To love and to be loved are what most people desire in their lifetime. In some of our relationships, we tend to become selfish, always asking for more. On the other hand, some seem to lose themselves to gain their loved ones. No matter what happens, always remember to only settle for unconditional love. According to Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D., “Love is unconditional when it endures despite unfavorable circumstances.”
Often misunderstood, unconditional love is caring about the one you love without expecting something in return. Some people consider it as a utopian, unrealistic idea since we all have our needs of our own. However, it does exist for both familial and romantic relationships. According to John Amodeo Ph.D., MFT, “The ideal of unconditional love is a noble one. We want to be loved as we are, and perhaps we’d like to see ourselves as capable of selfless love.”
You Expect Less And Love More
There are parts of the brain that light up when we have already found unconditional love. These are related to the brain’s reward system. Therefore, if we give or receive unconditional love, it provides us with a sense of fulfillment and nobility.
In loving unconditionally, you do not expect much. It leads to fewer disappointments, less stress, and fewer frustrations. You feel content and happy with simple things. Having the right amount of selflessness in you will surely take you to places.
You can also discover many things you thought you could not do in the past. You become more open, understanding, and empathic towards the love of your life and others. Eventually, you will realize you are already making the most of everything rather than making a fuss out of small things.
You Deserve To Be On The Receiving End
It is crucial to note that giving unconditional love does not equate to one-sided love. It does not mean staying in a toxic relationship. That is unhealthy, which contradicts the objective of what we have been talking about. Unconditionally loving someone is caring about them regardless of circumstances, not how they treat you. “Make space in your life to deliberately reconnect with the loving feelings you have for your partner, even if recent interactions have made you feel distant or angry,” says Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.
To love unconditionally does not mean to give everything the other person wants. It may result in resentment by the one on the receiving end. It is why we encourage you to wait for the right person and the right time patiently. There is no guarantee when, where, and how, but it will be worth it. You know you have found unconditional love when the other person does the following:
- Not shaming or judging you for your failures
- Encouraging you and understanding your fears when you get vulnerable
- Telling you the truth and vice versa
- Forgiving you freely and vice versa
- Not picking fights about petty things nor holding grudges
- Respecting you and aiming for a healthy resolution even when you are arguing
- Not making you feel like you have to prove yourself or your love
- Inspiring both of you to be selfless and to prioritize each other’s needs genuinely
- Getting through hard times and celebrating good times with you
- Accepting and supporting you even on your bad days
- Bringing out the best in you and vice versa
You can only begin to love others unconditionally if you have already stopped changing the way you are. It might sound cliché, but you cannot provide others with what you do not have for yourself. Therefore, the first step to having unconditional love (for others and yourself) is self-love.
We acknowledge how difficult it is to love with no conditions. We are all humans and can only take so much after all. However, it is possible to show and find that kind of love. You deserve to love and be loved unconditionally.