Unconditional Love: Fact or Fiction
Can you truly love without barriers?
Love is something that people search for throughout their lifetime. As we develop, we learn how to build attachment to our caregiver and that offsets how we build trust, safety and get our needs/wants met by other people. We are relational beings, and we thrive when we are connecting with others.
We practice this within our family, friendships, and intimate relationships.
The definition of Unconditional Love is affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. This term is sometimes referred to as complete love. Most would agree that this type of love has no bounds and is unchanging.
Is that realistic? No. Love does change and has limits. As you evolve as a person, so do others around you Why? We change every day with exposure to our environment, being triggered by our past traumas, new traumas, things we see visually, information we are exposed to and our engagement with others whether positive or negative. This creates restrictions, boundaries, and expectations within our relationships.
To create and/or manage a healthy and loving relationship there are characteristics of unconditional love that you can practice within your relationship. This establishes a give and take relationship that fosters equilibrium and hemostasis.
Unconditional Love Characteristics
1. Creating Realistic Expectations
Talking through what is doable in your relationship to meet your partner halfway. If not, compromising and figuring out what will meet each other’s needs and wants.
2. Holding each other Accountable
Communicating with each other about promises made, goals created collectively and individually. Be an accountability partner. This creates intimacy and vulnerable within your relationship.
3. Letting Things Go
Don’t hold grudges toward your partner. Communicate those issues and concerns so everyone is informed. Collectively process your feelings and don’t take it personally. Holding on to anger and animosity will create distance within your relationship. Forgive and move forward in a different direction that is beneficial to you and your partner.
4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This is fundamental and needed in any relationship. Your partner is not physic. Speak what’s in your heart. The positives and negative of your relationship. Your partner is the person you can be your authentic self. If there is anxiety about that, question yourself why? What is the disconnect? Process that with your partner so you are not alone in your feelings to build understanding together.
5. Continue to be Friends
When you meet initially, you and your partner are friends. You have enduring affection, esteem, intimacy, and trust between the two. It is practiced by both people in the relationship and is connected by a bond or tie of reciprocated affection. Keep this going. Friendship is the foundation of the relationship. Maintenance is key to longevity and a lasting relationship.