“Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.” – Osho
Love is a beautiful emotion that connects two souls. But, what is unconditional love? It’s a pious feeling that rests on mutual understanding, trust, and loyalty. Sometimes, couples develop differences and question if their love is unconditional.
Love with no strings attached! It’s unconditional love when you love someone without any expectations or judgments. You love your partner for the way they are and don’t want them to change. Even during testing times, your fondness for the person you love doesn’t change at all.
But no matter how perfect unconditional love sounds, practicing it is often difficult as we are humans, and expectations come naturally. So, is loving someone unconditionally possible, how can you do that, and what are the signs that your partner loves you wholeheartedly? Read on to find answers to all your questions.
What is Unconditional love?
Unconditional love is the art of loving someone just as they are, without judgment or an expectation for something in return. When you love your partner as they are, you love them unconditionally.
In unconditional love, you do not look for reasons to love. You meet the person where they are, exactly as they are, and without requirements or efforts to change them. Even in difficult times, your fondness for them does not change.
Examples of Unconditional Love
These examples illustrate how unconditional love is expressed:
- Your partner has lost his job and is unable to support you financially. The burden of taking care of the family’s financial responsibilities is entirely on you, at least until he begins earning again. You express support and concern for your partner’s job loss, encourage his spirits and celebrate the gifts he offers you and your life, despite the temporary loss of employment.
- Your partner is facing a tough situation at work and is not able to perform her usual family duties. Rather than complain, you help out, do more, and express concern for her well-being.
- You had a fight with your partner and he was harsh to you. After a brief time, he apologized. You accept the apology, and look for ways you may have contributed to the conflict or disagreement. Without blaming one another, you look for a deeper understanding about what transpired. This shows unconditional love for each other.
- After sacrificing her career for three years to take care of kids, your partner wants to return to work. . That means some additional responsibilities for you at home. You encourage her to follow her dreams, and discuss ways you can share the burden of the household work.
Unconditional love is not the same as people-pleasing. To love someone conditionally is a gift you offer with the expectation of nothing in return. People-pleasing, however, is the process of behaving in loving ways so that you can ensure their love in return. There is an expectation that by being loving, you will secure their love in return, which helps reduce one’s fear of being unlovable or abandoned.
If your partner is taking you for granted, this is a form of disrespect, and you are not setting healthy boundaries that communicate your desire for respect and appreciation. Responding to this behavior with efforts to please will add to your feelings of being unlovable rather than strengthen your feeling of being loved.
Is Unconditional Love Possible?
Yes, unconditional love is possible. But for your partner to love you unconditionally, you need to love yourself and accept all your flaws.
- If you can accept your flaws, then you can expect and also appreciate that your partner’s love is unconditional.
- On the other hand, if you are not aware of your shortcomings and expect your partner to love you unconditionally then that is selfish love. We cannot receive what we do not believe.
- Holding on to your shortcomings and assuming your partner to accept you can be destructive. For example, if you are abusive toward your partner or having affairs, you cannot expect your partner to accept and love you unconditionally.
Also, unconditional love is a give and take. If you want your partner to love you unconditionally, then you should love them unconditionally.
- For example, you have the habit of shutting down the love and affection towards your partner when they do not do things your way. Put yourself in their place, and think if you can give unconditional love in such a situation. No, because unconditional love is a give-and-take.
Loving someone unconditionally involves generosity and kindness, as well as a desire to understand one another and respond to one another’s needs for love, acceptance and understanding.
Signs of Unconditional Love
How can you tell if your partner loves you unconditionally? Here are the seven signs of unconditional love.
- You can trust them with your secrets. If there is one person in this whole world whom you can trust your secrets with, it is your partner. Be it your darkest secrets or things you are embarrassed about, you are comfortable to tell anything to your partner because you feel a deep sense of acceptance, and you feel confident that their love for you will not change when they learn new information about you.
- You fight, you make up: We cannot avoid fights in a relationship. But when there is unconditional love, the desire to understand each other supersedes the desire to be right or win the fight. There is an understanding that arguments are temporary; love is permanent.
- They have long-term plans with you: When your partner has unconditional love for you, they give you the status of a life partner and plan their future with you. When you dream about the future, the dreams are about both of you.
- As you change and grow, so does your love: If you are married for a decade, and your spouse still makes you feel loved, then such love is unconditional. It does not depend on how you look, how you behave, or how much you earn; they love you for who you are and nothing can change that, not even time.
- You are secure: Both partners feel trust and security that the other has their back. There is no room for doubt or insecurity when time is spent apart. Partners encourage one another to spend time with friends and parents and engage in their hobbies and interests. They assure you you can have your time without them feeling left out.
- You are open and honest: If your partner loves you unconditionally, they do not criticize you for your flaws but give you constructive feedback and help you correct them. And you are glad to make the changes as you know your partner is worth all the effort.
- You are one another’s cheerleader: You need not go to the moon and back to impress them; even small things like preparing a special dish will make your partner proud of you. You recognize one another’s efforts and express gratitude for one another.
You can understand unconditional love better if you could compare it with conditional love.
Conditional Vs. Unconditional love
|Unconditional love||Conditional love|
|It does not look for anything in return. You love your partner with all your heart||Conditional love is like a business. You invest in a person as long as they are beneficial to you.|
|In unconditional love, you do not try to change your partner to fit your imagination.||You point out flaws, accuse them of being the odd one out and insist that they act as per your conditions.|
|Your love for your partner is not subjective. You do not expect your partner to make your life easy. Instead, you try to include them and work as a team.||In conditional love, you look for a partner who can make your life easy and comfortable without making any efforts to earn it.|
|You respect your partner’s beliefs and opinions and still continue to love them.||When your partner deviates from your expectations, you transform your love to hatred.|
|When you start loving unconditionally, you no longer worry about petty things in the relationship.||Thoughts such as “my partner did not compliment me, and so I will not compliment them either” will fill your mind with unnecessary negative emotions.|
How To Love Unconditionally?
“It takes two flints to make a fire.”
Here are some ways to show unconditional love to your partner.
- Let your partner in: To love and be loved, you must be known and understood. This requires curiosity, interest, vulnerability and sharing. Let your partner in. When you allow your partner inside your inner world, and you trust that you will be safe.
- Give and receive: It is not enough if your partner loves you unconditionally. To keep the spark alive you must meet them with the same loving behaviors. Though unconditional love is the process of loving without expectation, it is essential to nurture this same love in return for an unconditionally loving relationship.
- Be generous: Do not wait for your partner to show unconditional love. You take the first step towards loving them unconditionally.
- Offer acceptance: Judgment and love cannot exist together. When you judge a person, you expect them to behave according to your rules, which is against unconditional love. If you want to love your partner unconditionally, start by not judging them.
- Words of affirmation: Communication is the key to unconditional love. Express your appreciation to your partner regularly. This does not require expensive gifts or fancy dates; pay attention to how they feel loved and speak their language whenever possible. Express kindness. Such actions will create a lasting impression in your partner’s heart.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is unconditional love possible in marriage?
Yes, you can love your partner unconditionally. Unconditional love is a choice that you make. However, you should manage the love with all the responsibilities and grow mutually.
2. Why is unconditional love so hard?
Unconditional love is hard because you have to love that person whether they earn it or not. It demands acceptance in all situations compromising boundaries. When your feelings and actions are not reciprocated, it can become hard to love someone unconditionally.
What is unconditional love? It is a special emotion that starts with acceptance and grows from within. If you accept a person with all their flaws, you take the first step towards unconditional love. Opening up to your partner escalates the chances towards the same, and it is only through a healthy exchange of deep emotions that unconditional love grows. And if you are unsure of whether you have unconditional love for your partner, look for the signs. You will look forward to a longer companionship, share secrets, and surely make up after fights.
- A scenario of unconditional love is a person supporting and encouraging while their partner experiences job loss and not complaining about gifts or trips.
- Helping each other with home responsibilities when one has a tough time at work indicates unconditional love.
- The ability to share secrets, make-up after fights, honesty, and loyalty in a relationship show that you are in unconditional love.