Is Unconditional Love In A Relationship Really Possible? 12 Signs You Have It

Love and Romance
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Unconditional love in a relationship is the rock-solid foundation of your romantic dreams. Sacrifices become proof of this love, and unwavering support and understanding prevail. It’s not just saying “I care,” but proving it through actions. 

In these genuine moments, you see the depth of commitment and the will to help each other thrive. Love like this is the wind beneath your wings, pushing you toward your goals with a reassuring presence. Such is the importance of unconditional love in our lives.

We all desire this kind of connection without ifs and buts.  A 2015 study found that couples who reported feeling unconditional love for their partners were more satisfied with their relationships. In reality, though, can it last? Is unconditional love even real? It might seem emotionally taxing to love without expectations. Then how do you ensure your partner loves you unconditionally? We’re here to address your doubts about unconditional love and all that it entails.

What Is Unconditional Love In A Relationship?

We all know one thing for sure, that love and infatuation are different. So, what does it mean to unconditionally love someone? In simple words, loving without conditions is all about accepting and loving a person as they are. It’s about making them feel safe in an era where people prefer no strings attached to their casual affairs. It’s an overwhelmingly intense feeling you foster for a cherished person that doesn’t change no matter the circumstances, unlike infatuation which is temporary and conditional.

When you feel a strong, caring love for someone, it changes how you see the world. They might be your childhood best friend, a sibling, or a significant other. Irrespective of the nature of your relationship with them, whether this person is with you or miles away, whether they’re aware of your feelings or not, the selfless act of love will lead you to put their best interest first and yourself second. Such a dynamic always comes with a ‘loving without any expectation’ clause.

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When there is unconditional love in a relationship between two partners in romantic relationships, their connection isn’t governed by any eligibility criteria or a relationship agreement. Loving someone deeply means you wouldn’t think about imposing any restrictions or conditions on them. Age, looks, and bank balance becomes mere variables that no longer hold any significance.

To love unconditionally, here are the ingredients you need:

  • Mutual respect
  • Selfless acts
  • Complete honesty 
  • The power of forgiveness
  • The ability to handle rejection

What Unconditional Love Isn’t? — Unhealthy Forms Of Love To Watch Out For

In unhealthy love dynamics, one person deems the other worthy of love only when they fulfill certain unreasonable conditions. This is an unhealthy form of love because it leads to feelings of insecurity in the affected partner. It also creates a power imbalance in the relationship that can lead to abuse.

For instance, my friend Gwen’s boyfriend was affectionate toward her only when she took care of all the household chores and left him alone with his PlayStation. It’s as if a reward system were in play, operating on the principles of reciprocity of love – But only when it suits him. This kind of ‘love’ can chip away at your self-esteem by making you feel like you aren’t good enough, especially when such a guy strings you along with intermittent displays of affection. So, here’s what loving without conditions ISN’T:

  • Scorekeeping between partners
  • Having the same fights over and over again
  • More judgment and less acceptance
  • Trying to control each other’s every step or action
  • Fraught with signs of insecurity
  • Manipulating each other’s emotions and weaknesses 

It’s important to remind yourself that you shouldn’t sacrifice your identity in the name of unconditional love. Enduring abuse, gaslighting, and other toxic behaviors under the guise of love isn’t healthy and will prove detrimental to your well-being. With a defeated spirit, it’ll make you question, “Does unconditional love exist or is it just a myth?”

Related Reading: 8 Keys To Stay In Love Forever

When Is Unconditional Love Healthy?

The finest instances where you unconditionally love someone are those intimate connections between emotionally mature parents and their kids, non-entitled maternal love, or those ride-or-die friendships. It’s like having a safety net made of hugs and deeper and deeper understanding. Let’s explore how unconditional love can enhance your relationship with your partner:

  • For the giver: It gives most people a sense of empowerment and security, and makes them feel happy because they are in charge of their feelings. Loving someone this way makes you more confident and self-assured. This dream-like state transforms into reality when that love is reciprocated.
  • For the receiver: Knowing that there’s one person in this world who would be there by your side through thick and thin, who doesn’t blatantly judge you for your flaws, to whom everything about you makes sense, and who can forgive you when you mess up big time is immensely comforting and has an effect on your overall well-being. Their companionship helps broaden your perspective and be the bigger person sometimes.

Unconditional love forms a healthy relationship when it is rooted in the foundation of mutual respect and emotional well-being. Some of its characteristics are:

  • In a healthy romantic relationship, partners who have unconditional love support one another through challenges and personal growth
  • This love is accompanied by healthy boundaries and open communication
  • When given and received in a balanced and reciprocal manner, unconditional love contributes to emotional well-being and strengthens bonds
  • It creates an environment where individuals can thrive and face challenges with resilience
  • Healthy unconditional love is always balanced with self-care and the recognition of when to seek help

12 Signs Of Unconditional Love In A Relationship

Josie, an orthodontist from Philly, shares her story with us. She and Stephano had been dating for a few years and they recently moved in together. Everything was going well until Josie was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s. She told him, “Let’s break up. You shouldn’t have to go through this.” 

He shook his head and said, “Do you really think I would leave you alone when you need me the most? You’re my world. I’m not going anywhere.” That right there is one of the finest examples that answers the question, “How do you love someone unconditionally?”

When you love someone no matter what, it feels rare and beautiful. It takes a certain set of relationship skills to make it work. It can change the course of your relationship and make it last forever. So, if you have the slightest doubt about the gravity of feelings in the relationship you’re in, these 12 signs of selfless love will bring you much-needed clarity:

Related Reading: Stories of unconditional love among couples

1. There’s total acceptance between both partners

Imagine being a puzzle with different pieces – Some shiny, some a bit worn. Unconditional love in a relationship is like finding someone who adores the entire puzzle, not just the pretty parts, and says, if not through words then through actions, “You are loved unconditionally.”

This is one of the examples of unconditional love which positively affects your emotional well-being. It is like holding a safe space where you can show your real self without worrying about judgments. It’s a heart-to-heart connection that says, “You’re amazing, just as you are” and it’s as comforting as a favorite old sweater on a chilly day. 

Unconditional love in relationships
They are with you in sickness and in health

2. Supportive silence is one of the signs of unconditional love in a relationship

Unwavering love is like having a partner who tunes into your emotions like a song only they can hear. This unspoken language communicates volumes without uttering a sound. The selfless act of love looks like this:

  • One of the best unconditional love examples in romantic relationships is even when you’re lost for words, your partner understands what you need
  • In this special connection, you can sit with each other in silence and feel fulfilled and at peace
  • Such couples offer support and understanding by knowing when to speak to each other, and when the other needs comfort through silence

3. You are generous with zero expectations

You ask, how to love unconditionally in marriage, or in any relationship for that matter? This is how: Imagine surprising your partner with their favorite meal, just because you want to see their face light up. This type of giving isn’t about keeping score; it’s about sharing your love in its purest form. This kind of relationship is built for the long haul, and each challenge that’s faced only strengthens the bond.

Or picture this: Your partner plans a surprise date night without expecting anything back. It’s like a heartwarming embrace, a reminder that love can be a selfless act and profound in itself. This form of giving shows that there’s extraordinary happiness in making your loved one’s heart skip a beat without needing anything but their happiness in return.

Related Reading: 17 Signs Of True Love From A Woman

4. Examples of unconditional love: There’s empathy and sharing of both joy and pain

If you’re wondering what unconditional romantic love looks like after a tough day at work, then this is how it might go: That one person, your significant other, just knows you need a comforting hug and a warm cup of coffee without you having to explain. Or when you’re excited about something, they share in your excitement as if they’re living it too. The honesty of their joy makes your heart melt.

This kind of empathy is like a heart-to-heart connection, a secret code that says, “I understand you deeply.” It’s like having a built-in emotional support system, someone who’s not just by your side, but inside your heart, feeling the same highs and lows as you.

5. The cheerleader mode is almost always on in such a relationship

How do we define unwavering love? Well, imagine having a relationship where your partner and you go into full-on cheerleader mode whenever either of you achieves something, no matter how big or small. 

This kind of support is like having a personal fan club, a reminder that they’re genuinely thrilled by your accomplishments. Your partner believes in your dreams as fiercely as you do, and their celebration transforms your successes into magical moments that you share together. That’s why when the one true love finds you, it feels too good to be true. 

Related Reading: 9 Beautiful Signs Of Loving Relationships

6. Flaws? What flaws?

In a relationship, having a partner who looks at you and sees the masterpiece in every brushstroke, even the ones that might seem a bit messy, feels wonderful. They’re like art enthusiasts who adore the unique patterns and colors that make you, well, you. Your quirks and imperfections? Those are the most fascinating parts of the masterpiece to them.

Imagine your partner gently tracing their fingers over the canvas of your personality, celebrating every little detail that makes you one of a kind. It’s like they have a magic lens that only sees beauty in you. They cherish each stroke and shade that creates the wonderful mosaic of who you are. This is one of the distinctions between unconditional love vs. conditional love. 

Infographic on unconditional love in a relationship
Signs of unconditional love

7. Mutual respect in the relationship is a norm

A relationship with romantic love can survive against all odds if the partners have been able to develop respect for each other over the years. Learning how to love unconditionally when you’re angry is a profound lesson in building mutual regard. This is a cornerstone value of unconditional love. Because how can you love someone irrevocably without having an intrinsic sense of unconditional positive regard for the person they are? So, if your relationship has the following things, it’s a sign that you both have undying respect for each other:

  • You have mutual respect — Both in front of friends and family, and in the private space
  • Each other’s opinion is always taken into account
  • You try to fulfill each other’s emotional, social, and physical needs
  • There’s never a breach of privacy nor is there any mistrust 
  • Both of you are mindful of the language used even in the middle of an argument
  • Neither of you attacks the other’s weaknesses

Related Reading: 11 Relationship Qualities That Are a Must Have For A Happy Life

8. The love is going to be there, whether it’s yesterday, today, or tomorrow

Unconditional love is a time traveler, journeying with you through all the chapters of your story — The ones that are already written, the ones you’re living now, and the ones waiting to unfold. Its compass always points to the other’s heart. 

This love is not just a part of your life, but a co-author of your journey, making every page worth reading. Let’s look at some unconditional love examples:

  • You listen to each other‘s stories of childhood as if both of you were there in real life
  • You hold each other’s hand in the present like it’s the only place you both want to be
  • You dream about the future as if it’s a shared adventure
  • You stand by each other through life’s ups and downs, providing support and care

9. The constant trust in the relationship makes it a safe haven

In such romantic relationships, trust is as solid as a rock, providing support when the waters get rough. These couples possess an unshakable belief in each other’s character and intentions. Their trust forms a radiant thread woven deep into the fabric of their relationship, forging a connection that transcends mere words.

Your partner becomes a sanctuary that safeguards your innermost thoughts, with a key that’s known only to you. This is akin to having a shelter where your true self can shine, where uncertainties and doubts melt away in the warmth of their steadfast confidence in you. 

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10. Loving without conditions means actively building a no-judgment zone

In your romantic journey, picture a space where sharing your deepest thoughts feels as comfortable as sound sleep. In such a space, you’d say, “Hey, here’s all of me.” And they respond with a hug that says, “You’re cherished, just as you are.” 

I always battled with the question, “Is unconditional love real at all?” But once, on a chilly evening, my partner and I sat by the window, sipping hot coffee. As I spoke about my doubts and worries, he listened, his eyes fixed on mine, like I was the only story worth hearing. Not much was said in words but his eyes said loud and clear, “The love I have for you is unconditional.” The consistency of his love made me a believer. 

11. You create space for boundless forgiveness

Think of being in a romantic relationship where mistakes don’t become roadblocks but stepping stones. It’s like having a partner who sees your missteps as part of the journey, not a detour from it. Imagine you forget an important anniversary because of a crazy work week. Instead of anger or disappointment, they simply say, “Life gets busy, but you matter more than dates.” It’s like having a walking, talking reminder that we’re all humans and slip-ups are just part of the adventure. 

Related Reading: 13 Ways To End An Argument Without Apologizing And End The Fight

12. The love helps both partners grow

Imagine having someone in your life who’s like a personal growth companion, walking alongside you on the path of personal development. They hold the flashlight as you explore the uncharted territory of your dreams. Suppose you decide to learn a new skill, like painting. They not only cheer you on but might even pick up a brush themselves. 

This kind of companionship is like a greenhouse for your ambitions, where their encouragement helps your goals thrive. It’s like saying, “Your growth matters,” and their involvement turns every milestone into a shared achievement. With this relationship by your side, challenges turn into chances to learn, and aspirations evolve into accomplishments, as you both journey toward self-improvement together. 

“Do I love someone unconditionally?” – Take this quiz to find out

Now that we are on the same page about what is unconditional love in a relationship and have gone through its signs, let’s figure out whether your feelings for a person qualify for that label. You don’t necessarily have to be in a romantic partnership with them. But if your love is true, no strings attached shouldn’t be a matter of concern. 

This quiz is the quickest way to be sure of your feelings and settle your unconditional love vs. conditional love debate. If your answer to at least six of these is yes, you are a part of the unconditional love tribe:

  • You are okay with the fact that they are not your partner and might walk away from your life one day. Yes/No
  • You are in love with their soul, not just their physical features. Yes/No
  • You can’t be mad at them for long, and end up forgiving them no matter what. Yes/No
  • You never compare them with anyone. Yes/No
  • You don’t think twice before canceling important engagements if they call you with an emergency. Yes/No
  • In your mind, you see a long, happy future with them. Yes/No
  • You are just happy being their support system. Yes/No
  • They are your comfort zone and you can easily open up to them. Yes/No
  • Nothing makes you happier and prouder than to see them succeed. Yes/No
  • You don’t stand in their way even if you don’t agree with them on certain matters. Yes/No
unconditional love examples
Do you feel this kind of love for a special person?

How to Show Unconditional Love – Dos and Don’ts

“I love you unconditionally” – it’s a very strong statement, easier said than done. Cultivating the strength for unconditional love when someone hurts you is a journey of compassion. However, it doesn’t mean denial or betrayal of yourself. Losing your identity, voice, and self-respect in the process of offering undivided attention and affection cannot be beneficial for any relationship or a love-lorn individual. Remember, unconditional love is not unconditional tolerance.

Despite what your heart wants you to do, following a few strategies will help you stay sane and navigate a healthy relationship with your bae especially because with this kind of compassionate love, we can struggle with unrealistic expectations. Here are some dos and don’t to bear in mind so that you don’t lose yourself in the process of loving someone else unconditionally:

Dos Don’ts
1. Practice a transparent and open communication style1. Don’t ignore the underlying problems that cause you emotional distress in the relationship for the sake of love
2. Let your partner know that you will be there on the good days and the bad, no strings attached2. Don’t forget about healthy boundaries or neglect your own emotional needs in a relationship
3. Make sure the power dynamic in the relationship is equal3. Unconditional love cannot be a reason for tolerating physical or mental abuse
4. Remember, you can criticize your partner when required without being disrespectful4. You don’t have to blindly agree with everything they say to show your unwavering love

Related Reading: 30 ½ Facts About Love That You Can Never Ever Ignore

Key Pointers

  • Unconditional love in a relationship means loving someone with no strings attached, without any clauses or time limits, which is the opposite of conditional love
  • This person will be your top priority at all times
  • You don’t stand in their way of happiness or their personal choices
  • However, no one should suffer in silence in the face of abuse or humiliation just because it’s coming from the person they love unconditionally

We can’t plan to fall hopelessly for someone or wait around in life looking for unconditional love. We can only hope to nurture this love with care when it comes knocking at our door. If you have overwhelming feelings for this person, don’t keep them a secret. There’s nothing more beautiful than hearing back those three words from the love of your life. In the end, we hope that in the most unexpected places and moments, you find unconditional love quietly blooming, waiting to be discovered.

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