everything in life. In the end, they might take you for granted and stop caring at all.

2. You don’t feel good emotionally.

How you feel while with someone, is a clear indicator of how that person treats you. If your partner is not treating you well, you will not feel good at the end of the day.

If you find yourself becoming submissive, like agreeing to everything they say, it’s time you need to define a few boundaries.

It does not matter how sacrificing or understanding you are. If you say sorry for everything, it is time to move on.

3. You are never at peace

You cannot allow your partner to treat your feelings like a doormat. They cannot walk over you just because they wish to.

Your dreams and passions are equally important, and you should not sacrifice them for love.

Love is selfless. But it is not supposed to destroy your happiness and freedom. If you find yourself investing in a relationship that leads you to lose your identity, it is time you identify this as a warning sign. Or else, you might be taken for granted. It can leave you heartbroken.

4. You want it to be timeless

If you’re on the receiving end of unconditional love, it’s natural for you to expect it to be endless… because love has no end, right? Wrong.

The other person may start falling out of love, no matter how much he/she loves you. At some point, the human nature of “I want something in return” starts to poke in the nose and gradually take over.  

You may feel betrayed when this happens and find it difficult to trust anyone else later in life.

5. Your partner expects you to love even if they cheat

Yes, most people fail to fathom the value of this rare form of love and take advantage of it.

They want you to love them even when they lie to you on your face, cheat you on your back and hurt you incessantly.

Well, honey… this may leave you scarred for life.  

These dangers can haunt you. If you do not want to fall prey to such toxic relationships, you should set boundaries. Here’s how you can do that.


Unconditional Love Boundaries

A relationship needs to have some clear boundaries. A healthy relationship is not just one-sided unconditional love with an imbalance of power.

It is a mutually respectful bond with equal contribution of trust and care from both parties.

Here are a few tips to help you love your partner unconditionally while prioritizing your needs and desires too.

1. Keep transparency in your communication.

The first step to setting boundaries is communicating. Whether you need to set boundaries in the financial aspect of your life or the emotional one, talking about them would be the first step.  

To avoid conflicts, start with something that both are comfortable talking about. Gradually, you can move on to the nail-biting subjects.

2. Have a life outside your relationship. 

Giving your partner some space and letting them have their Me time is very important. Discuss what makes your partner happy aside from you.

This way, you can focus on other aspects of life. You will not feel suffocated with constantly being around each other. Your Me time will make you feel relaxed and happy.

3. Do not dismiss your feelings

Your sense of self is protected by your feelings. When you stop communicating your feelings, you will lose your sense of individuality.

This is why it is mandatory to discuss your ambitions and dreams with your partner.

You should take a stand for everything from your self-respect to your choices of financial spending. You cannot give up your authentic self for the sake of love.

Your preferences are what make you, YOU. So, do not change them for anyone.

4. Talk about SEX!

Discuss the things you find sexually uncomfortable with your partner. Do not hesitate in telling them what you are willing to try and what you are not willing to try.

Make sure that they never violate your sexual boundaries because it is not just unhealthy, it is a form of abuse.

Experimenting is fun but only if both the parties agree to it. You should have proper consent of your partner before you let them participate in any activity.

5. Respect the privacy of your partner on social media.

Do not forget to discuss the subject of sharing passwords of your mobile phones or your social media accounts. If you are not willing to let them invade your privacy, be clear about it.

Your partner might not be into sharing happy pictures on social media. Instead, spending some quality time with you might be their immediate priority.

Respect each other’s opinions and find a middle ground.

Well, we have successfully defined the boundaries. So, now let us look at how to love someone unconditionally.

Keep reading to uncover the pretty secrets to loving someone unconditionally.


How to love unconditionally?

Loving someone without conditions means giving your affection, support, and compassion to them endlessly. Or as the name suggests, without any conditions

It may sound ideal but often it’s very hard to achieve. However, if you are successful, it serves as a blueprint about the correct way to maintain a relationship, romantic or otherwise.

So, here are a few tips to love someone unconditionally.

1. Establish clear expectations

Honesty is the best policy is applicable here as well. Sometimes, it might be easy to go the way they want you to.

But, it is mandatory to have self-respect. It is equally important to maintain boundaries between your wishes and forced deeds. 

They will never know your true self if you keep the guards up. Transparency will prevent toxicity in a relationship.

And if your partner is willing to give you the same transparency, it will be a cherry on the cake.

2. Strike deep conversations

Sit down and talk about troubling matters. Invite them over on a lazy afternoon and ask them their expectations with this relationship and also express yours.

The more you know about them, the more unconditional your love will be. Never keep your views and opinions caged because your partner may not understand. Work upon them together.

3. Listen!

Listeners are as equally desirable as speakers. A good listener always provides a platform to the speaker to be more precise, authentic, and confident.

When your partner is talking, learn to listen to them with absolute focus.

If you don’t listen and only speak, it will be overbearing for your partner.

In fact, sometimes it may also lead to conflicts due to lack of communication and misunderstandings.

4. Communicate about everything

There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, effective communication cannot resolve. Without proper communication, both of you will soon find yourselves engaged in the “blame game”. 

And in the heat, if either of you makes a defensive statement, it will create a vicious circle. This circle continues to increase your temper and lead you to hot debates. This might worsen everything.

So, healthy communication before the matter gets out of hand, is a win-win

5. Don’t let anyone control you

If you feel that your partner is manipulating you and the decisions you make, then take a backstep. This will not always be possible, but your boundaries and safety come first. 

Think about yourself first and never let others put you in a spot or treat you in an unfair manner. Infact, you must reach out to your partner and communicate how their actions have been bothering you of late.

6. Seek balance in power

There is no such thing as “upper-hand” or “lower-hand” in relationships. Seeing your relationship as a race or any kind of contest gives birth to such feelings.

Equality and equity in power in a relationship can make it long-lasting. 

Opting for balance from both sides will keep the love scale steady and stable.

Valuing each other, respecting views, understanding decisions, emotional support, happiness, and contentment from one another points towards unconditional love.

6. Don’t be blinded by love.

Often new couples find everything beautiful about their partner. In this golden period, they tend to ignore the flaws in their partner.

Over time, these flaws become a problem in the relationship and result in everyday arguments.

Hence, you must love someone unconditionally but only after knowing their reality. Don’t be blinded by love and overlook their good or bad conditions.

7. Make the choice

Unconditionally loving someone is hard. You feel every pain of theirs. Your stomach aches for peace unless you find them out of problems.

There can be some difficult times when you don’t know how to help your love in a particular situation.

During such instances, it is always a better idea to ask them, “What should I do to help you right now?” 

Often, life can throw difficult choices at you. For example, your parents and your partner may need you at the same time. You love them both unconditionally. But for whom will you be present?

At such times, please make a loving and wise choice so that nobody is hurt. And they must understand what you went through to make that choice.

8. Forgive them

Who doesn’t make mistakes? But you must not hold lifelong grudges for them. Whether a person apologizes or not, you must always forgive the people you love for a peaceful relationship. 

If your partner hurts you in anger, the best thing to do will be to inform them that they hurt you. On the contrary, you must also forgive them.

This way, you will help them grow and feel loved which will calm their anger. However, ensure that your partner doesn’t take advantage of this habit of yours. 

9. Don’t shield them from discomfort and pain. 

Loving somebody doesn’t mean you don’t put them in painful situations. Yes, you care for their feelings but don’t hide the pain from them. 

I know you want to see them happy and satisfied. But hiding pain and discomfort will only lead to trust issues in the future.

Instead, try to be honest and supportive. Ask for suggestions from your partner and solve the problems together.

10. Be patient

Everything feels warm and special during the good days. Unconditional love is put to test during tough times. You will face many ups and downs during your relationship.

It doesn’t mean that you must leave your partner as soon as your relationship faces a downfall. You have to learn to be patient to deal with the situations and help your partner.

For instance, there can be a financial crisis. It can be difficult to pay rent. But you should be patient and support your partner.

Help your partner by working overtime or cut down on your expenses until things get back to normalcy.

There is a thin line between loving unconditionally and being obsessive. Now that I have told you how to love unconditionally.

Let me tell you about how you would know if you are on the right side of the line or not.

That is, if you are loving unconditionally or not.


How to know if you love unconditionally in a relationship?

Summary
You know you love without conditions when you manage to stay in love even after the hardships. You do not judge your partner. You are honest, kind, and compassionate towards them.

Love when unconditional withstands dangerous rummages, yet decides to stay. It is pretty simple to know when you love without conditions.

When you feel comfortable in and around your partner, laugh at their silliness, and are also their shoulder to cry on but don’t expect them to do the same for you… that’s when you know you love your partner unconditionally.

When you do not judge them for things others would have, look at them with the same amount of compassion years later as you had when you both had first met, you will know that it is devoid of conditions.

The scars will not matter, for they make us what we are. The ups and downs would not intimidate us because there is this assurance of being with them forever.

Being verbal would not be difficult because they also understand your silence.

You will know when you make it through the rough days and still love them the same. You will know when your soul lets you trust them.

When love is unconditional, honesty and kindness flow. You make each other a better version of yourselves, and there is no hesitation in opening up as you know it is forever. And, nothing can change that.

If you are still confused, then hop on to read some frequently asked questions to get more info on the matter.


FAQs

Humans are wired in a manner that they rarely understand unconditional love. Now that you have read so much about it in this think piece, it’s normal for you to still have questions.

You might not understand some facets of this love because of the rarity of its existence.

So, I have enlisted some frequently asked questions by the audience. This will help you understand things better and also answer a few of your queries.

1. Is Unconditional Love Healthy?

When we love without boundaries, it does not stay the love that was supposed to be healthy and free. It turns into something unhealthy, obsessive, stubborn, and stagnant.

Love, irrespective of the kind of relationships, demands a place where every individual understands limitations and respects space.

To the receiver, unconditional love can be unasked for pampering. To the giver in this scenario, unconditional love can become unhealthy and habitual to a point where they wouldn’t want to stop.

Love cannot be absolutely unconditional. At someplace, there are conditions, minute enough to be invisible but strong enough to hold impacts.

The best way to get oneself out of this turmoil is to reflect and accept things.

Sometimes, we won’t receive the love we think we deserve. Sometimes we might, but still won’t accept it. Sometimes the entire existence of love would cease to exist.

Yes, love should be unconditional but to a degree where humanity and individuality are respected. Otherwise, what is even love then?

2. Is Unconditional Love Real?

We hear statements like “People change like seasons.”. Well. Yes! They do. Every individual, whether it’s you or me, is supposed to undergo changes every passing day, week, month, and year. Events that happen around us or with us leave some learnings.

As philosophers say, love cannot be unconditional, at least not absolutely.
When you caught your eyes with someone and fell in love at first sight, what made that happen?

Their voice? Personality?  Facial features?  Body language?

Well, it can be anything, right?

There must be something that allured you to keep seeing them until the emotion developed into something deeper.

Over time the attributes undergo changes.

Will you still love them the same? Your answer to this question tells if unconditional is real or not for you.

Situations change, and challenges appear. These situations make us understand if the love we carry is unconditional enough to sustain them.

So now, when love comes and chooses you. Be grateful and look for a realistic, a little messy, a little bitter, a little fun, a little compassionate, a little careful, and a little mad kind of love.

That is what real love is.

3. What does unconditional love look like?

We say lovers love unconditionally. Parents love their children unconditionally. Siblings love each other unconditionally. Blood relations, after all. Friends? To an extent, unconditionally.

But is that true?

Unconditional love is not where one gives to receive. It is where kindness and care are put at stake but never to demand them in return.

Unconditional love is not,

“I sacrificed so much for you, the least I expect is this.”

“I wanted you to choose this, is this what I get for my love in return?”

“I loved you with all that I could, you could have at least contributed a percent.”

“Have I ever done that to you? So how could you?”

Unconditional love looks like an illusion. This is because of the rare situations you encounter when you see someone loving without expecting anything.

Like,

A person who goes out of their way to help someone else without asking anything in return.  

This is not conditional. There is no excuse or feature added to it. This is what unconditional love really looks like.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

Unconditional love might sound like a fairytale but that’s only in the books. You might feel that there is not a better blessing than having someone who loves you unconditionally. But, with roses come thorns.

You can have a healthy relationship when you steer clear of those thorns. Be kind to yourself and love yourself without conditions too.

You should never tolerate disrespect by your partner, no matter how much you love them.

Moving on from a toxic relationship is also a sign of Unconditional Love.

Sure, relationships have their ups and downs. But love is supposed to make your life bright. You are supposed to feel better physically and emotionally.

So, do not compromise if your love does not feel like this. Let no one change your definition of love.

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