Unconditional love is the feeling and the action of wanting the good of the other person above all things and regardless of the consequences.
The types of love have always been theorized. In Ancient Greece, for example, unconditional love is framed by the term agape, which refers to a reflective love where the lover is only imported for the sake of the loved one.
Unconditional love is the decision to love regardless of the consequences or disappointments because the essence of the person is loved regardless of whether they are wrong or not.
Unconditional love is constant learning and practice and is considered true love, such as the love of parents for children.
To define unconditional love, we must consider some points and reprogram our idea about love:
- First : it must be considered that there are several types of love. The ancient Greeks for example separated ‘love’ into at least 3 types: the philos which is the love of friendship and companionship, the eros which is erotic and passionate love and the agape which is unconditional love. The American psychologist Robert Sternberg (1949) has also theorized the various types of love as derived from true love.
- Second : Unconditional love is not blind love. Unconditional love, in contrast to passionate love, romantic love or platonic love, is a long-term project therefore it is a love with eyes wide open.
- Third : A romantic relationship is not synonymous with love. One can break a love relationship because the companionship and relationship did not work but still feel unconditional love for the other person.
- Fourth : Unconditional love is an action rather than a feeling. Feelings are programmed by what we receive therefore they are conditioned by our mind. Love, on the other hand, is calculated according to what we freely give without expecting anything in return.
Unconditional love in action
In order to be able to give unconditional love, it is useful to take into account the theory of true love of the psychologist Robert Sternberg that is born from the mixture of passion, intimacy and commitment.
Erich Fromm’s book The Art of Loving is also a classic guide to learning to love where the practice depends on each one.
Unconditional love in action or in practice can be easier if these tips are taken into account:
- First: love yourself unconditionally . It all starts with yourself. Loving each other despite our shortcomings. We must accept, recognize, understand and forgive imperfections as they are characteristic of all human beings.
- Second: the measure of love is different for each person . An act of love is an act of love only if the other person considers it to be.
- Third: learn to forgive to help the other grow.
- Fourth: unconditional love does not stop the suffering of life. The person who loves unconditionally supports the personal growth of the loved one that goes hand in hand with suffering. Unconditional love will not prevent suffering but it will be a support to overcome it and apprehend life.
- Fifth: unconditional love supports the other person’s life decisions . This does not mean not having your own opinion but respecting the path of the other. One worries but does not interfere. Love is unconditional despite the consequences.
- Sixth: No one is perfect and love is about acceptance.
“ Unconditional love is not the one that keeps you blind, it is rather a resolution that nothing is more important than love. Talidari
Characteristics of unconditional love
First of all, before knowing what unconditional love is, it is important to define another type of love: Conditional love is an attachment and a feeling towards someone that depends on that someone behaving in a certain way. At its heart is the premise that the person who gives love (the lover) does so because he receives something in return, that is, a response from the person who receives love (the beloved) that meets his expectations, often little realistic. More precisely, it is love that depends on the loved one not acting in a way that the lover finds unacceptable or intolerable.
Some of the characteristics of unconditional love are the following:
- Purity: unconditional love is pure and as it grows the mind is erased negative thoughts and is renewed with positive thoughts.
- True: in the face of conditional love the truth comes to light, that is, when a question is asked if there is unconditional love, the answer will be true. The answer may not be what you want to hear, but it’s actually what’s best for you. Love never sweetens the message, but reveals what is useful to you at that particular moment.
- Joy: Normally when there is unconditional love, an optimal state of mind is experienced regardless of the conditions of the circumstances.
- Acceptance: unconditional love is characterized by unconditional acceptance. Show yourself how you are, without trials or convictions.
- There are no expectations: although we put conditions on the relationships that we form between us, when there is unconditional love we are not usually subject to conditions.
- Self-confidence: love does not expect you to be anything other than what you are. Unconditional love is confident and bold and gives freedom to be the same. When fear is removed, confidence and boldness are increased in your life. Fear inhibits you and keeps you shy, but love gives you the freedom to lift your head with confidence and boldness.
- Security: As love increases security too, the person no longer needs to be defensive. Love is gentle and greets you with open arms ready to fill you up.
Eric Cameron is a passionate relationship coach and counselor with a focus on helping couples reconnect and build strong and lasting relationships. He has years of experience working with couples and helping them to understand the intricacies of healthy relationships. He also provides guidance on how to maintain a healthy relationship and deal with difficult topics. Eric’s approach is tailored specifically to the couple’s needs and he has a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon.