Unconditional love is something we don’t really understand, let alone practice in our everyday lives. We attribute unconditional love to our parents, in some cases, or in the ways our pets behave towards us. However, when it comes to our life partners, friends, co-workers, or family members, we can sometimes struggle to see past their flaws and love them anyways.
Unconditional love means loving a person, no matter what. Unconditional love comes with knowing someone fully and accepting that they will not be perfect. Unconditional love can also mean accepting that we ourselves are not perfect, and that we will fall short of our goal to love those around us.
In romantic relationships there can be truths and myths surrounding the concept of unconditional love. Of course you should love your partner, no matter what- but what happens when they lie, or cheat, or otherwise harm you? Here are a few truths and myths about unconditional love as it applies to romantic relationships.
Truth: You can accept and love your partner for who they are. Loving someone means loving who they are yesterday, today, and tomorrow. You don’t know how either of you will grow and change, but you accept this unknown. Unconditional love in this kind of relationship means nurturing and loving who your partner is, and who they will become.
Myth: You have to love everything about your partner all the time. People are flawed, and your partner will have things about them that you don’t like. You don’t have to change them; in fact, trying to change them can be harmful to your relationship. You can support them and encourage them, though, which can help bring you both closer together.
Truth: You have your partner’s back and will stand up for them when needed. Your partner needs to know that you are in their corner no matter what. You are there for support and to defend them when necessary. This shows them that you are paying attention and care about them.
Myth: You never criticise one another. Your partner shouldn’t drag you down, but they are the person who knows you best. If they sense something wrong with your attitude or behavior, they should speak up. They want what is best for you, and you want what is best for them. You should know that there is space in your relationship to honestly share your thoughts and opinions with your partner, even if they aren’t popular.
Truth: Respect your partner no matter what. We all deserve honesty, respect, and loyalty. Respect is the foundation of unconditional love; without respect, you don’t have a healthy relationship. Stay faithful, open, and honest with your partner, and they should return the favor.
Myth: There’s never conflict in your relationship. When two people are so close together, there is always going to be conflict. You will fight and say mean things to one another, but that doesn’t mean your relationship is over. Be quick and sincere with your apologies.
Truth: You want the best for your partner. You want your partner to be happy, which means supporting them in their career, their social life, and their home life. You are invested in your partner’s health, and you want to see them thrive.
Myth: Your partner will only be happy with you. Unfortunately, sometimes what is best for our partner means not being in a relationship with you. Truly wanting what is best for another person can sometimes mean accepting some hard truths. Ultimately, unconditional love means supporting them and wanting what is best for them, even if that means they aren’t in a relationship with you.