“To be brave is to love someone unconditionally without expecting anything in return. To just give”-Madonna.
Are we all not looking out for unconditional love? Isn’t it something that keeps taking us back to the game of dating? To find that one person who can stir our souls and whom we can love unconditionally?
However, to most of us, this kind of love in a romantic relationship often stays elusive. Are our expectations in the right place when we expect unconditional love? We will explore more about this in this post. Keep reading.
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What Is Unconditional Love?
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 – through their riches and moments of scarcity, and through sickness and health. In short, it 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 having no expectations that they should change for you.
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.
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 the way 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 being selfless in the way you express your love, and not merely loving them so that they can do something for you or love you back.
Every individual is different, and so is their way of loving. Unconditional love is about understanding these vulnerabilities and going beyond them. It is about finding and offering warmth, kindness, safety, and respect to your partner.
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. In fact, when you love them with all your heart, it is a sign that you have accepted them the way they are. When you love expectations, you end up wanting to control the actions of your partner.
Having said that, unconditional love is healthy as long as there is mutual kindness, safety, and respect. It means loving the other person, yes, 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.
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 look for answers. You can look for the smaller choices like which restaurant to order food from or which show to binge-watch on Netflix. These are sweet little gestures that 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. It is for this reason that relationships based o.n 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
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. At times, they may even go out of their way to make you feel better emotionally. They may drop you texts when they are away 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
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
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.
It is during these times your partner who loves you unconditionally will be sensitive towards your needs. They will help you cope up with your challenging times and give you the encouragement 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 a person showers unconditional love over you, they want you to know every little detail about them. They do it because they have found their safe space in you and want to offer you the same.
At times, people cannot give their 100% into a relationship because they have trust issues. They probably were 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 the conflict and arguments are resolved, it is a sign of unconditional love. They are willing to look past the differences and look for 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
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 there is cheating involved, it is better to opt-out instead of subjecting yourself to further mental agony.
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. It is only when you can shower the purest form of love on yourself and move past your imperfections that you can think about doing the same for others.
2. Communicate Freely And Openly
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.
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 and not feelings. The feelings may change over time. The excitement and butterflies that you must have felt in the beginning 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 that you live in. 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, it may help to 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.
True, unconditional love is what many of us are seeking though we do not know what it entails. In its purest form, it is non-judgmental and compassionate. It is about creating a positive atmosphere for your partner and yourself. Only when you can love yourself unconditionally, can you shower the same on others? Unconditional love is true, and it all starts with you.
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