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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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    Leave your definition of “unconditional love” below.

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

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    Last Updated on December 3, 2019

    10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

    10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

    There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

    Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

    1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

    Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

    There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

    Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

    2. Pace Yourself

    Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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    Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

    Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

    3. You Can’t Please Everyone

    “I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

    You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

    Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

    4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

    Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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    We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

    Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

    5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

    “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

    No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

    We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

    6. It’s Not All About You

    You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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    It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

    7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

    No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

    We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

    Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

    8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

    That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

    Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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    Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

    9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

    Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

    The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

    10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

    We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

    When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

    Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

    This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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    Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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