How to love your girlfriend unconditionally
Have you ever found yourself irritated with your spouse — not liking him or her very much — even though you know you love your spouse? Most of us have had those days! No two people can live together for any length of time without once in awhile rubbing each other the wrong way. If you let those feelings of hurt or disappointment take over — your marriage will suffer. You will create a rift in your relationship. So, you have to make a choice.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: 21 Signs of True Love From Women
Unconditional Love: The Key To Lasting Relationships
Unconditional love is a weighty term for something that most of us don't really understand. In my work as a marriage therapist, I've found it's often used to express a type of love that exists beyond bounds.
And because of this, it often creates a justification for staying in unhealthy dynamics. The term unconditional love does not mean love without limits or bounds. It means, "I offer you my love freely without condition. It is important to offer this type of unconditional love in our relationships.
Otherwise, we are offering love with "strings attached. Unconditional love means loving someone through hardships, mistakes, and frustrations. In fact, it is what every meaningful, lasting relationship is made of. When we enter relationships with other people, we are entering relationships with another human being—a person full of quirks and flaws and challenges. And we also show our own quirks and flaws and challenges.
One of the most beautiful experiences in human life is learning to lean into the tension of those challenges by offering connection, love, and understanding and by accepting influence, creating compromise, and moving forward in a way in which both people win.
We often think of parents' love for their children as unconditional love i. In truth, we do at times see this type of "strings attached" love presented in parent-child relationships just as readily as it might be in a romantic relationship.
A parent provides a certain amount of love to their child and expects some sort of return on their investment. In the above examples, the parent is not offering unconditional love; rather, they are offering love that is contingent on the child fulfilling certain conditions.
There is a ledger, and the child owes a debt. This makes for a very unhappy and disconnected relationship, or even a toxic family relationship. It is healthy to offer your love without strings attached.
Otherwise, we are not truly loving the other person. Rather, we are using affection as a tool to control. Our relationships require basic expectations to be fulfilled—kindness, respect, and safety. When these are not fulfilled, we might have to set hard boundaries. These boundaries might look like distancing oneself or cutting off entirely. If you do cut off, it does not mean that you offered your love with conditions.
Remember, your love did not make them indebted to you. They do not owe you anything. But you do owe yourself safety, respect, and kindness. You can walk away from people that you've loved very much in order to take care of your own needs and safety. Love without boundaries can lead to unhappiness at least and abuse at worst.
If we do not let our partners, parents, children, and friends know where we stand in terms of how we expect and need to be treated, then we will not have an equal voice in the relationship. Sometimes, we ignore these needs for boundaries in the name of "unconditional love. We are offering codependent love. In codependent relationships , we are so set on maintaining the dynamics in the relationships that we excuse or enable unacceptable behavior.
Again, this leads us to a place of unbalanced power and control rather than into a place of truly connected love in which we offer each person an opportunity to be responsible for their behavior with us. There's a distinct line between loving someone through the hardships vs. The latter becomes apparent when the relationship is no longer offering the basic needs of a relationship. If someone has harmed you and they are not willing to repair it, then you need to set a limit for your own well-being.
If you find that the relationship has devolved into behavior that lacks kindness and respect, then it's likely that a boundary needs to be set. This is especially true if you have tried to communicate clearly and still see no change. If you are enabling the person in a way that negatively affects your well-being, that isn't unconditional love—it's unhealthy, codependent love. While we can offer unconditional love to others even when they are being difficult , we don't have to offer love without bounds.
You can offer love that has no strings attached while still having boundaries. Unconditional love gets muddied when we believe that we have to continually offer that love even when basic relational expectations are no longer being fulfilled. Unconditional love means "right now, I offer you this love, and you are not indebted to me. For example, let's take a healthy relationship in which a couple is offering each other the basic and necessary expectations in a relationship—kindness, respect, and safety.
And then, that changes—one person goes through something and begins to treat their partner with disrespect or cruelty. When that changes, you can choose to put boundaries in place or distance yourself.
This doesn't mean your love hasn't been unconditional. In this case, you offered your love freely as long as you could, and then in the moment you needed to care for yourself, you set healthy boundaries. Unconditional love means offering love without conditions in that moment. It does not necessarily mean forever. It means, "The love I am giving you right now is yours to keep. I am doing it of my own free will. You owe me nothing in return.
It also is the type of love that allows us to continually reassess the relationship and decide, over time, if it is still working for us and if we are still able to give our love so freely. The word unconditional can sometimes create confusion or lead us to place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and the way we love. If it's easier, consider instead the idea of wholehearted love. Wholehearted loving means leaning into the vulnerability of offering our love because we want to offer it.
Offering our love in this way means that we give it because it feels good to give it and not because we expect a particular outcome. Wholehearted love also acknowledges and prioritizes the wholeness of both the people. To give wholehearted love, you must love your partner and yourself wholly.
You will know it is wholehearted love when both people are willing to enter with their whole heart. When each person has a voice. When challenges are reflected upon. When growth happens.
When there is no scoreboard because you are on the same team and not on opposing teams. You will know it is not wholehearted love if there are strings attached, debts owed, and boundaries violated. You will especially know when you find that the basic expectations of love, kindness, and safety are not being respected. If you're wondering what that kind of love looks like in practice , here are a few ways to love wholeheartedly:.
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? You are now subscribed Be on the lookout for a welcome email in your inbox! Main Navigation. Log in Profile. Saved Articles. Contact Support. Log Out. Your cart is empty. Our online classes and training programs allow you to learn from experts from anywhere in the world. Explore Classes. Elizabeth Earnshaw is a Philadelphia-based marriage and family therapist, certified Gottman therapist, writer, and the owner of A Better Life Therapy.
She received her bachelor's in adult organizational development and education from Temple University and her master's in couples and and family therapy from Thomas Jefferson University.
Last updated on February 16, Share on:. What is unconditional love? What conditional love looks like. This "conditional love" might sound like:. We did everything for you, and now we are disappointed with your choice to be an artist.
I would think you'd respect me more than that after all of the love I gave you. Is unconditional love healthy? It is not healthy to offer love without boundaries. The problem with love without boundaries. Unconditional love still involves healthy boundaries. Unconditional love with healthy boundaries might look like:. However, we no longer have the finances to help you with your bills.
Unconditional love is not a binding contract. How to love someone unconditionally. Pay attention to your offerings of love. Are you expecting a certain reaction?
How to unconditionally love your spouse
The idea of unconditional love in relationships is a noble one. Each of us wants to be loved as we are, without conditions, and to see ourselves as capable of bestowing unconditional love on our partners. However, this type of love, in its narrowest definition, is difficult, if not impossible. Part of the problem with unconditional love in relationships is the lack of understanding of what it means.
Unconditional love — in its most simplest form — means appreciating someone else for who they truly are. It means loving them when they are unlovable, and in spite of their imperfections and mistakes. At a deeper level, it means never, ever questioning whether you'll feel any other way toward a person. It's just a comfortable knowing that this is a constant in your life. It will always just "be.
Soulmates and Unconditional Love
The early stages of a relationship are known for being fun and carefree. After all, why stress yourself out when you're still getting to know someone? But if things are going well and you're looking to deepen your connection, experts say there are things you can do early on to establish an unconditional love. It's not based on the good or bad days you experience in your relationship, nor is it based on what your partner does or doesn't do for you. It certainly doesn't change when you're going through something in your personal life. It's loving someone in spite of the ups and downs. This type of love isn't something that just happens right away. In fact, not every couple will have unconditional love for each other.
7 Signs Your Partner Loves You Unconditionally
Love is to love someone for who they are, who they were, and who they will be. Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt it was the other person's job to make you happy, to meet all of your needs, to understand you and know what you want without asking? Or have you been on the other side of this scenario? You were the partner expected to fulfill the other person and manage their happiness. Either situation is perpetually frustrating.
Are you searching for a soulmate or unconditional love? Your quest can set you on an impossible journey to find an ideal partner. The problem is twofold: People and relationships can never achieve perfection. Often unconditional and conditional love are confused.
3 Things You Can Do To Show You Love Your Partner Unconditionally
To define unconditional love is to say that a person loves someone unselfishly, that he or she cares about the happiness of the other person and will do anything to help that person feel happiness without expecting anything in return. In other words, the definition of unconditional love is "love without conditions. To put an unconditional love definition another way, this is the type of love that exists between a parent and child, or even between a dog and his master.
Unconditional love is a weighty term for something that most of us don't really understand. In my work as a marriage therapist, I've found it's often used to express a type of love that exists beyond bounds. And because of this, it often creates a justification for staying in unhealthy dynamics. The term unconditional love does not mean love without limits or bounds. It means, "I offer you my love freely without condition. It is important to offer this type of unconditional love in our relationships.
Love is hard to define. Making things even trickier is the concept of unconditional love, which some say is the only true kind of love, while others call it impossible. To believe in unconditional love, and to actually love unconditionally, requires a great deal of thought, action, and faith. Only you can decide if and how you can or should love unconditionally, but the following article will hopefully assist you on that path. One way to cultivate self-love is by making emotionally healthy decisions, like avoiding toxic people and environments. To love unconditionally, accept those you love as they are since unconditional love is about acceptance.
Love is a complex yet simple emotion and it mirrors who you are inside. It must survive the challenges of a relationship and bloom in its own time. Struggling to know where to begin?