Is unconditional love real love?The best way to sum up the difference between the two is this: True love is a (sometimes
fleeting) feeling, whereas is an active choice to continue loving with no expectations or rewards
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
Part of the problem with unconditional love in relationships is the lack of understanding of what it means.
Most of us will think of a parent’s love for a child or a child’s love for a parent as the love. This type of love
The question becomes whether adults in romantic relationships can also show each other this type of unconditional
love. To feel safe in a relationship, it makes sense that you need to feel as though the other person is not going to
abandon you on a whim. You need to know that the person is committed to loving you unconditionally no matter what the future brings.
The problem is that this definition in romantic relationships can break down under a number of conditions—and for
use, this isn’t healthy for you. This means the definition of unconditional love in romantic relationships needs to be expanded a bit.
This brings us to the topic of unconditional positive regard, probably a closer approximation of what we mean by
in relationships. In this sense, unconditional love doesn’t mean always giving people what they want or always accepting what they do, at the expense of your own
Instead, it is a mature type of love that means treating the other person with love and respect, even while maintaining
your boundaries and protecting yourself. Whereas the immature version of unconditional love would have you feeling
as though you must be everything to the other person, the mature version has you recognize that your only obligation, in the face of the other’s behavior, is to communicate your message with love and
When we think about how to go about loving someone unconditionally in a relationship, the following points emerge:
We are programmed in life to have conditional love. You love your partner because of their unique traits and qualities
that attracted you to them. It’s why you love them and not another person. The question becomes, if they change, at what point is love withdrawn?