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How To Love Your Partner In An Unconditional, But Healthy Way

How To Love Your Partner In An Unconditional, But Healthy Way

The concept of unconditional love is a tricky one. People have various views on the topic, ranging from unabashedly accepting it to wholeheartedly rejecting it. The truth about unconditional love is somewhere in the middle.

People who downright reject the concept of unconditional love may be taking on too severe of a definition. They might think, “I love her without boundaries or limits. I’ll ignore myself. I’ll change for her. I love him no matter what he does to me. He can treat me horribly and I’ll still be there for him,” is what it means to love unconditionally. Therefore unconditional love is unhealthy.

“I’ll forgive everything because I love him.” This is unconditional love, right?

WRONG.

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Unconditional love means that you and your partner focus on what keeps you together. It does not mean you ignore the reality of a relationship and disregard abuse or neglect. It does not mean you can’t separate if both partners are unhappy.

If you’re looking to love your partner unconditionally, here’s how to do it in a healthy way.

1. Work through the hard times.

Endure during unfavorable conditions. Don’t let the dark and disappointing times fool you into thinking that you can’t be in the relationship. Believe your love is worth fighting for and work through obstacles. Together. As a team.

2. Embrace every moment together.

Understand the fact that love is filled with ups and downs. Welcome into your heart every single part of it—the happiness, the romance, the adventures, the home-in-pajamas-time, the jokes, the laughter, the disagreements, the sadness, the tears, and all of the unknowns in between. No love is perfect, but the bad is just as much a part of the love as the good.

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3. Don’t give up at the first site of imperfection.

Accept your partner as a human being who makes mistakes. You and your partner both have flaws, obsessions, particularities, and opinions. Even those with the most easy-going attitudes have quirks. Just because your partner isn’t perfect doesn’t mean he or she is not a good fit for you. It also doesn’t mean they are not a good person. Understand that no one is perfect, not you nor your partner. But that’s okay!

4. Strike a balance and have mutual respect.

Do whatever you need to do to divvy up tasks, chores, and responsibilities in the relationship. If that means making a spreadsheet, great—do it. Maybe that means having one simple conversation. Either way, after you’ve figured out the balance in your relationship, don’t keep score. Relationships involve both give and take, and you don’t want to encourage resentment in either one of you. Make compromises for your partner. Allow your partner to make compromises for you. Respect each other.

5. Believe you and your partner both deserve happiness.

Above all, you and your partner deserve to be happy. One would never suggest staying in a relationship in which you are unhappy. However, if you truly love your partner, you can choose to try to make it work. Believing you both are worthy of happiness will put you in the right direction.

Unconditional love is not ignoring the trials and tribulations that come with combining two lives into one, but rather accepting them as part of the relationship as a whole. Unconditional love is what makes you want to stay and work on the relationship.

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BUT, should you let your husband abuse you? NO. Should you let your wife degrade you? NO. Should you tolerate cheating or neglect? NO.

Maybe there is no way to get absolutely, unabashed, no-holds-barred U-N-C-O-N-D-I-T-I-O-N-A-L love. But you and your partner can get pretty close, if that’s what you want. And if you don’t, that’s okay, too. Just be honest about it, with yourself and with your partner. Most people agree that honesty is the key to a healthy relationship.

You and your love truly can be that happy old couple who still hold hands each day.

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old couple

    Leave your definition of “unconditional love” below.

    Featured photo credit: Couple in Love/Clement Burelle via flickr.com

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    Published on May 4, 2021

    How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

    How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

    They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

    In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

    How to Spot Fake People?

    When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

    Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

    1. Full of Themselves

    Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

    Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

    2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

    Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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    It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

    3. Zero Self-Reflection

    To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

    Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

    4. Unrealistic Perceptions

    Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

    A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

    5. Love Attention

    As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

    6. People Pleaser

    Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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    Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

    7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

    Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

    8. Crappy friend

    Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

    It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

    The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

    How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

    It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

    There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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    1. Boundaries

    Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

    2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

    Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

    3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

    If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

    4. Ask for Advice

    If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

    Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

    5. Dig Deeper

    Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

    Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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    6. Practice Self-Care!

    Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

    Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

    Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

    Final Thoughts

    Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

    We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

    More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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