9 Signs Of Unconditional Love | Is It Healthy In Relationships?

Respect and forgiveness are just a few ways to love someone without expecting anything in return.

Reviewed by Sarah Kenville, MA (Marriage and Family Therapy) Sarah Kenville Sarah KenvilleMA (Marriage and Family Therapy) facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , BSc Reshma Latif BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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Madonna once said, “To be brave is to love someone unconditionally without expecting anything in return. Just to give.”

But are we not all looking for unconditional love? Isn’t it something we all yearn to achieve in life? Won’t you be happy if you could find a person who can love you unconditionally throughout your life?

However, this type of romantic relationship takes work to attain. This article delves deep into unconditional love and what to expect from it. Keep reading to know more.

What Is Unconditional Love?

Let’s begin with understanding what does unconditional love mean? Unconditional love is the act of loving someone and doing things for their happiness and joy, without expecting anything in return. It means caring for someone from the bottom of your heart and through all the phases of life – riches and moments of scarcity and sickness and health. In short, the meaning of unconditional love is living the proverbial vows at the altar.

True unconditional love goes beyond your idea of an ideal lover and accepting your partner the way they are. It means embracing their flaws and imperfections and not expecting that they should change for you.

After knowing about what is unconditional love, the next question might arise in your mind: How can you identify if the love between you and your partner is unconditional? For better clarity, let us understand the traits of conditional love.

Discover the depths of love with this thought-provoking video on unconditional versus conditional love. Explore the differences, complexities, and significance of these two powerful expressions.

What Is Conditional Love?

“I do so much for you, and is this what I get in return?”

“I was looking forward to spending the day with you and had so much planned for your birthday. Your work call has ruined it all.”

“I am disappointed in how you have returned my love in the past few years.”

Do you see a common thread across these sentences? You are right to say they are loaded with expectations. By saying these words, the partner is setting limits in the relationship. Their efforts and commitment are contingent on what they receive in return. These are classic examples of conditional love.

However, is it possible to love without any strings attached? Let us find out.

Is Unconditional Love Real?

In several ways, unconditional love and the expectations that come with it may sound complicated. Of course, you are right to think that way. If the thought of giving unconditional love to your partner makes you do things that do not come naturally to you, you may want to take a step back.

To love without any expectations does not mean living in a fairy tale. It does not mean having unrealistic expectations from yourself or your partner. On the contrary, it means loving your partner with all your heart. It involves selflessness in how you express your love, and not merely loving them so they can do something for you or love you back.

Every individual is different, and so is their way of affection. Unconditional love is about understanding these vulnerabilities and going beyond them. It is about finding and offering warmth, tenderness, compassion, kindness, safety, and respect to your partner.

Can anyone love unconditionally? Yes, true unconditional love is possible as long as your understanding of it is in the right place.

Are you wondering if loving anyone unconditionally can make you vulnerable or emotionally weak? Let us see if unconditional love has any boundaries.

Is Unconditional Love Healthy In Relationships?

Of course, it is healthy to love with no holds barred. When you love them with all your heart, it is a sign that you have accepted them the way they are. Your fondness of them increases despite their flaws. When you live with expectations, you want to control your partner’s actions.

Having said that, unconditional love is healthy as long as mutual kindness, safety, and respect exist. It means loving the other person, but not at the cost of your dignity, integrity, or honor. It is advisable to maintain these boundaries and let your partner know about them too.

Let us take the example of a couple who has spent a couple of years together in peace and harmony. Then comes a time when one starts disrespecting the other. Loving unconditionally does not mean that the person at the receiving end has to continue to put up with it. Instead, it is important to let the other individual know what is acceptable and what is not.

Daan Uijterwaal, a blogger, shared that when he first broke up with his girlfriend, his belief in unconditional love was shattered. He questioned if what they had was even unconditional love. Daan states in his blog post, “And to be honest with you it wasn’t. I’ve tried to control her, change her, make her a better person instead of loving her for who she was. After we broke up I was angry with her… I kept asking myself: what is unconditional love? When the anger settled in, I knew. This was unconditional love. Well not at first, not during the last period of our relationship. But now, now it is.

Unconditional love isn’t perfect. But isn’t that the point? That it is messy, painful, and weird, but that despite it all you still love each other? Despite everything that happened, I now know one thing for sure, that I love this girl till the end of time (i).”

Let us see how to identify true unconditional love.

What Are The Signs Of Unconditional Love?

If you ever start doubting the love in your relationship, you can look for these signs of unconditional love.

1. They Give Preference To Your Needs

Does your partner agree to most of the decisions you make? You do not have to wait for the big moments to find answers. You can look for the smaller choices like which restaurant to order food from or which show to binge-watch on Netflix. These sweet little gestures indicate that your partner is ready to adjust for your happiness.

Of course, they may offer their suggestions at times. However, their love is pure if they usually take efforts to consider your preferences.

2. They Support Your Dreams

When a partner loves unconditionally, they are secure and offer their unwavering support so that you can follow your dreams. They will appreciate the fact that your goals and aspirations can be different from theirs. Moreover, they will become the constant voice to motivate you in your moments of doubt. They will tell you to spread your wings and soar high and find a way to work things out.

3. They Respect You

Respect is one of the basic tenets of unconditional love. It is not just about pulling chairs at restaurants or opening the doors for you. It means valuing your beliefs and treating you right, whether you are in public or private.

When you feel respected, you also get motivated to love your partner wholeheartedly. This is why relationships based on respect have a strong foundation. When both individuals are free from insecurities, they can love each other freely.

4. They Tend To You When You Are Sick

A husband taking care of his sick wife is a sign of unconditional love
Image: Shutterstock

When your partner loves you unconditionally, they are concerned when your health takes a downturn. They look after you in sickness and help you get back on your feet. They may even go out of their way to make you feel better emotionally. They may drop you texts while at work to check in on you and send cute messages to make you smile.

If your partner was by your side when you fell sick last, it is a sign of unconditional love.

5. They Are Proud Of You And Show It

A wife being proud of her husband's achievements is a sign of unconditional love
Image: IStock

When your partner loves you unconditionally, they are proud of you and your achievements. They will not get jealous when you get ahead of them. Instead, they will celebrate your victories. At times, when you do not get what you deserve, they will be your rock. They will motivate you by saying they are proud of you no matter what and encourage you to move forward.

6. They Support You Emotionally

A husband supporting his wife emotionally is a sign of unconditional love
Image: Shutterstock

Life is full of ups and downs and we all have to go through our share of sorrows and miseries. These are the times you may feel the most vulnerable. You may start doubting everything and slip into a spiral of negative thoughts.

During such moments, your partner who loves you unconditionally will be sensitive towards your needs and have empathy for your feelings. They will help you cope up with your challenging times and encourage you to see the better things in life. Such situations can become difficult to manage and can take a toll on one’s mental health. But a partner who loves you unconditionally will never leave your side.

7. They Will Show Their Vulnerable Side

It is not easy for everyone to open up about their past experiences and relive the hardships. However, when someone showers unconditional love over you, they want you to know every little detail about them. They do it because they want to show their devotion towards you and because they have found their safe space in you and want to offer you the same.

People sometimes cannot give their 100% into a relationship because they have trust issues. They may have been cheated on in the past, and that fear has taken solid ground in their minds. However, the fact that they are letting their guards down and telling you of their past is a sign their love is wholehearted.

8. They Believe In Getting Over Fights

Arguments are part of being in a relationship. Individuals are different and so are their choices and preferences. In couples, these clashes of opinions can turn into fights.

However, if your partner ensures that conflict and arguments are resolved no matter how, it is a sign of adoration and unconditional love. They are willing to look past the differences and find a solution instead of letting the resentments brew in their hearts. They give you a safe space where you know that you two can work out your disagreements, sooner or later.

9. They Forgive You Easily

A man asking for forgiveness is a sign of unconditional love
Image: Shutterstock

When someone loves you unconditionally, they find it easy to forgive you. Your partner does not hold onto past issues or hold grudges against you. They believe in moving on and see you as a person bigger than these differences.

This is because they accept you with your flaws and believe in you when you ask for forgiveness. They are in for the long haul and do not want minor differences to ruin your relationship.

However, this does not mean tolerating abuse and misbehavior. If the relationship involves continuous hurt, you may want to reevaluate the situation for your own good. If cheating is involved, it is better to opt-out instead of subjecting yourself to further mental agony.

protip_icon Quick Tip
A person who loves you unconditionally would try to make you happy through small gestures. But in return, they did not expect anything at least your acknowledgment.

These are the signs that tell you that your partner loves you unconditionally. How can you do the same?

How To Love Unconditionally?

If you are wondering what it takes to show your unconditional love to your partner, here are a few pointers.

1. Start With Yourself

Loving someone unconditionally is a matter of personal growth. It may take time and may require you to pause and reflect from time to time. You may have to ask yourself if you are expecting something in return for your actions.

It may be a good place to start by loving yourself unconditionally. You know yourself the best, with all your flaws. Only when you can shower the purest form of love on yourself and move past your imperfections can you think about doing the same for others.

2. Communicate Freely And Openly

A couple communicating openly is a sign of unconditional love
Image: IStock

To practice true unconditional love, you should be able to let your guard down. You should be in a place where you can share your deepest fears and insecurities. You also will have to communicate and show in your actions that you are available to hear your partner out.

protip_icon Quick Tip
For better communication in a relationship, share your thoughts honestly with your partner and make sure to clarify things to prevent conflicts.

3. Start With One Unconditional Act Everyday

In the beginning, it is more about conditioning your mind. It is about accepting the other person as they are and doing something for their happiness out of your will. To cultivate this thought process, start slow and do one selfless act every day. It could be as small as asking how their day was.

4. Learn To Forgive

A big part of unconditionally loving someone is moving past the differences and looking at the bigger picture. Do you tend to cling to your fights or differences of opinions? Do you find it hard to move on, and allow your disagreements to turn into grudges or resentments? Does your behavior change during such situations? If yes, you are blocking yourself from loving your partner unconditionally.

Learning to forgive allows you to give your wholesome love to your partner. At such times, remember that two individuals can never be the same, and differences are bound to crop up. However, these conflicting thoughts should not come in the way and obstruct the bond you both share.

5. Move Past The Conventional Notions Of Love

Unfortunately, we have all grown up watching romcoms and reading romantic novels that have skewed our notions of love. We tend to believe that love is nothing but a fairy tale. However, the reality is far from it. After the initial phase of dating gets over, you may feel the relationship has become stagnated.

To love unconditionally, you need to focus on your actions,not feelings. The feelings may change over time. The excitement and butterflies you must have felt initially may start to fade away. If you believe love is in your actions, you will stop expecting your partner to do something in return.

6. See The Positive Side Of Things

If you want to surround yourself with the purest form of love, you need to change the environment in which you live. This is easier said than done. Negative experiences and toxic people may hinder your capabilities of loving someone unconditionally.

In many ways, it is a journey of personal growth where you identify what is not working for you. For instance, if someone constantly tells you that you are no good, that emotion will find a place in your subconscious. It may limit you from loving yourself wholeheartedly and giving the same unconditional love to your partner.

Cutting such experiences and people out of your life can help.

7. Accept That There Will Be Discomfort

You too are a human at the end of the day. Accept the fact that you have feelings too, and love can become unpleasant or unpredictable. You will have your moments of weakness and disappointments. During such times, remind yourself that these are just a few bumps on your long journey.

Embrace the discomfort and tell yourself that you will emerge stronger once this all passes.

Nonetheless, there is a big difference between being good at loving unconditionally and loving unconditionally being good for you. Let’s explore it a little further in the next section.

Is Unconditional Love Bad?

Unconditional love, which means loving without any conditions or limits, can be a bit tricky. While it’s great to love others no matter what, sometimes it can lead to problems. If we love someone too much and don’t set any boundaries, it might encourage them to behave badly or take you for granted without any consequences. Hence, it is important to find a balance. We should love and accept people as they are as well as make sure we take care of ourselves to have healthy relationships and grow as individuals. It’s like giving your heart freely but also keeping a little bit for yourself to stay happy and strong.

Infographic: Ways To Express Your Love

Love is beautiful in its purest form! It is a high you never want to come down from. When you love someone, you get butterflies in your stomach, you feel happy just looking at them, you want them to notice you, and you wish you both could be together forever.

The first step to accomplishing this dream is to confess your feelings to your crush or partner. Check out the infographic below to learn how you can express your feelings to someone.

ways to express your love (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

In this article, we have tried our best to talk about unconditional love in all its complicated and simple forms. Sometimes love seems like the most natural thing to do, and yet sometimes, we might be overwhelmed with too many emotions to make any sense of the word’ love.’ We all want unconditional love, but most of us do not know what it is. Unconditional love is non-judgemental, kind, and compassionate in the plainest terms. It is not in just what you feel for others but also yourself. Love gets stifling when it is burdened with expectations. Someone who loves themselves does not expect much from others. Unconditional love begins with the simple rule of loving oneself. It begins with you loving you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does unconditional love last?

Yes, since unconditional love is all about being there for your partner selflessly, it tends to last beyond most challenges and conflicts of life.

Is unconditional love toxic?

No, unconditional love can’t be toxic. If you find the relationship toxic in any way, that means there is some condition, expectation, or lack of trust and boundary invloved that doesn’t pertain to unconditional love.

Is unconditional love possible in marriage?

Yes, unconditional love can form the foundation of a strong, happy, and lasting marriage.

Is unconditional love painful?

If you love someone unconditionally and it feels hurtful, that means your partner doesn’t value you as much and may be taking you for granted. You must reconsider your place in that relationship then.

Key Takeaways

  • Unconditional love is prioritizing someone else’s needs without expecting anything in return.
  • To love someone unconditionally means accepting their vulnerabilities.
  • Unconditional love is healthy, as long as you are not crossing unhealthy boundaries.
  • If your partner supports your dreams and motivates you, it is one way of showing unconditional love.

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Sarah Kenville
Sarah KenvilleMA (Marriage and Family Therapy)
Sarah Kenville has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a law degree. She has 8 years of experience and offers premarital counseling and relationship coaching to dating, engaged, newlywed, and same-sex couples.

Read full bio of Sarah Kenville
Sneha Tete
Sneha TeteBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Sneha has a master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, a professional Relationship Coach diploma, and over four years of experience in writing. She writes about relationships and lifestyle.Sneha began her career as an instructional designer, shifted to freelance technical and research writing, and self-published a novella on the theme of adolescent mental health.

Read full bio of Sneha Tete
Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Shatabdi BhattacharyaAssociate Editor
Shatabdi is an associate editor and an alumnus of Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata, where she honed her skills and developed a deep understanding of the world of literature and expression. She has worked with various organizations and websites operating in different industries, ranging from education to lifestyle, showing her adaptability and drive to learn.

Read full bio of Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Reshma Latif
Reshma LatifBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Reshma is a content writer with a penchant for writing articles on relationships, makeup, and beauty. She started her writing career in 2007, soon after graduating from Mahatma Gandhi University. What began as a love for blogging bloomed into several freelancing opportunities over the years.

Read full bio of Reshma Latif