Steven and Josie had been together for a year. They were polar opposites; she was an art student with a penchant for writing, while he was an engineer in the making. Yet, their chemistry was unmatchable. As their anniversary approached, Josie found out she had been diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s.
She told Steven, “Let’s break up, you shouldn’t have to go through this.” He smiled and shook his head: “I love you unconditionally sweetie. You’re my world and I’m not going anywhere.”
We all crave for this kind of love where there aren’t any “ifs” and “buts”. All that is present is loving your partner no matter what, and being honest with them. Unconditional love is the purest form of love where all that you care about is how you feel for your partner and no external factors come in the way of your love. Your partner is your priority.
Let’s learn what unconditional love truly is. How is it different from conditional love? And how can you identify it? Keep reading to find out with these 12 signs of unconditional love in a relationship.
What Is Unconditional Love In A Relationship?
We all know that love and infatuation are different. But unconditional love is another dimension altogether. In order to know what unconditional love is, it should be first distinguished from conditional love.
Conditional love usually involves certain conditions that your partner imposes on you during the course of the relationship. If you fulfil these conditions, your partner deems you worthy of love. For instance, my friend Gwen’s boyfriend would display affection or love only when Gwen did most of the cooking for them. It was much like a reward system.
The underlying meaning of conditional love is: I will love you only if you do what I think is appropriate. This kind of love can chip away at your self-esteem by making you feel like you aren’t good enough.
Unconditional love, on the other hand, does not impose any such restrictions or conditions on the partner. You both love each other no matter what. This is love in its purest form where no requirements or ‘eligibility criteria’ exist.
Unconditional love lets you be honest with your partner and you can be yourself around him/her. Material aspects such as fame, money, etc. do not affect the relationship. The only factor that matters the most when it comes to unconditional love is how you feel about your partner and the fact that you can’t picture your life without them. In unconditional love, you don’t expect anything in return.
Some unconditional love examples are when a guy falls for a girl who is already committed, but still chooses to love her no matter what. Another instance is when a rich girl falls in love with a middle-class guy because of his pure and caring heart. An unconditional love example can be as simple as falling in love with a girl and making her your wife someday.
Related Reading: 8 Keys To Stay In Love Forever
12 Signs Of Unconditional Love In A Relationship
You might not know that you are in a relationship with unconditional love. But when you know it, it feels special and you feel lucky to be in a relationship that is about love and care for each other rather than a partner’s whims and dominant nature. You feel lucky that your partner loves you and takes care of you so much and you finally realize that you can see your future with them.
So the question of the hour is, what does unconditional love feel like? Loving someone unconditionally is being selfless and prioritizing your partner’s needs above yours. It means keeping your relationship above other commitments and most importantly, loving your partner no matter what.
To know whether you are in such a relationship, you need to look out for the signs of unconditional love in a relationship. If you can identify these features in your love life, then I’m glad to tell you how lucky you are. Unconditional love is rare to come across…
Here are 12 signs of unconditional love in a relationship which will give you the fresh perspective you need!
1. They bring soup for you
If you are feeling under the weather, only a real partner will go out of his/her way and bring some comfort food for you. True love isn’t only about taking care of the good sides of you but also taking care of you when you are blowing your nose away.
As the famous saying goes, “In sickness and in health”. Bringing you soup is one of the best unconditional love examples. The essence of it is caring for the one you love, even when they aren’t at their best (physically, or emotionally). And we’re all at our ugliest and most disgraceful when we’re sick.
My sister’s fiancé got her some chicken soup and tissues when she was down with the flu last January. He literally didn’t leave her side for a week till she was all better. He said, “we stick (together) when you’re sick.” Is this unconditional love in a relationship? I think so…
2. They support you in your dreams – Unconditional love in a relationship
No matter how different you both are professionally, someone who unconditionally loves you will always support you in your dreams and ambitions. Even if your ideals aren’t similar, they will encourage you to follow your passions. A good partner supports you even when they don’t know what you’re all about.
Say your boyfriend is interested in finance but you don’t understand even a little bit of it. He’s applied for a prestigious internship at a firm abroad. Are you against him leaving the country because he’ll be far away from you? Or do you tell him that you have full faith in his abilities and he’ll get the job? A wise partner would choose the latter.
They will always push even at times when the other’s dreams are contrary to what they want. Top cheerleader and source of strength, a loving partner will be a rock of support. This is the answer to, what does unconditional love feel like?
3. They handle your vulnerable side
When times get tough and you become a mess, your partner will be there by your side to make you feel strong again. Your partner isn’t scared of seeing your vulnerable side. Instead, they will be there for you and take care of you till you feel like yourself again.
This is the importance of unconditional love; recognizing that a relationship can’t be sunshine and rainbows all the time. The rainy days are just as important to stick with you better half. You can’t get to any of the relationship milestones without being on each other’s team.
4. They put your needs above theirs
Ever planned watching a movie with your partner and having those long discussions on which genre to pick? A partner who unconditionally loves you will first argue with you over the movie genre, but will eventually give in just to make you happy.
Someone who loves you unconditionally will always keep your needs above theirs. Make sure that you don’t get too used to such kind of pampering and keep your partner’s needs above yours too…relationships are all about compromises made by both partners.
Related Reading: 17 Signs Of True Love From A Woman
5. Unconditional love examples – They are proud of your success
Imagine you and your partner are both in the same profession, and apply for a dream job. You get in but your partner doesn’t. Your partner will feel bad about themselves but what will feel override this emotion is pride.
They will be proud of your achievements and will celebrate it with you even if it’s a rough day for them. Celebrating each other’s successes is another important sign of unconditional love, especially when things are going south for one of you.
6. They respect you
In a relationship, it is very important for both partners to respect each other. Respecting each other and valuing each other’s beliefs is a sign of a healthy relationship.
If your partner will treat you with respect in front of their friends, family, and also in private, it means that they are not insecure of you or the relationship. What does unconditional love feel like? Like being valued and treasured for the person you are.
There are many ways of expressing respect, and this is a cornerstone value of unconditional love. How can you love someone irrevocably without having an intrinsic sense of regard for the person they are?
7. They will let their guard down in front of you
If you two ever get into a heated argument, your partner will be the one to calm down and try to make things right again. Even if it isn’t your partner’s fault, he/she will let their guard down and sort things out. They know that the relationship is more important than who is wrong or right. Being with you matters the most.
The importance of unconditional love is that it won’t let people operate on their egos. They won’t get defensive or hostile under situations of conflict. My dad always says, “you better swallow your pride because it won’t grow old with you.”
8. They see your full potential
Even during times when you feel unsure of yourself, your partner will be by your side to cheer you up. It is because they know you inside out. They know how important your dreams and ambitions are to you.
A person who loves you unconditionally will never want you to give up on something you’ve built your life around. Your partner sees your full potential and will always motivate you to move towards it. And we all need the occasional push, right?
I once almost didn’t apply to a university because I didn’t think I was good enough. My partner motivated me immensely and said I had to at least try! Well, guess what? I got accepted, and the rest is history.
Related Reading: 11 Relationship Qualities That Are a Must Have For A Happy Life
9. They are selfless
Remember the story, The Gift of the Magi? even if you don’t, here’s how it went- A poor couple decides to gift each other secret presents for Christmas. However, they didn’t have enough money so the wife sells her long, beautiful hair which she loved a lot to buy a platinum chain for her husband’s watch.
Her husband on the other hand, sells his watch, which was his only prized possession, to buy his wife a beautiful set of combs for her hair. What mattered here is the act of selflessness. People who unconditionally love each other will always make selfless sacrifices to make each other happy.
10. They don’t expect anything in return – The importance of unconditional love
One of the most beautiful things about unconditional love is not expecting anything in return. Your partner will make you happy with little gestures but will never expect you to return the same. Even if you don’t acknowledge their gestures, they will let it go. There aren’t any conditions or restrictions in the relationship. For them, it’s all about making you happy.
My friends Natalie and Mark are one such couple. Mark is one for grand uncommon romantic gestures while Natalie is more low-key. He never expects her to reciprocate because that’s not the kind of person she is. Love cannot be transactional!
11. They forgive you if you screw up
We are all fallible and we make mistakes. Sometimes our screw-ups are pretty serious, and unconditional love sails us through them too. A partner who loves you so will forgive you for your errors while helping you evolve into a better person. This does not give you a license to make mistakes though.
Just remember how luck you are to have a partner who understands your flaws. Unconditional love in a relationship means letting go of grudges or resentments. It means letting things go and being forgiving.
12. What does unconditional love feel like? They’ve always got your back
A partner who unconditionally loves you will always have your back. They will not tolerate anyone badmouthing you or disrespecting you in public. They will make sure to give a cutting reply to such people. Your partner will stick up for you when in company, and will always be there to save you from being embarrassed or humiliated.
My boyfriend once stood up for me when one of his friends passed a sexist remark. I remember the incident so clearly because that’s when I realized the importance of unconditional love.
Unconditional love is above loving each other no matter how bad everything gets. Your partner will be by your side as your friend, confidant, lover and also family. If you have something that is this special, don’t let it go or take it for granted.
Cherish what you have and acknowledge your partner for all that they do for you. Such people are keepers so don’t let them slip away. Unconditional love in a relationship comes along once in a lifetime!