A lot has been said and written about the power of love, this strange feeling that we get when we see another person. Love is a wonderful feeling and humans are definitely capable of giving a lot of it. Romantic comedies, poems, and books have been written over thousands of years detailing the power of love as well.
But what is unconditional love? It is an incredibly heavy term that is used for something that most people just don’t understand as much. Most people think that unconditional love is simply the expression of love that knows no bounds, but that’s not true at all.
Understanding Unconditional Love
Unconditional love does not actually mean love that knows no limits or bounds. When a person expresses to you and says that they love you unconditionally, they essentially mean that their love is being offered without any condition. Essentially, they love you without the expectation of getting anything in return.
Naturally, offering unconditional love in your relationships with others is very important. If you don’t, it simply means that you love them but expect something in return as well. Eventually, this is going to result in a control or a power imbalance, with one person demanding more from the other.
Unconditional love, however, focuses on helping both parties in getting through different ups and downs in their relationships together. It’s about dealing with frustrations, hardships, and mistakes in a way that they feel connected to each other. Essentially, this is the cornerstone of every lasting and loving relationship.
What Is Conditional Love?
To understand the difference between unconditional and conditional love, it is important to understand what conditional love is. You already have a better idea about unconditional love, so let’s focus on the latter now. For instance, think about the way your parents love you. It’s a form of unconditional love.
It doesn’t matter if the child becomes successful or not; the parents will love their kid nonetheless. However, this is not true in all cases. In certain situations, the parent might love their kid more based on what they have done. A parent is likely to expect some sort of reward for the amount of love that they have invested as well.
For instance, have you never heard your mother or father say that they have loved you this much, and this is how you repay them? It’s one of the most commonly used statements by both mothers and fathers, and is a clear indication of an expectation of reward. The parent is not offering unconditional love in this case. In fact, their love is contingent on the child’s choices.
Is it Healthy to Love Unconditionally?
The shorter answer is yes. Loving someone unconditionally is definitely healthier than loving them with some sort of expectation. If that’s the case, you are not truly loving the person; you are simply using their affection as a type of tool to control them.
As you can imagine, this constant expectation is also going to result in serious mental turmoil. You will continue to expect them to do something or the other, and when that doesn’t happen, you are going to feel bad. The relationships you build with those around you require certain expectations that must be fulfilled.
For instance, you will expect them to respect you and make you feel safe. In some cases, you may end up setting firm boundaries against the person. Eventually, it will seem as if you are distancing yourself from that person. It’s important to understand that they didn’t ask you to love them. They don’t owe you anything in return.
The Issues with Loving with No Boundaries
As you can imagine, the grass is definitely not as green as you might think on the other side. People who love without boundaries are susceptible to feeling lonely. More importantly, they are also liable to feel unhappy in their lives. In a worst case scenario, such people are likely to undergo abuse as well.
Many people tend to ignore these issues because they are simply too deep in love. However, in such instances, it’s important to note that you are not loving unconditionally, but this is a form of codependency. When you are in a codependent relationship with a partner, you are often trying so hard to maintain the dynamics of the relationship that you don’t really bother excusing behavior that would otherwise be unforgivable.
It is important for you to create a distinction between loving someone unconditionally and loving someone with a codependency. It is important for you to understand that unconditional love can include healthy boundaries. In fact, boundaries should be encouraged in relationships, no matter what.
One of the biggest hindrances in modern relationships has to do with financial conditions. For instance, you might love your partner, but their financial spending habits may contradict your savings targets. If that is the case, you will want to make sure that you talk to them about it.
Of course, you can let them know that you love them and care about them, but you should tell them that their lifestyle is not good enough and may cause them to go down a dark path that could leave your family’s finances dry. The important thing here is to make sure that you tell them about how it’s going to impact both parties.
Similarly, if a person gets heavily frustrated or starts talking in a loud manner, you can just tell them that you need space from them whenever they talk to you in such a tone. It’s important to establish some boundaries so that the other person is aware of the wrong stuff that they are doing. As you know, this is not possible in a codependent relationship.
Perhaps the most important thing to do is discuss your opinions with the other person in the relationship. The more you are able to table things with each other and talk about them, the easier it will be for both parties to exist happily. This is important because it will allow both parties to be in the clear about what the other is thinking.
It’s also a great way to improve your connection with the other person and understand them in a better manner. It will only make you two love each other all the more over time!