Adult Relationships Are Not Unconditional Love and Here’s Why

Your mother and father love you unconditionally, not your partner.

There I said it.

Far too many times have I heard that people should be giving unconditional love to their partners.

Satisfaction is the condition of all adult relationships. The reality is, if each person does not do their part in the relationship, then naturally the relationship will end.

What is Unconditional Love

When I think of unconditional love, I think of my son. I do not have expectations that would change the way I interact with my son. Unconditional love is a love free of conditions.

Unconditional love, to me, is a mother’s love.

When we say that we love someone unconditionally, we mean that we are willing to love them regardless of whether or not we receive anything in exchange for our love.

Unconditional love is selfless because you are not there for your gains only.

Let’s be clear, we all want this type of love no matter how much we may deny it. We all want a love where simply existing provides you with a partner who loves you unconditionally. However, this is not realistic nor is it healthy.

Should You Have Expectations

Love is a genuine phenomenon, regardless of whether one views it as the product of something spiritual, something romantic, or simply a collection of hormones.

Love is a beautiful thing, and one should go experience the joys of love in their life. But, there is an issue with the concept that love should in some way be unrestricted without conditions.

Let’s be clear, it’s impossible for anything to exist if there aren’t any circumstances tied to it. Whether you engage in an activity, or you don’t. There are several circumstances that might cause even the most passionate individual to lose interest in another person and fall out of love with them.

When we look at partnerships in which there is a power imbalance, we can clearly see the flaws with the concept of “unconditional love.”

How many partnerships have you witnessed in which one partner mistreats the other, yet the more vulnerable partner is willing to overlook any transgression? You don’t admire that sentiment, do you? You have a negative impression of that individual because you believe they are weak, self-deceived, and ultimately unable to act in a moral manner. In spite of this, you may, at least conceptually, continue to feel that unconditional love is a positive quality. 

I speak a great deal about shadow work and authenticity. I stress shadow work to others because resolving inner conflicts, traumas and detrimental thinking processes are imperative to forge healthy, long-lasting relationships.

If you go about life without completing the necessary internal work, then you will have this expectation that adult relationships will provide you with unconditional love.

To put it another way, you are searching for gratification outside of yourself.

When you have expectations of yourself, you understand the importance of setting boundaries with others. Did you catch what just happened?

Placing conditions on love makes it stronger because it involves two individuals who have beautifully stated their boundaries with the intention to respect one another while also committed to cultivating a healthy relationship.

Take Away

When someone says “unconditional love” when referencing adult relationships, to me, it is just a fancy way of saying, “ride or die”.

You enable a person the right to behave however they like when you do not have limitations in place while you maintain loyalty, trust, and fidelity to that person.

That is toxic.

You are leaving the bar on the floor. Pick it up.

It is important for you to have boundaries in your relationship. You are deserving of said boundaries.

It is equally important for those boundaries to be communicated as well. Let’s be clear, I believe that people are gifted with certain abilities, but you are not here to read in between lines — nobody has time for unnecessary emotional labor that can be alleviated with a direct, adult conversation.

If a person cannot communicate their boundaries, so that compromise can be a possible avenue for both parties to be satisfied, then that, my friend, is manipulation.

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C O N N E C T – W I T H – M E



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